(Not Official Cover)
James looked behind him to see that the phoenix had returned, and he was flying straight toward him! He grabbed the girl by the arm. “We have to run!” he yelled. “The phoenix is back!”
The girl looked James in the eye, and for a brief moment, a sign of surprise, followed by a curious expression of joy, flashed across her face.
James and the girl ran as fast as they could toward the big tree. The phoenix was right behind them. Charlotte and Susan had heard the commotion and came running from within the village. They stopped dead in their tracks when they saw the phoenix.
“Hurry, James!” they cried.
James and the girl were only a few yards away from the safety of the tree when, like a racing train, the phoenix flew right into them.
“No!” Charlotte yelled. The girls helplessly watched as James and the girl disappeared over the side of the cliff.
Dehmar and the village people ran to the side of the cliff. They looked over and saw that the children fell helplessly toward the ground.
“What do we do?” one of the creatures cried.
“We have to do something!” Charlotte cried as she ran to the side of the cliff. Her heart was racing and tears were pouring from her eyes. She turned to Dehmar, “Please, think of something!”
Dehmar took off his Indian headdress and held it against his heart. Tears dripped down from his eyes. “My friend,” he cried.
Charlotte looked down at her brother and suddenly her knees felt weak. Before she knew it she was on her knees, crying.
Suddenly the village people got loud as they pointed their fingers and yelled, “Look! Do you see?”
Out of nowhere a large griffin appeared in the sky. A great shadow was cast as the creature flew in front of the setting sun.
“It’s Apollo!” Susan yelled. She jumped up and down. “Charlotte, Apollo has come back for us!”
James and the girl held hands as they sped toward the ground.
“Do you believe in heaven?” James yelled, squeezing the girl’s hand rather tightly.
“For the longest time I thought this place was heaven,” she said.
“I guess we’re about to find out.”
They fell closer and closer to the ground. Their hearts were racing so fast that they thought they were going to explode.
“I never thought it would end this way,” Jessica yelled. “If only we had a parachute!”
“This is it,” James yelled. He closed his eyes. “We are going to die!”
Just as the children had prepared for impact, they felt something wrap around their waists and pull them upward. It was an awkward sensation; it felt as though their stomachs were still falling. When they opened their eyes, the first thing they saw was the ground, which was only a few feet beneath them.
“What is happening?” the girl yelled.
James looked above them. He could see a set of large bird’s wings. He smiled. “We are in the hands of a dear friend.”
Apollo looked down at them. “Are you kids okay?” he said. “I’m sorry it took me so long to catch up with you. You were falling quite fast.”
“Yes, w-we know,” the girl said, trying desperately to catch her breath. “You n-needn’t remind us.”
The sound of the phoenix squawking filled the air. Apollo held the children tightly. “Hold on,” he yelled. “This isn’t over yet!”
The phoenix swooped in and shot a stream of fire out of his mouth. Apollo closed his wings and did a roll in the air, dodging the fire but almost collided with the side of the mountain. The griffin was three times the size of the phoenix, but the phoenix was like a fierce wolverine, quick and deadly.
Apollo pushed off the side of the mountain with his hind legs and swiftly opened his wings, knocking the phoenix off its course. The phoenix quickly recovered and flew at Apollo with all his might. Apollo flew up the side of the mountain, climbing up the air as if he were being propelled by rocket engines.
From the top of the mountain, the village people were watching as the griffin and the phoenix battled in the air. They held their breath as the phoenix shot another stream of fire at the griffin, and then again when the griffin kicked the phoenix so hard that he fell toward the ground. But the phoenix was determined. He quickly recovered, flying so fast and so hard that he collided with the griffin.
Apollo screeched. The phoenix flew around him, pecking him with his sharp, fiery beak. He laughed. “Admit it. You’re no match for me!”
“I’ll do no such thing,” Apollo growled. “By the power of the sun, I will defeat you.”
Apollo took off across the sky like he was a jet. He flew over plateaus and between mountain peaks. He skimmed the tops of trees and went a little higher and touched the clouds. He flew on and on, leaving the phoenix in his wake. Finally, the griffin stopped and looked around.
James and the girl both felt very dizzy. The girl looked around and yelled out to Apollo, “I think I know what you are looking for. It’s right down there.”
Apollo quickly made a nosedive straight down into a canyon. The phoenix was right on his tail. Soon they came upon a great waterfall, tucked in between two mountain peaks.
“Hold on,” Apollo yelled to the children. The phoenix shot a stream of fire at them just as they flew through the waterfall. The phoenix backed away just in time to avoid flying into the waterfall, gently landing on some nearby rocks.
There was a shallow cave behind the waterfall where Apollo and the children had landed. They looked through the waterfall and could see that it was getting dark. It had been minutes since they had flown through the waterfall, and they knew that the phoenix was still out there, waiting for them to come out.
“How long do you think he’ll wait?” James said.
“Could be a while,” Apollo answered. He was staring at the waterfall with an angry look in his eye. “Phoenixes are unpredictable creatures.”
“And so are griffins,” James said, an upset look on his face. “Where have you been? I thought you had forgotten about us.”
Apollo turned his head and looked at the boy. “I have been searching everywhere for you and your sisters,” he said. “I thought for sure that I had lost you. And then I heard a lot of noise coming from the village, and something in my heart told me to check it out.”
“It’s a good thing you did,” the girl said. “You saved our lives.”
The griffin looked back at the waterfall. “It was nothing,” he said. The children could tell that the griffin was upset about his conflict with the phoenix.
James opened his backpack and pulled out the “night light.” He used the lantern to light up the cave.
“So where were we?” James said, looking at the girl.
“You were just about to ask me my name,” the girl replied.
"Adventure reigns in this debut novel. What a fun ride."
-Obert Skye, National Bestselling author (Leven Thumps series, Pillage Trilogy)
“Inspired, imaginative and very exciting, it’s a great adventure for young readers."
-Brian Falkner, Bestselling author (The Tomorrow Code, Brain Jack)
"Reign of the Night Creatures is an action-packed modern story in the brilliant tradition of the Chronicles of Narnia. James and his sisters are kept on their toes in the imaginative world of Everafter, where the battle of light versus dark rages. Who knows what darkness's next move will be?"
-E.P. Marcellin, Bestselling author of Element Keepers
"I truly enjoyed reading this book; I found the story to be incredibly innovative and imaginative."
-Meghan Gregg, Tate Publishing
"Upon starting this book I found it to be a magical adventure of bravery, intelligence and team work. The characters are life like and seem to come out of the pages. The story is very well written and imaginative. The Land of Everafter Draws you in and doesn't want to let you go. In My opinion 'Reign of the Night Creatures' is a must read for all young readers."
-Melissa Steele, avid reader
To discover what happens next, read
The Everafter Chronicles: Reign of the Night Creatures
by Casey Sean Harmon
Available wherever books are sold Spring 2013 from Tate Publishing!
Casey Sean Harmon