THE CATS OF CULLABY CREEK
Think “The Animorphs” Grown Up
RELEASE DATE: January 21, 2016
LOVE IS ALWAYS RISKY
IN CULLABY CREEK IT’S DANGEROUS
IS IT ALREADY TOO LATE FOR SAVANNAH?
FIND OUT JANUARY 21st
Kelly and Kyle
These two shared some sort of history. And now I was in the middle of their story.
Sparks flew through the air. But, they didn’t seem to notice—or maybe they just didn’t care how uncomfortable they were making the rest of us.
I scanned the room. The terribly odd thing was that while they stood in the center of the cafeteria—arguing—everyone’s eyes were on me.
What is so interesting about me?
After a few seconds, I heard whispered accusations slammed back and forth, like a ping-pong ball. My name, muttered in odd and angry tones. No one seemed to mind staring at me, but only the bravest few were sneaking sideways glances over at Kelly and Kyle, hoping no one noticed.
This wasn’t what I needed on my first day at a new school. I hadn’t come here looking for instant enemies, but I knew I’d accidentally stirred a private pot and things were already starting to boil.
I needed to do something and quick. From the sounds floating around me, if they got into an actual argument, I was going to get the blame.
I spit out the first words I could think to say, “What’s a new kid to do, after school, around here… for fun?”
Kyle sighed and chuckled, “That depends on what you’re hoping to find and what you think is fun.” He stepped back away from Kelly for a moment. “You big city kids always think something needs to be going on. But in real life, in a small town, not much ever happens.”
“We could ask my Mom to drive us into Astoria to do some shopping,” I suggested. It was a little too obvious—even to me—Kelly wanted me out of the picture and was trying everything she could think of to keep me away from Kyle. I almost felt sorry for her—but only for a second.
“Or,” Kyle sat down and nodded for me to join him. I could feel a warm rush of air and his scent worked its way up inside my head. I barely heard him finish, “We could go for a run.”
“What?” Kelly demanded, clenching her hands into tight-balled fists at her side.
“Savannah,” Kyle lowered his voice and said my name slow, putting an emphasis on the last syllable, like it was a soft sigh, ‘ah’. And, for the first time in my life, I loved the sound of my own name. “Is a runner. And she’s fast. Aren’t ‘cha?” He nudged me and moved even closer. I could barely think. His smell overpowered my senses; it was the sweet woodsy scent of him that took me by surprise. I closed my eyes and drank it in.
When I opened them back up, Kelly’s eyes were shooting red flames of rage straight at me.
I gazed at Kyle and felt a warmth in my stomach again. It was working its way up into my chest. “That’s not what you said this morning,” I laughed then spun away.
“You two went running this morning?” Her voice came out in a squeak that broke into a high-pitched screech, like fingernails on a chalkboard.
“Yeah,” Kyle said casually, then back to me he added, “And, I’d like to see how fast you are.”
I wondered if everything he said was going to have a double meaning but I wasn’t ready to question his motives. He was my only real friend in this place, and it looked like I was going to need a few because I was making more than a few enemies, without even trying.
“I could use the exercise,” I nodded, looking around the table at the other kids’ faces and wondering why no one else had said a single word. “Plus, you could show me around the town.”
“No problem,” Kyle agreed, and I couldn’t help looking forward to it, even though I knew Kelly wasn’t going to be happy about my running off with Kyle. “But I only think it’s fair to warn you, there’s not much to see—so don’t get your hopes set too high.”
“Great—I mean about the exercise,” I smiled, and without even thinking how it might sound, I added, “Then it’s a date.”
Kelly only heard one word and it was like I’d pulled back a rubber band—hard—and snapped it against her forehead.
She wailed like a wounded animal, “Agghhh!” and spun around on her heels, stomping out of the room.
Kyle shrugged and started to walk toward the exit, then he twisted around to call out, “I’ll meet you out by the flag post after seventh period.” His lips curled softly, throwing me a quick backwards nod, “And, remember, it’s a date.” The last thing I saw was his warm, sensual grin, as he glanced around the room before he gave me an exaggerated wink—meant more for everyone else to see than for me, and then he disappeared out into the hall.
I wished he would have used a different word because he didn’t need to rub it in.
I shrugged. Who cares? I told myself, he’s been the nicest person in the entire school. If it weren’t for Kyle, I wouldn’t want to ever come back to Mist High.
The rest of the day dragged on and on. All I wanted was to see Kyle again, with his sleek body and powerful frame. But what I found fascinating was the casual way he had about himself. He said whatever he wanted, while I worried about everything I said, how it would be taken, and what people would think of me.
Somehow, Kyle was working his way into my system, like a powerful drug. And I was beginning to feel addicted. I couldn’t wait for our meeting out by the flag post.
Finally, after what seemed like absolutely for…ev…er, the bell rang.
I rushed out of class, down the hall, and out the front doors of the school to meet up with Kyle.
But as I got closer, my spine tingled. Something was wrong. I could feel it. Then I knew why.
Kyle wasn’t standing underneath the flagpole; someone else was there, waiting for me.
“Kelly,” I muttered under my breath.
She stood beneath the red, white, and blue banner with an enormous grin carved into her face, like a giant jack-o-lantern beaming up at me. But this look was way more sinister and gloating. My knees suddenly felt weak and my throat went dry.
This girl just kept surprising me.
When Savannah meets Kyle, its love at first sight. And why wouldn't it be? He's perfect, as far as she can tell. But when she starts finding dead animals in her yard and hears something scratching at her window at night, she starts to worry. What’s worse? Kyle appears whenever things go wrong. Maybe he isn't everything she thought he was. It's a complete mystery until she discovers the water in Cullaby Creek is being bottled and sold as vitamin “infused” water. Mistic Water promises the impossible. And then, like a magical elixir, it delivers. People who drink it feel younger, smarter, faster...healthier. But it doesn’t take long before side effects hit. Everyone begins to change or “tate”. Some are becoming dangerous animals. Literally. And the secret to what they are tating into has to be in the water…or is it something more?
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