Discover Kelbian Noel’s Witchbound series with this sample from book 2, Sprung.
Since she discovered magic, seventeen-year-old Skye Jackson’s life is almost perfect. Almost. Even perfect has its glitches.
What happens when the one with all the power makes the biggest mistakes? Welcome to my life.
Four months ago, I couldn’t have been happier. When my parents got divorced, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when Mom married a guy half her age. But then I found out I wasn’t the average Joana. Discovering magic existed and, best of all, I could use it, made everything easier to deal with. That is until I got a little too spell happy. But what girl wouldn’t defend her best friend against a world-class creep? Now I’m stuck in a nightmare, forced to make life and death decisions I never dreamed I’d face.
Love the magic. Hate the responsibility.
I tiptoe across the room to stand in front of the chest. Running my fingers across the dark ancient wood, I glance back at Nana, one more time, before making my move. She’s fast asleep, still seated in her favorite chair in front of the window. Head slumped to the side, mouth parted, slightly.
With lips bitten together and eyes squeezed shut, I hold my breath and ease the top drawer halfway open. Slipping my hand inside until I find my treasure, I pull back slowly, the small green book firmly grasped between my fingers. With a final glance at Nana, I sink to the floor, leaning my back up against the corner wall.
I’ve been visiting her in this home for almost five years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago things changed. Five years, without a word, and I’m the first one she opens up to? I stroke the rough pages of the book with my fingers. It can’t be a coincidence. From what I’ve learned so far, magic never is.
I close my eyes again and mutter the spell she taught me on the very first day.
“Solidify this room and refresh this place. Sterilize my thoughts, anoint their minds. Consecrate this space.” A slight breeze blows across the room and I tilt my head upwards with a smile. After all these weeks, and all the spells, the wonder of it all is still firmly intact.
Magic is real. And it’s in me.
All those weeks ago, this Secrecy Spell kept every nurse and orderly from doing so much as knock on the door. For hours, she filled my head with stories she’d been telling since my childhood. Tales that, up until now, I thought were just that—fairy tales, stories to coax a little girl to sleep. But I was wrong. And she was harboring a huge secret.
Ever since, that same spell has allowed me to snoop at will—provided she doesn’t wake up from her nap anytime soon.
I gaze back down at the book, holding it close to my face and picking up where I left off.
She was the most beautiful woman with a rich life beyond measurement. But love can sometimes play the villain. For a heart as pure as hers, the break was clean. She loved fiercely, and when the Universe changed course, she forced its hand. Extending a life that was meant to move on.
But her lover’s soul had been promised to another and, despite her efforts, the love was gone. In despair, she vowed to spend the rest of eternity searching for his replacement. She cast a spell more powerful than any other had seen, one that would seal her fate and the future of all Elementals.
From that day forward, the Pure would revere, the Tainted would covet.
“Elementals,” I whisper.
I’ve seen the word at least fifty times in just the first half of the book. The names of most of the spells are in a language I don’t recognize, but in parentheses beside each one is always the word Elemental. Still, I have no clue what it means.
If only I could ask her. I turn the page, my gaze shifting briefly to Nana.
With a finger, I quickly scan through the pages of the text. “Elemental, Elemental, Elemen—“ I hold the book even closer to my face. “Elementals, the vessels of Pure magic. These four rare individuals hold the ultimate power. Ancient and pure. Seoirse—Earth, Govad—Air, Irving—Fire, Conley—Water.”
I read through the rest of the page, glued to the story, taken by each word.
Four clans: Seoirse, Govad, Irving and Conley. The most powerful witches known to man and beast. The originals. Elementals.
Together they wielded the purest of magic. Healed the sick, fertilized the land, and drove out demons. Their magic was revered, but with reverence came covetousness.
The Tainted soon emerged. Joining the family, simply for power, their children were trained to use the magic to their advantage, wielding it to succeed in unfair undertakings such as wealth and popularity in the face of competition.
Dissonance abounded within the village and the Elementals saw it fit to alter access to magic. No longer was it a birthright, but a spiritual connection. The Earth’s mystical power would only yield to those able to commune with its elements.
With this change came an opportunity for all individuals to access Elemental power, magic in its purest form. Thus, a new problem emerged—magic was discovered and used by hundreds. The elements were manipulated, through animal and human sacrifices. Tainted arts began to thrive.
After decades of discord, the Church interceded, vowing to put an end to magic. An end to the Elementals.
But only for a time.
A loud clatter jolts me to attention and I shoot up from the floor. Tucking the book in my back pocket, I quickly close the drawer.
Nana groans, stretching her legs out in front of her. “Did I fall asleep on you again?” She wipes the side of her face with the back of her hand.
“It’s okay,” I say. Darting across the room, I bend to pick up the fallen tray. “I—I have to go. I’m supposed to be at Claire’s and—”
“Secrecy?” Nana sniffs. “Why?”
“Um,” I lick my lips. “I…you looked so comfortable I didn’t want them to wake you.”
“Hmm.” She glances at her watch and my gaze shifts to the floor. “Magic isn’t for such frivolous things, Skye. If that were the case—”
The door to her room opens and an orderly rolls in with her afternoon serving of pills. Nana and I lock gazes, and as he passes by me, I place a hand on his arm, forcing him to make eye contact. “Not today,” I say. “She’s doing just fine.”
With that, he offers a curt nod, and circles back and out the door.
I cross my arms. “What were you saying about frivolity?”
She clears her throat. “You know what those things do to me. Come.” She beckons for me to sit down on the windowsill across from her. “One more story, before you go.”