TITLE: The Stone Witch's Granddaughter
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Mom’s knuckles whitened around the steering wheel as the bitter taste of smoke filled the car. Even with the windows rolled up, the cloying smell seeped inside, heralding an end at last to the narrow gravel drive, and promising some truth to the story that had dragged us out here.
“I swore I’d never drive up this damn hill again.” Strands of dark hair hung limply around Mom’s face, having slipped free of an exhausted bun. Her jaw was rigid, her mouth a thin line. “I should have known she wouldn’t let us go that easily.”
The tires slid on loose stones as Mom gunned the car up the final incline. Our poor muffler growled several decibels louder than it had at the bottom of the hill, and didn’t quiet when we levelled out in a forbidding tunnel of Garry oaks and Douglas maples. The wind plucked dying autumn leaves from gnarled branches and flung them at the windshield like it was trying to fend us off.
“I want you to stay in the car,” Mom said.
“I can help--”
“No.” The word was unyielding, but when she looked at me, fear softened her eyes. They were earthy green, just like Nan’s, but I wasn’t dumb enough to point that out. “I don’t know what she’ll be like, Mae. If that woman was telling the truth…” Mom’s fingers wrung the steering wheel like she probably wanted to wring that woman’s neck. “Your grandmother might be…volatile.”