The MANIFEST Page

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MANIFEST
: A Mystyx Novel

By Artist Arthur
Kimani Tru | August 2010 | ISBN: 978-0-373-83196-8
US $9.95/$11.99 Canada | 256 pages | Paperback
Artist Arthur on Twitter

MANIFEST is the first in the Mystyx series from the Harlequin imprint KimaniTru. With its ethnically diverse cast of characters, accessible voice, and paranormal element, MANIFEST, is the first in a series that will please every fan of YA literature looking for a fresh take on the genre.

Synopsis:
We’re not that different, you know. Most kids have the same problems, just different circumstances.”

Fifteen-year-old Krystal Bentley is royally miffed. Why her mom had to divorce her dad and drag her from New York City to the middle-of-nowhere Connecticut is beyond her. She’s never lived outside of The City and doesn’t know what to expect. But there’s one thing she never could have expected: the cute dead boy standing in her bedroom asking for help.

As she juggles being the new girl, resisting the requests of Ricky, the transparent dead boy, to find his killer, and dodging the demands of every other ghost on the planet, she can barely find time to hate her mother’s new husband.

When she begins to think it’s all too much, she finds comfort in a bizarre friendship with Sasha, a disappearing socialite and Jake, the telekinetic boy from the wrong side of the tracks. They both bear the same M shaped birthmark as her and the alliance of their powers seems to have a history that dates back to the 1700s.

But what are their powers for? Can they be used to get themselves out of the dangerous mess they’re currently in, or will they prove to be more dangerous than anything they’ve ever imagined?


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MANIFEST: A Mystyx Novel
by Artist Arthur
Chapter One:

"I can't hear you. I can't hear you," I repeat, talking to myself. Maybe if I keep saying it the voice will go away. I know people driving by me probably think I'm a lunatic.


My feet are moving so fast I barely feel them touch the ground. Cool air slaps my face like it's trying to remind me that I'm outside. It's almost spring according to the calendar, but it still feels like the dead of winter in Lincoln. Probably because we're so close to the water.


Whatever. I'm cold and I think it's beginning to rain. But I don't care. I just want to get home, inside the house, to the safety of my room. It won't follow me there.
I can't believe it followed me here. I ignored it in New York. You'd think it would have the good sense to stay in the city where there's a little excitement. Why follow me here to the ends of the earth where everyone acts like they're sleepwalking most of the time?


As I cut through the bushes at the end of the driveway, my book bag sways back and forth, threatening to slide off my shoulder as I run. If it does, my Biology book will fall out and the hastily scribbled notes I took this morning on the project that's due at the end of the month will probably hit the ground and blow away. That might not be such a bad thing.


I hunch my shoulders, pushing the book bag back into place. My feet crush the weeds in the flower bed that Janet will likely replant in a few weeks. And I keep running.


My cheeks puff in and out as I inhale huge gulps of air to keep my heart pumping. I'm not a runner. Actually, I hate exercise of any kind and it shows. I take the front steps two at a time because I want to hurry up and get to my room.


'Help me.'


Damn! There it goes again.


I press the palm of my hand over my ear while I dig in my front pocket for the house key. My fingers are shaking but I finally get the door unlocked, slam it shut behind me and take the stairs in the front hall like a steroid-pumped-up Olympic sprinter.


My room is at the far end of the hall, but I swear it feels like it's twenty miles away as I dash toward the door. Once inside, I slam the door, drop my book bag and sink to the floor struggling to breathe.


Safe. All I can think is that I'm finally safe.


'Help me.'


His voice echoes around the room, louder that it was before. Louder than when I was on the school bus or when I was running into the house.


It's been a long time. I thought this creepy stuff was over. I haven't heard voices since I was twelve years old, and I'm not sure if I really heard them then.


Who am I kidding? I heard them before and now they're back. But I cover my ears because I want the voice to stop so badly.


I'm rocking on the floor now, pulling my knees to my chest and wrapping my arms around them, holding myself tightly. My eyes are closed. I wish I could find a way to close my ears, too.


I did it before. I quieted the voices for a long, long time. But now they're back. Why?


"I can't hear you. I can't see you. You are not real."


But I can hear him, that's the freakin' problem.


'Help me, Krystal.'


"I can't hear you. I can't see you. You are not––"


Did he say my name?


'Please,' he begs.


For some reason the sound of his voice isn't scaring me anymore. I loosen my grip around my legs and I stop rocking. My heart still feels like it's going to jump out of my chest and land on the floor, but for some reason I'm not scared now.


I open my eyes, not that I mean to, it just happens I guess. I look towards the window seat where all the stupid stuffed animals Janet thought would cheer me up are arrayed like a pastel-colored army.


I don't know what I'm looking for. Whatever it is, I hope I don't find it.


But there he is––a black boy, kind of tall and skinny. He's wearing jeans, the baggy kind like all the guys in school wear, and a white T-shirt three sizes too big, hanging to his knees like a nightgown. His boots look new, Timberlands with the laces only halfway up, the huge tongue sticking out from the sagging denim hem of his jeans. He's wearing a watch on one wrist and a bracelet––I think it's silver––on the other. His hair is kind of curly on top, cut low on the sides with some lines of a design or something.


I suppose he's kind of cute.


But he's kind of transparent.
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