I opened the door to my parent’s room. It squeaked loudly. Or maybe I imagined it. I was secretly terrified of getting caught. My parents were clear: I should never go into their room without permission. Most kids were grounded for breaking the rules. I wasn’t like most kids, though. I could get turned into a toad. OK, maybe not a toad. But my parents could definitely do something much scarier than ground me.
I stopped to make sure no one heard me and then closed the door gently behind me. The long wood dresser was covered with creams and lotions. It looked like the desk of a mad scientist. I pushed a few bottles aside to clear a small space. Quickly, I assembled the ingredients.
My hand shook as I poured a mixture of sand and salt into a small wooden cup. Inside I placed a pinch of homemade incense. My fumbling fingers sparked a match and dropped it in the cup. The pungent odor of pine, peppermint and jasmine filled the room. A thin stream of smoke twisted up toward the ceiling.
I took a practice breath to steady my nerves. This was a big spell for me. With my luck, it would set the room on fire instead of showing the last time magic was used. Nothing ever went my way.
I breathed in again. This time I inhaled the plume of smoke. I tried not to cough. Then I closed my eyes and concentrated on connecting with the elements. Heat entered through my toes first, then my fingers. Air danced across my skin. My spell was based in fire and air. So far, so good.
Of course, at any moment, the spell could still backfire and turn me to dust. Part of me wished it would. Being in this family was hard. I had a perfect brother, a self-centered mother, an emotionally absent stepfather and then there was the witch thing. It was a big secret. My friends couldn’t know. Marc couldn’t know. He didn’t have powers yet. So I had to hide my witchy-ness even in my own house. Being a witch in suburbia was complicated and lonely.
Bottom line, it sucked.
I whispered words of the spell. As I spoke, smoke wafted out of my mouth.
“Tem poris spaca,” I said.
The smoke expanded and thickened, like a fog. My body trembled. It worked. I couldn’t believe it. I’d performed small spells. Some worked, some didn’t. In Wiccan years, I was still practically a baby and it took effort to practice. So I didn’t do it much.
The fog moved with purpose. It coated the room with a thin gray film, except in one place. The place the last spell was cast. It was a space on the floor next to the bed. It had a distinct shape—an exact five point star.
Suddenly the door swung open.
“What are you doing?” my stepfather, Benjamin, said, through gritted teeth.
Title: The Travelers
Author: K.L. Kranes
Genre: YA Fantasy
Dagny lives a dangerous life. Pursued by an unknown enemy, Dagny and her family are always on the run and must use magic to stay hidden and safe. When Dagny meets Marc, everything changes. For the first time, she can imagine a future that doesn’t involve constantly changing her life. Despite the risk, Dagny vows to stop running. But as their enemies start closing in, Dagny wonders if she can ever really live a normal life and if she can actually trust Marc
K.L. Kranes, author of The Travelers, lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and daughter. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications. K.L. moved to New York City after college and worked in public relations before returning to her true passions of writing and editing. When not working on her next YA novel or blogging, she works as a freelance writer and editor. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and trying out new potential hobbies. Her latest endeavors include driving her dog crazy as she learns the guitar and making a fool of herself as a novice swing dancer. For more information on K. L. check out her website www.klkranes.com or www.thetravelersbook.com.