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Authors: Stacey Marie Brown

Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Coming of Age, #New Adult & College, #Paranormal & Urban

Darkness of Light

BOOK: Darkness of Light
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Darkness Of Light

(Darkness Series Book #1)

by

Stacey Marie Brown

Table of Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

Twenty-Seven

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Thirty-One

Thirty-Two

Thirty-Three

Fire In The Darkness

Glossary

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Copyright

Copyright © 2013 by Stacey Marie Brown 

Published by Stacey Marie Brown. 

Cover Design by David Farrell at Woulds & Shoulds. 

Cover image © Shutter Stock

All rights reserved. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook cannot be re-sold, reproduced, scanned or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author. This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or her crazy friends and any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.  

Brown, Stacey Marie (2013-02-01). 

Darkness of Light, Mature YA Paranormal Romance 

(Darkness Series, Book #1).

 

For my friends, family, and my mom for always supporting and pushing me to follow my dreams.

One

What a terrifying mess this night turned out to be. I hadn’t even wanted to come, but I’d lost a bet with Ryan. It was only one night. One stupid dance. How bad could it be?

Aren’t those always the fateful, last words?

I scanned the decorated gym. Cheesy cardboard cutouts and paper streamers dangled from the ceiling. Red and black balloons and huge paper mache masks tried to cover up the basketball hoops and the school mascot that was painted on the walls. It didn’t make the gym look any better, nor did it take away the slight stench of sweat and dirty socks.

“You really thought this would be fun?” I looked over at my two friends, Ryan and Kennedy. 

Ryan shrugged. “It’s our last year. I thought we should at least come to one of these things.”

“You’re regretting that idea about now, aren’t you?” I crossed my arms, a smug grin playing on my lips. It quickly turned to a grimace when the music changed into an obnoxious pop song.

“Oh yeah.” Ryan sighed deeply. 

“Come on guys, let’s make the best of it. We got all dressed up.” Kennedy’s soft voice barely carried over to me. This was so typical Kennedy, always trying to see the positive in everything. 

Kennedy wasn’t the girl who got noticed, especially by the boys in school. I could see the true beauty in her porcelain skin. Ryan always teased that Kennedy was the sweet one, I was the salty, and he was the spice. We had been friends since junior high, when people became cool and uncool. I don’t think I have to say what group we ended up in.

“I promise you, if we can leave, I’ll wear my sweats with ruffles on them if that makes you happy,” I said.

“First, I know there is no way you would own anything with ruffles on it. Second, if you did have sweats with ruffles, you would have found a way to have worn them tonight,” Kennedy replied, adjusting her glasses on her nose. 

“True.” I nodded.

“You guys want something to drink?” Ryan motioned over to the beverage stand.

My heart thumped faster. The gorgeous Ben Harris stood in line. I was not the type of girl who crushed on the popular guy, but Ben was different. We’d sat next to each other in class and I’d gotten to know him.

“I’ll go get them,” I said quickly.

“Uh-huh,” Ryan smirked. “I bet you will.”

“What?” I tried to sound innocent. It didn’t work for me. They knew me too well. “We’re just friends.”

“Uh-huh . . . sure,” they said in unison.

I waved them off and headed for the refreshment stand. “Whatever.”

I stood behind Ben for a couple of seconds, gathering my wits before tapping him on the shoulder. I smiled. “Hey.”

Ben’s face lit up upon seeing me. “Ember.” His smile made me feel a strange, nauseated giddiness inside. “I didn’t know you were coming. I thought you said you didn’t come to these things?”

I shrugged. “I lost a bet.”

“Well, I’m glad you did.” His eyes ran over my body. “You look good—I mean beautiful.”

I wasn’t used to compliments, especially from cute, popular guys. Looking away, I gripped my fingers together, twisting them anxiously. “Uh-t-th-thank you. So you do. I mean so do you, look good I mean.” 

There was my astounding wit I wanted to use—gone to hell.

He smiled. “Thanks. Maybe you would like to dan—”

“Ben. There you are,” Kallie Parson cut in, standing in front of me. She was everything you pictured a popular cheerleader to be—tall, blonde, and beautiful. She was not shy about flaunting her perfect body in a skintight, dark blue, sparkly dress. “You’re needed at the DJ stand right now for the announcement of the Valentine’s Cupid Couple.” 

Ben glanced over at me then back to Kallie. 

“Go sweetie. Hurry!” She shooed him towards the stage. 

He finally nodded. “I’ll see you later, Em.” He turned and disappeared into the crowd.

Kallie swung around, acknowledging my presence. Her eyes skimmed over me, examining me from head to toe before landing of my face. She then burst out laughing. “Awww, how sweet is that? You think he likes you . . . the popular boy falling for the misunderstood, freak girl.” 

She’d been after me for months now. It had become an all-out attack involving months of cruel jokes and verbal abuse when Ben and I had been partnered up for an assignment in English class. Ben was gorgeous and at the top of the food chain in our school. He was the basketball star and every girl’s wet-dream. Kallie tried daily to claim him as hers. After years of my thinking he was a stuck-up, rich guy, he ended up being really nice, and shy. The more friendly we got, the more Kallie was set on obtaining him and crushing me.

I shook my head. “Wow. That was just so blatantly sad.” 

“You’re calling me sad? You should look in a mirror,” Kallie replied, her eyes blazing. “I didn’t know they let witches and freaks come to school dances. Isn’t this against your pagan religion or something?” 

This wasn’t the first time I got comments about brooms, black cats, or other clichés about witches. With my unusual looks and the odd things that happened around me, weird comments and insults were the norm. “Do you have any idea what you’re talking about? Or has that dress squeezed out your last surviving brain cell?”

Kallie stepped closer to me. “Jealous? Don’t be mad just because your dress looks like a hand-me-down from the Walmart dumpster.” 

I clenched my teeth. I should not let her get to me. 

“Why don’t you, plain Jane, and the gay Teletubby over there, go home and play on your Ouija board?”

My repressed anger was reaching its crescendo. Tormenting me was one thing. My friends were off limits. Rage, I normally tried to keep on a tight leash, started to break free. The darkness that lived deep inside me and that I kept concealed from the world stirred. Trying to find its way out of a cage, it was like a monster I couldn’t control.

“Look, I could care less if you like me or not, but don’t you dare talk about my friends like that,” I threatened. 

“Or you’ll what? Hit me with your voodoo magic?” There was amusement but also a touch of fear in her smile. She was scared of me—most of the school was. 

A wave of uncontrollable emotion gripped my stomach. I heard a cracking from above; a single spark fell from the ceiling. All I could focus on was my deep-seated fury.

“Shut-up.” My voice broke through my gritted teeth. “You know nothing about me.”

“I know you’re deluding yourself into thinking people actually like you.” Kallie sneered. “And your friends are just as weird and insignificant as you are.”

Blistering anger uncoiled and catapulted from every cell in my body. “Listen you pathetically-trite, anorexic bitch. . .” 

The lights above my head started to explode, drowning out the rest of my words. Kallie screamed as sparks and glass rained down on us. Students and teachers shielded themselves from the showering debris. Lights flickered on and off, causing a strobe light effect in the gym. Then everything exploded. 

I stared around in shock as crepe paper and cardboard decorations turned to fireballs before disintegrating into ash as they hit the floor. Balloons popped like machine guns. Glass and metal whined and moaned, cracking under the pressure. Chaos took over order and reason. Everyone started screaming and running in every direction. Sounds and movements were so muted to me it felt like there was thick glass between myself and everyone else.

People pushed past me, knocking me off balance. The back of my legs hit an overturned chair and I crashed to the floor, my elbows and back taking the brunt of the fall. Pain zipped up my arms and back. Students kicked and tripped over me as they fled the gym. As I curled myself into a protective ball to absorb the trampling herd, my eyes caught the glitter of reflected light. 

The disco ball tore from its tether. Falling, it smashed to the floor with a thunderous roar, shattering into a thousand pieces. Fragments of mirror flew out in slivered missiles. A sharp pain flashed across my forehead. Warm blood spilled out of the cut and trickled down the side of my face. I covered my head, protecting the rest of my face from the tiny pieces of glass and plastic launching at me from the falling wreckage.

Two

Fire engines wailed in the distance. Broken glass and debris dug into my arms and legs as I lay crumpled on the gym floor. Blood dripped from my forehead and arms. I groaned and sat up, looking around. The gym was empty; and everyone, including the teachers and the chaperones, were gone. 

Cringing, I forced myself to stand. I looked around at the remains of the Midnight Masquerade. I probably should have been more upset that the dance was ruined. I wasn’t. What really bothered me was deep down in my bruised bones, I felt this was somehow my fault. I didn’t know how or why I knew this, but I did. This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened.

I limped slowly towards the gym doors. My body, especially my backside, felt like it had been thrown down a ravine and stomped on. Sore and bleeding, I hobbled outside. Crowds of students huddled in groups as the ambulances and fire trucks screeched to a halt in front of me. I recoiled from the swirling bright red and blue emergency lights.

“Are you all right, Miss?” A woman in an EMT uniform moved in front of me. I stared at her. The repetitive flickering of the lights in and out of my vision caused my head to ache more. “Miss, are you okay? Let’s get you checked out. Those cuts look deep.” She grabbed my arm and steered me towards the back of the ambulance. I needed to find Ryan and Kennedy. I knew they’d be worried, but the blood trickling into my eyes persuaded me to stay where I was.

The EMT was in the middle of cleaning and bandaging me when I heard a deep voice come out of the darkness. I recognized the figure walking towards me immediately. “Shit,” I mumbled. There was nowhere to go.

“Ms. Brycin,” Principal Mitchell said as walked up to me. “May I speak with you.” 

This was not a question or an option. I nodded, making the EMT frown as she tried to place the bandage on my forehead. She roughly taped it over the cut and nodded to show I was clear to go. I walked wearily over to the tall, substantial man whose form seemed to loom over me. “So, Ms. Brycin, can you tell me why the school exploded, and you seem to be right in the middle of it, yet again?”

“I-I don’t know what you mean, sir?”

“Oh, I think you do.” He looked at me as if he expected me to produce a bomb out of my pocket, along with my evil plans and a cliché sinister laugh. My stomach dropped. Thinking it about yourself was one thing, to be accused to your face was another. I returned his gaze, trying to hide my unease from draining out into my features.

“Do you think I had something to do with this?”

“That’s what I’m planning to find out,” he replied. “The first several incidents that occurred, I naively chalked up to flukes and coincidences. Those days have long since passed.” He glanced behind and motioned someone forward. “Sheriff Weiss would like to question you again, Ms. Brycin.” 

BOOK: Darkness of Light
3.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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