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Authors: Kami Garcia

Dream Dark

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The Story No One Ever Heard

Smal towns are known for lots of smal things, but they’re known for some big things, too. Like stories that start out as smal as the town itself, until folks grow them. You can’t grow tales any tal er than we do here in Gatlin. Maybe it’s because we’re so close to Charleston, home to more haunted houses than unhaunted






unbelievable than the next. Why should Gatlin be any different? And why did it take me almost seventeen years to figure that out?

Some of the things that happened to me in the last year—true things—were so big and so impossible, they felt like lies. I discovered my girlfriend was a Supernatural, a Caster with a curse. Lena split her Seventeenth Moon and Claimed herself both Light and Dark. I found myself locked in a battle with supernatural creatures that could rival the ones in any comic book. It was just the icing on the cake that Macon Ravenwood, who had once been an Incubus himself, found his way back from the dead.

That was al before July. When we got back to Gatlin after our terrifying trip to the Great Barrier, the stories—the truths that should have been lies—got even bigger.

One thing did, anyway. My best friend, Link.

Probably the biggest thing that happened this summer—aside from the heat that wouldn’t stop overheating and the creepy crawlers that wouldn’t stop creeping or crawling—was the introduction of a Linkubus to the unsuspecting world of Gatlin. It was worthy of the whole front page of
The Stars and
, the biggest story no one ever heard. Which is a good thing, I guess. Because if anyone had heard it, Mrs. Lincoln would have found herself with a lot of explaining to do. It wasn’t like the Baptists had an official religious stance on Immortals—aside from the heavenly kind—but the word Incubus had some less-than-stel ar connotations. Let’s just say it wasn’t exactly something Link’s mom would’ve been

anxious to share with the reverend when it was time to give her testimony in church.

Linkubus wouldn’t have gone over much better.

The way Link told it, the whole thing had dropped on his head out of nowhere, like the anvil that always fel on the coyote in those old Road Runner cartoons.

When I tried to point out that getting bitten by a hybrid Incubus like John Breed should’ve been Link’s first clue about what was happening, he shrugged it off and said, “You weren’t there, dude.

One minute I’m sittin’ in front a my mom’s biscuits ’n’

gravy, lookin’ at half a pig for my second breakfast and thinkin’ about my third. The next minute, everything changed.…”

Okay, I wasn’t there. But the way he told it, it almost felt like I was. Stil , I’m getting ahead of myself.

This is the story of Gatlin’s first, and only, Linkubus. You won’t read about it in
The Stars and
, and you won’t hear it from anyone but me.

Lena said I should write it down, so here goes.

Someone ought to know, someday.

It’s the truest tal tale in town.

“Wesley Lincoln! You get that fork movin’ right now, young man! Don’t you tel me this poor pig gave its life in vain!”

Link was sitting in front of a plate loaded down with bacon and his mother’s biscuits ’n’ gravy. There was nothing different about this breakfast, not from the perspective of the pig, anyway. Or Mrs. Lincoln.

The table was covered with the same sad-looking biscuits, the same thick white gravy. And if Link was lucky, there was probably stil a little something left in the bottom of the jar of Amma’s apricot freezer jam.

There was only one problem.

For the first time in his entire life, Link wasn’t hungry. But tel ing his mom that was like trying to explain that Baptists and Methodists aren’t al that different. You might be able to explain it, but not to the Baptists or the Methodists around here.

“Yes, ma’am.” So he kept his head down, staring at the same breakfast he had eaten a hundred times before, maybe even a thousand.

The one he’d always liked until this morning.

“I stil don’t see that fork movin’.” Though Mrs.

Lincoln’s fork was operating at lightning speed. Her hands flashed back and forth over the biscuits like she was trying out for captain of the clean plate club.

“I’m not that hungry, Mom. I think I caught a stomach bug or somethin’.” Link mustered up the most pathetic expression he could manage. It was the same one he gave his teachers when he didn’t finish his assignments. They’d seen it so many times that it had stopped working back around fifth grade.

His mother’s eyes narrowed, her fork hovering above her plate. “The only bug you’ve ever had was a bad case a head lice from playin’ with Jimmy Weeks, after
told you he wasn’t
kinda people.”

It was true. Link never got sick, and his mom knew that better than anyone. “If this is your way a tel in’ me that you don’t care for my biscuits ’n’ gravy, then cook your own breakfast from now on. You hear me, Wesley?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Link scooped up a bite with his good arm—the one that wasn’t in a sling—but he couldn’t bring himself to eat it. He stared at the white gravy. It looked harmless enough. But it smel ed like a heart-stopping mix of old aluminum, dirt, rancid butter, and, worst of al , his mom’s fingernails. He’d rather eat Jimmy Weeks’ lice.

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