Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale by John Phythyon Excerpt

Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale by John Phythyon
$2.99 or FREE for Prime Members

Be careful what you wish for. . . .

Rory Bellin dreams of a better life. As a senior at Lawrence High, she yearns to be taken seriously for her accomplishments – she’s editor-in-chief of the school paper, president of three clubs, and on track to graduate with a 4.0 GPA and admission to Yale. But all anyone, even her mother, cares about is LHS regaining its former football glory and winning a state championship.

Caleb Johnson dreams of a better life. He aches to be able to lead Lawrence High to its first football championship in eighteen years and to date the most beautiful girl in school – Rory Bellin. But, as the third-string running back, he never plays, he has a face no one could love, and, whenever he tries to talk to Rory, his usually glib tongue turns to clay.

But maybe Mr. Nickleby, the new English teacher and newspaper advisor, can help. He has the key to both of their desires. He’s willing to make their dreams come true.

Of course, getting what you wish for has a price. But that doesn’t matter, right? If you want something badly enough, you’ll do anything to get it, no matter what it costs. Even if it’s your soul.

Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale is a contemporary take on the classic story by the author of the Wolf Dasher series. John R. Phythyon, Jr. weaves a dark fairy tale both familiar and fresh about understanding what’s important, finding one’s place in the world, and the consequences of obsession.

Be careful what you wish for . . . you might just get it!


Rory chewed her lower lip. She felt completely depressed.
“I wish there was some way to do that,” she said.
“I beg your pardon?” Mr. Nickleby said.
Suddenly, he looked different. He looked . . . hopeful.
“I said, ‘I wish there was some way to do that.’”
He pushed off the doorframe and took a step forward. The wolfish grin was back on his face.
“Maybe there is,” he said.
She cocked her head. What was he up to?
“What do you mean,” she asked.
He withdrew his left hand from his pocket, turned it over, and opened it. There was a silver ring in his hand.
“Maybe this could help,” he said, his voice barely louder than a whisper.
“A ring?” she said. Was he serious?
“Not just any ring, Rory,” he said. “A ring of three wishes.”
This could not be happening. The new teacher at the school, the advisor to The Budget could not be offering her a ring and claiming it was magical. What kind of fantasy story had she just fallen into?
“Oh, I know,” he said. He walked towards her slowly, his hand extended. “It sounds ludicrous. It sounds insane. But what if it’s real?”
There was a wild light in his eyes. His black hair fell across his face, and, this time, he made no effort to sweep it aside.
“What if it really is a ring of three wishes?” he continued. “What if you could use it to get whatever you desired?”
She stared at him skeptically. This wasn’t really happening, was it? Mr. Nickleby wasn’t really suggesting he had a magical ring.
She looked into his open hand. The ring was dull. It was wholly unremarkable. What was he playing at?
“I thought you were an English teacher, not a fortune teller,” she said.
He laughed at her joke. With an expert flick of his hand, he transferred the ring from his palm to his index finger and thumb. He held it up and looked into her eyes.
“I’m not a fortune teller, Rory,” he drawled. “And I’ve already used my three wishes, so the ring is useless to me. But you . . . you could use it to really change things here.”
Rory drew back. He’d used the ring?
“What did you wish for?” she said.
“That’s nobody’s business but mine,” he said. “Take the ring, use it, and those wishes are nobody’s business but yours.”

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