TITLE: Soul Sifter
GENRE: YA urban fantasy
London Howell wanted to start his summer right. If he could persuade his uncle to teach him to drive, the positive vibes might trigger other improvements in his life--like being able to sleep instead of sprinting through his neighborhood at midnight.
He stopped to gather his breath beneath a lamppost, his hand braced against the cool iron. The heavy air stank of a mixture of grass and drying paint from a neighbor's fence, but beneath it sat the bitter scent of the city. It smelled of distant summer evenings beside the docks, scraping mold off rotting wood with the sharp edges of stones, of oil and brine and Dad's arm against his side as they watched shadowy barges pass like ghost ferries.
Amun, ever helpful, yawned into the receiver and said, "You sound like a goat on the rack."
"How," London asked between breaths, "do you know what a tortured goat sounds like?" He shook out his legs, but it didn't help. Even running for two miles hadn't burned off the excess energy.
"Animal Sacrifices Hour. Wednesday nights at eight. Bring your own blood bucket."
"Now that I've got that brilliant mental image, I'm hanging up."
"Did running work?"
"No." London was getting used to the restlessness. True, he'd begun naming his counting sheep (he liked Phil, number one hundred and seventy-two) and his days passed in a blur, but after weeks caught in a twilight of exhaustion and energy, he'd learned to endure it through sheer perseverance.