Chapter 16 titled, “Twists And Turns,” is when the book really takes a turn into the darkest bowels of the story. Hallie is discovering dark and angry truths about her brother while also discovering bone chilling clues about his possible kidnappers. I had a lot of fun researching the history and genealogies of gnomes. I remember getting so excited after a whole day of discoveries that I told my friend all about the gnomes that night at dinner. She grabbed my hand with deep concern in her eyes and asked me, “You know gnomes aren’t real right?” We still laugh about that today. Sometimes I do get so into my imagination I forget to crawl out to dwell in reality. Thank God for friends that help you out;)
Well I hope you enjoy excerpts from this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it:
Twists And Turns
Hallie lifted up the box and read the word BLOODLINES on the very front. Snug inside the box rested an ancient book. She dug her hands in and scooped out the innards. Turning the sepia-toned pages with respect, she understood that its contents were what the title on the box announced: bloodlines of the entire gnome genealogy.
The teen sat against the half wall and rested the book on her lap, examining the names by scrolling her finger down the pages. This book’s gotta explain more about these monstrous gnomes on that box—some kinda mixed race that probably has Collin in its clutches right now. From the disturbing pictures, this hybrid species seemed capable of just about anything.
She stood up, waiting a minute for the circulation to come back into her cramped legs, and then boosted herself up through the hole in the wall. On the other side, she straightened up, gawking at what she saw. Gaping back at her was a colored mural of a huge tree with its leaves withered, and dangling at the end of each bare branch were hanging children. Most of the dying children appeared to be ten or older. Even if this painting were placed in the most prestigious art studio, it would be morbid and sick. But displayed in a buried underground tunnel used to hunt and trap children was bone-chilling and terrifying. Staring in disbelief, Hallie noticed new paint, making one boy stand out brighter than the others. He looked exactly like her brother. Arms crossed, he scowled, blinded to the dangers that were choking him to death.
Deep sobs gushed from Hallie’s throat. How could this have happened? And what depths was she going to have to reach to find her brother? Was it too late? Was this demented mural Collin’s fate, sealed in this God-forsaken crypt like a foreboding prophecy? Swallowed up in the belly of Collin’s nightmare, Hallie fell on her knees, weeping. She found it hard to breathe, her head pounded, and then nausea overtook her.
“Where are you?” she moaned. “Where—are—you! WHERE! ARE! YOU! . . . FATHER!”
She trembled, her ears rang, and sweat poured down her back. “Were we merely playing a game of make-believe? Are You just an imaginary friend I’ve dreamed up to hide away the loneliness? Are You? I can’t do this on my own! When I believe in You I am fearless, powerful. Without You I am just a frail shell of what I wish I could be.” Hallie, empty, slumped down. Then she heard a soft whisper, “Look up.”
A chord of hope struck in her heart, and she lifted her eyes back to the mural. She caught a thin glimmer of sunlight supernaturally streaming down upon the highest branch of the blackened tree. At the very tip, instead of a withering leaf, hung a vibrant green chrysalis with a delicately painted girl emerging, face toward the sun.
The girl was Hallie.
I have discovered that when I am searching for meaning in situations or reaching goals there are TWISTS AND TURNS as well.They are sometimes disturbing or often times hard places that make me feel like I want to give up. If you feel this way too, let me encourage you to keep going because the TWISTS AND TURNS in your life are usually the very important information that you can see God transform you to overcome those obstacles or can lead you to your destination. It is darkest before the dawn, and hope is the strength we need to turn the corner.