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Anna & Amber's Secret Powers



   For five minutes she lay prone, too groggy to move or think.  But eventually she felt a little better and opened her eyes.  On the bed  next to her she could see Anna's sweater, which the guy had not even though to give back to her.  She was probably freezing. 


   And then she saw it... The Book of Spells!  It was on the little endtable in between the two beds, sitting next to the TV remote control. She was  still tied up, though, and her hands behind her back and her wrists were smarting from the rope burn. 


   Still, she rolled over to the table and tried to back up to it.  Little by little she inched until she felt her hands brush the TV  remote.  She could hear it knock to the ground behind her. 


   She then wriggled a little to the left until she was resting her hip on the edge of the book.  She gave one big roll and then was on top  of the table and the book, with her hands crushed into the handle of the drawer that was there.  Still, as she rolled back she used her  thumb and forefinger to pinch the book and it came with her as she rolled.  She was now on the bed again and the book was on the  bedspread.  Carefully she set the book open, and then wriggled all the way around until she was facing it.  It was a thick blinding  white cover which had the chinese words Mo Fa Xu  魔法书 on it.


   Amber recognized those words were "Book of Magic."  She wriggled her face  up to the book and stuck out her tounge.  It touched the book. 


   She tried thinking "Loosen these ropes" again but to no avail.  With her  tounge, she licked the page until she had been able to get the page to turn over.  It was then she realized that the book actually  seemed to have only two pages in it. 


   Given the size of the book's binding, this seemed odd.  What was incredible was that the next page  was decorated with wonderful artwork.  gilded in gold brocade, it was almost like  a map.  It portrayed the various natural forces and  their respective directions, east was sun, west was water, north was ice and south was fire. There were other various drawings and  symbology in it, like the yin and yang, but in the middle was some Chinese text that Amber strained to see.


   This was it!  The secret of the magic Book of Spells and their bewildering powers would finally be revealed.  The chinese was hard to  read because of the script and decorations, and she could see it was in the older traditional Hong Kong style of writing which featured  more complex characters.  On the inside cover it said, "To Jobi, All the magic you'll ever need!" in handwritten English.


    But what she read, or what she thought she read from those characters, astounded her.


   As far as she could make out, it said "There is no such thing as magic. The natural world operates by scientific principles which we can harness for good. Knowledge is power.  All the magic in the world comes from inside you, but that is all the magic you'll ever need!   Love, Your Sister."  And then there was a little door that opened a jewelry box.


   And that is how Amber learned the truth about the Book of Spells and her magic powers: lying tied up and kidnapped on a hotel bed in Mt.  Baldy, with her nose an inch away from what she thought was the last hope she had.  And it was telling her there that was no hope for a magic escape after all.  She was dead, and she knew it.  When the guy came back and she told him the truth, he wouldn't believe it and he would beat her trying to get to her tell him what he wanted to hear until she probably died. 


   Then outside she heard the last car pull out from the parking lot and she knew her time was running out.  Before she had more time to think, Mr. Deerlodge was banging on the door with his foot again and entering the room.  She quickly rolled  over but it was too late, he had seen that the book was not where he left it and that her face had been buried in the book when the door  opened.


   "What have we here!" he cried.  "Trying to sneak a peek, eh?"

   She pretended to be passed out, and didn't move. 

   "Oh, come off it, miss.  I know you're awake.  It takes thirty seconds to breathe it in, but the chloroform only lasts twenty minutes,  ok?  I saw you roll over."

   She didn't move. This enraged him.

   "I saw you!  ROLL OVER!" he screamed.

   She screamed right back at him, as loud as she could.  Maybe someone would hear.

   "Ha ha!" he laughed and his whole body shook.  "Those last customers just went!  Now we're here in the mountains, who'd ya think's gonna  hear?  The mountain lions?!"

   He grabbed her by the legs and wrenched her around.  "Now you're gonna do what I tell you to." He said through clenched teeth.

   He yanked her hands by the rope and dragged her across the bed from behind until she was falling and hit the floor with a thump on her  butt which sent pain shooting through her.


   "Now, you little brat," he shouted.  "We know that book is magic.  YOU know that book is magic.  You better not read any magic spells  from it to use on me or I will beat you so hard."  He showed her the hammer he had stuffed into his back pocket.  He took it out and  slammed it once on the carpet right next to her to scare her.  "When you called on the phone and asked about it I remembered how weird  it was that during the winter that little pool pump room didn't get snowed in.  And strange noises coming from it.  And once when I put  it on the table it moved by itself!"


   She looked up at him from the floor, but was still reeling in shock from the fall.  She shook her head no.

"Don't tell me NO!  WE KNOW.  Ok?  WE KNOW!  That Chinese word on the cover means magic, I figured it out on the internet!  Now sit up  and answer some questions."  He yanked her by her arms into a sitting position against the bed.  "tell me how to make it work!"

   "I don't, I don't know..." she stammered.

   "What do those words say?" he jabbed hs finger into the page with the illustrations.

   "I don't know." She pleaded.  "I've never seen that book before."

   "YOU'RE LYING, LIKE YOUR SISTER!  We KNOW you KNOW."  With each of the words "know" he kicked her in the thigh from the side.   "You are  going to use that book's magic, ok?  You are going to use it to do what we tell you to do.  You are going to use it to cast spells on our customers so they overpay for their meals!  And then we'll get rich and start our own restaurant down the hill where people actually  live, OK?"  He was practically foaming at the mouth now.  "Where people actually could appreciate my cooking!!!"  


   Suddenly, Amber got an idea.  "Ok," she sighed.  "Ok, I give up."  She let her body slump some.  "I'll tell you."

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