In this excerpt, Syd’s father Harathazar has just been summoned to renew his bond with her coven and family. The ceremony has ended and Syd can’t wait to escape. Her mother has something else in mind…
“Thank you for your enthusiastic participation, young lady.” Mom tried very hard to be stern, but she didn’t do stern very well. It came across as huffy.
Her eyes flashed fire, normal Mom fire, not the magic stuff. Dad chuckled. She spun on him. He held up his hands for protection.
“Miriam,” he started.
“Harry!” She finished.
It dissolved into them sweetly gazing at each other. Would my time in family hell never end?
“Can I go?” I glared back and forth between them. “I have homework.”
Mom crossed her arms over her chest.
“You would think you didn’t want to see your father, Sydlynn.”
“Of course she does,” Dad said, “don’t you, Syd?”
“I love seeing you, Dad.” I really meant it.
Mom softened a little, but I knew the dangerous stuff was still to come. The crying and yelling stuff. To be honest, it was getting to the point where I hardly listened anymore. The same old, same old. And yet, there was obviously more ammunition on the way. I braced myself for the guilt trip and held on.
“This ceremony is very important to the family. You know that.”
“Yes, Mother.” She hated it when I called her Mother. What was wrong with me? I was only making things worse for myself, prolonging my grief. I zipped up and hoped she’d give me a pass.
She glared as I shifted from one foot to the other, hoping the expression on my face radiated innocence.
No such luck.
“And yet again, you have this… attitude.”
I gritted my teeth and tried to keep a calm expression. More attitude would make her crazy and I’d end up grounded or a frog or something.
Unfortunately, my brain and my mouth had a miscommunication.
“Yeah, Mom,” I said. “It’s called ‘I don’t give a crap.’”
Mom’s face crumpled. Oh damn, the waterworks. My mother was a freaking supernatural faucet.
She reached out and brushed her fingertips over my cheek. “You have been fighting your power your whole life. Would it hurt you to participate just once? We’re your family, honey.”
“We’ve had this conversation.” I tried to keep my voice low and rational and succeeded not badly. “You know I don’t want to be a witch. If you would let me give up my powers now instead of making me wait until I’m eighteen, you wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Mom’s eyes brimmed. “So this is my fault? I’m a terrible mother for bringing you into the world, for cursing you to be a witch and not letting you go?”
“Oh, for… seriously, Mom, this is getting so old.” The drama was far too familiar and wore me thin. I tried to take a step back, but her power caught and held me. No way! I struggled against her, furious.
“How can I let you go?” She cried, tears coursing in elegant lines down her flawless face. How could she be so perfect in everything, even crying? My anger cranked up a notch.
“If you really loved me, you would.”
Mom looked like I slapped her. I’d never used that line before and wished I could take it back, especially since Dad’s expression matched my mom’s. As a matter of fact, so did my little sister Meira’s.
“Miriam, Syd, I think that’s enough.” Dad slid an arm around Mom while my sister leaned into his free side. Talk about a united front. I felt like a huge wall stood between them and me and knew I was as responsible for its construction as they were.
Mom cried openly. For the first time she was a real person in real pain. I felt like crap, but I was determined to keep the ground I gained. This was my chance to cut myself free.
“Is it really that horrible?” Mom’s eyes were red rimmed. I’d pay for that. “Being what we are?”
“I don’t want to be what you are,” I said, voice barely registering calm. Barely.
“Why not?” Mom’s confusion was genuine. I knew that.
I had two choices. I could go easy on her and lie about how I really felt like I always did. Or, I could open my big mouth and say the exactly the wrong thing, purposely breaking her heart.
Guess which one I picked.
“I don’t want to be a monster!”
I thought Mom was stunned before. Dad reached for me, but dropped his hand. Meira started to cry.
“Syd,” Dad whispered, “whatever gave you the impression you were a monster?”
Was he serious? Had he looked in the mirror lately?
“Dad,” I stretched out the word, trying to add weight to it, to make him understand. “You are a demon. Exactly where is the descriptive confusion here?”
Dad didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. I was on a bridge-burning roll, uh-huh. Might as well finish the demolition and ride the flames like a cleansing pyre.
“I hate what we can do. I hate the way it feels and I want out! Why can’t you understand that?”
I totally lost my temper. Bad to worse in a mere instant. Why did Mom have to pick right then to challenge me? Why couldn’t she let it go like she always did? I wasn’t prepared for this conversation, especially not with her. It would have been easier with just my dad and me. I could have made him understand. But my mom and I knew each other’s buttons and which ones were atomic.
Case in point.
Dad gave me the Father face, the angry Father face. I knew I finally found his button, too.
“I want you to apologize to your mother, young lady. This is hard enough on her as it is.”
Hard on my mother? Hard on my mother?! I am embarrassed to admit I suddenly and completely lost it. I dropped my robe on the floor in front of them with deliberate determination and crossed my arms over my chest.
“You have me until I’m eighteen. You know what happens then. You’ve always known. When the choice is mine, I’m done with magic, once and for all. If that means I’m done with you too, I guess that’s the way it has to be. End of story.”
I turned and walked away. I actually walked away. When I hit the bottom step, my heart was breaking, but I would not give in. Would not. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs, breathing a little heavy, not wanting to look back. But I did in the end, if only for one reason. Dad, his power to remain on our plane almost used up, would be leaving soon, and I wanted to at least let him know I wasn’t angry with him.
“Nice to see you, Dad,” I said and left.
Now for the exciting part: Family Magic is being released October 15th and I’m giving away three ecopies to readers of this blog! Simply comment below (please include your email so I can reach you) why you’d love to read this book. That’s it!
Thanks again to ParaYourNormal for having me. Happy reading!
About the Author: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal who writes a whole lot of thrillers for someone who is afraid of the dark. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available on Amazon.com. Her YA paranormal series, The Hayle Coven Novels, begin their release on October 15th with Family Magic. Her middle grade novel, The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House comes this spring from Acorn Press. She lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.
You can find her:
On her blog: http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com/
On her book blog: http://pattilarsenbooks.blogspot.com/
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/pattilarsenauthor
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/PattiLarsen
And on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/66v2gmo