Prodigal

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A voice whispers in her ear at night, promising her a new life, urging her to let go of the reality she knows. The voice could only belong to one person, her brother Ethan, but his body, broken by drugs, lies cold in the morgue. An invisible hand has opened the door for Lucy and her sisters and though Lucy questions her parents they have receded into their private existence where nothing can touch them.

Lucy is quickly losing touch with her reality of white fences and pristine ...

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Overview

A voice whispers in her ear at night, promising her a new life, urging her to let go of the reality she knows. The voice could only belong to one person, her brother Ethan, but his body, broken by drugs, lies cold in the morgue. An invisible hand has opened the door for Lucy and her sisters and though Lucy questions her parents they have receded into their private existence where nothing can touch them.

Lucy is quickly losing touch with her reality of white fences and pristine lawns. She is drawn beyond that door into the dark abyss where her brother waits and evil is hiding in the shadows. Each day the voice grows stronger, demanding that she journey far away to the place that stole her brother's mind and body. As the secret unfolds, the Prodigal emerges.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585867530
  • Publisher: eReads.com
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Read an Excerpt

1

Ethan came into Lucy's room without warning, without knocking. He always did whatever he felt like. She didn't even see or hear the door open; she had her eyes closed and her earphones on. Before she knew he was there, Ethan was beside her bed, leaning close over her and breathing bad breath into her face as if he was trying to say something, and he had his hands around her neck.

Ethan had been missing for a long time. Everybody knew he was dead.

Lucy slapped his hands away and pulled back from him against the wall. "Ethan!"

This wasn't a dream. She had lots of weird dreams about her dead brother Ethan; in some of them, he tried to kill her because what had happened to him was somehow her fault. In the dreams, and for a while before and after, Lucy believed it was her fault, even though she couldn't understand how, even though Ethan was the one who'd kept getting in trouble, who'd gotten into drugs, who'd run away and not come back. The times when she believed it was her fault weren't as scary as the times when she knew she couldn't have done anything to keep her brother safe, and neither could Mom or Dad.

This wasn't a dream. She wasn't asleep. It was the middle of a drizzly Saturday afternoon in May, and she was taking a break from chores and lying on her bed listening to the Top Forty Countdown, hoping she'd get through to number one before Mom or Dad found her and made her finish dusting. Maxx Well the deejay had been just about to announce number three when Ethan showed up in her room.

She took the earphones off and laid them in the sheets. Now the music sounded funny, voices without mouths. Ethan was still leaning over her, stillhad his mouth open, still had his hands raised and cupped to choke her. He could still reach her if he just straightened out his arms, and she couldn't move any farther back. She drew up her knees, crossed her arms over her chest. "What are you doing here? What's going on? Are you in trouble again?" That was a dumb question. Ethan was always in trouble.

He didn't say anything. She turned off the radio. Now she never would know what this week's number one was. Ethan's mouth hung open. She could see his tongue, coated white, and his dirty teeth. His breath made her sick to her stomach.

"God, Ethan, don't you ever brush your teeth?"

He still didn't say anything. He was trying to; his mouth twisted and awful choking sounds came out. But she couldn't understand him. He leaned and shook till she thought for sure he'd fall on top of her.

She longed to hug him again, like when they were little. She'd dreamed about hugging him, about punching him for all the stupid things he'd done, about holding on to him so he couldn't run away again. But she knew Ethan was dead.

"I'm going to get Mom or Dad." She scrambled to her hands and knees on the bed and started to crawl toward the foot, thinking she could circle around him. He put both hands on her shoulders and pushed her down.

Lucy screamed. "Mom! Dad!" She covered her head with a pillow, pulled the bedspread over her. When Mom came running into her room and Lucy opened her eyes again, Ethan was gone.

Copyright © 1991 by Melanie Tem

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    A Good Horror Story, but Some Holes in the Plot

    Before I add my own 2 cent review here, I would like to warn readers to disregard the editorial review. I get the impression this person never actually read the book. Lucy, age 11, is the third of seven children in the Brill family. The oldest, her brother Ethan, has gone missing after running away from a home for troubled adolescents, and is presumed dead. He had a history of doing drugs and getting into trouble with the law and his parents had sent him to the home where he fell under the care of Jerry Johnston, a social worker. Lucy, however, observes her brother from time to time, sometimes passively passing by a window and other times appearing in her room and violently attacking her. He disappears just as quickly leaving Lucy to wonder if his appearances are real or imagined. Her mother sees him, too, on occasion and it is their own little secret. Eventually, Ethan is found dead of a suspected overdose. Shortly after that, the Brill's number two child, daughter Rae, begins acting out, and her parents once again enlist the help of Jerry Johnston to talk to her on a weekly basis. Then Rae suddenly goes missing as well, and the family struggles to keep themselves together. Just as with Ethan, Lucy occasionally sees her sister, but in this case it is her father that sometimes sees Rae as well. Experiencing difficulty with dealing with the loss of both her brother and sister, Lucy is enrolled in a classroom guidance program overseen by--you guessed it--Jerry Johnston. We soon begin to realize that Jerry is an evil presence who feeds on the hurt and anger of troubled kids. I won't give the story away, but the suspense builds as Jerry begins to take control of Lucy, leading her to what would be a similar fate as her brother and possibly her sister--unless he is discovered and stopped. The story, however, does not explain Lucy's sightings of both her brother and sister--were they real or imagined?--nor does it explain a couple of bizarre sexually-charged scenes Lucy observes between her mother and Ethan and between her father and Rae. All in all, this was a page turner, but with a few major holes in the plot line.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Ally

    This was an amazing book love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im definetly reading more books like this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    This+made+me+a+fan

    I+was+hooked.+Great+story.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    This book was excellent

    I wish I understood what actually went on it this book, however, it was a really great read. It had me thinking a lot. I just finished it and trying to figure out the "deeper meaning". It was short but really really good. This author is very original and I have really never read anything like this one.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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