LISTEN TO ME. We don’t have much time.
My name is Whit Allgood. I guess you’ve heard of me and my sister, Wisty, and of the crazy stuff that’s happened, but here’s the thing: it’s so much worse than you think it is.
Trust me when I tell you that these are the worst of times and that the best of times are little more than a distant memory. And no one seems to be paying attention to what’s going on. Are you?
Imagine that all the things you love most in the world—and probably take for granted—are now banned. Your books, music, movies, art… all snatched away. Burned. That’s life under the New Order, the so-called government—or brutal totalitarian regime—that’s taken over this world. Now, with every waking breath, we have to fight for every freedom we have left. Even our imagination is at risk. Can you picture your government trying to destroy that? It’s inhuman.
And yet… they’re calling us criminals.
That’s right. Wisty and I are the offenders in that unhappy propaganda piece brought to you by the New Order. Our crime? Engaging in free thought and creativity.… Oh, and practicing the “dark and foul arts”—i.e., magic.
Did I lose you? Let me back up a bit.
One night not so long ago, my family was awakened by soldiers storming through our home. Wisty and I were cruelly torn from our parents and slammed into a prison—a death camp for kids. And for what?
They accused us of being a witch and a wizard.
But, the thing is, it turns out the N.O. was actually right about that: we didn’t know it at the time, but Wisty and I do have powers. Magic powers. And now we’re scheduled to be publicly executed, along with our parents.
That particular ghoulish event hasn’t taken place yet—though it will. I promise those of you who crave suspense, adventure, and bloodshed that you can look forward to it. And you will, if you’re anything like the rest of the brainwashed “citizenry” of our land.
But if you’re one of the few who’ve escaped the N.O.’s clutches, you need to hear my story. And Wisty’s story. And the story of the Resistance. So when we’re gone, there’s someone left to spread the word.
Someone to fight the good fight.
And so we begin with the story of another public execution: a sad and unfortunate event, an accident, as luck or fate would have it. In a phrase that I hate to use under any circumstances: a tragedy.
Excerpted from Witch & Wizard: The Gift by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
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