by Jody Kihara
Paperback release date: September 2011
Shaya Solen’s walk home from school takes her past an eerie pond, where one day she finds an old bracelet made of raven feathers. Soon, strange events begin to unfold: a shadowy figure glimpsed across the water, ominous nightmares haunting Shaya, and rumors of a witch who once drowned in the pond.
With the discovery of a strange family connection to the witch, Shaya is drawn into a mystery that must be solved before the approaching Halloween, which is the thirteenth anniversary of the witch’s death – and Shaya’s birthday.
Shaya hurried along, hands jammed in her pockets, shoulder bag swinging against her side. As she passed a tangle of bushes to her left, something dark on the ground made her slow her steps. She stopped and crouched down.
It was a circular object, and appeared to be made of feathers. Shaya reached out for it, and just before she touched it, her spine prickled.
Quickly, she glanced around. No one else seemed to be in the park apart from her and Dev, and he was every bit as far back as before. No doubt he was trying for real, now, to annoy her. Telling herself the chill up her spine was only the result of the cold wind, she reached out and touched the small, black hoop.
“Mine,” a voice whispered.
Shaya sprang back. “Who’s there?”
She looked around again. The voice had sounded like it came from behind her, but the path was deserted. “H― hello,” she said nervously.
No answer came.
Shaya bent down towards the hoop again. It appeared to be some kind of bracelet, and half of it was pressed into the ground, as if someone had stepped on it. The part sticking up had an oily sheen to it, the feathers glinting blue-black in the fading light. Taking a breath, Shaya reached out and snatched it up.
This time she cried out in alarm.
The bracelet went flying from her hand as she whirled around. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw what looked like a cloaked figure with long, matted hair standing on the far side of the pond. But when she looked back, it was gone.
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