Tumbling After by Paul Witcover

By Paul Witcover

Jack and Jilly Doone are twelve-year-old twins sure by means of blood and forbidden secrets and techniques. working wild via never-ending August afternoons, they discover the tributaries of Chesapeake Bay, spinning fantasies and sneaking cigarettes. but if a near-drowning awakens a wierd strength in Jack, the road among myth and truth blurs. . . . Kestrel is an airie, one in all 5 mutant races born within the clash referred to as the Viral Wars. With one better half from all the different races—a delph, a merm, a mander, and a boggle—he units out to conflict human enemies sworn to exterminate mutantkind. Now the destinies of 2 worlds circulate towards a surprising convergence . . . and a climax of violent transfiguration.

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The neighbors have packed up and gone, Dad. Even the locals. ” “That’ll be the day. You’ve heard the weather reports the same as I have, El. So far, evacuation is voluntary. If that changes, or if Belle keeps getting worse, we’ll go, okay? The car is packed; we can make it to the Dagsboro shelter in ten minutes. But that’s an ordeal I’d as soon avoid. ” “Oh my God,” Jilly chimes in, flashing on some vision of indescribable horror. “Talk about the slumber party from hell. ” Jack says nothing, engrossed in the letters on his and Jilly’s tray: 32 PAU L W I TC OV E R a bookended pair of double word scores, and the lead, are tantalizingly close.

Besides,” Chalcedon continues, “think of the others. You may not have warm feelings for Polaris and me at the moment, but what have Fenix and Namora done to you? ” “I doubt Namora would agree. What was it she said? ’ ” “You’re a fine one to lecture me on the subject of self-interest! ” “You’re a coward,” Kestrel says. To his surprise, the delph nods his big, misshapen head. “Yes, I suppose in some ways I am. ” Without another word, Chalcedon turns and walks back to the common room. Kestrel watches him go.

I weigh three times that, and I’m small for a boggle! ” He stares at her, uncomprehending. What makes the question so odd, apart from its being a total non sequitur, is that she meanwhile produces a white handkerchief from a pocket in her jacket and holds it up to him like she expects him to take it. Is this some strange boggle custom? A hankie exchange? Who is this person? “Your nose,” she explains. “It’s bleeding. ” She doesn’t seem at all sorry about it. Kestrel touches his nose; sure enough, his fingers come back red.

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