Half Wild (Half Bad)

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9780141350882: Half Wild (Half Bad)

After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift - a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, Soul O'Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?

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About the Author:

SALLY GREEN lives in north-west England. In 2010 she started writing and hasn't stopped since.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A New Day

a crossbill calls

another bird replies, not a crossbill

the first bird takes over again

and again

the crossbill—

shit, it’s morning

i’ve been asleep

it’s morning, very early

shit, shit, shit

need to wake up              need to wake up

can’t believe i’ve been asl—

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

SHIT!

the noise is here. HERE!

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

that level of noise means, oh shit, someone with a mobile is close. very close. i can’t believe i’ve been asleep with hunters on my tail. and her. the fast one. she was close last night.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

THINK! THINK!

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

it’s a mobile phone, for sure it’s a mobile phone. the noise is in my head, not in my ears, it’s to the upper right side, inside, constant, like an electrical interference, pure hiss, mobile hiss, loud, three-or-four-meters-away loud.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

ok, right, lots of people have mobiles. if it’s a hunter, that hunter, and she could see me, i’d be dead by now.

i’m not dead.

she can’t see me.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

the noise isn’t getting louder. she’s not moving closer. but she’s not moving away either.

am i hidden by something?

i’m lying on my side, face pressed into the ground. totally still. can’t see anything but earth. got to move a little.

but not yet. think first.

stay calm and work it out.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

there’s no breeze, no sun, just a faint light. it’s early. the sun must be behind the mountain still. the ground is cool but dry, no dew. there’s the smell of earth and pine and . . . there’s another smell.

what is that smell?

and there’s a taste.

a bad taste.

it tastes like . . . oh no—

don’t think about it

don’t think about it

don’t think about it

don’t think about it

think about something else

Think about where you are.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

You’re lying on the ground, in the early morning, and the air is cool. You’re cold. You’re cold because . . . you’re naked. You’re naked and the top half of you is wet. Your chest, your arms . . . your face are wet.

And you move the fingers of your left hand, the tiniest of movements, and they’re sticky. Sticking together. Like they’re coated with drying, sugary juice. But it’s not juice—don’t think about it don’t think about it don’t think about it don’t think about it

DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!

THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

THINK ABOUT STAYING ALIVE!

You’ve got to move. The Hunters are on your tail. That fast one was close. She was very close last night. What happened last night?

what happened?

NO! FORGET THAT.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

THINK ABOUT STAYING ALIVE.

WORK OUT WHAT TO DO.

You can look, move your head a fraction to see more. The ground by your face is covered with pine needles. Brown pine needles. But the brown isn’t from the pine. It’s the color of dried blood. Your left arm is extended. It’s streaked in it. Crusted with dried brown. But your hand isn’t streaked in it, it’s thick with it.

Red.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

You can find a stream and wash. Wash it all off.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

You need to go. For your own safety you have to get out of here. You need to get moving. Get away.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

The mobile phone is close, not changing. It won’t be coming closer.

But you have to look. You have to check.

Turn your head to the other side.

You can do it.

It looks a bit like a log. Please be a log please be a log please be a log please

It’s not a log . . . It’s black and red. Black boots. Black trousers. One bent leg, one straight. Black jacket. Her face is turned away.

She has short light-brown hair.

It’s sopping with blood.

She’s lying as still as a log.

Still wet.

Still oozing.

Not fast anymore.

The mobile phone is hers.

c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h c h

And as you raise your head you see the wound that is her throat, and it is jagged and bloody and deep and

red

Waiting

I’m back in Switzerland, high in a remote valley—not the one where Mercury’s cottage is but close to there, half a day’s hike away.

I’ve been here a few weeks now and I’ve gone back to Mercury’s valley a couple of times. The first time I retraced my steps, looking for the stream where I lost the Fairborn, the magic knife I stole from the Hunters. That Rose stole. I found the stream easily enough, and it wasn’t too hard to spot blood and some yellow stains on the ground. No Fairborn, though. I trailed up and down the stream, and all around that stained central spot: peering into bushes, looking under stones. It was getting ridiculous—I mean, looking under stones! I had to stop myself after two days’ searching. I’d started questioning if I’d ever really had the Fairborn at all; if an animal could have run off with it; if it had magically disappeared. It was getting to me. I’ve not been back to look for it since.

I’m waiting here now, in this other valley, at the cave. That was what we agreed, me and Gabriel, so that’s what I’m doing: waiting for Gabriel. He brought me here one day and hid his tin of letters in the cave—they’re the love letters between his parents, his one possession. The tin is in my rucksack now. And I’m here. And I tell myself that at least we have a plan. Which is a good thing.

It’s not much of a plan, though: “If things go wrong wait at the cave.”

And things have gone wrong—big-time.

I didn’t think we’d ever need the plan. I never thought things would go this wrong without me actually being dead. But I’m alive. I’m seventeen, a fully fledged, received-three-gifts witch. But I’m not sure who else is alive. Rose . . . Rose is dead . . . I’m certain of that; shot by Hunters. Annalise is in a death-like sleep, a prisoner of Mercury, and I know that she shouldn’t be left in that state for long or the death-like will become just plain death. And Gabriel is missing, still, weeks after we stole the Fairborn—four weeks and four days. If he was alive he’d be here and if the Hunters have caught Gabriel they’ll torture him and—

But that’s one of the things I don’t allow myself to think about. That’s one of my rules while I wait: don’t think about negative stuff; stick to the positive. The trouble is all there is for me to do is sit here, wait, and think. So every day I make myself go through all my positive thoughts and I tell myself each time that when I’ve been through them Gabriel will return. And I have to tell myself that’s still possible. He could still make it. I just have to keep positive.

OK, so positive thoughts, one more time . . .

First off, noticing stuff around me. There’s positive stuff everywhere and I notice the same positive stuff every positive bloody day.

The trees. Trees are positive things. Most are tall and fairly straight and thick, but a few are fallen and moss-covered. Most trees here have needles, not leaves, and the greens range from almost black to lime, depending on sunlight and age of needle. I know the trees here so well that I can close my eyes and see each one but I try not to close my eyes too much—it’s easier to stay positive with your eyes open.

From trees, I move to the sky, which is positive too, usually bright blue during the day and light black at night. I like the sky that color. Sometimes there are clouds and from what I can see of them they are big and white, not often gray, not bringing rain. They mainly move to the east. There’s no wind here: it never gets down to the forest floor.

What’s next? Oh yes, birds. Birds are positive and greedy and noisy—always chattering or eating. Some eat seeds and some eat insects. There are crows flying high above the forest but they don’t come in, not down to my level anyway. They’re black. Sharp black. Like they’ve been cut out with scissors from a piece of black paper. I look out for an eagle but I’ve never seen one here, and I wonder about my father and if he really did disguise himself as one and follow me and that seems so long ago—

Stop!

Thinking about my father does not belong here. I have to be careful when I’m thinking about him. I have to be strict with myself. It’s too easy to go negative otherwise.

So . . . back to the things around me. Where am I up to? I’ve done trees, sky, clouds, birds. Oh yes, we have silences . . . plenty of them. Huge silences. The silences at night could fill the Pacific Ocean. Silences, I love. There’s no buzzing here, no electrical interference. Nothing. My head is clear. I think I should be able to hear the river at the bottom of the valley but I can’t; the trees blot out the sound.

So that’s silences covered and then there are movements. Things that have moved so far: small deer, I’ve seen a few of them; they’re quiet and brown and sort of delicate and a bit nervous. Rabbits too, which are gray-brown, silent. And there are voles, gray-brown, and marmots, which are gray and quiet. Then there are spiders, black and silent; flies, black, silent until they’re close, then incredibly, hilariously noisy; one lost butterfly, cornflower blue, silent; falling pinecones, brown, not silent but making a gentle word as they land on the forest floor—“thu”; falling pine needles, brown, as noisy as snow.

So that’s positive: butterflies and trees and stuff.

I notice me too. I’m in my old boots. Heavy soles, flexible cos they’re so worn. The brown leather is scuffed and water gets in the right one through the ripped seam. My jeans are baggy, comfy, worn to threads, ripped at the left knee, frayed at the hems, blue once, gray now, stained by soil, some green streaks from climbing trees. Belt: thick black leather, brass buckle. It’s a good belt. T-shirt: white once, gray now, a hole at the right side, little holes on the sleeve like some fleas have nibbled at it. I don’t have fleas, I don’t think. I’m not itchy. I’m a bit dirty. But I wash some days, always if I wake up with blood on me. My clothes don’t have blood on them, which is something. I always wake up naked if I’ve—

Get back to thinking about clothes!

Where was I up to? T-shirt. And over my T-shirt is my shirt, which is warm and thick, wool—the plaid pattern still visible in green, black, and brown. There are three black buttons left on it. Hole on right side. Rip in left sleeve. I don’t have pants or socks. I had socks once; don’t know what happened to them. And I had gloves. My scarf is in my rucksack, I think. I haven’t looked in there for ages. I should do that. That’s something to do. I think my gloves are in there, maybe.

So now what?

More about me.

My hands are a mess. A real mess. They’re tanned, lined, rough; the scars on my right wrist are hideous, like melted skin; my nails are black and bitten to nothing, and there are the tattoos as well. Three tattoos on my right little finger and the large tattoo on the back of my left hand. B 0.5. A Half Code tattoo. Just so everyone knows what I am: half Black Witch. And in case they miss these tattoos there’s the one on my ankle and the one on my neck (my personal favorite).

But these are more than tattoos, more than brands: they’re some form of magic too. If the Hunters get me, if Mr. Wallend gets me, they’ll cut off my finger and put it in a witch’s bottle and then I’ll be in their power. They could use it to torture me or to kill me at any time by burning the bottle. That’s what I think they’d do. The tattoos are their way of having control over me. They’d use it to try to force me to kill my father.

Except I won’t ever kill my father. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to, because my father is still the most powerful Black Witch I’ve ever heard of and I’m nothing compared to him. I mean, I can fight OK and I can run OK but that’s not ever going to be enough against Marcus.

Shit! I’m thinking about him again.

I should go back to thinking about my body.

Sometimes my body does strange things. It changes. I need to think about that more. I need to try to work out how it changes, why it changes, and what the fuck it changes into.

I don’t ever remember it but I know it happens because I wake up naked and a little less hungry. Though sometimes I’m sick, vomiting up the night’s meal, then retching again and again. I don’t know if it’s cos my body can’t take what I’ve eaten. I eat small animals mainly, though I don’t remember catching them. But I know it’s happening cos there’re little bones in my vomit and rags of furry skin and blood. There was a tail once. A rat’s tail, I think. I know I change into some kind of animal. It’s the only explanation. I have the same Gift as my father. But I don’t remember any of it: not transforming, not being an animal, not transforming back. Nothing until I wake up after it all. I always sleep so I guess I must be exhausted by it.

I got a small deer last night. Woke up next to its half-eaten body. Haven’t puked that up. I think my ...

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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift - a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, Soul O Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?. Codice libro della libreria APG9780141350882

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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Most of all he needs to learn how to control his Gift - a strange, wild new power that threatens to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, Soul O Brien has seized control of the Council of White Witches and is expanding his war against Black witches into Europe. In response, an unprecedented alliance has formed between Black and White witches determined to resist him. Drawn into the rebellion by the enigmatic Black witch Van Dal, Nathan finds himself fighting alongside both old friends and old enemies. But can all the rebels be trusted, or is Nathan walking into a trap?. Codice libro della libreria APG9780141350882

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Descrizione libro Puffin, 2015. Condizione libro: New. After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Series: Half Bad. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: YFH. Category: (J) Children / Juvenile. Dimension: 198 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 294. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780141350882

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Descrizione libro Puffin. Condizione libro: New. After finally meeting his elusive father, Marcus, and receiving the three gifts that confirm him as a full adult witch, Nathan is still on the run. He needs to find his friend Gabriel and rescue Annalise, now a prisoner of the powerful Black witch Mercury. Series: Half Bad. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: YFH. Category: (J) Children / Juvenile. Dimension: 198 x 129 x 28. Weight in Grams: 294. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780141350882

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