Potion – Chapter 1 ( Fairy Tale Inspired YA paranormal)

Hansel and Gretel’s Story has just begun … and it’s no fairy tale

potionbydorlanavann1Chapter 1
Eight Sprigs of Thyme


May 25, 2012

Lucas Jaeger didn’t dwell on the past, but sometimes sights and sounds or even smells triggered the willies that crept up his back. Like now. He took a breath, trying to analyze the situation with a clear head because an unfamiliar car parked in his spot wasn’t a big deal.

He drove his truck into the tall grass in front of his house, turned off the engine, and climbed out. As he stepped over and around trash that had been torn to shreds by stray dogs, he kept his sights on the 2012 Mustang.

His mom’s Yaris wasn’t there; she wasn’t due home for another hour, and the bus should’ve dropped Melrose home by now. They weren’t expecting company, so he had no idea who was alone in the house with his younger sister.

Perhaps one of his uncles had stopped by to show off, he hoped as he jogged up the steps to the porch. It had been a long time since he’d seen any of his dad’s side of the family.

He opened the front door and immediately scrunched up his nose at the stale, sticky-warm air that smelled more than a little musty due to their electricity had been cut off again. Not a good time for a surprise visitor, that was for sure.

He heard voices but didn’t find anyone in the kitchen or in the living room, so he hurried down the hall to Melrose’s bedroom. Trying to keep his alarm under control, he gave two quick knocks before opening the door.

His sister sat awkwardly on the bed, half on half off, next to a girl with bouncy, blonde hair that flowed down her back. When the girl turned and flashed a flirty smile at Lucas, goosebumps rose from his feet to his face. He did a little head jerk to move the hair out of his eyes, but yeah, Star, the hottest girl at Tangleforest High, was in his house, casual, like his sister’s room was a normal place to hang out.

Be cool, he told himself. “What’s up?” He glanced down to see what homework they had in front of them, thinking a tutoring session was the only sane explanation for Star’s visit. But instead of books or paper, a few oversized cards were laid out on the bed. A second ticked by before he realized what type of cards they were … tarot. Immediately, his nervousness from earlier returned. “What are y’all doing?”

“Playing a fortune telling game,” Melrose answered, pushing her glasses up her nose.

Lucas’ adrenaline started to pump, and suddenly his ears buzzed, the details from his past erupting through his head in a concentrated instant: swirls of color, lost in the trees, gingerbread house of horror, the witch, the cage, the curse. “The hell you are!” He stormed across the room and whooshed the cards off the bed.

His sister scoffed, standing up. “What are you doing?”

“Mel, I need to talk to you, now and in private.” Lucas cleared his throat as he glanced at Star. “You should go,” he said lowly.

Star’s expression was a cross between confusion and amusement. She moved from the bed to the floor, gathering the cards that had been scattered across the room.

“No, she shouldn’t.” Melrose bent to her knees to help pick up the cards. “Star, I’m sorry. You don’t have to leave.”

“We need to talk,” Lucas said, trying to stay calm but needing her to listen. “This is important.”

Melrose stood up and turned toward him. Her face was flush, and her eyes were wide, pleading for Lucas to stop and go away. “It can wait.”

When Lucas snapped to Melrose’s understandable embarrassment, he blinked and shook his head. What just happened? His wild panic, which had surged through his body a moment ago, had cooled a bit, and the noise in his head had lowered to an annoying hum. Why had he acted like a five-year-old in front of Star? Maybe he could pretend it was a joke, but before he could play it off, Star jumped up.

“I’ve got to go, anyway. We’ll talk later,” she said reassuringly to Melrose before she made a quick exit.

They stood still, listening to her footsteps on the hardwood floor and then they heard the front door close.

“What was that?” Melrose screeched.

Lucas brushed his hands through his hair. “Maybe I overreacted.”

“Maybe? Maybe? What’s wrong with you?”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I just uh …”

“You can’t barge into my room, throw a fit, and then order my … my friend to leave!”

All he could do was shrug and nod in agreement because he had no words to explain why he had lost control. It was better to change the subject. “Friend? What was Star doing here anyway?”

“She brought me home.”

“Why would you invite someone over when we don’t even have lights? Especially her?”

“I didn’t exactly have a choice. Besides, you ditched me and expected me to ride the bus home.”

I didn’t have a choice. I had to leave early to go to the auto shop. Some sort of freak windstorm blew through during third and knocked the flagpole right on top of my truck. I got the windshield fixed but didn’t have enough in my savings to repair the hood.”

“I see. So you had a bad day and you’re taking it out on me? I’m sorry about your truck, but that’s not my fault.”

“That’s not why I … that had nothing to do with my truck. I drove up, and Star’s car was there, and then the house was creepy quiet, and Star was in your room with those witch cards. Something’s off.”

“Witch cards? They’re called tarot cards. You’re acting so weird.” She shook her head and huffed. “Okay, you got your way; you scared her off with your crazy. Tell me what the heck was so important that couldn’t wait until …”

Melrose continued to gripe at him, but Lucas tuned her out as soon as he noticed something on the floor. His hand shook as he picked up the tarot card. The word “five” was written across the top of the well-used card and the word “wands” was at the bottom. In the middle, five male figures held long, wooden spears. As his hand closed around the card, a new rush ran through his veins – fear.

“Don’t bend it,” Melrose protested. “What are you doing? That’s Star’s.”

“These are not allowed in our house!”

“Cards?” Melrose crossed her arms and took a step back. “Games are not allowed in our home? Since when?”

“I can’t let this happen.” He walked out of the room.

Melrose called after him to come back with Star’s card, but he didn’t stop until he was on the back porch. He stared at the slender pine trees beyond the cleared acre, steadying his breathing, giving himself a moment to calm back down. But he couldn’t ignore the nagging at the back of his brain reminding him, warning him, of the promised witch’s curse to come.

Continue Reading at SwoonReads!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: