When fourteen year old Tovi Taggert moves to Honeysuckle Hollow to take care of her grandmother, she has a hard time fitting in. For one thing, she’s been tagged with the hated nickname Too-Tall Tovi. For another, everyone at Honeysuckle Hollow High believes Tovi played the Choking Game with someone else’s boyfriend – and made out with him besides.
As if she doesn’t have enough problems, after the latest stand-off in the school hallway, Tovi finds a gorgeous speckled egg nestled in a feather lined nest.
She takes the egg home – and mysterious visitors begin appearing almost immediately. Even more worrisome, whatever is inside the egg starts chipping its way out.
When the egg hatches, revealing a winged horse, Tovi’s troubles multiply.
As she struggles to return the horse to the magical land where he belongs, Tovi must make a courageous decision – and accept what that decision will cost her.
“Stay where you are! It’s unstable!”
Startled, I look across the pit. A compact, muscular blond man on the other side of the huge cavern shouts, “Are you all right?”
Where did he come from? “I think so,” I shout back. “What happened?”
“Sinkhole,” he says, as if the word explains everything.
Even though he warned me away, he approaches the pit himself. His white-blond hair gleams in the now blinding sunshine, creating a halo effect around his head. Still holding Mr. Bibbs, I rise to my feet and move a little nearer to my side of the hole, a little closer to whatever it is that teeters at the edge of the pit.
“I said stay back!” The blond man waves his arms as if he can push me away long distance.
I stop. But as soon as he’s again occupied with his own investigation of the pit, I move up a few more feet. Mr. Bibbs meows and wriggles. He wants to get free. I’m afraid to put him on the ground, afraid he’ll go toward the sinkhole.
“Behave,” I say.
The command works when Gramma uses it, but Mr. Bibbs almost never listens to anyone else. He continues to struggle. When I shift my grip, trying to ease the pain in my wrist, he twists out of my arms and bolts for the sinkhole.
More worried than annoyed, I snap, “Bibby! Mr. Bibbs! Get back here!”
He pauses and glances toward me like he’s thinking about doing what I told him to. Though I figure it’s a trick, I dart forward, hoping to catch him before he takes off again. He’s still, waiting, as I hurry closer.
Just one more second…
Uncomfortably aware of how near I am to the pit, I keep my eyes focused on Mr. Bibbs and try not to think about the vast hole that just swallowed an entire five-acre field.
The blond man shouts again, “Are you crazy? Stay away from there!”
“I’ve got to get my cat!” I reach for Mr. Bibbs.
As if we’re playing a game, the cat eludes me and takes off again. I break into a run, racing after him, reaching, stretching…
When he skids to a stop at the edge of the pit, I have to dig the toes of my wet sneakers into the sludge to avoid falling over him. My flailing arms catch nothing but air. A clump of dirt breaks off under one foot and tumbles into the hole. My breath gurgles, and sticks in my throat.
I’m going to fall…
HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter writing team. Their young adult novel, The SkyHorse, is available on Amazon and at the Musa Publishing web site.
Musa Publishing link:
Author’s web site: http://www.topdrawerinkcorp.com/
Link to read first chapter: http://www.topdrawerinkcorp.com/Fiction/ZCh1.htm