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DescriptionIt has only been only three months since Carole Sylphwood set off from Earth on a dangerous journey. Her goal was to find and repair the Hub, her home world, which had been thrown into chaos by the Conundrum. But instead of being welcomed back as a hero, she finds herself more an outcast than ever. If that isn’t bad enough, despite her repairs things are getting worse. It’s almost as if someone is deliberately trying to create trouble. But why?
Does Carole have enough time to figure out what’s going on before somebody gets seriously hurt, or will she be forced to run for her life?
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Excerpt:A girl close to her age and size, jumped up from a chair. "Carole. Didn't expect you tonight."
"Just got back."
"Hey Sylphwood." Lilly's twin brother, Zack, looked up from where he was lounging. "Got any--" He gawked as Carole stepped out of the shadowy hall and into the room. "Holy moly, what happened to your face?"
"Oh that." Carole pressed her cheeks. "Mariat tried out my whistle wand and the spell sort of blew up on us."
"Ouch! Remind me never to borrow that thing," Zack said.
"Is that why you're here?" Lilly ushered Carole to a kitchen chair. "Do you need some first aid?"
"I'm fine." Carole took the square of parchment from her pocket and placed it on the table. "What do you guys make of this?"
The twins crowded near. "What is it?" Lilly said.
"The answer to Professor Philamount's brew question."
"What was the question?" Zack said.
Carole shrugged and said, "I have no idea."
The twins studied the words written on the paper in silence.
"Fates uncertain," Zack finally said. "Well duh, the future's always uncertain. Doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. Who wrote this thing?"
"Oh. Not bad for a kitchen utensil, I guess."
"So does this mean the Conundrum was part of a larger war?" Lilly said.
"I guess multitaskers aren't so wonderfully evolved, after all," Zack said.
Lilly gave her brother a withering stare.
"I didn't mean Carole. I was talking about… You know her parents, and those jerks at school. Anyway, what's the big deal about any of this? She gets a ringside seat at some cosmic two-for-one sale. So what? It doesn't change anything."
"It can't be that simple," Lilly said. "Maybe you're the key to the future, Carole, just like you were the key to ending the Conundrum."
"I still don't see why it's such a big deal."
Lilly gave Zack an incredulous look.
"We're talking about war, Zack, a war that has obviously been going on for a very long time. Whoever caused the Conundrum didn't care if people got hurt, and Carole stopped them. And who helped her?"
Zack looked thoughtful. "Do you think they know?"
"Of course they know."
"Not about us." He stabbed at the parchment with his finger. "About this stuff?"
"Only if Philamount's one of them," Carole said.
"It would explain why he's keeping such a close eye on us."
"At least we know his side didn't trigger the Conundrum," Lilly said. "Else why get you to fix it?"
"And the witches trust him." Carole glanced at the wall clock. "Is it really that late? I'd better be going." She ripped the parchment it into pieces. "Could you take care of these?"
"Hand 'em over," Zack said, taking the paper to the sink and reaching for a match. The parchment burned fast.
"Things any better at home?" Lilly said.
"You should've seen my mother when Philamount told her about our trip. I thought she was going to have a fit."
"Well, at least you've still got your parents."
Carole thought back to last spring and how, contrary to Professor Philamount's forecast, her return to the Hub had been met mostly with indifference, and in her parent's case, suspicion. "I miss Hal," was all she said.
Zack washed the ashes down the drain. "Make an unscheduled visit. Use this place as your jump-off point. No one will know."
"Maybe." Carole went to the back door. "Let me know if you get any ideas about the reading. See you in the morning."
"First thing," Zack said with a sigh. "Wouldn't want to be late for nursery school."
The Missing LinkBy: David Tysdale