Chapter One

The Mysteries of the Number Seven

First Chapter: 50 Words

Sarah and Christian both dream mysterious dreams. These dreams transport them around the corner, around the globe, and through the universe and back. They’re first cousins and best friends who plan mystery hunts every summer.

Christian’s and Sarah’s grandmother, Tata, had this same gift of prophetic dreams. She called them waking dreams because she dreamt of echoes from the future and then, suddenly, woke up.

She instructed her grandchildren to be cautious of the invisible force that would try to disrupt or stop their quests. She warned them, “This invisible force will try to frighten you, change your circumstances, alter your path, and place obstacles in your way. You were given a special gift. Use it wisely.”

Sarah and Christian were the same age. Christian resembled his dad and his Uncle Virgil, Sarah’s dad. He had dark wavy hair, deep blue-green eyes, and on most days, a half-smile. Sarah described their friendship as “not just family, but Mystery Hunters.”

The cousins were both young, but they loved math, science, astronomy, zoology, and so much more! As Sarah would say, “We love learning … to the ends of the Earth … to the depths of the seas, and beyond … to the heavens.”

Sarah enjoyed climbing tall oak trees with massive limbs she described as “powerful arms holding me in place.” She loved chasing vibrant butterflies wavering in flight and hand-painting small stones to resemble ladybugs and honey bees. Sarah often left these colorful stones attached to a handwritten poem on the steps leading up to her neighbors’ homes. She was unaware everyone knew she left these precious gifts. Her neighbors loved her for her thoughtfulness and kept her sweet secret. Sarah’s family and friends knew she was a poet at heart. She thought deeply about everyone and everything.

Christian was quieter than Sarah. He struggled to make friends in school because of his shyness. But around Sarah, their families, and their two friends, ____________________ and _____________________, he was confident and happy. Christian rarely had a good night’s sleep. As he described himself, “My brain never stops, and I can’t sleep through the night. Even when I’m sleeping, my dreams keep me busy.” Christian enjoyed constructing and flying unique kites. He and his dad designed and built colorful kites shaped like spirals, triangles, stars, planets, and wheels within wheels. They made butterfly kites for Sarah.

Sarah and Christian shared their love for mystery hunts, thin-crust pepperoni pizza, kite flying, apple crisp pie, and dreaming.

Christian loved playing with his dog Ferlinghetti, a black and white sheepdog with a lazy eye. His mother named Ferlinghetti after a famous poet and painter. Ferlinghetti loved to run, and a few times, he ran away. They always found him near the small dog park, next to the Ross Family Community Park. Christian’s dad always remarked with a half-smile, “Ferlinghetti ran away to search for a new name.”

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