It was my thirteenth birthday, on a Friday, the 13th, and I decided to have a slumber party. I invited four of my closest friends and after a pizza dinner, I gathered them around a coffee table in the dark to show them the Ouija board I’d made. “Want to try it?” I asked.
Debbie, the tomboy, laughed. “That’s a bunch of crap.”
Lisa, the ditz, said, “You can’t just make one of those yourself. It has to be a special wood and um, stuff.”
Jeanne, the political one, said, “But there’s a debate on TV.”
Melanie, the smartest of the bunch and the one everyone looked up to for advice, said, “Sure, let’s do it.”
We gathered around the table, kneeling on our sleeping bags, and I said, “Who do we want to try to summon?”
There was a guy in the high school who had committed suicide the week before, and everyone was still talking about it. In unison, Debbie, Jeanne, and Melanie said his name, “Keith Simpson.” Lisa wanted to contact Madonna, but Melanie quietly leaned over and explained that the Ouija board was for talking to dead people.
Lisa rolled her eyes, obviously disappointed, as I began. “Keith Simpson?” I asked. “Are you there?”
“Wait!” Melanie said. “Don’t we have to put our fingers on the pointer or something?”
I shook my head and explained that this one was special. At first, there was nothing. Then, suddenly, the small rectangular piece of metal I’d used as a pointer jerked toward the “yes” in the very corner of the board. Everyone jumped back from the table, stunned.
I said, “Is that you, Keith?”
The pointer jerked toward “yes” again. Everyone began to look at each other. Lisa studied the doorway, wanting to flee from it.
I said, “Keith, do you have something to tell us? Why are you here?”
The piece of metal began to move furiously, spelling out letters. First a Y. Then an O. Next a U. We sat there for a moment, watching it move, and Melanie sounded it out. “You will all . . .we will all what?” she said, her voice cracking.
The tension was thick in the room as the pointer moved to D, then I, then E. Lisa covered her face in her hands and Debbie screamed. Jeanne shouted, “We will all die! Oh, my god! We’re going to—“ She stopped and stared at the pointer. It was still moving. It moved to the T, and just when everyone was sure it was going to spell out Today or Tomorrow, it just stopped.
Melanie stared at it. “We will all diet? What the hell?”
“Well, we did eat a lot of pizza tonight,” I explained, pulling a magnet out from under the table.
Synopsis: Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her....
Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?
Cyn Balog's follow-up to Fairy Tale has more wit, more supernatural delights, and more star-crossed romance! Teen girls will love this story of a Sandman who falls in love with his human charge.
Available now from Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Cyn, Thanks so much for your time and story! Such a great addition to Haunted Halloween!
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