The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

Book: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joanna Wiebe
spell on me? Does every student at some point look like I did, thanks to our proximity to demons? Or am I, like, possessed?
    I slide to the floor to wait for Lou. I open my sketchbook. Time ticks by. Before I know it, I’ve filled page after page with hasty renderings of the vision I saw last night: her voluptuous body, her pillowy lips, her commanding stance and impressive height. The movement of her hand as she tugged her nightie to cover herself. Yes, I’m thinking about my own reflection as if it wasn’t mine at all. That’s because whatever I saw, it was nothing like me.
    I tear out a page and absently roll it into a long tube. I stare down the hall through it, like a telescope. Still no Lou. I flip it over and write his name on it.
    “Lou knows my soul,” I whisper. “Why do you know my soul?” I ask the name on the page.
    I tap my pencil over Lou Knows and stare ahead. Lou is a demon with a non-Latin name, a demon that was here before Dia arrived. It’s probably safe to say he serves Mephisto.
    “But why does Lou know something about me? Or why does he think he does?”
    Lou suggested the same thing that Teddy did: that I could succeed by using my “feminine wiles.” But Teddy only said that after he’d read my soul; I’ve never even touched Lou, so he couldn’t have read my soul. How did he gain special insight into who I am?
    A noise up the hall steals my attention. It’s just a heater cranking on.
    I look at the page again: Lou Knows .
    And then I see it.
    I can’t believe I’ve missed it.
    I jot a phrase under his name: know soul. And then, moving between his name and those two words, I strike out letters until I’ve proven my guess right.
    His name is an anagram for ‘know soul.’
    Wondering if that’s just lucky—just a one-time coincidence— I write down the next staff name that pops into my head: Trey Sedmoney, Harper’s Guardian, the only teacher I’ve had the displeasure of seeing in the buck (purely for artistic purposes), and a decidedly creepy dude. He was here before Dia, so he’s one of Mephisto’s. Do all demons have a special power? Is it possible that all of Mephisto’s servants, when they arrive here, get names that are anagrams of their powers? And maybe Dia’s followers have kept their underworld names because he was rushed here; I’ve already seen that Dia needs Hiltop’s help with almost everything related to this school, so he definitely wasn’t prepared to come here. It’s possible…
    I stare at Trey Sedmoney .
    Rearranging that name is a lot harder because I have no idea what Trey’s power could be, unlike in the case of Lou Knows. Trey is Harper’s Guardian, so maybe something to do with sex? But no matter what I try, those twelve letters don’t rearrange to form any sex-type phrases.
    I scribble his name out. Maybe I’m wrong about this. But before I discount the whole idea, I remember that, my first day here, the secretary Kate Haem used all sorts of anagrams for my name. I thought it was just an annoying game, but maybe it was more than that. Maybe it was a hint. Was Kate trying to tell me something almost from the moment I stepped foot on this island? But why would she do that?
    I write down Kate Haem .
    That turns into “aka theme,” “take me ha,” and “meet kaha” until eventually I land on something that just might be right.
    “Make hate,” I whisper.
    Kate Haem’s power could be to make hate.
    Immediately, I write down Hiltop P. Shemese , which rearranges easily into Mephistopheles . It’s not a single power, but perhaps that’s because Mephisto is higher-ranking and, thus, has multiple powers.
    I list everyone I can think of. The secretary, Eve Risset; my sculpting teacher, Dr. Weinchler; the music prof, Maestro Insullis; the gym coach, Stealth Vergner; the history teacher, Star Wetpier; the poetry prof, Levi Beemaker. Then my housemoms, Elle Gufy and Shera T. Bond. And Ben’s housedad, Finn Kid.
    I start with the short names.

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