A diabetic since freshman year, the control Sara Jacobs needs to survive is obliterated when she unleashes Voodoo barons of the afterlife from the dark witch trial history of her hometown -- Andover, Massachusetts. Past and present blend and ignite as her life crumbles beyond recognition, shattered by the same forbidden forces she is drawn to embrace: magic, the supernatural, and the demon raging uncontrolled in her veins. Rewired by magic, she revisits and dominates her petty high school world – paybacks to authority, and a little help with that crush from freshman year.
From a gossip-crazed high school to a moonless limbo of tombstone covered hills, BRITTLE is what happens when Sara stops being the victim.
Mr. Brier's voice boomed through the house. “The father of lies hath laid his thorny hand upon you!” He started coming at me with a psycho look in his eyes. “And you glory in the affliction! You!”
I ducked between his legs just as he lunged at me, knocking over the coffee table. I ran straight through the kitchen, didn't look back, and straight up the stairs. Straight into my room, slamming the door locked behind me, and straight onto my bed.
I sat there, panting, listening, but didn't hear anything. No footsteps coming up the stairs after me, no voices from downstairs, nothing. I closed my eyes and fell back. Freaky. Wicked freaky. That sucked, whatever just happened.
I lanced myself and waited for the number, panting, afraid of the silence: 316. Not surprised. My mouth was sticky dry, and I could feel the blood pulsing in my brain.
I reached under my pillow and pulled out the cookbook and the talisman. All the time, listening and waiting. It sounded like no one was in the house. I definitely heard some noises, but they were all warped and unclear.
I took out my insulin inhaler, about to breathe in a lungful of happiness. I should take it, if I wanted to feel “normal.” I had the bottle that Madame Toulaine had given me, too. I rolled it around in my other hand, thinking about it. Thinking about drinking it, instead. Right hand, normal. Left hand, adventure.
“Normal” was the last thing I wanted to feel right about then.
I looked at the talisman, at the rust that was spreading over it from the bottom corner. Rust. When things rust, I thought, they become brittle. And when things get brittle, they break.
Well, that wasn't going to be me. I wasn't going to break. And I wasn't going to just accept everything that landed on my plate. I laughed as I suddenly remembered what was actually, really, true – that the Baron of the Crossroads would cheat Death. For me! I was friends with the Baron of Crossroads! If I brought him blood and sugar from the early place, he would bring my dad back to life.
I thought of all the kids at school, all the kids who were so concerned with getting that primo parking spot in front of the bus lot or sneaking out to go drinking. Or impressing that lax bro in Calc. So many people wrapped up in little things. Tiny things.
Blood and sugar.
My brain was imploding in pulses. I was thirstier than Lindsay Lohan. Things in my head were starting to get blurry. I couldn't think straight.
Hyperglycemia, a life-threatening condition causing uncontrolled spikes in blood sugar.
And I was about to make it ten times worse.
I put the talisman around my neck, stuffed one of the bottles into a cargo pocket, and got out two emergency candy bars. I wolfed them down, pausing between swallows to seriously doubt my sanity. This was gonna send my already beyond-peak blood sugar into outer space. It went against everything I had lived for, against every idea of self-preservation.
I opened the bottle of jump juice. My breath was coming so shallow that I fought not to spill it as I raised it to my lips. The room started spinning.
“Here's to you, Dad.”
I drank it all.