Dellani Oakes

He Thought He Saw – a YA Novel by Dellani Oakes

dellani photo dark redBrian and Jordan have discovered that they are descended from a long line of Druids and have magical powers. Unfortunately, their powers may not help them much since the evil creature, Deidrich, seems determined to use the elements they control, against them. Little by little, he is finding ways to attack them—fog creatures, swamp monsters, fire elementals and now—frost. Brian and his mother are staying with Jordan’s family because his father is gone, fighting Deidrich, and they are vulnerable alone.

Jordan woke in the middle of the night. Despite her pajamas, warm socks and extra blankets, she was cold. A chill wind blew in around windows, finding chinks and gaps that no human ever would. Was this another attack? Or was this simply a natural occurrence? She didn’t know. Her room was dark, not even the night light in the corner was lit. The power was out. Jordan shivered, terrified. She never liked losing power, but considering all that was going on with her, Brian and the elements, she was terrified. At least she had a flashlight in the drawer beside her bed. She reached for it and turned it on. She couldn’t sleep with the lights out, but maybe she could read a book.

Something glittered around the edge of her window. Getting out of her warm bed, she crept to the window. The glass was cold to the touch, Jack Frost’s patterns were scattered across the panes, but didn’t stop there. Little by little, frost crept in around the wooden frame, filling the gaps with crystals. When Jordan came close, the ice receded slightly when her warm breath struck it. It halted, waiting. As soon as she inhaled, the ice advanced again.

Terrified, Jordan backed away from the window. The wind increased. She could feel it sneaking in with the ice. Grabbing her robe and slippers, she ran from her room, shutting the door against the advancing cold. The only thought in her mind was to get somewhere the ice couldn’t reach her—Brian. She needed Brian. Running down the stairs, she burst through the door to the den. Brian sat up, startled and disoriented. Jordan flew at him, hopping on the bed. She scrambled under the covers, pulling them over her head, and huddled under the blankets, trembling. Brian lay on his side, rubbing her back over the covers.

“Jordan, what’s wrong?”

“Ice!”

“What are you talking about?” He lifted the blankets, talking to the top of her head.

“There’s ice trying to get in my room. It was coming around the window frame. They’re trying to get us!” Her eyes met his, pleading. “I’m so scared! It tried to get me.”

He wanted to tell her it was her imagination and that everything would be all right, but he knew that wasn’t the case. The attacks had been less than subtle and decidedly specific.

“Do you want me to go look?”

“No! Stay here! It will get you instead.”

“Jordan, our parents are up there. Aren’t you worried about them?”

She didn’t respond, but Brian sensed she hadn’t thought of that. So far, they’d been the targets, but what if that changed? Were their parents safe? Could they count on that?

“We at least have to check on them,” Brian told her. “We can’t stay here and do nothing. If the ice is coming in, maybe our folks can help. Your dad was pretty kick ass at the fire.”

“I’m so scared!”

“I know. But I’m not leaving you down here alone and I’ve got to at least check on my mom. She can’t see. How would she even know something was wrong?”

Jordan could understand the logic of that. She didn’t like it, but she couldn’t leave a blind woman helpless and in danger. She sat up, pulling her robe closer around her. Her bunny slippers seemed oddly ridiculous under the circumstances.

Brian pulled on his sweater and a pair of heavy socks. He’d packed a telescoping baton his father had given him for his birthday. He took it out of his backpack, opening it. If there were ice creatures or some other creepy thing in the house, he wanted to be armed. With Jordan following him, he headed to the stairs.

Jordan stopped Brian with a hand on his arm. She reached into the closet and pulled out a baseball bat. Brian hid a smile. How often had he seen horror movies where the gutsy young woman went after the serial killer with a bat? Of course, it usually ended badly for the gutsy young woman. He pushed that idea from his mind. He couldn’t think of the possibility of anything happening to Jordan.

He led the way up the stairs, warily approaching her bedroom door. The upstairs hallway was much colder than downstairs. Wind whistled under her door, chilling their feet. Brian and Jordan exchanged a look. Jordan bit her lower lip, holding it between her teeth. She nodded, eyes wide. Brian reached for the doorknob. It was so cold, it burned his hand. Turning it quickly, he released it and pushed the door open. Ice coated the inside and outside of Jordan’s windows. Frost crept across the windowsill and down the wall, advancing quickly into her room. Brian didn’t like the odds if frost creatures attacked them inside.

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