Raw Chapter 1 of “Miranda’s Arcana: That Summer Ride

Wondering who Miranda is and what her summer starts out like? You can read the first chapter of my book and go to an amazing book store just from the comfort of your home or on the go here!


The little rings on the curtain rod were pushed aside to let the morning sun through, revealing dust particles and a home well lived in but pleading for cleaning attention. Tristan the self appointed house keeper for the family fixed it into his schedule to make the home spotless from top to bottom now that is was summer vacation; he would have the place all to himself or should at least. One was at work, another god knows where, which only left one more. Tristan’s smile rapidly melted to a frown and he knew where to look for the third person.

Marching down the hall to the library, he grumbled under his breath about the many times he organized the shelves only to be unable to find what he was looking for. What he needed to do was kick everyone out for good this time so maybe work would get done. Opening the door prepared for the worst, Tristan spotted his target sitting at the only desk within the library snoring and surrounded by antique books filled with knowledge of villagers from before. Stacked and tossed aside so they faced upside down, many of the books were in positions they should never be in. He entered the room and picked up a book from the floor, commenting how disrespectful it was and dusted it off. Approaching the sleeping figure, Tristan slammed his hand down aside the person’s head startling them.

Miranda shot up surveying her surroundings, blinking sleep away in her dazed face before noticing Tristan standing in front of her. He glared down like an uptight school teacher drumming his fingers upon the mahogany desk where his student sat.

“‘You may stay in here as long as you put the books back where they belong.’ That was the agreement right? And here you are drooling on rare copies that are older than you that I put together that took our family ages to collect.”

“I wasn’t drooling,” Miranda retorted wiping away the damp corner of her mouth. “I was just napping! What are you doing here in the middle of the night anyways?”

Without saying a word, Tristan walked to a closed curtain window and continued to do what he did before. He released radiant light into the room sending Miranda to shield herself with a book and retreat to a darker side of the room; a nocturnal creature seeking shelter from dawn. Tristan shook his head and went back to the desk to collect some books into his arms. “You can’t hide in books forever.” Confused, Miranda who had picked up another book to skim through and turned to him wide eyed. “What are you talking about?”

“There has to be a reason why you hide in here all the time,” Tristan responded placing the books in his arms into their rightful slots. “Trust me, books are good to enjoy but, you can’t escape life. Sometimes you read about characters who have no choice but to face their fears and that’s what you should inspire to do.”

“Okay before you start to think that you’re giving me an inspirational speech, what makes you think I’m trying to hide and what am I running from?”

“Well for one you don’t have any friends so loneliness perhaps? “Tristan answered looking over his shoulder then, back to the shelves. “What teenager sits inside and reads ‘The Farmer’s Almanac’? What do you need to know this stuff for?”

Miranda shrugged. “Maybe I can help you garden.”

“But you hate being outside.”

“I don’t hate being outside!” Miranda responded defensively. “I just don’t like what’s out there.”

“Then you hate being outside.”

The two went silent as Miranda watched Tristan continued to play librarian. He placed books one on top of the other and walked around setting them in proper order. Bored, Miranda put her book back on the shelf and pulled out another one and flipped through it.

“They’ll put anything on pages.” When Tristan didn’t respond Miranda thought of something else to say to get his attention.

“Want to know how to curse someone?”

“That’s it! You need to get out!” Tristan shouted dropping all his books unto the floor. He grabbed Miranda’s arm and pulled her out the library.

“I put up with it during the school year but I won’t tolerate it during the summer! Honestly Miranda if there’s one thing I won’t stand for besides a certain dirt bag we know, is a shut in who can’t socialize.”

Half walking and half dragged, Miranda tried speaking her mind but Tristan continued on through the hall.

“We’re both young so we don’t understand why communication skills are important but, I do know if you want something then, you’ll need to be able to ask for it. That counts as a communication skill.”

“Now you’re being dramatic.” Miranda mumbled but, Tristan didn’t hear her. “It’s best to start sooner than later. Also the teenage years are as important as any other year in your life. You shouldn’t waste them doing nothing only to look back and wish you had. Really Miranda, look at me.”

At the front door Tristan squished Miranda’s face in between his hands like a mother looking down at his child with pity and remorse.

“You have to make the most of it in life. You won’t do that staying in here all the time.”

“But you do it!”

“Go make friends and get into trouble!” Tristan ordered tossing Miranda out the door. He grabbed the door and closed it over half way so only his head stuck out and Miranda wouldn’t be able to wiggle in.

“Whatever you do, don’t come back until nightfall. Goodbye.”


A few seconds passed before the front door reopened and a hand appeared dropping a wallet onto the porch. “Go buy yourself an ice cream or soda!” The hand disappeared and the door slammed again. The lock clicked and thus the girl standing outside was homeless the rest of the day.

Standing alone on the porch with nothing to do, Miranda picked up the wallet and went to get her bike from the shed. Walking down the steps unto the gravel, she felt the warm sun on her dark skin. Shading her eyes, Miranda looked up to see the sun shine effulgently in the sky. Needless to say today will be a scorcher. It’ll be best to stay indoors or be where water is. What a fine day to be kicked out. “I hope Jin’s in town.” Miranda thought to herself opening the shed door. The car was missing so, Asher was at work and on the far side on the wall were three bikes. There was Tristan’s, Jin’s and Miranda’s. If Jin’s bike was here then either she was on the property somewhere like the woods or, she got a ride with Asher to Town.

Placing Tristan’s wallet into the basket on her bike, Miranda rolled her bike out of the building to the rusted iron gate of Luna Estate. If Jin wasn’t in town, maybe she would meet someone she could hang out with for the day so she wouldn’t look like a loser being alone. ‘What’s the point of me getting kicked out anyways?’ Miranda thought moving the gates open to get through. ‘Wasn’t like I’d get into his way.’ Closing the heavy gates behind her and Miranda set off to town a few miles away passing the neighboring estate

They all looked similar to her coven’s home; a house on a sizable piece of property. Some the houses however were bigger and or much older. There were wooded properties like hers and others weren’t. Real estate may look different sometimes but, each home was the home of a coven. And all covens shared the same code that has been passed from generation to generation. Needless to say that one of the codes was that any coven member may not trespass on another’s property and any differences would be settled on neutral ground in Town. Miranda stopped at a wooden fence to catch her breath at the side of the road and looked over. It was a smaller house than hers and only a few yards from the fence. Not much to look at because there were a few trees like hawthorn scattered around and a couple of boxwoods hugging the house but that were it. Other than that, the property was nothing but a place to play catch in. Miranda wasn’t trespassing but, she put her kickstand down to get a better look at the place. It was a common belief that one could judge another coven’s social status by the size of property. By the looks of this one, this coven was on the lower end. Why, it may have been a quarter if not less than Miranda’s home which had nice, dense woods and a pond to swim in. She herself didn’t know how social status came to be yet, she accepted it. It meant she was in a far more comfortable class than those who lived here. If someone were to come out to say something, all she’d have to do was stick her nose up and scoff at them.

Mounting her bike again and peddling away, Miranda left the cottage behind amused by what she saw. If she gotten out more, she may have noticed that house sooner and laughed. People living in huts like that shouldn’t even live outside Town. Biking harder because the sun was climbing up the sky, ice cream did sound like a good idea. ‘At least I can buy some.’ Miranda thought. ‘And some good books too while I’m at it.’


Miranda parked her bike next to a silver linden tree where a trash can was to chain her bike. The Town Square was diverse with life; both with people from in and out of Town as usual. She could hear people playing music from their stereos and dancing for chattering audiences. Among the audience were voices competing over the noise to talk to their friends as spectators would come and go watching the street entertainers having fun. To add to the pleasant chaos, birds tweeted all around the square. Miranda watched birds fly all over the bubbling fountain to examine people laughing, munching on a snack like a bagel sandwich or read the daily paper. She continued walking aimlessly past a cafe where customers were shooing the feathered pests away to drink their coffee and an employee was sweeping a patio. Spaced out, Miranda didn’t hear wheels rolling until the last minute. Snapping back to reality, she hopped to the side as a gang of young adults rode by laughing on their skate boards.


“Watch where you’re going!”

Like Miranda, others had moved out the skaters’ way like the sea shouting angrily at the rude riders. The leader a tall, lean black guy with a bright sweatband in his fro threw his head back and laughed. Coming up to a bench, the young man crouched down and jumped over the seat with his board attached to his feet performing the classic skateboard trick onto the other side. His three followers went around implying they didn’t have the skill as the head man. The gang rode farther and farther into the crowd until they were swallowed up completely no longer in sight.

After they passed, Miranda didn’t think much of them. Sure they were obnoxious but, they were gone at least. She looked at her watch. It was twenty past 10. If she could find someone to be with she wouldn’t be lonely for lunch. The problem was however, Town was a huge place. Where would she find people to spend the afternoon with? Or at least grab a bite to because Miranda hadn’t eaten at all yet. ‘I could find Jin and we can see if Asher would go on break with us,’ the lonely girl thought to herself. Okay, sounds great. Now where to look? Miranda froze in place to think becoming a statue people found inconvenient to go around to continue on their merry way in the Square. After a brief hesitation, Miranda turned around and went back to her bike. She unchained it and peddled away with a few places in mind.


It was after twelve now and Miranda was in low spirits. She biked all around Town but couldn’t find Jin anywhere. The poor girl’s stomach growled informing her that eating alone was the only option. Not that there was anything wrong with that but, it just felt so sad. She would make a spectacle of herself and people would jeer at her for not having any friends to accompany her in this sweltering afternoon; unless, if she had Asher at least. Right! She has him to be with! In a more uplifted mood, Miranda raced back to the Square in hopes of catching her older brother on break; not really brother but close enough. She hoped to salvage whatever time they had left before he had to get back to work and she’d be extremely miserable.


“Haha, there’s my young lady!”

Miranda walked into one of the shops in the Square where Asher worked. Quickly casting her eyes around, she located the blithe face that had greeted her. Asher was standing behind a rack of t-shirts with a cart full of pins to attach to the merchandise for security. The towering redhead advanced towards Miranda to wrap her up in a tight embrace. His muscular arms held her in place against him squeezing the air out of her. Miranda slightly self conscious about the display awkwardly patted Asher on the back as a signal to release her. Nearby customers didn’t seem to notice the gesture between the two and if they did, they didn’t look like they cared.

“So, what did you do to get kicked out?” Asher asked after he loosened his grip leaving Miranda gasping for air.

“Nothing. I was just minding my own business.”

“And Trissy thought you should know what flowers and trees looked like before you died. What did ya think?”

Perplexed at the question, Miranda stood there blank faced at the giant. “About what?”

Asher unaware of his own strength gave Miranda a sympathetic pat nearly knocking the air out of her. “Outside of course. That’s where you’ll be spending summer vacation now. If Tristan holds the house keys, you’re never getting back in so might as well get comfy.”

“But you have keys too.” Miranda countered, rubbing the sore spot on her back.

“Yeah but, I’m never home before dinner.”

“Asher! Isn’t it a bit early to be thinking about dinner?”

Miranda darted her eyes around to find the person who had called Asher but, he waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t worry about Phil. He’s just the boss here.”

“My name is not ‘Phil’!”

“Yeah okay Phil!”

A short middle aged man who stood up to about Miranda’s height with blazing eyes approached the duo. “Thinking of getting back to work? The register is getting backed up and I need you to get the rest of the cassettes from the back room.”

“Yeah I thought about it. The idea ain’t sitting well with me.” Asher turned to Miranda and winked. “I’ll see ya later.”

“But what about lunch?” Miranda blurted out. That was the reason why she was here to see him.

“Oh, I won’t have lunch till like 2:Support a 45. You better go without me. Besides, I’ll be eating with some of the guys.”

Miranda must have gave a downcast look because she felt Asher place his arm over her shoulder. “Hey, I know you wanted to eat with me. But I’ll see you later tonight when we both come back from exile. I know a place that’ll make you feel better. I heard of some used bookstore in the far district; close to the side of town the Nightfollow coven comes in which is the historic part of Town. There may not be much to see there but at least the bookstore would be recognizable; that’s what Viv tells me. Grab yourself a bite to eat and check it out. I know how much you like books.”


“And hurry before I get into trouble with my boss.” Asher winked at Miranda again then went to the front of the store where the registers were. Disappointed she’d be alone, Miranda nodded to Asher and walked out the apparel store. What to do, what to do. Outside, Miranda felt her stomach growl again. She should really consider eating and just endure what may; hunger overpowered pride. Just get a bite to eat at a fast food place then, go to that bookstore. It’ll be nice and cool there and away from everyone. Miranda made her way to her favorite burger joint where Asher’s friend Fender worked wondering what the daily special was this time.

Approaching the joint ‘Gone Patty’, Miranda looked at the posters stuck to the windows. Looks like this month was barbeque. She went inside to satisfy her hunger and found a nice booth in the middle of the restaurant to sit in. Fender, who was working saw Miranda come in and went to the soda fountain straight away and served her root beer as she read the menu.

“Take your time”.

Miranda nodded her thanks and went down the list of specials. One of the reasons why she loved this place was because every month, there was a new theme so she never knew what to expect. It was fun pointing out to the different decor that was scattered throughout the restaurant and see the creativity the managers had. Plus it was nice to know that if there was something you didn’t like, it’ll be gone by next month like the carnival theme to celebrate the last month of school. It was cool to see the neon lights and pastel colors but everything tasted like it was deep friend; not just the fries. She came here with Tristan that time and he said he gained weight just by looking at the menu.

When Fender came by again, Miranda decided that she would get a burger with pineapple rings in it. Scanning around the place, there were cut outs of cows and lassoes dangling from them. Branding irons and cowboy hats hung on the walls as decor while people sat on hay bales to eat. Above Miranda’s head was a chandelier made of beer bottles dangling from the ceiling and cowboy spurs as the napkin holder at her table. Music with the steel guitar played on the radio and Miranda noticed that the cup she was drinking from was a beer mug. What will they think of next?

When her food arrived, Miranda tasted the sweet sauce all over her face and fingers. It was good but way messier than last month. Licking her fingers clean, she realized that no one was noticing her by herself in the booth. She got so worked up for nothing. Taking another bite from her sandwich, Miranda decided that people weren’t as judgmental as she thought and needed to stop being so paranoid about that people thought. After spending the whole school year being snickered at and spoken about behind her back, she thought it was normal to be concerned about every aspect in her life. It must have been kids from school she was trying to hide away from when Tristan told her that she couldn’t hide in books forever. Miranda hated to say that he was right but, if people weren’t going to say anything about a girl having lunch alone, the world outside books didn’t seem like a bad place after all.


It was mid afternoon by the time Miranda found the place Asher was talking about. Although he was right about the bookstore being in the historic district, Asher may have not known that it was a bit isolated from everything else. Miranda was standing in front of an aging Renwick gold painted house with elegant arches and multiple bay windows finished with Tiffany Palm green trimming. A few of the bay windows held stain glass windows that reflected the afternoon sunlight. In one of the windows on the porch behind a porch swing had a sign saying ‘used bookstore come in’. It was definitely older than Miranda’s home because of the chipping paint yet, the structure stood firmly in place. There was a fading white picket fence covered in various colored scented roses patterned with lavender, chives and alyssums covering the stones at the bottom of the fence. The fence surrounded a small portion of the land like an inner courtyard for there was at least an acre or two left that wasn’t built upon like the rest of the district. If Miranda didn’t know any better, how this was laid out, the house standing here may have been an estate for a coven many years ago.

Careful not to crush the flowers sticking out between the fences, Miranda gently leaned her bike against the wooden post close to the doorway. The door easily swung opened and closed behind her as she walked on the well crafted stones in the walk way. There were no grass or weeds sticking up in the cracks and on this side of the fence, the landscape was absolutely stunning. There were mini butterfly gardens scattered in the yard with sitting areas hidden in the bushes to allow even more privacy. Hummingbirds darted from flower to flower and bumble bees hovered over the tall hyssop in the corner where there was the sound of water bubbling. Glancing over, there was a pond with bees flying about onto the frogbit plants and azolla ferns. This place gave Miranda a feeling of serenity. Surely this was a slice of paradise.

She walked up the steps to the front door and cautiously openedit. The girl was just as awestruck with the interior as she was with the exterior. Contrary to what Miranda thought, it wasn’t dark and gloomy inside. This old house was like hers at but more clean and regal. The cherry floor appeared well polished and the there was a carved ornament of a fairy with wings at the bottom of the stairs and a designed runner that led to the upstairs. Well lit from both the sunlight and the chandelier that hung overhead in the foyer; from the little bit that Miranda seen so far, this was the home of a true aristocrat.

Miranda began peeking into the rooms and she had already forgotten that this was a used bookstore. The first room she wandered into had shelves both tall and short lined against the wall and filled with books standing straight like how they were meant to be displayed. Browsing the spines of the books, she noticed there were many different subjects grouped well together. Not only was she impressed by the books but also the furnishings within the rooms. The couches and chairs were so antique yet in mint condition; the girl couldn’t believe that was possible. These were the kind of furnishings she saw in books that were at least from the beginning of the last century. To accompany the seats were small tables and lamps holding various types of plants from vines to flowers. This whole place was unreal to her; a dream she didn’t know existed but glad she had found.

Light footsteps were heard coming down the stairs. Miranda walked through the rooms back to the foyer where the stair case was. A young man perhaps the same age was Jin came down the steps. Early twenties perhaps, with ash dark hair gelled to the side. Carrying a tray with china upon it, he examined Miranda with a faintly surprised look on his face. “Well hello there” he welcomed nonchalantly. The man stood in front of Miranda, letting his soft, hazel gaze rest on her, causing her to shift uncomfortably “Can I help you with anything?”

“N-no not at all,” Miranda stammered blushing facing her greeter but also looking past him to avoid his gaze. “I was l-looking for a good bookstore and the sign said to come in.”

“Well, glad you did.” In the corner of her eye, Miranda saw the man smile. “Being out of everyone’s way, we don’t get as many people as mother said we used to.”

Miranda returned his smile. “A friend of mine told me to come here. Said I’d like it knowing I love reading.”

“Did he now? You might have seen that there’s plenty of material to read from. Have you looked at them all?”

“No, I only saw over here.” Miranda gestured to the room on her left where the couches were.

“Oh you must see the rest then! If you like reading, you’re sure to be entertained for hours.” The man turned his focus to Miranda’s right side of the house. “Over there is what used to be the drawing room but now the main part of the bookstore. Past the stairway straight back is the dining room where you may sit and have light refreshments. Our home is a used bookstore cafe. We have our own garden here with fresh produce and buy what we can’t grow from the estates outside town. Mother usually works that part while I help in the front but she’s been under the weather lately.”

“I’m sorry,” Miranda interrupted, “you know about the covens outside town?”

“Yes we do. In fact many years ago, this house here was an estate with a coven of its own. Of course that was long ago and times have changed but, you can’t change the past.” There was a look of longing on his face that made Miranda feel sympathy toward him.

“I’ll check out what you have here.”

“Please do. My name is ‘Tolys’ by the way and if you have any questions, come to the dining room. I have housekeeping to catch up with but thank you for stopping by.” Tolys slid by Miranda and like he said, headed straight ahead to where the dining room was. Following his advice, Miranda went to the right wing of the house through the double doors to where most of the books were. Shelf after shelf there were volumes of anything a person could think of. The room next to it had just as many written works as the other rooms Miranda had seen before. Squealing with delight, the girl was an excited child in a candy shop browsing what stood in front of her. Miranda had a good idea how she would be spending the evening.

Like at home, Miranda picked what immediately caught her eye and stacked the books up to what would fit under her chin and walked into the first room she came in. Seating herself on the sofa, Miranda grabbed the book on top to read. The cover opened and release the dusty smell of wisdom saying it had been ages since the pages inside seen light. The context of the book was the Town’s history which Miranda already knew about from school of course. She didn’t expect to see so many books to talk about the origin of Da Capo Plains, the town she lived in. But then, this was the capitol of the country so, there was bound to be information that wasn’t in the school textbook. At least if she did some summer reading, she’d be ahead of her class and continue to be the top student in her grade. Besides, knowledge is power. Despite her awkwardness in class, she’d at least continue to impress everyone about how intelligent she was. It beat being dumb to her because there was some respect that could be received knowing all the answers.

“What a fine collection you have. You must have a broad mind then.”

There was a pulse of alarm that ran through Miranda. She was so far in her own world; she didn’t notice another person in the room. Sitting next to her was an older man; perhaps in his fifties but, Miranda wasn’t so sure due to the shades he wore. He had wild, coffee brown hair with hints of silver here and there that fell upon his face. From what she was able to see, the stranger had incredibly pale skin and well defined cheekbones that gave him a sophisticated but, haunted look. His medium, refined nose stuck in the book yet, she could see the corner of his mouth from the edge of the yellow pages. Miranda wasn’t able to see his eyes to get an accurate read on his face but, he did turn to look at his fellow reader.

“I’m sorry, did I startle you?”

Miranda looked at the new comer; her only response was the expression of annoyance like his presence riled her. She wanted a quiet rest of the afternoon; not some old guy pestering her.

“I know you must be intrigued by these books but, some of them are mine.”

Given the fact that they were in a used bookstore, Miranda wasn’t sure what to say. That the older guy already called dibs on them but didn’t remove the books from the shelves? Sorry, but that’s not how things work in the goods and service world. If the goods aren’t in your hands, it’s free game. Besides, it wasn’t like Miranda already bought the things. All she was doing was reading a few pages to determine if she would or not.

Looking through Miranda’s stack of books, the man continued. “I don’t know how a part of my collection got mixed in with these written pieces of garbage but, they’re rare copies of fine work.” His fashion of speech was slow yet, smooth and his tone was prickling icicles on your skin during wintertime. Fingers swept silently through the pages and placed each book into separate piles while Miranda inched herself away to give space between the two.

“What sort of book were you looking for exactly?” the man questioned as he placed the last book on the pile closest to him on the coffee table. “From what I see, you may have an opened mind but, I believe it’s best to narrow your studies to a specific topic. I can help you find some works if you like.”

“I wasn’t looking for anything in particular.” Miranda responded picking up the book the man laid down. “Just bored and wanted a good book to read.” She opened the book and pretended to read but, through his sunglasses, Miranda was able to feel the steady gaze on her. Trying not to look, Miranda noticed him tapping his chin with his index finger and heard humming sound come from his throat.

“All those books had one thing in common,'” he spoke again. “You did strike me as an intellectual. Let’s start with a subject then.”

“Well, history has been my favorite subject-” Miranda began.

“Follow me, I know many history books that’ll catch your interest.” The mysterious man stood up fluently and exited the room. Puzzled by the recent encounter, Miranda hesitantly followed him but bumped into the low table doing so.

There were more rooms than Miranda originally thought because first they went straight then turned at the last minute. She thought that they were going to the dining room where Tolys was. Assuming that her guide also worked here in this home turned store, Miranda let her curiosity get the better of her.

“So, do people just come and give you books they don’t want anymore? Do you guys buy them? What kind of books do you accept here because I have plenty at home?”

“This is a forgotten establishment the lady of the house attempted to revive but, did so in vain. The books here are what is left of the original owners and she desires to rid of herself the cursed memories. The burden was too much to bear; frequently seeing the possessions of loved ones left behind after they have moved on. The lady of the house eventually caused herself to fall ill and now her son continues to tend the fruitless labor of attracting people here; the god forsaken home of the damned.”

As the man told the woeful story of the building, Miranda grew increasingly fascinated of what was in here. Aside the abundant books and priceless furniture accompanied by potted plants were, imaginative tales of what might have happened here. A murder that may have taken place when the mistress of the house was a young girl or a horrific epidemic which resulted in one survivor. Maybe it was when the woman of the home was old enough to stay home alone; her family went on a trip but was never heard from again. The possibilities were endless to hear a tale like that. And the fact the lady is bedridden according to the teller made ideas more exciting. Come to think of it though, Tolys who was most likely the son as he did say “mother” seemed normal. He was polite and a gracious host. However, that doesn’t quite excuse the newfound eerie vibe to this place. Tolys may only be pretending everything was alright in this oddly clean, spooky house to cope with what may be unspeakably wrong with his mother.

“I think this may entice you.”

Miranda snapped out her literary imagination and saw the man standing on a ladder that leaned against a bookshelf and held something out to her. Awkwardly she grabbed what turned out to be an encyclopedia and nearly dropped it because how heavy the book was. Grunting and shifting the weight to make it easier to carry, Miranda read the title ‘The Encyclopedia of Music Terms and selected Greatest works of All Time’. What? Was there something she missed? Perplexed, Miranda tried to back track everything. They took a left before entering the dining room where Tolys said he was. Something about a few steps. Why was she holding an encyclopedia heavy enough to kill someone when she wanted history books?

“You may also need some botanical guides to help with your studies but we’ll get to them later. Right now you need some works explaining how sound waves are made and that sort of thing.”

“Hold on,” Miranda put the book onto the wooden floor and crossed her arms. “I thought you were getting me history books. I don’t know how to play an instrument.”

“My dear girl. I’m doing exactly as I told you and getting the books you want.”

“What does music books have to do with anything? Are you just messing with me?”

The man said nothing but began climbing down the ladder. Approaching her, Miranda realized how tall he truly was standing a mere foot from her.

“Historical fiction, fantasy, adventure or complete nonsense many would think of history taught in your school. They scoff and laugh at the pathetic education given to the young people who willingly absorb it. I laugh too but, I have to applaud you for going out to learn the truth behind those lies they teach because the higher up would do anything to keep history hidden. There are those who know what had happened and there must be those who are willing to listen. I can help you dispel the darkness that was cast upon you and you will become wiser than you’d ever dreamed of. I can also tell you why your dear sister Jin has been missing.”

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