The FBI blackmailed Storm Crandall; but only after Storm hacked their database. At sixteen, she’s under cover at a high school, looking for clues involving five missing girls. Besides computer skills, Storm has game in the magic department. A sect of the Temple of Set soon finds out power comes in many guises. With two FBI agents posing as her parents in the city of Warren, Ohio, Storm finds love, allies, and tragedy in her hunt for answers. By fulfilling her end of the bargain, Storm can buy her way out of spending the days until her eighteenth birthday in a juvenile detention facility.
The FBI agents discover their young charge can do more than type fast. Their first encounter with the creature behind the disappearances shows the agents they need Storm for far more than information gathering as a high school spy. With Storm’s FBI handlers shadowing her every movement and conversation, small breakthroughs in the case come to light. Three girls from the high school visit Perkins Park at night where the disappearances had happened, playing a dangerous game of dare. Two of the girls, Nancy Alverson and Chris Vasquez, leave their friend Carol Wangden alone in the park after an argument. They walk to the local Burger King only blocks away, hoping for a ride from Logan Stanfield. Finding Storm there with Tracy Washington, they explain the game they had been playing. Logan drives to the park with Storm and Tracy to find Carol. Agents Dixon and Holloway, listening in, head for the park too. Logan holds off the monster they find chasing down Carol long enough for Storm to cast an impromptu invocation which disperses the demon in front her companions.
Teaming up with the enigmatic Logan, Storm begins unraveling a horror no one anticipated. When the case morphs from serial kidnapping into a supernatural witch hunt, Storm and her friends, under the guidance of the FBI agents, scramble to stay alive while tracking down monsters both human and inhuman.
Bernard, since your book is about a teenage girl, What were the challenges of writing from a POV you have never experienced?
“Oh my God!” Tracy screamed from the backseat. “What the hell is that?!”
Logan and Storm, glanced in the direction Tracy was pointing as Logan drove the car along Mahoning Avenue fronting the park. They saw a clearly terrified Carol running out of the adjacent sparsely wooded area with some kind of billowing blackness slouching after her. Logan jammed on the brakes of his Pontiac, reaching under the seat, and coming up with a tape handled two foot long lead pipe.
“Stay here!” Logan ordered, exiting the car at a dead run.
Storm ignored him and went out the passenger side at the same pace. Tracy called out after Storm to no avail. She immediately decided the back seat of Logan’s small, two door Pontiac Grand Am was not the place to be. By the time she scrambled over the front seat and out the passenger side door, Carol had fallen and was scrambling on all fours, making heart rending little screams in between gasps for air. Tracy ran after her friends as the opaque cloud drew near Carol. Tracy heard a car screech to a halt behind her, and glanced back to see Ted and Janet clamber out of their Honda.
“What the…” Janet managed to exclaim before simply shutting up and following Ted, who had not paused for even a second before running after the convergence before them.
A gnarled, slimy blackish limb snaked out of the darkness, reaching for Carol, who let out an ear piercing scream of pure terror. Logan swung at a dead run, connecting full force with the thing extending from the cloud. A hideous cracking sound as if fifty powder dry branches had snapped at once blotted out all sound for a split second before a howl of agony and rage echoed out from the cloud. The blackness rolled back suddenly as Logan halted to face it, between it and Carol. Appearing to grow upwards, snapping wisps of fragmented nightmare lunged out of the cloud as Logan swung the lead pipe in short concerted strokes. Storm, controlling her breathing with difficulty, ran up beside Logan, her arms raised over her head, palms outward.
“EVOCATIO VALCYRIARUM, CONTUBERNALIA GLADIARIA,” Storm shouted out in commanding voice, repeating it over and over, as a torrent of wind driven debris hurtled into the darkness, driving it back.
With a final shriek of rage, the thing dissipated into the air, as Tracy reached her friends. The silence following the disappearance of the black cloud hung in the air so thickly it felt almost as if it were a tangible substance. Logan gripped the lead pipe with both hands, his chest heaving, looking down at Storm in disbelief. Storm stood still in place, her arms upraised to the night sky, a slight breeze blowing her white blonde hair back from her face. Eyes closed, and hands clenched in fists now instead of palms outward, Storm smiled a tight, thin lipped smile of satisfaction.