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The Glass Shadow

By Selena Drake All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Mystery

Blurb

When fourteen-year-old Cybill Starr stumbles across a bizarre crime scene on her way to school, the last thing she’s expecting is to wind up a murder suspect. But when a team of investigators shows up to ask her a few questions, Cye’s strangely intimate knowledge of details no one else knows puts her in a unique position to help them and she suddenly finds herself a rookie in the AEON Agency. Cye has little time to adjust to her new role as Jinx in this secret world of paranormal cops and robbers before the case takes a turn for the worse. A maleficent Shadow is on the prowl in Mabon City, and it’s wielding an ancient artifact that can suck the souls right out of its victims. If Jinx and her new AEON teammates can’t stop this demon soon, their souls will be among the harvested.

Chapter 1

“I made a promise that I would destroy you!” I snarled.

The evil thing in my hands pulsed with power, protesting. When begging failed it, it turned to seduction. I suddenly felt like a child about to enter Santa’s workshop and walk away with the toy of my dreams. I was giddy with excitement, and high on the rush.

At last, I understood what drew people to seek this twisted treasure out.

For a moment, I was compelled to break my promise; to hug the mirror close to me and vanish to my own little corner to use its power for myself. It would be the perfect way to retaliate against Taboo. I’d give him a little payback for all he’s done to me. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the flawless, obsidian glass. A stark white sneer beneath glowing, scarlet eyes glared back at me in the dark. I was stunned by the level of anger and malice in that monster’s expression.

Never. I would never allow myself to change into that.

I turned the black glass away from me. Gripping the twisting, bone handle tight, I raised the mirror as high over my head as I could.

“I fulfill my promise now!” I slammed the cursed thing on the floor as hard as I could. The ancient mirror exploded in a shower of glass and bone. A blinding, green light erupted from its shattered remains. I heard a whoosh as a wave of heat tore through the room. Suddenly, the space filled with countless screaming faces trapped within swirling, green flames.

They were the souls, I realized. Men. Women. Children. Human, and not. Unspeakable numbers harvested over the mirror’s centuries of use.

And they were furious.

Several of them sought out their most recent tormentor. They passed through her, ripping a white light from her with a horrid scream. A moment later, the body slumped to the floor. I didn’t want to stick around to see what else they would do.

In the madness, I somehow managed to find my friend. She had been thrown and stood, leaning against a shelving unit in awe of the green vortex. I ran to her as fast as I could, and snatched her arm. The only exit was at the opposite end of the room, through the swelling tornado of souls. It might as well have been a mile away for all the good it did us. I cursed my luck and hoped that I had enough oomph to do that Jump thing one more time.

The air was quickly growing hotter. The souls crammed against the ceiling and the walls and started to spread out. They pressed against each other, desperate to escape the cramped basement. I could feel the pressure building and knew I had just seconds to get away. I closed my eyes and concentrated hard on Jumping the two of us out of there. The noise and the heat made it difficult to focus, but one by one, my senses were shut off. I somehow managed to block it all out.

With the little strength I had remaining, I knew I had to pick a landing spot nearby or we’d never make it. I chose a spot on the front lawn as my target and hoped it would be far enough from the blast. I visualized it in my head and wished myself there. When nothing happened, I closed my eyes tighter and kept wishing. I put every ounce of my remaining life-force into the Jump. The sudden and icy cold of the void swallowed me. I could not say how long I was in that black space, but it felt like days.

Solid ground was suddenly beneath me once again. My knees immediately gave out and I collapsed onto the dew-spotted grass. My friend slumped beside me. I only had a moment to check on her and catch my breath before a fiery, green explosion rocked the entire area. Too spent to move anymore, I just lay there and let the blast wave rush over me. I could only hope that the countless number of souls that I had freed from captivity within the mirror would see fit to spare the two of us.

My vision blurred and started to fade out. The last thing I could remember thinking was what a crazy week it had been. Then total, peaceful darkness overcame me, and I knew no more.

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