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Witch & Wizard: The Gift

When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.

But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods.

Book One | The Girl with The Gift

Chapter 7

HE IS SURROUNDED BY a dozen or more famous works of art that he's had confiscated—works by the likes of Pepe Pompano, Pondrian, Cezonne, Feynoir—the best of the best. All banned and forbidden. All his now.

"Bring me The One Who Commands The Hunt" bellows The One. He can't take much more of this incompetence, this stupidity, this repeated ,almost capturing of Wisteria Allgood and the very, very potent Gift that she possesses.

As if on cue, the hunt commander appears in the doorway, looking—despite his gray hair and middle-aged paunch—like a dim student who has just arrived for a midterm he hasn't studied for.

"You failed to capture Wisteria Allgood. Is that correct? Is that true"?

The commander nervously clears his throat.

"Yes, sir" he agrees. He's heard unsettling stories of cit,izens who have tried to defend themselves in similar situations with The One.

"And would you say today's spectacle was anything short of a public relations disaster? I honestly want to hear your opinion."

"Well, you did execute the other witch in a most decisive fashion, Your Excellency. The citizenry was uplifted by—"

"She wasn't a witch! She was just a friend of the witch. Actually she was bait for the real witch".

"Well, but... still... she was a valued member of the Resistance, and your destruction of her was magnificent and uplifting to the public in its awe-inspir —"

"The One Who Makes Up The News is going to have her work cut out with tonight's broadcast. Do you have any good ideas about that? How we explain that we executed Wisteria Allgood and then, moments later, we suddenly happened to be chasing another red-haired teenage witch through the city plaza? Be honest. Be forthright. Be quick."

"Umm, well—"

"Silence!" yells The One in a stentorian voice that seems to make the building shake.

The next pause is deadly, truly deadly, and seems to suck all the air out of the room.

Now The One sighs and finally smiles, if you can call it that."Well, I suppose it could have been worse." His suddenly bright tone entirely belies the anger from just seconds before. "Tell me, Commander, do I recall that all you huntsmen enjoy cigars? I'm sure that's correct. Is it correct?"

"Why, um, yes, thank you," stammers the commander. He briefly wonders how he so suddenly has stumbled into his leader's good graces. He accepts a very fine cigar. And then—a light.

"I've always been fascinated with fire, Commander.... Have you?"

But the soldier doesn't have a chance to answer.

The glowing red ember at the tip of his cigar quickly expands. It runs up the entire length, then across the man's face, over the back of his skull, and down his neck. Then the bright red, smoldering line races around and around his torso and arms, down to the tips of his toes—leaving the hunt commander, for the briefest moment, a statue of ash.

Then The One taps his cane lightly on the ground, and the gray powder collapses in a soft plume of smoke.

"You failed to capture Wisteria Allgood, and failure isn't an option in this Brave New World."

Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson

Read by Elijah Wood, Spencer Locke, and Peter Giles

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Audio Excerpts (MP3)
Clip #1
Chapter 1 to 21
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