By Request: How an Ancient Artifact Scared the Daylights out of Jack

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Requested by Heidi, this is from The Fugitive Prince (Bell Mountain No. 5), pages 190-191. Jack and Ellayne have acquired an ancient artifact which has some unexpected properties. ***

“This thing [said Jack]. There’s someone in it!”

“What?” Ellayne shook her head. What in the world would make him say a thing like that? She couldn’t have heard him right. “What are you talking about?”

“I saw her!” Jack said. “A woman. She’s inside this thing. She looked at me!” [Note: the thing is no bigger than the palm of Jack’s hand.]

Ellayne took his arms in her hands and squeezed. “Talk sense, Jack–if you can,” she said. “Don’t talk nonsense! Are you all right?”

“Oh, sure, I’m all right–except for being scared out of my skin.” He took a deep breath. “I saw a woman’s face. She was inside the cuss’t thing. She was smiling. She had red lips. Great big eyes: too big. And then she blinked. I know what I saw!”

“But jack–it’s just a little tiny thing that fits in your hand. There can’t be anybody inside it. They wouldn’t fit! It must have been a picture that you saw. Some kind of picture.”

“A picture doesn’t blank at you,” Jack said.

He felt sick. For two spits he’d crush the filthy thing with a rock, if he dared lay hands on it again. He wished it weren’t in his pocket. All he had to do was close his eyes and he could see that face again. The woman had eyes twice as big as any normal person’s and lips as red as blood.

Ellayne saw by the lack of color in his face that he really was scared and wasn’t joking. A dread crept over her, starting at her scalp and prickling its way down. “This is what comes of messing around with magic!” she thought. ***

I’ll print Bell Mountain excerpts by request. But please, folks, it does make it much easier for me if you can give me the book title and the page number. After the first ten books or so, it gets a little hard to keep track of things. You’ll see what I mean when you try it!

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