Willow – Chapter 0


Here is the final installment of my Chapter 0 series for A Book Without Dragons. (Which hits the shelves in less than a week, can you believe it?? Have you been keeping up with your clues for the coupon code? By the way, it is precisely 7:55. Click Here if you’re not sure what I’m talking about)

Let’s take a look at what Willow was doing just before the book begins…


Jasper told him to keep the windows covered at all times, but it was a rule that Willow broke at least once a day. It wasn’t that he was claustrophobic or even all that unhappy about being in the hotel suite every day—he was never particularly “outdoorsy”—but he did enjoy seeing the sky.

Willow sat on the floor and eased the heavy curtains away until he saw sunlight. Without meaning to, his mind did some quick calculations to determine if any of his satellites were currently over Chagrin Heights. They weren’t, but one would be orbiting in another hour. He’d have to remember to look out the window again then.

He wouldn’t be able to actually see it, of course, but it gave him a strange sense of comfort. Part of him couldn’t help but anthropomorphize these contraptions that he had spent most of his life designing and maintaining.

If the satellites could feel right now, Willow was sure that none of those emotions would be pleasant. Everyone hated them right now. Everyone blamed them for all of the trouble that had recently entered their lives.

From the next room, Willow thought he heard the news station returning, but it turned out to be another commercial. He sighed, turning his gaze back to the clouds.

He didn’t normally baby-sit the news, but today was different. Someone claimed to have abducted Willow Ayers, and for the moment everyone believed that he really did have the famous scientist at gunpoint.

Willow didn’t know who the hostage actually was, but felt responsible for him just the same. He wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything until he knew for sure that the poor guy was okay.

Maybe everything would be fine. Maybe the situation would be settled before his satellite was overhead in 48 minutes.

But then Willow remembered that the clocks were wrong, so he couldn’t really calculate when Satellite Number Four would pass by, and the thought made him so sad he didn’t know if he could get up from the floor.

It turned out that standing wouldn’t be an issue after all. He heard the sound of a ‘breaking story’ coming from the TV, and was back on his feet and heading for the living room faster than he thought possible.


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