Mo is a shy teen who is just trying to survive high school. He has secretly fallen in love with a girl named Prophecy who lives with a group that some call a commune and others call a cult. When she disappears, Mo must find the courage to face the monster that her family has become. Chasing Prophecy is a contemporary coming of age story that is heartwarming, suspenseful, and beautifully written. This book chronicles the adolescence of one boy who must transform himself to save the girl of his dreams.
“A stellar read for teens and adults, full of hilarious growing pains, tenderness and a few surprises. Moser’s debut is an unflinching young-adult novel that sees a group of friends tested by bigotry and the illegal machinations of a religious cult. The author serves up an irresistibly wisecracking narrator in Mo Kirkland. Every page ripples with a controlled cleverness. There’s also a rawness to this tale similar to that which many teens face in the real world. Moser can wax rhapsodic about young love, but he shows that he knows how to raise the tension in the second half of the novel.”
Richard said, “Why are you even talking, Maureen, I mean Maurice? Go sit in your highchair and let the grownups work this out, OK, little guy?”Even with my new growth spurt, he never missed a chance to let me know I lived every second of my life ten seconds from a surfing lesson.
Max said coldly, “Don’t you clowns talk to him that way.”
Kazzy said, “—or we will kick your cracker asses.”
I looked up at her and realized I’d been looking up to her my whole life. She was calm and still when she was standing up for herself. She didn’t have to stand on her tiptoes or raise her voice. When I tried to stand up for myself, I knew people saw the question marks in my eyes.
Kazzy’s eyes were full of answers, and I loved her. Deep inside me I felt something break, heal, and get stronger all at once.
Richard watched another carful of mourners pass us by. “Your little cult funeral all done?” he said.
Kazzy said, “Why do you say ‘Cult’? Do you see a fence keeping anyone in or out? Do you see us trying to blow anything up? There’s not a weapon on our whole ranch. You crackers have more guns than I’ve seen in my whole life.”
I pulled out my pocketknife, found a smooth spot in the pine railing, and pushed the blade into the sun-bleached log. I worked the blade up and down, back and forth, deeper and deeper.
Kazzy said, “So let me get this straight. One of us jumps, and you don’t say ‘cult’ for two years? You don’t say a word to any of us all the way til graduation night?”
“That’s the deal.”
I pushed the tip of the blade across the wood. I made a rectangle and rounded off the corners.
I pulled off my Seattle Mariners baseball cap and dropped in my keys and phone. I found a safe corner to stash my stuff near a gigantic steel bracket joining two logs. I walked to the other side of the bridge, across from the others.
Richard said, “We’re waiting, Kazzy, I mean Prophecy.”
“Hey, Richard!” I said.
He looked at me. They all looked at me.
“Catch!” I yelled, tossing him my knife. I said, “It’s August twentieth. If you can’t spell ‘August,’ just write eight-dash-twenty.”
They all stared at me. I held up three fingers. “Redneck Honor,” I said. I pulled off my shirt, dropped it to the ground, and ran right at Richard and Boo. They stepped back. Their eyes were full of questions.
For the first time in my life, my eyes were full of answers.
“He’ll never . . .” Richard started to say.
“Mo, DON’T!” Kazzy yelled.
Max screamed, “Oh, YEAH!!!”
My left foot landed on the orange Bigfoot “X”.
My right foot landed on the low rail. I pushed off.
I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I saw sky and mist kicked up by white water crashing into rocks.
I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. I looked down. I was either going to just clear the boulder closest to the bridge or I was getting an ambulance ride, or I was about to die.
I screamed, “AAAAAAAAAAAAHH!”
The bottoms of my feet smacked the water hard, then all of me was underneath, then my feet hit the bottom. Knees and elbows on rock. I looked up through ten feet of clear, freezing water. Through the bumpy surface I could see the shapes of my friends, the colors of their clothes. I pushed off the bottom and shot through the surface.
Bloody. Dizzy. Alive. Icy water—snow the day before—stretched my skin tight.
I squinted up at the bridge, saw Max and Kazzy jumping up and down, arms over their heads, screaming. I pulled myself up to the flat top of a giant rock. I stood and raised my arms to the sky, the mist throwing little rainbows all around me. I held up the three-fingered redneck honor salute. My friends threw back their heads and laughed. They turned to Richard and Boo, showed them three fingers. The bullies walked slowly to their car. I stood on a rock but felt myself floating.
I thought, So this is what it means to fly.
Moser has a B.A. in English and a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education. He lives in Seattle with his beautiful wife and eight year old son. When he’s not reading and writing, or thinking about reading and writing, he’s watching way too much television while snacking on frozen treats from Trader Joe’s. Man, those things are good.