Authors: Chad Campbell
|Conceptualize Publishing (2012)|
The Deluce family name was once a name that struck fear into the cold heart of evil, then one day they just disappeared without a trace no one knew how or why.
Mona Deluce has no clue about her families ancient history. She only cares about one thing, getting good grades. Her whole life changes when two mysterious boys arrive at school, she falls for one while the other accidentally reveals her secret. Now an ancient evil wants to finish what it started so many centuries ago unless Mona can show them why they once called the Deluce's the lights of god.
By Chad Campbell
Cover by Leonardo Ariza
Copyright© 2012 Chad Campbell
A book in hand, Mona Deluce stepped into the bright morning air and smiled. She looked left as the school bus came to a stop right in front of her house. The driver waved and she waved right back, letting him know she wouldn’t be taking the bus. It was like this every day—the mile and a half walk might be too much for most people, but it was exactly what Mona loved. She raised her book to read as she walked, but the wind kicked up, whipping her chocolate brown hair all over and making it impossible to see. “Oh, it’s going to be one of those days, is it?” she asked herself ruefully.
Luckily, Mona knew all about the legendary Ellensburg wind and she was prepared. She set her book and her backpack down, but it was clear after only a glance into her clean and neatly packed bag that what she was looking for wasn’t there.
It must be in my car.
Mona closed her bag and threw it over her shoulder as she walked up to her car. The dark blue Cabrio sat right in front of her house. Her parents had bought it for her seventeenth birthday. She was pretty sure they weren’t happy that she rarely drove it, but that wasn’t going to stop her from walking. She opened her door and sitting on the passenger seat was her headband. It was very plain and white; it never really stood out, and that was just the way she liked it. She grabbed it and adjusted her hair, but never looked in the mirror to make sure it was straight—after locking the car, she went straight back to her book and started her slow trek to school.
Before Mona knew it, she had finished her book and was standing in the middle of her school. She shook her head until the mental fog around her dissipated and was just reaching for her phone to check the time when she heard someone calling her name—“Mona! Yo, earth to Mona!”
Mona turned. Standing behind her was her lab partner, whose name escaped her at the moment. “Hey, how’s it going,” she asked, beginning to rack her brains.
Well, I was just wondering what you were doing tonight. A bunch of us were going camping up in the hills and I wanted to see if you wanted to join us,” he said.
Oh yeah, his name is Chris.
Thanks for the invite Chris, but the SATs are coming up and I need a perfect 2400. I am not doing anything until I take that test,” she explained.
Well, if you change your mind, you should have my number.”
Mona thought it was unlikely she would—she hadn’t been lying about those scores—but she smiled her assent before waving goodbye.
When Mona got to her first class, she was surprised to find there was already someone else there; she was used to being the first to arrive. The boy stood up to introduce himself. Mona looked up and couldn’t believe how big this kid was; he must have been at least a foot taller than she was, and at five-seven, she wasn’t a short girl. “Hi, I’m Jason. It’s my first day today,” he said.
Mona. Nice to meet you,” she replied.
Mona grabbed the chair behind him. She sat down and pulled her science book out of her bag. The world around her ceased to exist as she started reading; she always liked to be one step ahead.
Jason sat back down. He tried to turn and talk to Mona, but she looked a million miles away. He smiled as he turned back around.
They sat in silence as the class slowly began filling up. By the time the bell rang, the only person missing was the teacher, who came running in a few minutes later. “Sorry I’m late class. The principal stopped me to tell me that we were having two new students today,” he said breathlessly. For the new kids, I’m Mr. Johnson.”
Mr. Johnson sat down at his desk as he slowly got organized for class. When he realized how long it was going to take him to get ready, he looked up and said, “While I get ready for class, will the two new kids stand up, introduce yourselves, and tell everyone something about yourself?”
Jason took his cue first and stood up next to his desk. “Hey everyone, I’m Jason Franks, my father and I just moved here. I don’t really have much going on yet, so that’s it, I guess.”
The class fell silent as they waited for the other new kid to introduce himself. “Now, where’s the other new boy?” Mr. Johnson asked. “Where’s Damon Jager?”
I’m right here,” Damon replied.
The kids all turned in surprise, as no one had noticed him sitting in the back. “Well, would you like to tell us something about yourself?” Mr. Johnson asked.
Sure. I’m Damon. I don’t want to be here and I highly doubt I will be here by next week.”
Hmm, well… that’s interesting, Damon... Anyway, class, let’s start the learning process.”
Mona pulled her head from the book she was reading and looked back to see who had spoken so brazenly. In the back sat someone who appeared more man than boy. His icy blue eyes shot right through her as he looked at her; his brown hair was messy and looked intentionally unkempt. He was wearing dark blue jeans and a dark brown leather coat with a black t-shirt. For the first time in her life, Mona found herself desiring a boy.
Mona realized she was staring and returned to her book, embarrassed that he probably noticed her. “Mona!” Mr. Johnson barked. “Pay attention.”
Yes Mr. Johnson,” Mona said as she put her book down and slid down in her seat, feeling her face turn red. She tried to compose herself as Mr. Johnson went on teaching. She felt compelled to look back at Damon, but she fought it with every urge. She couldn’t date now, she knew better—not if she expected to make something of herself.
Okay class, since it’s Friday, it’s time to play a game for extra credit. It’s an oral trivia game. The first person with their hand up who answers the question correctly will get ten extra credit points. If you answer incorrectly, you’ll lose ten points, so don’t just raise your hand to guess,” Mr. Johnson explained. “Okay, first question: how many phases are there in meiosis one?”
Mona thought for a second and was about to shoot her hand up when Jason’s rose up in front of her. “Yes, new kid, are you sure you want to try?” Mr. Johnson asked as he looked at his clipboard. “It’s Jason, correct?”
Yes, sir. There are four phases of meiosis, and they are prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase,” Jason replied.
Very nicely done, it looks like you are going to do quite well in this class.”
Jason smiled at the compliment while Mona gave him a glare. It was usually she who answered all of the extra credit quiz questions, and here was the first time all year that she had missed one. Mr. Johnson continued to ask questions and every time Jason’s hand shot up before hers; sometimes his hand was up before the question was even finished being asked. Her face was starting to turn an angry shade of red. She tried to calm down but every time Jason beat her to a question it only made it worse. Finally she had seen enough. Before Mr. Johnson had even finished a quarter of the question she raised her hand. “Yes Mona? You know the answer already?” Mr. Johnson asked.
Mona stared forward at the teacher clueless. She didn’t even know what the first part of the question was. She just sat there as the entire classroom began to get very quiet and then she finally answered, “No, I have no clue.”
Very well, then I shall actually finish the question,” Mr. Johnson teased.
Mona’s face was now a new shade of red and she didn’t know when it was going to end. The bell rang and she slowly unglued herself from deep in her chair. She didn’t know which was worse, the horrible embarrassment she suffered in front of the new guy Damon, or that she suffered in front the other new guy Jason, who stole every extra credit question from under her and made her feel stupid.
By the time Mona was out of her chair and had gathered her things, the entire class had left. She was about to leave when Mr. Johnson spoke. “It looks like you are going to have to step your game up if you want to stay number one in your class.”
Mona looked at him, shook her head, and walked out of the classroom.
Mona spent the walk to her next class in one of her famous thinking fogs. As she entered the locker room, she gathered that she was late, since the entire locker room was empty. She quickly changed her clothes and headed to the gym floor, only to arrive to the sound of the gym teacher, Mr. Affholter, explaining the day’s activity. She tried to sneak in unnoticed, but Mr. Affholter didn’t miss much and he certainly didn’t miss Mona slowly joining the group. “Ahem!” Mr. Affholter coughed to let her know he had seen her.
Now where was I? Oh yeah, today we will be doing fitness testing. Most of you will remember we did this at the beginning of the year. Now we will do it again to compare how you’ve grown over the year. For you two new kids...”
Mona tuned out his voice after she heard two new kids. Were Damon and Jason in this class too? Her eyes darted around the gym but she was unable to locate them. She felt a shadowy presence behind her sending a slight chill up her spine. When she was about to turn around and see who it was, the presence spoke: “How many tests are there?”
There was no mistaking Jason’s voice as it already annoyed Mona to the core. She hasn’t even known the guy an hour and already she hated him. She side-stepped away with a look of disgust on her face as she wanted nothing to do with him. Mr. Affholter shot her another look and she realized he had been speaking this entire time without hearing a word of it. “... Now everyone get into your groups and head to your stations,” Mr. Affholter finished.
Mona stood there, dumbfounded—she had no clue which group she was in.
If only I hadn’t been so busy in my own world!
She wandered forward, hoping if she looked lost enough that people in her group would call to her.
Mona! Over here!” someone yelled.
Mona was scanning the gym, trying to find who was calling her name, when she spotted two blond girls waving at her from across the room. She slowly walked towards them, and they smiled as she approached. The shorter blonde she recognized as Becca; though they weren’t friends, they’d been classmates since elementary school. “Hey Becca,” Mona said as she looked at the taller blonde girl that she didn’t know. “What’s your friend’s name? I don’t believe we’ve met.”