Enjoy an excerpt from First Frost, a young adult novel by Liz DeJesus
“Come out, you coward!” Lenore shouted.
If there was one thing Bianca knew for sure, it was that her mother would never, ever back out of a fight. She slowly inched her way down the stairs. Rose stepped out of the house and was far away from the safety of her wards. Bianca tried to call as little attention to herself as humanly possible. She duck-walked across the living room until she was directly underneath the broken window. She peeked every now and then to watch her mother in action.
“Where’s the book?” Lenore asked.
“Where is my husband?” Rose demanded.
“How about we make a trade? Your husband for the book,” Lenore said.
Rose remained silent. Bianca knew that somewhere in her mother’s mind she was seriously considering trading whatever book Lenore was talking about for her father.
“You’re not getting anywhere near that book,” Rose replied.
Lenore snarled and contorted her face in anger as she created a fireball and threw it at Rose.
She created a wall of water around her, and the fireball vanished with a hiss. She then used the water that surrounded her and attacked her adversary.
Lenore used an ice spell and froze the water, and caused it to crash all around her with soft clinks.
“You have to learn to control your brat. I can smell her better now that she’s downstairs,” Lenore said and then cackled.
“You shut your filthy mouth about my daughter,” Rose shouted.
“Want to come out and play, little one?” Lenore taunted.
“Bianca! Stay inside the house. Do you hear me?!”
“Mom, let me help,” Bianca pleaded.
“You do as I say!” Rose snapped.
Bianca’s heart skipped a beat as she ducked underneath the window. She knew she was safe inside the house because of the wards. Bianca risked a peek at the battle, and the witches were fighting viciously. They were both putting everything they had into their spells and doing everything in their power to destroy each other.
Lenore had Rose trapped in a small tornado. Bianca could see her bright red hair whipping in every direction imaginable as her mother struggled to counter the spell. It was enough time for the dark witch to reach in and take something out of her pocket. Lenore pulled out a tiny glass vial and drank a black potion that swam inside the container.
What is that?
Lenore flashed her sharp yellowed teeth at Bianca and then turned her attention to Rose. Bianca turned her gaze to her mother and saw that she had finally countered Lenore’s tornado spell. Lenore took a deep breath and then blew black fire at Rose. The dark flames took on the shape of a sinister dragon.
Bianca gasped; she had never seen anything so menacing in her life. The dragon’s yellow eyes zeroed in on Rose. It chuckled as it looked upon her. It launched itself at her mother and wrapped itself around her body. The dragon pried Rose’s mouth open and shoved its clawed hand down her throat.
“No!” Bianca shouted. The blood in her veins froze, her stomach dropped, and her heart leaped to her throat. She watched in horror as her mother did everything she could to fight off Lenore’s monster…and failed.
“Mom!” Bianca dashed to the front door and stopped herself from running into the front yard.
Lenore had kicked Rose in the stomach and grabbed a fistful of her red hair. The smoke dragon took away Rose’s voice. She was now mute. She looked like a fish out of water as she tried to cast a counter spell, but it was no use. The damage had been done. Her mother had lost her voice and the battle. Rose turned her green eyes to Bianca.
“There, now we can have a little chat…no interruptions. Come on out here and sit with me a while,” Lenore said. The false saccharine in her voice was obvious.
Rose shook her head violently. Bianca knew what her mother wanted her to do. She wasn’t sure she could obey Rose’s request to stay inside the house now that she was in danger of losing her life.
I can’t just sit here and do nothing. God…what do I do? What do I do?
“Come here!” Lenore roared as her face contorted with rage, making her look uglier and older than she actually was. Lenore yanked on Rose’s hair so hard she opened her mouth as though she were screaming…except no sound came out of her lips.
© Liz DeJesus 2012
Purchase First Frost here:
Barnes and Noble
Author website of Liz DeJesus