Howlers (X-Files Young Adult Series #11)

Overview

The looming shadow of a bizarre, long-legged man. A howling mob of ghost-like figures. A woman's face contored in terror. What should have been a routine passport photo becomes a nightmare captured on film — a nightmare that appears to have come true. FBI Agent Fox Mulder recognizes the photos as "thoughographs" — the killer, Mulder is shocked to see the next thoughtograph develop — a frightening photos of his partner, Agent Dana Scully.

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1999 Mass Market Paperback BOOK STORE BUY OUT! THIS IS A BRAND NEW BOOK! This particular book has a remainder mark on the bottom indicating it was a deep discounted book. Some ... books may have a book store price sticker on them. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The looming shadow of a bizarre, long-legged man. A howling mob of ghost-like figures. A woman's face contored in terror. What should have been a routine passport photo becomes a nightmare captured on film — a nightmare that appears to have come true. FBI Agent Fox Mulder recognizes the photos as "thoughographs" — the killer, Mulder is shocked to see the next thoughtograph develop — a frightening photos of his partner, Agent Dana Scully.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064471855
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1999
  • Series: X Files YA Series , #11
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mary Lefante flipped down the sun visor and pulled a tube of deep red lipstick from the pocket of her US. Postal Service jacket. Her boyfriend, Billy, parked the car and glanced nervously from his rearview mirror to his side mirror. A furious rainstorm kept him from seeing more than a few yards in either direction. Even the windshield wipers couldn't quite keep up with the downpour. In the split second after each flap of the driver's side blade, Billy could make out the words on the sign he'd spotted a week before: 3 CENT COPIES/FAX SERVICE/PASSPORT FOTOS WHILE U WAIT.

Billy didn't like waiting. He lit a cigarette and revved the engine of the VW Beetle impatiently.

"It's just a damn passport photo," he told Mary, exhaling a cloud of smoke. "It's not the cover of Vogue.

Mary traced her lips, puckered, then checked her teeth.

"There's no reason I have to look like hell in it, is there? Settle down."

Billy glanced at his watch. "We're on a schedule here, he said.

"I know we're on a schedule here," she snapped back.

Mary pushed a strand of honey-blond hair out of her face and wiped away a smudge of eyeliner as Billy watched her with a mixture of exasperation and appreciation. Her stubbornness might drive him crazy sometimes, but she was the prettiest woman who had ever stuck around him for long. She had green eyes — cat's eyes, he called them — and God-given curls, not the kind made with chemicals. Looking at her, Billy wondered for thehundredth time whether it was a good idea to get her mixed up in this. Mary had earned an honest living for years before he came along. On the other hand; he never could have pulled it off without her.

Billy took another drag on his cigarette and reflexively checked his mirrors again. This time what he saw made him sink lower into his seat.

"Act natural," he murmured.

A black and white Traverse City, Michigan, police car glided past and disappeared down the rainy street. Mary kept on primping. She knew what Billy had seen; she simply wasn't as worried. She reached down for the door handle.

See you in ten," she said.

"Make it five," said Billy. "I'll be around back."

Mary climbed out of the VW and popped an umbrella over her head.

"Chill, Billy," were her parting words.

A smiling, white-haired druggist, the sort of man, Mary thought, who put the Pop in Mom-and-Pop, looked up from an Archie comic book when he heard the doorway bell jingle.

"Can I help you, ma'am?" he asked as she approached the counter.

"Passport photo," Mary answered, remembering Billy's instructions to hurry.

The old man took the hint and got down to business. He withdrew a commercial model, Polaroid camera from under the counter and positioned Mary at a taped X on the floor. Then, reaching behind her, he pulled down a blue background screen.

"Been to London once," he said as he paced off the six feet required for proper framing. "They hardly looked at my passport."

He lifted the camera and peered through the viewfinder as Mary took a final swipe at a wild strand of hair.

"Smile, now," he said.

Mary smiled wide. The flash from the camera made her blink. By the time she could focus, the druggist had ripped the covered print out of the passport camera and put it on the counter.

"It'll take a few minutes," he said as he made his way around to the other side of the counter. "Big trip you got planned?" Most people, he knew, liked to talk about their trips abroad.

Mary walked toward the cash register.

"Oh, you know," she said, wishing the old man would hustle more, talk less. "Nothing special. Just good to have a passport."

Mary thought of Billy waiting anxiously in the car. He'd been ready to leave the country weeks ago. He was the nervous type, but it was good that one of them was. The problem for her were the people here she was going to. miss. She'd learned to like Traverse City. It, had always been too small-town for Billy. Too slow. Billy couldn't wait to see Holland. He'd been talking about Amsterdam ever since, they'd come up with the plan.

The bell above the door jingled again, and Mary was vaguely aware of someone in a bright yellow rain slicker entering the store.

She looked out through the glass doorway, keeping an eye on the street. The voice of the druggist interrupted her thoughts.

"Looks like is clearing up. Might be a nice day after all."

Mary returned his smile.

"That'll be six ninety-five," the druggist said.

She checked her pants pockets, found nothing there, closed her eyes and shook her head in disgust. She'd left her wallet in her jacket pocket. Billy was going to freak.

"I left my money in the car," she said to the druggist. "I'll be right back."

He smiled. "I'll be here," he promised.

Mary pushed through the door and popped her umbrella open. Inside, the druggist put away the camera. He turned, ready to attend to his other customer, but the person in the slicker had exited right after the woman.

Outside, Mary was upset with her own, carelessness and feared what Billy was going to say. She trudged down the sidewalk toward the corner, the raindrops pelting her umbrella noisily. She didn't hear the footsteps behind her, but she felt a sharp prick in her shoulder as a form brushed by her.

"Ow! Hey, you jerk!" she snapped, but the yellow-clad figure kept walking and didn't look back.

She stood there wondering why the person didn't turn around. Reaching back to the spot where she'd felt the prick, she was surprised to see a dot of blood on her hand. Then dizziness hit her with a confusing suddenness. Mary's face lost its color, and she began to blink rapidly. She wanted someone to tell her what was happening, but the only word she was able to get out of her mouth was "What..."

The X-Files #11: Howlers. Copyright © by Everett Owens. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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