Sixteen and stressed. It wasn't the driver's test that had Ravyn on edge. It was the Inquisition's test.
Every four years, the Inquisition tested her for any hint of paranormal abilities that would mark her as a witch.
Oh, their methods had evolved over the centuries. They didn't burn witches at the stake anymore. Today, burning a witch meant chemical and surgical brain surgery to eliminate any unnatural talents the witch possessed. Internationally backed, the new secular Inquisition formed an elite police force standing against darkness.
Yeah, right. Ravyn knew firsthand what it meant. She helped her mom take care of her grandmother, accused witch, burned by the Inquisition, and barely able to function now. Just being her granddaughter was enough to put Ravyn under suspicion.
So, yeah, turning sixteen was stressful. Especially since she suspected she might be a witch after all.
Ryan M. Williams writes things a little out of the ordinary. Okay, maybe more than just a little. However, this book is a take on an alternative history to witches and what it means to practice spell craft. – Leah R Cutter
"This story was well written. I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a day. The writing was so good that it passed by very quickly. I hope there is a sequel coming because I loved these characters!"– C. Brunner
I wonder if the Inquisition pays special attention to those of us unfortunate enough to be born on the 13th? Is there any truth to the notion that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day? It seems that way to me sometime. Last time my birthday landed on a Friday I was turning ten so that wasn't as bad because the Inquisition only sends someone to check up on me every four years. Which means for my sixteenth not only do I have to have a birthday on a Friday the 13th but Inquisitor Lockwood will be showing up soon and I get to take my driving test. Isn't there some kind of limit how much a girl has to take?
I blinked and looked up from the cartoon doodle of a rat I'd been drawing on my notebook. Mrs. Garnett had that look on her narrow face like she had just asked me a question. I gave her my sweetest smile.
"I'm sorry. Could I have the question again?"
Her frown deepened. Someone should have told her that frowning gave her the worst wrinkles. Smiling was much better. I don't think that Mrs. Garnett smiled too often. Obviously Mr. Garnett wasn't doing his job at home.
"I asked if you could tell us what the problem is with the function on the board?"
Over the summer Stanton High had put in new computerized white boards in the classrooms. Hurray for no more chalk. I hated getting that stuff on me. I slid out of my seat under the predatory eyes of my classmates and walked up to the board. Mrs. Garnett gave me the electronic stylus. It was sticky from her clammy hands. I fought to keep my smile as I studied the function. It was an obvious error. The program loop in the function used the assignment operator instead of a comparison operator. I quickly drew red flower petals around the offending equal sign. Beneath it I wrote two equal signs together.
"It needs to be a comparison operator instead of the assignment operator," I said as I handed the stylus back to Mrs. Garnett.
"Thank you, Ravyn. Next time let's have a less artistic display, okay?"
I shrugged and went back to my seat. Mrs. Garnett's thin lips were pressed together as she tried to reset the board to the next problem. That's the trouble with giving these teachers new technology. Half of them don't know what to do with it and it's painful to watch. The decibel level in the classroom rose as she continued to struggle. I felt bad for her.
"Are you going to the dance?" Marjorie asked.
I slumped in my seat. The Halloween costume dance was coming up. The dance committee already had appropriately themed decorations up around the school. Marjorie's a sweet girl. She didn't have to live with someone that had actually raised the dead. If Friday the 13th was bad enough for a birthday imagine how Halloween feels to someone who's grandmother was burned as a witch?
"We don't really do Halloween."
Marjorie's eyes widened. She covered her mouth with her hands for a moment. "I'm sorry. I didn't think about that. Of course."