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The Seventh Sense (Mystics Book 1) - Ebook

The Seventh Sense (Mystics Book 1) - Ebook

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Abandoned and forgotten, Zoey St. John has spent her life alone on the streets, struggling to stay one step ahead of the law and whatever monsters lurk in the shadows.

But when a secret group of Agents arrives, her world changes forever. Swept away to join The Agency—an elite organization of supernatural peacekeepers—Zoey is trained as an Operative and sent on dangerous missions.

When she discovers a dark and powerful secret, it sets off a quest that will test her courage and strength like never before.

Follow Zoey and her team of Operatives as they battle demons, race against time, and risk everything to save a shattered world. 


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Abandoned and forgotten, Zoey St. John has spent her life alone on the streets, struggling to stay one step ahead of the law and whatever monsters lurk in the

But when a secret group of Agents arrives, her world changes forever. Swept away to
join The Agency—an elite organization of supernatural peacekeepers—Zoey is
trained as an Operative and sent on dangerous missions.

When she discovers a dark and powerful secret, it sets off a quest that will test
her courage and strength like never before.

Follow Zoey and her
team of Operatives as they battle demons, race against time, and risk
everything to save a shattered world. 


Look Inside Chapter 1

Zoey rounded a corner in the alley, and something moved along the
wall in front of her. She could see green and red scales glinting like jewels
in the soft light as the head and body of a giant snake crossed the alley
behind Poo Ping Palace Thai Cuisine, blocking her way. It had a second head,
instead of a tail, and both heads licked the air with their gray forked tongues
and spoke together.

“We are not going back.
You can’t make us. We will rip your heart out if you try, human.”

She had no idea what it was talking about. It was the third creature
that she had seen today, and the nastiest. Foamy white venomous spit puddled on
the ground below its heads.

Zoey swallowed her fear.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she answered, her voice steady. She
measured the alleyway for an escape and made sure no one else was watching her.

“I’m just on my way home,” she continued, “and I don’t want any
trouble, Mr. Snake—or is it, Mrs. Snake? I can’t really tell since your
back-end has a head—or is that the
head, and your other head is your
back-end? How do you even go to the—”

“It lies!” Hatred flashed in its yellow eyes.

Both heads opened their maws to reveal teeth like rows of kitchen

“It wants to kill us! It’s trying to trick us.”

The heads spoke to each other, “You can never trust a human—they are
all liars and tricksters! It wants to send us back! But we won’t go. No—we will
never go back!”

It turned both heads back toward Zoey, “We won’t let you!”

Zoey wasn’t about to be squeezed to death by the Mr. and Mrs. Snake
Freak Show—she had big plans for her future. She had to do something right now.

The snake recoiled to strike.

She didn’t even have enough time to rummage through her backpack for
a weapon when the giant snake shot up in the air, just like a jack-in-the-box,
and soared towards her.

A door burst open, and a dark-skinned man in a stained apron rushed
out. “Hey! What are you doing there?” he yelled angrily.

The creature slumped to the ground and retreated into the shadows
with a hateful hiss, faster than Zoey thought possible for such a large snake.

The man tossed two large black garbage bags on the ground and waved
his fist furiously at Zoey. “You’re the one who’s been spraying graffiti on my
walls, aren’t you? Get out of here kid, before I call the police!”

Zoey smiled and sprinted away down the alleyway, but not before she
caught a glimpse of the giant snake disappearing through a basement window.

With the angry man’s voice still ringing in her ears, she reached
the end of the alley and turned right onto Wade Street. The old maple trees
that lined the street on either side were the only visible vegetation. She ran
through the orphan district and passed a series of rundown buildings and
boarded up factories, relieved to have escaped.

It would have been too good to be true—to have had an entirely
uneventful day. The monsters always found her.

Number 85 Wade Street was a ghost-gray, crumbled old house with a
lopsided roof, a large, rotten wooden porch, peeling window panes, and a
chipped beige door that had once been painted white. The front lawn was a mess
of dandelions and knee-high straw grass. Zoey ran up the stairs, pushed through
the front door, and dashed straight through to the kitchen at the opposite end
of the house. She slipped her backpack off her shoulders, and it dropped to the
floor with a soft plop.

“You’re late.”

Foster mother number 28 had a huge, purple vein that throbbed on her
forehead as she spoke. She reminded Zoey of a gorilla in a tight workout
outfit. She was thick and beefy, with a mess of black hair on the top of her
large head and dark facial hair that sprouted from her chin like grasses. She
could easily have passed for a man. Although she usually frowned like this,
there was something different about her today. Her eyes were dim, as though she
was in a trance.

Zoey’s skin prickled with icy goosebumps.

“How many times have I warned you, Zoey? Late means no supper. You’ll just have to starve
until tomorrow.”

Zoey forgot about the eerie feeling she had just felt in an

“But it’s only ten past six,” she protested as her stomach gave a

She looked down at herself. Her shapeless sweater hung loosely over
her skinny frame, and her blue jeans were two sizes too big. The only things
that fit properly were her black and white Converse

Foster mother number 28’s upper mustache twitched as she examined

“It’s your own fault, rules are rules. If you’d pay more attention
to them and spend less time in that library looking up God knows what on the
Internet, you’d be on time like the rest of us.” Her voice rang out in the
small kitchen like a bullhorn.

“You can sit beside Thomas and watch him and the other children eat.
Sit!” she ordered.

Zoey staggered towards the kitchen table, pulled out a chair, and
sat. She knew arguing was a losing battle, so she looked around the table

Thomas was an eleven-year-old boy with large front teeth and a
nervous laugh. His brown eyes widened, and he gave her a quick smile before
returning to his supper. Isabelle and Andy sat across the table. Isabelle was a
thirteen-year-old girl with a sponge cake of curly, brown hair, and a fondness
for makeup and large costume jewels. Andy sat beside her. Although he hid his
face behind layers of black hair, Zoey could see red around his eyes. She
guessed he was about ten. He had only been with them for a few days and hadn’t
said a word yet.

“How you feeling today, Andy?” whispered Zoey.

She edged closer trying to get a better look at his face.

“You haven’t touched your supper. Aren’t you hungry?”

But Andy didn’t answer. Instead, he stared gloomily into his bowl of
stew, not really seeing it. His sad eyes were somewhere far away.

Zoey knew that look. The foster system had that effect on children.
They were lonely and abandoned, never to be found or loved again. It was a
horrible prospect. They were society’s rejects, throwaways—even their own
families wouldn’t take care of them. Every foster kid she had known had counted
the days until their eighteenth birthday—the day when they would be considered
adults when they would be free.

Zoey had four more years to go.

“What were you doing in the library?” whispered Thomas, careful not
to attract foster mother number 28’s attention. And when Zoey didn’t answer, he
sighed heavily and went back to his stew. He seemed to be the only one interested
in eating the gluey, brown clumps.

It’s not that Zoey didn’t want
to tell Thomas what she’d been reading on the net; she just couldn’t bring
herself to tell him. Relentless research on the Internet about demons and the
occult wasn’t a normal thing for a fourteen-year-old girl to do.

And Zoey was far from normal.

In fact, she was the complete opposite
of normal. Instead of drooling over boy bands, makeup, and clothes—like normal
teen girls—she’d use every free moment to investigate supernatural phenomena.
She’d be all over anything to do with monsters and the supernatural. It was
like an addiction. She was a walking supernatural Wikipedia.

Zoey was afraid of how people would react to her if they knew that
she could see monsters. She knew she wasn’t normal. And she was desperate to
find the truth about who she was. She’d kept her abilities a secret and had
done her best to blend in with the normal kids. The problem was, trouble always
seemed to find Zoey.

She slouched in her chair and sighed. “Well, I guess I’m not missing
much. I’ve eaten so much beef stew in my life, it’s a miracle I haven’t grown a
pair of hooves.”

Isabelle looked over at Thomas, and both were suddenly overcome by
fits of giggles.

 “BE QUIET!” Foster mother
number 28 slammed her fist on the table, sending cups, knives, plates, and
spoons spinning on to the floor.

“I’ve had just about enough of you, you little delinquent. Think
you’re above the rules, don’t ya? Well, you’re not! You ain’t nothin’ but
trash, Zoey; miserable leftover trash.”

She gripped the sides of the kitchen table, and beads of sweat
rolled down her fat face. “We should have left you to rot in that orphanage,”
she said with a nasty smile.

 “Well, maybe you should

Zoey glanced casually at her dirty finger-nails. She picked at them
and shrugged. “But I guess the government’s checks helped you make that
decision. I mean—let’s be real here—it’s the only reason why we’re all here,
isn’t it? All of us cramped up in one room? I don’t know about the rest of you,
but I don’t feel any love.”

Her foster mother frowned sourly and examined Zoey as if she were
contagious. “With that cheeky attitude, no one will ever want you. You’ll never
belong anywhere. You’ll never have a real
family. You’ll be stuck in this system forever.”

Although Zoey felt a pain in her chest, her expression remained
stone cold. “Not forever. I’ve got four more years to go, and then I’ll be
kissing this system good-bye.”

“They told us you were different
back at the orphanage—”

Her foster mother pointed her stew-coated spoon at Zoey as though it
were a sword. “—but except for that awful red hair of yours that looks like a
forest fire and your disregard for rules, I’ve never seen anything different or
special about you. You’re just like every other foster kid that comes through
here…nothin’ but garbage that won’t amount to nothin’.”

Zoey saw the pain flash on each of the other children’s faces. She
cracked her knuckles under the table and wanted nothing more than to punch the
smile off the woman’s face.

“If you’d been pretty like Isabelle here,” said foster mother number
28 as she licked the spoon, “then maybe we’d have something to work with—”

“She can see monsters,”
interrupted Isabelle innocently.

She smiled at Zoey like she was doing her a favor and twirled her
large, green necklace around her wrist. “She said there was a monster in the
backyard last night. I couldn’t see anything, but she said she could. So I
guess that makes her special.”

Zoey’s secret was out.

All eyes rested on her. She could already see them making up
scenarios in their heads. She’d seen that nervous look before.

Isabelle met Zoey’s angry stare and lost her smile. As her face
paled, tears brimmed in her eyes, and Zoey immediately felt ashamed. It wasn’t
Isabelle’s fault. She was just trying to help.

Foster mother number 28 stepped forward triumphantly, as though
she’d been waiting to hear this all her life. A weird noise escaped her throat,
like the growling of a wild animal. Sweat dripped from her nose and onto the

Zoey looked away and shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Why was her
foster mother staring at her like that? Usually, when people learned of her
ability, they avoided her.

And then she felt the goosebumps again.

An uncontrollable shudder rippled through her, as though thousands
of ants were crawling all over her skin. She always reacted like this around
demons and monsters. She had felt it when she had first stepped into the
kitchen. She called it her creeps. It
was like a warning, and she had no idea where it came from, but it had kept her

But why was she feeling it now?

When she looked up, foster mother number 28’s eyes had gone
completely black, like the eyes of a shark. Her clothes had become soaked in sweat,
and the smell of body odor intensified. The woman started to tremble and
scratched at her arms feverishly until blood oozed from the deep gashes she had
made in her flesh.

“Uh…maybe you should stop doing that,” said Zoey.

She watched her foster mother without blinking, preparing herself
for any sudden movement. A strange smell came off the woman, like rotten eggs
mixed with wet earth. Then she grunted hungrily, as though something inhuman
lived in her throat.

Zoey felt a chill roll down her back.

Great, here we go again, she said to herself. And I
didn’t even get to eat anything.

The woman leaned forward on the table, her black eyes gleaming with
spite and hatred. “You thought you could hide in this place, away from the
others, so we wouldn’t know who you were.”

Her hoarse voice sounded like a different person.

“Clever—but not clever enough. You Agents are all the same—meddlers—control freaks.”

Zoey straightened in her seat and readied herself.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not hiding from
anyone—and I’m too young to be an FBI agent. I just turned fourteen last week.”

An evil smile materialized on the woman’s face.

“Do you imagine that we mystics would ever obey your rules? Ha! You
creatures are made of soft flesh and blood—you are not our leaders. You are too weak. We will never go back to the Nexus. We enjoy living here amongst you
humans,” she hissed.

White foam formed at the corners of her mouth like a rabid dog.

“I will kill every last agent that tries to send me back!”

A string of spit flew out of her mouth, landed on the table and
immediately burned holes into the wood.

Zoey jumped to her feet and turned to the others. “Get out of here!
Now! Quickly!”

The children scrambled to their feet, terrified, and started to move
away from the woman. But they froze at what they saw next.

Foster mother number 28 howled like an animal. Her fingers and toes
began to transform into gleaming black talons. Her skin cracked and broke apart
like shattered eggshells. As her body shook, her skin peeled away and fell in
clumps to the floor in a pool of black liquid.

Before they had a chance to move, a seven-foot creature with
dripping black sores and raw bubbling skin stood in the kitchen in front of
them. Six blunt spikes protruded from its back, and long, slender arms and legs
protruded from its rounded, fleshy body. It glowered at Zoey with four large,
red eyes. It opened its maw as it wailed and revealed rows of jagged,
glass-sharp teeth. It was about to slice her to pieces.

Zoey recognized the creature as the one she had seen the night
before. Somehow it had used foster mother number 28’s body as a host, like a
giant parasite.

“What’s happening to her?” whimpered Thomas, his blue eyes wide with
fear. “She’s acting crazy, should we call 911? Maybe she needs a doctor?”

Zoey knew that normal
children couldn’t see the horrors that she saw. They didn’t see or smell the
repugnant creature that stood in the kitchen—they only saw their foster mother,
mad with hatred, like a deranged serial killer.

Zoey grabbed the edges of the table.

“Guys, you need to get out of here right now! Do as I say! Go back
upstairs and lock your doors. Do it now!”

The monster cackled in laughter and lunged at her.


In a flash, Zoey threw the kitchen table onto the creature, pinning
it against the counter for a few seconds. She leaped sideways and ran to her
backpack. Isabelle, Thomas, and Andy disappeared up the stairs in a mad panic.

With a crack like thunder, the monster lashed out and split the
table into an explosion of splintered wood.

Zoey turned with a salt bag in her hand and gripped it tightly.

“I’m going to kill you, Agent,”
the demon snarled.

Drools of acid-spit burned the floor beneath her.

“I’m going to rip your heart out and eat it!”

The creature soared through the air directly at Zoey.

But Zoey ripped open the bag and showered the demon with salt.

The salt hit the creature in an explosion of white dust. It wailed
and thrashed around the kitchen, crashing into the cabinets and appliances.
Steam rose off the monster’s body, and the air smelled of putrid burned flesh.

Zoey gagged as the vapors burned her eyes.

The creature stopped thrashing and turned its red, accusing eyes
back on her. It came at her again.

But Zoey was ready. She threw another volley of salt at the demon’s

It stopped in midair and crashed onto the floor in convulsions.
Black boils burst on its body, and a nasty secretion oozed onto the floor.
Finally, the demon exploded into black ash, leaving nothing but the smell of
sulfur and a dying screech that rang in Zoey’s ears.

She wiped the last of the vapors from her eyes and brushed her shoe
against the black ashes to make sure the creature had been utterly destroyed.
Her foster mother’s skin had dissolved into nothing more than a puddle of

Why had the creature called her an agent? And what the heck was the Nexus? She didn’t have any answers.

“Zoey?” Thomas poked his head down from up the staircase, and his
mouth fell open at the scene below.

“What happened to the kitchen? Where’s the foster mother? Who’s
going to make us supper now?” Isabelle and Andy peered out behind him, using
him as a human shield.

Zoey wiped the salt from her hands on her jeans.

“She…she wasn’t herself. And now she’s gone, and she won’t be back.
You need to pack your things and call the emergency foster number on the
fridge. They’ll send someone to pick you up. Isabelle, you’re the oldest, so
you should do it.”

Isabelle stood up behind Thomas. “But why did she attack you? Why
would she do that? It’s like she wanted to kill you or something?”

Isabelle wiped her runny nose on her sleeve. Her eyes were red.

Zoey shrugged. They would think she was mad if she told them the
truth. “Sometimes grownups go crazy. I don’t know. Listen, I need to go and
figure out some stuff. Just call the number and sit tight, they’ll send
someone; I promise.”

She packed the rest of the salt into her backpack, swung it over her
shoulders, and started for the front door.

“Wait!” screamed Isabelle. “Don’t leave us, please! What if she
comes back?”

Zoey stopped in front of the door, but she didn’t turn around. She
stood there for a moment before answering. “She’ll never come back. Everything
is fine now—don’t worry. Just call the number and don’t try to follow me.”

And she added in a low voice. “Death and monsters follow me.”

Zoey didn’t wait to hear Isabelle’s answer. She pulled open the
front door and raced out into the street.

There must be a reason she could see monsters when the rest of the
world was blind to them. And she was determined to find out why. She needed to
go back to the library and use the Internet. There must be something about the Nexus online—there had to be.

The local library loomed over the other buildings like a concrete
mountain. A large sign carved into the stone read “Toronto Public Library,
Gladstone/Bloor Branch. Soft, yellow light poured out from the
rows of windows, and Zoey could see shadows of people moving inside.

Doing her best to avoid landing in puddles, she crossed the street
in a dash. It was deserted except for an elderly woman with a yellow umbrella.
A taxi rushed past her and soaked her with water.

“Hey!” Zoey screamed, outraged. It would take forever to get dry
now. Water seeped into her shoes as she rushed by the old lady.

She heard a grunt, and it didn’t sound human.

Zoey skidded to a stop and whirled around. The old woman shuffled
forward in the rain. Where had the noise come from? Thinking it was probably
the old woman clearing her throat, she turned and started again towards the
library. As she quickened her pace, she felt goosebumps again—her creeps.

A screech echoed behind her. Then she heard a flap of wings, and a
spine-chilling moan.

With her heart in her throat, she stopped and turned.

Something landed behind the elderly woman. It was the size of a
horse and looked like a gargoyle from a medieval castle. It had a human shape
with scaly, black, oily skin and long, clawed fingers and toes. Large
membranous wings stretched out behind it and cast a dark shadow over the woman.
Spikes protruded from its back, and a long, barbed tail lashed threateningly.
It had horns like a bull’s, and a large mouth full of needlelike teeth. But it
was the face that was most unsettling—the creature had no eyes.

Zoey’s pulse raced.

The old woman couldn’t see it. She stopped walking and stood staring
ahead with a confused expression on her face. Her umbrella fell from her hand.
The demon spread its wings and opened its mouth. A brilliant white mist flowed
out from the woman like a transparent veil and was sucked directly into the
creature’s maw. The woman’s skin turned gray, and she started to tremble
uncontrollably. The creature was sucking the life force out of her.

A mixture of fear and hatred surged through Zoey as she stared at
the eight-foot-tall monster. The old lady’s eyes rolled back into her head. She
was going to die.

“Stop!” Zoey’s voice reverberated in the street louder than she had
expected and sounded more confident than she felt. Her mouth was dry with fear.

“Let go of her! You’re killing her!”

It worked. The demon let the old woman go.

She slumped to the ground on her knees, her life holding on by a

The creature turned its lifeless face towards Zoey.

Its tail lashed out behind it, and Zoey felt its hunger, like a dog
drooling over a treat. It lifted its head in the air as though it was searching
for a scent. It glanced down at the old woman one more time, and then crept
towards Zoey, as though it were choosing the better prey.

Zoey gagged on its pungent stench. The air had turned foul, like
sewer gas.

Adrenaline pumped through her veins. She planted her feet firmly,
reached inside her backpack, and threw a handful of salt at the advancing

The white crystals showered the beast like a heavy fall of snow. It
stopped, surprised, shook itself, and then kept coming.

A little cry escaped Zoey’s lips. The salt had no effect.

With a beat of its wings, the demon soared through the air and came
directly at her.

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