Five teenagers who’ve recently discovered they have magical powers and are living in the Seattle underground feel it’s their responsibility to protect unsuspecting humans from otherworldly foes.
Things are going well until Johnathan, their unofficial leader and the boy sixteen year old Paige is in love with, is bitten by a changeling – the venomous saliva causing him to metamorphose into a ravening beast with each full moon. Paige vows that, no matter the cost, she will find a way to cure Johnathan of the evil that has embedded itself in his soul.
Johnathan’s monthly transformation and daily personality roller coaster isn’t the only problem they have to deal with. The Five are also gearing up to face their toughest and most dangerous enemy yet—a powerful and ruthless Warlock who will go to any means, including high school, to build his Dark Army.
Not long after Alec joined us, we had our first run-in with a Demon—and that was when I decided having Alec around wasn’t such a bad thing. If he hadn’t been there, Johnathan and I would likely be dead. Or worse. The thought of being possessed by a Demon—having no control over my own actions, carrying out its devastating orders—that was one of the scariest things I could think of.
Demons were a mystery to me. I’d read that they were fallen angels. Malevolent spirits. They were definitely malevolent. Whatever they were, their main goal seemed to be to possess or just plain kill humans. From what I’d read in the white book, Demons weren’t supposed to be roaming around our realm, outside of the Netherworld. The reason there were some running around, it stated, was this: there were sorcerers and others who dabbled in the Dark Arts but few were strong enough to summon a Demon. Even fewer were strong enough to hold that Demon captive once summoned. Those people all thought they were strong enough, though. These dabblers in the Dark Arts would call up a Demon, thinking to force it to carry out some unsavory deed for them, and they’d end up being too weak to hold the thing inside their pentacle. Demons didn’t really like to be called up or summoned. Forced to adhere to another’s will. So, they broke out and killed whoever called them. And then they were free to roam in our realm until someone sent them back to the Netherworld. I know my dad believed in Demons, they’re even mentioned in the Bible, but he refused to talk about them, afraid just doing so would evoke one’s wrath or bring its evil upon us. Just the thought of them scared the crap out of me.
We sat in the lobby of an old hotel Underground. Johnathan and Alec were trying to convince me that Pentacles weren’t dark magic. Alec drew an almost perfect circle. As he added the five point star to the middle, its points touching the circle, he said, “Pentacles aren’t evil, Paige. They’re just a tool that can be used for either good or evil purposes. We’ll only be using them for good so relax and start practicing.”
I reluctantly picked up a piece of chalk and touched it to the ground. I blew out an anxious breath. “I can’t do it.”
Jonathan dropped his chalk to the ground and scooted over next to me. I forgot to breathe when he put his hand over mine and started drawing the symbol with my chalk. The warmth of his strong but tender hand made me forget all about thoughts of evil. All I could think about was how good his touch felt. And, as he leaned over, his leg touching mine, I breathed in his smell.
“There,” he said. He finished the pentacle but still rested his hand over mine. He raised his eyebrows and smiled a stunning half-smile. “Nothing bad happened. In fact, I’d say that felt pretty good.” He squeezed my hand.
I nodded and Alec rolled his eyes.
“Now, draw one of your own.” He slowly withdrew his hand from mine as he continued to hold my gaze.
I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. I looked down and started drawing.
The circle drawn, I started on the star and then stopped and held the chalk up off the ground. “Shh. Be quiet for a second. I hear something.”
The boys held still. Alec cocked his head like a dog, listening.
“London Bridge is falling down . . .” the British accent sang, louder as it drew closer.
A white ghost-shaped blob flew through our door. It stopped short when it saw us. The big nerd glasses it wore on its sheet-like face didn’t even budge in spite of the fact that it had no ears or nose to hold them in place.
I glanced up at the books it carried. Physics, Human Biology, and Psychology.
Valedictorian wannabee. The laugh that was forming in my throat at that thought was stopped short as a million tiny spiders of terror crept up my spine.
“There you are,” the Demon said with a slight British accent. “I knew I smelled something interesting.” The thing dropped its books and opened its mouth w-i-d-e. Johnathan dove out of the way just as its protruding jaws and rows of terrifying shark-like teeth clamped shut with a loud chomp right where his head had just been.
Holli Anderson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing—which has nothing to do with writing, except maybe by adding some pretty descriptive injury and vomit scenes to her books. She discovered her joy of writing during a very trying period in her life when escaping into make-believe saved her. She enjoys reading any book she gets her hands on, but has a particular love for anything fantasy.
Along with her husband, Steve, and their four sons, she lives in Grantsville, Utah—the same small town in which she grew up.
A signed copy of Five Out of the Dark, a bookmark, a poster, and a mug.