We got this chapter up last week as scheduled but forgot to post an update to the blog—so for those of you who missed it, please enjoy Chapter 17, and then keep on reading through to Chapter 18, which is the Part 1 finale (and which we’ll be announcing shortly!).
—Mabel & Cass
“You Will Not Be Welcomed”
story by Mabel Harper & Cassidy Webb
written by Cassidy Webb
Leshayva Wade-Weyland lay on her stomach on the oriental rug in the “fun room,” as she and Grandpa Levi called it—the room in the east wing of Annwyn, the rambling Weyland estate, that had been set aside expressly for her entertainment whenever she came to visit and had been reliably outfitted over the years with just about everything Dad had mentioned offhand to Grandpa that a girl Shay’s age might enjoy. Now that she was twelve, it was every kind of video-game console imaginable, and a state-of-the-art stereo system, and a bunch of posters of her favorite actors and musicians (mostly hot boys), and an Apple computer that had a webcam and lots of graphic design software, because Shay liked art.
She could hear the crooning of old jazz standards way off down the hall, where the grownups’ party was going on. Two members of her school crew had come with their parents and were hanging out in the fun room with her—her second cousin, Colin Lockwood, who by now had wormed his way out of his stiffly starched tuxedo jacket and was busy installing Skype on her Mac, and her Academy friend Meagan Mounce, who was sitting barefoot and pretzel-legged on the floor in her sparkly tulle dress, playing Elder Scrolls: Oblivion on PS3.
Shay herself was busy doodling on her sketchpad, and getting steadily more and more irritated with herself because she couldn’t stop screwing up the eyes. Jules Nimri had the perfectest eyes, all sleek and black and velvety, and her stupid donkey fingers just wouldn’t stop butchering them.
“Done!” Colin announced, triumphant, from his seat at the computer. The speakers gave a loud bloop-bloop as he logged onto Skype. “Who wants to talk to Kitty?”
Shay jumped up, clutching her sketchpad, and hurried over. The fourth and last member of her Arcanus Academy entourage, Kitty Devereaux, appeared onscreen after a couple of synthesized brrrrrings, her orange hair looking dark red and her freckled skin blue in the light from the computer monitor in her bedroom. “Kittyyyyyy!” squealed Shay, draping herself over Colin’s shoulders.