FETCH: The apparition, double, or wraith of a living person.
In the attic, in an old sea chest, secreted away, are a mysterious journal and a set of runes: 24 stones that will change Sky's life forever.
When Sky and his cousin Kristin find their Norwegian grandfather's runes, Sky feels like the wait is over, like he can now release the breath he wasn't even aware he'd been holding. But when he lays out the stones in a runecast they find in Sigurd's journal, he is catapulted into a world filled with more possibilities and more danger than he ever imagined.
This first entry in the Runestone Saga is an utterly unique blend of horror, supernatural possibility, and historical truth that will leave readers wrung out from tension and clamoring for more.
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Knopf Books for Young Readers
May 07, 2007
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Excerpt from The Fetch by Chris Humphreys
CHAPTER ONE DEAD OF NIGHT “Who’s there?” he asked. Softly but out loud, he was sure. Almost sure. No reply. Sky gave them five seconds. It was a reasonable question. If he’d woken up because someone had spoken, it was only fair that they speak again. Said who they were. Stated their business. “Did you say something?” His tone was less polite now. Silence still. He couldn’t hear breathing, but anyone could hold their breath. He could hold his for two minutes and twenty-two seconds. “Look . . . ,” he started, quite angrily, then stopped. If someone was going to speak, they’d have spoken by now. Unless they had a reason not to. But there were other possibilities to consider. Number one . . . was he even awake? The fact that he was standing up didn’t prove it either way. Not when you were King of the Sleepwalkers. He reached his hand forward and it almost disappeared, the room was so dark. Reached slowly, because if there was someone still holding their breath there, you really, really, didn’t want to be touching them. . . . Nothing . . . nothing . . . nothing . . . uh! . . . hardness . . . wall! Two walls and inside, too, he could tell by the slight give of the wallpaper. One there, one . . . there. Joined. So, a corner. He was in the corner of a room. Probably his bedroom, but he couldn’t be certain of that yet. He’d woken up in lots of other rooms. He’d woken up in no rooms at all. Still, a corner. A good place to get your bearings. You weren’t close to a light switch . . . but at least no one could creep up on you from behind. He wedged his back into the join of walls, narrowed his eyes, tried to see anything in the black- ness . . . Aha! Light. Red light. His clock radio: 4:17. Now that was strange. He’d woken up at 4:17 the previous three mornings. But he’d definitely woken up those mornings; so the odds were good that he was awake now. He’d also been alone; so he was almost certainly alone now. This was better. Still, to be on the safe side, he needed to get his bearings. With the clock there, his bed was beneath it and the window over . . . there! Yeah, there it was, a rectangle of slightly lighter gloom. Hadn’t one of his teachers, three schools back, said, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”? His parents hadn’t gotten round to putting curtains up yet, so the darkness wasn’t blocked by anything except itself. It had been raining quite heavily when he went to bed, and the clouds must still have been thick out there. Yet even as he looked, something silver shot through the intense dark. It came, went, as if someone had shone a flashlight, then snapped it off. That needed checking out. Perhaps that was what had woken him. He pushed himself away from the wall, took a step toward the window. A floorboard creaked, loudly. It was full of creaks, this old house they’d rented. With the wind blowing, as it was that night, it had taken him ages to fall asleep because of all the shiftings and settlings. They sounded like voices; and this creak had a definite cry to it, the word “Don’t!” So he didn’t. Didn’t take another step, just stopped, waited. The wind picked up outside, something moved against the window, a thump followed by a scratch, like a finger placed then dragged away. That was . . . not good. He almost turned, ran to where the door had to be. Then he remembered his father’s words from a few weeks back. “That needs trimming or it’ll break the glass in a storm,” he’d said. They’d been standing in the little or