This is a little sneak peak at what I’m working on. If you want to read more after the excerpt, I would love to hear from you! Love, Abbie Allen
Running through the blades of grass, with her left leg being half prosthetic limb, wasn’t quite how Jenna saw her summer holiday ending up. Her balance was slightly off due to the running blade her Uncle had got her, but it was still a little difficult for her to get used to, even though she had always worn one as long as she could remember. Trying not to look behind her, Jenna leapt over a fallen tree and hid behind it, attempting to keep her heartbeat steady.
‘Come on, Jenna!’ A loud call erupted into the field.
Jenna curled her legs up towards herself, the fear of what was out there starting to swallow her whole. Quickly glancing to her right she caught sight of a boy about eleven, the same age as her, and he was curled up the same way as her.
‘You’re scared too?’ The boy asked.
‘What am I meant to do? I’m a kid!’ Jenna’s voice trembled.
‘Let’s do it together. You have your battle and I have mine. Maybe there’s a reason our minds are joined like this.’
‘Arthur, I can’t do this! I have a fake left leg for crying out loud!’
‘My right leg is exactly the same. We can do this together, right?’
‘You had so better be right about this, Arthur.’
‘On the count of three.’
Jenna and Arthur leapt to their feet and bounded over the fallen tree. Suddenly Jenna was on her own with her right palm held towards the snake like creature standing seven foot tall. The creature opened its mouth, splitting the skin down the middle where the lips were meant to meet together when they were closed. Where the mouth was split into four sections a long forked tongue slithered out, reaching for Jenna. The creature’s bright yellow eyes didn’t blink as soon as it found its target.
‘Is this your best shot?’ The loud voice came from the creature, goading her.
‘I’m not done, leather-face.’ Jenna called.
The creature started laughing and getting closer to Jenna. A hand rested on Jenna’s shoulder, making her see Arthur had returned. Looking at him properly Jenna couldn’t help see some similarities in him, almost like he was related to her or something.
‘You can do it. Show him you’re not to be messed with.’ Arthur encouraged.
Jenna nodded and forced her right palm further towards the creature. Her palm started to glow and a ball of light ruptured through the skin of her hand and collided into the creature as if it was a bowling pin hit dead on by a bowling ball.
‘Who’d have guessed?’ Jenna laughed, a little nervous.
‘Think you might wanna get out of there. Tell Uncle Perseus.’
Arthur smiled weakly and then disappeared as if he’d never been there in the first place. Jenna checked her prosthetic limb was in place properly and started to run again through the field. She took off at speed and nearly collided into the fence barrier, but she managed to work the lock and get out through the gate and lock it behind her. She jogged down the rugged road by the field until she got back to the main road. Cars sped past all around her, but one chunky Vauxhall Zafira slowed towards her and then parked up in front of her. The passenger window rolled down. Sat in the driving seat was a man in his late thirties to early forties. He was rugged and had a good few scars over his body.
‘You’d better get in.’ The man almost snapped.
Jenna opened the door and eased herself into the front passenger seat. She shut the door behind her and buckled up. The man started the car again and weaved through the traffic.
‘So, what brings you to this part of Birmingham, at least ten to fifteen minutes away from your rendezvous point where I asked you to wait for me?’ The man’s tone was full of annoyance.
‘I was being followed by a strange kind of amphibian that could talk. He was trying to eat me! Did you expect me to stay there and get eaten, Uncle Perseus?’ Jenna snapped back.
‘Hang on. Hang on. A strange amphibian?’
‘Yeah. Its mouth split into four and had this really skanky tongue. If I didn’t try and fight him off I would’ve been on the menu.’
‘So how did you fight it off?’
‘I dunno. I held my hand up at it and then this light thing knocked it over. It was weird. It knew my name.’
Perseus nearly slammed his foot down into the brake in shock.
‘It knew who you were?’
‘Yeah. It was really weird. Freaky, even.’
‘Open the glovebox.’
Jenna hesitantly opened the glovebox and found a volume book shoved in with MAGICAL CREATURES ENCYCLOPAEDIA 2000 printed on the wearing out spine.
‘Is there something you’re not telling me?’
‘Take it out and look through the pages. When you find me the creature, tell me the name.’
Jenna pulled out the book and quickly flicked through the book until the scary moving picture of the creature she had fought in the field nearly leapt out at her.
‘Gretchum.’ Jenna read out the name printed on the top of the page.
‘A Gretchum attacked you? That’s really out of character.’
‘How is it?’
‘They’re usually in the forest or rainforest areas, not chasing children from busy streets into fields.’
‘So what could make it break pattern, even if it does exist?’
‘Breaking pattern means something’s wrong. I’ll need to make a call when we get home.’
‘There’s something else.’
‘I saw the boy again.’
‘Yeah. He seemed to be in trouble too. He got me through it and got me to fight back.’
‘Jenna, I’m gonna need to have a long, long chat with you.’
‘I think you’d better. This stuff shouldn’t exist. It’s just weird old myths, right?’
Perseus fell silent. He focused on his driving, but he kept glancing at Jenna.
‘Oh my God. It’s not just myths, is it?’
‘This is a conversation best saved for when we get home.’
‘What’s different from having it here than at home?’
‘Because here we could be overheard by my job.’
‘Your job? As a business analyst?’
‘That’s, uh, not quite true.’
‘How much have you lied to me?’
‘Let’s just get home and I’ll explain everything then, okay? I promise. Everything will make sense.’
‘You lied to me, Uncle Perseus! We promised not to do that because that’s what you told me killed my mum!’
‘Jenna, I’m not doing it here. I will explain everything, but we have to get home first.’
Jenna sulked in her chair, glaring out the window. Perseus sighed deeply and pushed his foot down on the accelerator as much as he dared.