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Her eyes widened at the site before her. How was it possible that her thumb managed to turn to stone?! How did she not wake up at night to feel someone dip it into cement? It just didn't make sense that someone would do that…unless they knocked her out with some sort of drug, then did it. But why? As a practical joke?

Jade spent a good hour staring at her thumb, thinking about all the possibilities. So far there were too many possibilities and not enough suspects. Slowly walking up the stairs, feeling the bandages on her knees strain, she checked her room. There was no evidence of a break in her window; it was locked. The door had been locked as well, which can only be locked in from the inside. Glancing at her closet, she saw it was open 1/16th of an inch like she had it every night. The chances of someone breaking in somehow and hiding in her closet were slim.

Then she thought about something; what if it was magic?

If it was, there was no way in Hell that she'd tell Uncle about it. He would keep her there for weeks on end trying to find a counter spell or an antidote; They didn't know know what this was! Where could she have gotten it from? Thinking long and hard, she sat down on her recently made bed. Last time she checked, there wasn't any strange men chanting nonsense at her...there was no demons or dragons following her. There certainly were no rocks allowing people to fly! Well, last time she checked anyway.

The man...the black in black from yesterday! She shot up from her bed, eyes huge like tea saucers. "I have to find him! I bet he had some sort of poison on the object I hurt myself with...That explains the gloves." She mumbled to herself, walking down the stairs.

Suddenly she slammed into Jackie. Stumbling a bit, the back of her ankles slammed into the first step which made her whole body fall backwards. Landing on the third step up, she looked up and slyly hid her thumb. "Jackie!" She exclaimed, smiling sheepishly, "Sorry...I'm going to the mall, okay, see you!" She jumped up, knowing her uncle had sharp eyes, and grabbed her jacket. Although it was probably humid and muggy since it rained last night, she used the piece of clothing as a way to hide her stone like finger.

Without waiting for a reply or even a comment, she jolted out the front door.

The mall was crowded, as per usual. Every store was jam packed with customers looking for low prices. She sighed and faintly wondered if a store would have a solution for this problem. Somehow, she doubted it. As she walked towards the less crowded section of the mall, she replayed what had happened last night in her mind. Just as she thought about the man in black, she sensed eyes on her...again.

As though scanning for a place to eat, she looked through the crowds.

Low and behold; there he was! The man that was at her shop from yesterday; he was right there! She ran through the horrible group of people, pushing and pardoning her way through. When she reached the place, she saw a note.

"Meet me on the tower at midnight tomorrow."

Next chapter: Meeting. Review please.