TITLE: The Curse
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Cynthia sat in the gloom of her tower library, thumbing through the dusty pages of an old encyclopedia. The flickering light of the candle tree did little to ease the strain of her eyes after a long day reading. Twenty-seven volumes of magical tales, memoirs, fantasies, and histories of magic had her ripe for sleep. Only hope kept her searching.
"Wa-, wh-, wi- Witches, witchcraft, history of- The unnatural magick of the human race was first thought possible by King Garand I during the Fire Siege of the North... " It sounded dull, but she kept on. Something about alchemists and an unwanted history lesson made her skip ahead. A bloody war and, ugh--unnecessary details--she skipped some more.
"What about curses?" she asked, as if the book would answer. "How do I break a curse?" The next few paragraphs talked of Bartholomew the Wise, the Hexus Demon, a magical plague, and ended giving her nothing of use. Cynthia rubbed her eyes, trying to summon the same hope over the next entry. "Witchcraft, modern uses and ailments-"
She turned the page and jumped up, screaming. A huge cockroach skittered out of a hole in the book and across the page toward her hand. Book and bug went flying across the room as Cynthia beat wildly at her skirt (in case there were more) and shrieked at the bug.
"Go eat someone else's books!" The bug disappeared through a crack in the wall and Cynthia stared at the crumpled volume, less willing to touch it now.