Read Secrets in the Dark Online

Authors: KD Blakely

Secrets in the Dark

Secrets in the
Dark

Chimera
Chronicles

Book 1

Copyright © 2012 K D
Blakely

Published by Kat-Tales.Net
at Smashwords

Cover art from
phatpuppy.com and bookish-brunette.com

This is a work of fiction
and any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely
coincidental. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be
used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written
permission from the author. This ebook is licensed for your
personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given
away to other people. If you would like to share this book with
another person, please purchase an additional copy for each
recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or
it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.

Cover art from
phatpuppy.com and bookish-brunette.com.

ISBN: 978-0-9886626-0-5

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I’ve learned that writing a book takes more
than the efforts of just one person. There are many I need to thank
for the book you are about to read. Ruth, Cheryl, Steve, Scott,
Matt and all of my Stonehenge friends deserve a great deal of the
credit. (Or blame, depending on how much you like this book…)

I am grateful for my Mom and Dad, who always
encouraged my love of reading and writing.

I hope you have fun reading this. I
certainly enjoyed writing it!

Chapter 1

What The…?

I’d never actually had my
face pushed into a bowl of jello, but I was pretty sure it would
feel exactly like this. My whole body was being shoved through
something rubbery and clammy. Totally disgusting!

Note to self — You can’t
breathe jello!

My lungs heaved as if I’d
run a mile, but I still couldn’t get my breath. It wasn’t fair! All
we’d been trying to do was get away from that creep Andrew and his
friends. How could this be happening?

Not breathing was bad, but
not seeing made it worse. Much worse. I was lost in the dark, as if
I’d gone blind. It might only have been a few moments, but each
moment felt like forever.

I couldn’t see my friends
Faith and Olivia. Were they lost in this strange place with me? Or
was I all alone?

I waved my hands in front
of my face, but couldn’t see them, either. Fear spread through me
and leaked out in a long moan, like air escaping from a balloon. I
felt it pass my lips, but couldn’t hear it. I wasn’t just blind. I
was deaf.

My heart raced, like it
was trying to beat its way out of my chest. I’d
never
been this scared.

So what can make you more
frightened when you’re already terrified? Start falling, plummeting
through space, when you can’t see where you’re going.

This morning, the nightmare
that woke me had seemed terrible. But compared to being in this
place, it was no more than a stupid dream. I wished this were just
a nightmare —then maybe I’d wake up.

How could this day go so
wrong?


How could I have known it
would be my worst day ever? Maybe the beginning should have been my
first clue. I didn’t even make it out of bed before the day went
wrong.

My eyes popped open and I
lay on my back, gasping like a fish. Tears were drying on my
cheeks, leaving my skin itchy and tight. The dream had been really
messed up, and I’d never been so glad to be awake.

My two best friends, Faith
and Olivia, said they were done — they couldn’t be friends with a
kid anymore. They turned and left me, ignoring when I begged them
to come back. I kept calling while they walked away. As they grew
taller and older with every step they took.

While I remained behind.
Still twelve.

Knowing it was a dream
didn’t make it any better. My friends really
were
changing and I couldn’t do
anything about it. I lay there, staring at the ceiling, trying not
to feel hopeless. The weather certainly didn’t help. The pale
January light barely reached into my room, turning the bright pink
paint I loved as dull and gray as my mood.

I sat up, scrubbing my
hands over my face, and waited for my breathing to slow.

I was still thinking about
the dream while I staggered to the bathroom, only half-awake. Mom
would say I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. But I
just couldn’t see the doorframe in the gloomy light.
That’s
why I caught my
toe and stumbled, smashing my elbow against the door.


Dang!”

This day can’t get any
worse. Can it?

The sound of my mom’s voice
calling me to breakfast answered that question. “Katherine Alice
Taylor! Get down here. This. Minute.”

Uh oh. Full name. How many
times had she called me?

Okay, so this day
could
get
worse.


Coming!”

I raced down the stairs,
worried about why she’d been calling. This time, Mom would’ve been
right — I wasn’t paying attention. Not good! I tripped halfway down
the stairs and nearly took a header onto the living room
rug.

Note to self – Always pay
attention going down stairs!


Super-OW-i-fragil-istic!”
This time it was my knee that got smashed as I made a desperate
grab for the handrail. At this rate, I‘d be too bruised for school.
Although, that might not be such a bad thing. Maybe I could get
excused for terminal klutziness. I almost laughed out loud when I
pictured asking Mom to write that excuse for me.

As if.

With my knee throbbing in
counterpoint to the ache in my elbow, I hobbled carefully down the
rest of the steps. Man, I was glad my brother Christopher hadn’t
seen me do that!

Then I rounded the corner
to the kitchen where only three places were set at the table. My
steps slowed even further, and my legs felt like they’d turned to
lead. Chris wouldn’t be at breakfast. He wouldn’t be teasing me,
messing up my hair, or calling me a klutz.

He was supposed to have
returned from his honeymoon yesterday. Today he’d be in his new
house. With his new wife. Not that I didn’t like Ronny — exactly —
but she was the last of way too many changes.

Why does everything keep
changing?


There you are, Kat.” Mom
sounded cross and I wasn’t sure why until she said, “I never have
to get you out of bed, so I didn’t notice the time. Now you’re
going to be late for school.”

I glanced at the clock in
disbelief, and my stomach felt like it had fallen off a cliff. I
never overslept. How could it be so late?

I mumbled, “Sorry, Mom.” I
wished I could start this day over. I was going to get a tardy in
homeroom. That
totally
sucked.

My day didn’t get any
better after that. Mrs. Wilson liked to make tardy students stand
at their desk until she marked them down. And she always took a
lo-o-o-ng time. I ground my teeth together knowing everyone would
be staring at me while I waited. And waited.

What a terrible morning!
At least it can’t get any worse.

I hate it when I’m
wrong…

Chapter 2

Blood Sister
Request

In
1
st
period, our Science teacher, Mrs. Hernandez, started in about
the year we were born. I know it probably doesn’t matter in most
towns, but when you grow up in Santa Ramona, the year you’re born
changes everything. That is, if you were born twelve years
ago.


Okay class, settle down.
Let’s discuss possible
scientific
reasons behind so-called strange events. Who
wants to tell their favorite story about THE-STRANGEST-YEAR-EVER?
Anyone? Come on, it should be exciting to be born during such a
special year. No one? How about you, Kat. Tell us your favorite
story.”

Me? Was she kidding? I
didn’t have a favorite T.S.Y.E. story!

I’d listened to the town’s
ridiculous stories my whole life. Over and over. Again and again.
The way people talked about it, you’d think they’d all managed to
live through the ten plagues of Egypt or something.

How many times had I heard
about the entire town going crazy that year?

How every rose in town
withered and died one night.

How dozens of people saw
flocks of birds flying backwards.

How the trees lost all
their leaves the first day of every month for the entire year. Only
to grow them all back a week later.

And, depending on who was
doing the telling, hundreds, or maybe
thousands
, of warty brown toads fell
from the sky in the middle of Main Street. When the sky was
cloudless and blue. Seven different times.

It got so old.

People kept talking about
hundreds of strange events that
supposedly
happened that year. Too
bad there weren’t any cell phone cameras back then. I might’ve
believed some if there was any proof. Instead, I was sure most were
I-made-up-a-weirder-one-than-you stories.

I call all that talk having
a TSYE — yeah, like tizzy. Mrs. Hernandez could just forget
it!

When I didn’t answer, she
said, “You don’t have one? How about you, Olivia? Tell us your
favorite story.”

Why do they have to keep
talking about it?
I
think everyone should just get over THE-STRANGEST-YEAR-EVER.
Okay, so I’d never actually seen it written
that
way. But it’s how everyone said
it. All-one-word. ALL CAPS.

Was I excited to be born
during such a ‘special year’? Heck no, I wasn’t excited. It was a
total pain.


On the way to
2
nd
period, Andrew Sawyer started in on Faith.

Again.

Andrew acted offended by
her very existence. It didn’t make sense — she’d never done
anything
to him. But he
took every chance he could to humiliate her.

This time, he tripped Faith
when she tried to pass him in the hall.

Note to self — Avoid
Andrew, no matter what.

My muscles quivered with
my desire to slap the nasty made-you-look-stupid grin right off his
face. I might’ve done it, but it would just make Faith feel more
unhappy. She thought Andrew would act worse if we did something to
make him angry.
I
thought she was wrong — how could he get worse?

Olivia agreed with me. She
and Faith argued a lot about Andrew. So I wasn’t surprised when I
heard Olivia’s teeth grinding together, so loud I expected them to
break.

Faith stumbled down the
hall, taking a half dozen weird staggering steps to keep her
balance. She didn’t fall, and she didn’t smash into the lockers
like Andrew intended, but she looked pretty strange. The hallway
rang with shouts of laughter. I was actually amazed she’d been able
to stay on her feet. All those hours of soccer practice had paid
off, so I wouldn’t be able to make fun of that anymore.

Andrew laughed the loudest.
“What a stork. I mean dork.”

Andrew and his stupid
jokes!

Sure Faith’s legs grew a
lot this year, and at times, like now, she looked all knees and
elbows. And okay, those steps
had
looked weird. But no way did she look like a
stork.

Faith put her head down
and pushed through the crowd that had gathered. When Olivia and I
caught up with her, she was
bent over the
sink in the girl’s bathroom. It was
the
one place Andrew couldn’t get her.

I stood there, feeling
useless, as
Faith rubbed her hands over
her eyes, muttering, “No crying in school.”

Olivia growled in
frustration and kicked the trashcan once, hard enough to cause a
metallic clang as it hit the tile wall. She chanted, “Andrew sucks.
He really, really
sucks!”

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