Annick Press

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The Golem of Prague

The Golem took a step forward. His head reached up to the second-story windows. His body was as large as the houses. Calmly, he moved through the frenzied crowd. He lifted up men and beasts as if they were wisps of straw and used his fists to destroy anything that blocked his way. Paralyzed with fear, some people did not try to run away but closed their eyes, waiting for death. Others ran as fast as they could. All around him, men and animals rushed around like insects. The Golem flattened them with his hand. Some people tried to fight him, but the arrows launched at the Golem slid down his body like thin rivulets of water. Spears barely pierced the clay before falling to the ground. Soon, the terrified attackers drew back, realizing they could neither kill nor wound the Golem. He was indestructible. The Golem turned and walked toward the Maharal, who had not budged. With his eyes cast down, he was waiting for the creature. Together, they went through the Paryska Gate while, one after another, the Jews came out of their homes through the barricaded windows and doors. A long and joyful cry arose, “Golem! Golem” But the Golem’s face showed no emotion; he had a strange look that made those who came near him uneasy...

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Anyone's Game (Cross Ups, Book 2)

Chapter 1
On screen, my dragon-cross, Kaigo, is locked in battle with Saki, the yeti-cross.
Kaigo breathes fire, but before he can melt the ice off Saki’s beard, Saki thrusts a snowstorm my way. The fire extinguishes, and Saki comes in for the punishment.
I’m playing my favorite game, Cross Ups IV. Kaigo’s my main. I play him so much it’s like he’s a part of me. Not the real me, of course. I’m just a skinny twelve-year-old who’s never been in a real fight. Kaigo’s the guy I am inside my head.
Kaigo wears kung fu gear and he’s totally buff. He’s super confident, probably because he can turn into a dragon and blow his opponents’ heads off with fireballs.
Most of the time.
Right now, he’s being shut down by Saki, who just unleashed a blizzard of punches. The yeti-cross is being played by my friend, Cali. It’s the second week of summer holidays and we’re playing online. Cali’s gotten good at Cross Ups since she moved to live with her dad in Montreal a few months ago. I mean, she was always good, but now she’s actually coming close to beating me. I’d better power up.
I go to throw my Dragon Fire Super but she’s faster. Her character transforms into a huge yeti and stomps across the screen. Ice flies everywhere. My Health Meter is down to a thin beat of red.
Not cool.
I jump in the air to breathe fire down her neck—a move she never blocks fast enough. But today she does. Before I compute what just happened, a yeti headbutt takes me down.
She beat me?
That’s not supposed to happen.
HermIone Tuesday , 4:08 pm
We’ve been playing for six hours, but I totally don’t want to stop. Not on a loss.
JStar Tuesday , 4:09 pm
HermIone Tuesday , 4:09 pm
JStar Tuesday , 4:09 pm
HermIone Tuesday , 4:10 pm
JStar Tuesday , 4:10 pm
She logs off before I hit send.
It’s not like Cali to run off just because she finally got a win. Is her dad mad at her for playing so long? Or is it something more serious?
Sometimes Cali’s like the yeti. She freezes me out.

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