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Authors: Kelly Hashway

Tags: #children's fantasy, #adventure, #family, #friendship

Curse of the Granville Fortune

BOOK: Curse of the Granville Fortune
3.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The author makes no claims to, but instead acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the word marks mentioned in this work of fiction.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Kelly Hashway

 

CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE by Kelly Hashway

All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America by Month9Books, LLC.

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

Published by Tantrum Books for Month9Books

Cover illustrated by Zach Schoenbaum

Cover and typography designed by Victoria Faye

Cover Copyright © 2014 Month9Books

 

 

 

To Ayla with love.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

I was about to climb the biggest bike ramp at the park when the vision hit me. Some people might think having visions was cool. For me, it was a curse.

I clutched the handlebars, trying to steady the bike, but my hands and arms tingled with a warmth that made me sweat like a freak. Not now! I couldn’t have a vision here. Holly would think I was having a fit or something and run home to tell Mom.

“J.B., what’s wrong?” Holly asked as my bike swerved.

I’d never told anyone about the visions. I didn’t want to be labeled a head case and forced to see some shrink, but I felt Holly’s eyes on me as my body shook. What choice did I have? I purposely missed the ramp and crashed into a bush, hoping the accident would cover up the strange things that were about to happen to me.

My eyes shut at the exact moment of the collision, and the vision flooded my brain.

You three who bring disgrace to your families shall suffer great misfortune. Your lives shall be cursed until you return what was taken this night.

The old woman’s voice thundered in my ears, but I couldn’t see anything except the brilliant white light surrounding my body. A warm electric current pulsed through my veins. I felt like I was floating, but something weighed me down by my shoulders. Something familiar. I wasn’t alone. There were two others with me. I couldn’t see their faces through the white light, but I knew they were there.

As usual, the vision had come at the worst possible time—when someone was around to see it. When someone was around to find out my secret. I was cursed. Cursed for something I didn’t even do. I’d had the vision since I was four, maybe before that, but I couldn’t remember. It was always the same. Some woman cursing me for stealing, but I never stole anything.

“J.B.!” Holly screamed. “Get up! We have to get out of here!”

I opened my eyes, trying to focus on Holly’s face. My head throbbed—a combination of the mind-numbing vision and the crash. Holly pointed toward the forest at the edge of the park and yanked me to my feet.

“Easy. I just nosedived into a bush. Could you give me a sec?” I wiped my brow with the sleeve of my sweatshirt and took a deep breath.

Holly opened her mouth to speak, but it wasn’t
her
voice I heard.

“Knife!” the scratchy voice cried out.

Holly hid behind me, burying her head in my back. I looked toward the forest and saw a grisly looking man wandering out of the trees. His clothes were torn, and he was covered in mud and leaves. I could barely see his skin through all the muck.

“Grim!” the man cried. He sounded like he was in desperate need of water.

The guy had to be crazy. I didn’t feel bad for thinking that because most people would think I was crazy, too, if they knew about my recurring vision.

Holly tugged on my arm. “Let’s get out of here!”

The guy wandered around, stumbling over his own feet. What had happened to him inside the forest? I hung out at the park all the time, but I’d never gone into the woods.

Holly hopped on her bike and started to pedal, but her shoelace tangled in the chain. She fell sideways into the same bush I’d just gotten out of. Typical Holly. She couldn’t do anything without getting hurt.

The crash got the crazy guy’s attention. He cocked his head in our direction and locked eyes with me.

I rushed over to Holly and yanked her shoelace free. I was helping her up when I spotted a beat up gray Ford Focus at the edge of the park gate. The front end was dented and the headlight was cracked. It was Dad’s car. He didn’t have the money to get it fixed after someone hit him in a parking lot. What was he doing here? Why wasn’t he at work?

“Grim!” the man cried, reaching his hand toward Holly and me.

“Go!” I shouted at Holly. She pedaled out of the park. I grabbed my bike, hoping it didn’t get too banged up in the crash, and sped out of there as fast as I could.

Holly turned right, heading for home, but I stopped at the gate and hid my bike behind a tree. I could see Dad talking on his cell phone in the front seat of his car. I crept over to the passenger side and tapped on the window. Dad jumped, dropping his phone in his lap. His eyes widened when he saw me. I tapped the window again, but Dad scrambled for his phone and held up his finger to me. He didn’t open the window until he finished his call.

“Who were you talking to?” I asked.

“J.B., I can’t talk right now.” Dad was looking past me to the park. “You should go home. Right now.” Why was he trying to get rid of me?

I turned back toward the park. The man wasn’t there, but Dad kept searching for something.

“Dad, why are you here? I thought you started some big new case today,” I said. Dad had started his own law firm about two years ago. Beaumonte and Associates. Now, he was gone all the time, even though he barely made enough money to pay the bills.

“I don’t have time to talk about this right now. Just go home,” Dad said, still not looking at me.

What else was new? Dad never had time for me anymore. We used to spend every Saturday watching James Bond movies. I’d wanted to be James Bond since I was four. That was why everyone calls me J.B. instead of Jack Beaumonte. Dad was the one who gave me the nickname. Now, I wasn’t sure I wanted it anymore.

I was angry and tired of being ignored. I thought about blocking Dad’s view of the park. Maybe then he’d have to look at me. But I saw a black leather-bound book sticking out of Dad’s briefcase. His case journal. If he didn’t have his notes for the case, he’d have to come home. He wouldn’t even notice if I took the book. He was too wrapped up looking for the crazy guy in the park. I reached my hand in the window, but Dad’s voice made me yank it back out.

“J.B., please go home before—”

Sirens blared and two police cars screeched to a stop in front of the park. News vans followed behind them. Dad got out of the car in a hurry.

“Tell your mother I’ll be working late,” he said, running toward the police officers.

Were they the ones Dad had called? He seemed to know they were on their way, and he sure wanted me to get out of there. Looking at Dad, I knew he’d changed. He was like a stranger to me now.

I reached through the car window, grabbed the case journal, and stuffed it under my sweatshirt. If I was going to be cursed for stealing, I might as well steal something. I ran back to my bike and took off for the other side of the park. I stopped behind a row of pine trees. I could see through them, but they kept me pretty well hidden from Dad and the police.

“What’s that?” Holly asked, pulling up next to me and pointing to the lump in my sweatshirt.

“I thought you went home,” I said, pulling out the journal.

“I got one block and realized you weren’t behind me, so I headed back.” Holly squinted at me. “What are you doing with Dad’s case journal?”

I didn’t know how to explain why I took it. I was mad at Dad for wanting me gone, and I was confused about why he was even here.

“Dad’s here. I went over to see what he was doing, and I caught him on his cell. I think he called the police.”

Holly shrugged. “So? There’s a crazy person loose in the park. He should’ve called the police. Besides, he was probably trying to protect us.”

I shook my head. “He didn’t know we were here, and he looked guilty when I caught him on the phone. He kept staring past me like he was trying to see the crazy guy.”

Holly wrinkled her forehead. “So, he
did
know the guy was there.”

“Probably, yeah. But he couldn’t see him from the car. He was searching for him.” I threw my head back, frustrated that Holly kept questioning me. “Listen, you can go home if you want, but I’m going to see what Dad’s up to. He acted really weird, and I want to know why.”

Holly crossed her arms and leaned back on her bike seat, almost falling in the process. I ignored her and turned back to the park. The police were helping the man into the back of a squad car. Dad said something to one of the cops and got in his car. I wondered where he was going. I doubted it was to work.

The news vans packed up and left. They’d gotten to the park so fast. Had Dad called them, too?

“Now what?” Holly asked.

I squeezed the journal in my hands. “We check out Dad’s journal.” I flipped through the pages. Most of them were blank. I knew Dad’s law firm wasn’t doing well, but this was weird. I opened to the first page.

“Read it,” Holly said.

I cleared my throat. “‘Braeden Forest looks like any other forest from the outside, but once inside, a person’s worst nightmares become a reality. There are hundreds of seemingly identical paths, and each one leads to dangerous and frightening beasts. The forest is also home to the infamous Grimault thieves.’” I stopped reading. From the moment I’d opened the journal, something had been bothering me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until now. “This is
Mom’s
handwriting.”

“What? Let me see!” Holly leaned over and studied the writing. “You’re right! Why would she write in Dad’s case journal?”

BOOK: Curse of the Granville Fortune
3.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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