Reaper: The Beginning (Prequel) (The Artifact Reaper Saga Book 0)
Reaper: The Beginning
Jen L. Grey
About the Author
Also by Jen L. Grey
Reaper: The Beginning Copyright © 2018 Jen L. Grey
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Holy hell. I’ve got my hands on this stupid dummy and can feel everyone’s eyes on my back. It doesn’t help the smell of plastic fills my nose. I try to tap into my power like Christina always goes on about, but I can’t find anything. It’s like I’m searching through a black hole.
My brother said she was full of it. He came into my room last night with his signature furrowed brows and sat down on my bed after she left. I swear he pressures me more than my parents, reiterating how big of a deal today is. Like I don’t know, and when I tell him that Christina and I have it all figured out and about what she says, he shakes his head, calling her a liar.
She isn’t lying to me, but I sure feel like a dumbass right now. I got nothing and one of Charlie’s friends is snickering behind me. Great, I’m sure I’ll get reamed when I get home.
“Pull your magic.” The teacher walks up beside me and huffs. “This shouldn’t be that challenging. Don’t overthink it.”
Yeah, well. That’s easier said than done at this point.
More giggles ring in my ears.
I wish I could just become invisible. Ben’s in here too, to top it off. I’ve got to clear my head. Okay, think of nothing and just focus on the rubbery fake skin my fingers are digging into.
Yeah… this isn’t working.
“All right. That’s enough.” Mrs. Palmer’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard. “You’ll get one more chance tomorrow, but that’s it. If you don’t pass, you’ll lose your reaper ability.”
No. This can’t be happening. I refuse to turn into a butler. I won’t be a lapdog for the council and deal with my family losing what little status they have. It’s bad enough to serve them this way; let alone tend to their every whim. They’ve already harassed me enough to last a lifetime about my best friend.
“Now, Christina, it’s your turn.” The teacher straightens her shoulders back and turns facing my best friend. “I hope you have better luck than this one.” She tilts her head my way.
What a jerk. Christina better put that bitch in her place.
My best friend pulls at her chic, pink floral romper dress I’m sure her mother picked out for her as she steps toward the dummy. Her long, black hair is in a loose Dutch braid, and she looks like every other Malone in her family.
However, I know that’s not the case. She’s a bit of a rebel.
She glances at me as she makes her way over and bites her lower lip. If she messes up, her mom will be alerted before she even makes it home.
I hate how she’s treated. She’s the best person I’ve ever known, but her parents treat her like a pet or a puppet. I haven’t decided which one yet.
As she bends down over the puppet, she stretches her arms out and her hands tremble. She touches the dummy and closes her eyes.
The teacher walks over to her, the sound of heels hitting the tile echoes.
Come on, girl. You got this. Show Mrs. Palmer where she can shove it.
The room begins to feel off kilter and my skin begins to crawl.
The girl next to me reaches out and puts her hand against the wall.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but something doesn’t feel right.
“Stop.” Ms. Palmer’s tone is almost desperate. “Right now. Stop.” She stumbles toward Christina and puts her hand on her arm.
Christina stiffens, but releases the dummy and stands. After a moment, she turns around and glances at me before focusing back on the teacher. “Did I mess up?”
“I wouldn’t say that.” The teacher reaches up and puts a piece of hair that fell out of her bun behind her ear. “You have strong power and can’t control it. You pass, but we need to work on your endurance.” Her face is slightly white and she swallows hard. She turns away from us and checks the clock. “All right, we’re out of time for today. Ben, you will go after Beth retries tomorrow.”
Yikes. What am I going to do? I have to pass this, or my life will be over. Well, not really, but might as well be. I loop my arm through Christina’s and pull her toward the door. “Come on. Let’s go to my house.”
“Yeah. Let’s get out of here, please.” Christina lifts her hand to her forehead.
I laugh out loud. She’s so dramatic sometimes.
“Hey, ladies,” a voice that sounds a lot like Ben’s calls out after us.
No way. I turn around and it is in fact the cool guy in our class, heading my way.
“He’s probably ready to propose to your right now.” Christina leans over and giggles into my ear.
A chuckle escapes me, but I put my finger to my lips. “Shhh. Don’t scare him away.”
His brown eyes twinkle and his left