Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Whisperer’s Warning:
JV looked on as Pa Gregory placed the coin in the centre of his open left palm and closed his thin eyelids. For those ten or fifteen seconds, Pa Gregory’s hands and jaw were still, and when he finally opened his eyes, he looked directly at JV.
“Come. Come here, boy. Come let me see you.”
The tone caught JV by surprise. It was not a barked order but an invitation. An invitation with an unsettling hint of awe attached. Granny B gave him a reassuring nod. He stepped toward Pa Gregory who leaned even closer and began taking in his every detail: his big eyes, dark-brown irises, and long lashes; high cheekbones and round chin; low afro with its unfortunate zug on the right side; and his height that was just below average for a twelve-year-old. JV squirmed, imagining that this was how his coin would have felt under Pa Gregory’s intense scrutiny if it had feelings.
“Tell me what you know about this coin. Where you got it?”
Granny B prodded him gently in the ribs.
“Someone gave it to me.”
Granny B gave him a sharper prod.
“Jason, stop wasting time! Tell Pa Gregory everything you know.”
So, JV began. He told him about Papa Bois and noted that Pa Gregory did not bat an eye on hearing that the Protector of the Forest was real. He recounted what the Protector had said a little more than a month ago: how he had witnessed JV being abandoned in the Oscuros Forest as a baby, and that the woman who had left him there hid the coin in the folds of his blanket; that she had whispered the words ‘Akin Dawar’ in his ear before she had fled crying; and that Papa Bois had taken the coin in order to protect JV from the danger that is supposedly attracted.