Matthias: The Ghost of Salvation Point

Take a look at this extract from middle-grade supernatural novel Matthias from Jodi Auborn.
Sleeter and Quint! They were still after me, and now I was trapped! I couldn’t run into the woods without them seeing me. I waded into the thorny rose bushes beside the road, looking for a place to hide. But there was nothing but the tangled bushes, which snagged my clothes and tore at my arms. It was like trying to walk through a net. I pulled myself away from one big thorn that ripped a hole in my shirt.
“DAAAAD!” I cried, one last time. “MATTHIAAAAS!”
I finally ignored my bleeding arms and the thorn bushes, and ducked down into the muddy ditch.
“We got you now, kid!” Quint and Sleeter whooped. They were still laughing at me as the car raced back up the road, louder and closer every second.
Then someone’s laughter turned to a shriek. He sounded terrified. “What…what the…MEL, LOOK!”
I couldn’t help it. I peeked up over the edge of the road.
“Matthias…” I whispered.
Matthias was standing on the other side of the road, and for the first time…I could seethrough him! He didn’t look at me. He just stepped in front of the speeding car and pounded his hands down on the hood, glaring in at Quint. Quint stared back and screamed as the car passed through Matthias, who disappeared in a swirl of white mist.
Quint slammed on the brakes and the car stopped right by my hiding place. He closed his eyes and rested his forehead on the steering wheel, making strange little moaning sounds. His whole body started shaking.
“Quint!” Sleeter bellowed. “What’re you doing, trying to kill us? Learn to drive, you moron!”
“Didn’t you see him?” Quint wailed. “The guy in the blue coat? I drove right through him!” Quint hid his face in his hands and began to cry. “That was no man! That was a…a ghost! A hideous ghost!”
“You idiot!” Sleeter snapped, smacking Quint in the back of the head. “You’re useless. Now, stay here. I’m getting out to find that kid.”
“Dylan, stay down!” Matthias said as he appeared beside me and sprawled out in the mud, looking like his normal self again. He put his hand on my head and pushed me down on my stomach. My chin scraped against some gravel in the ditch.
“You’re hurting me!”
“Sleeter will hurt you a lot worse if he catches you!” Matthias whispered. He did ease up on my head, though, and nodded at a round pipe that ran under the road. “Don’t ask questions. Crawl into that culvert and be quiet! It’s your only chance.”
I did as he told me. The bottom of the pipe was covered with oily water and weird orange mud. I could hear Matthias pushing weeds and brush in front of the opening that I had just crawled through. I knew that he was standing guard at my end of the culvert, so I felt a little safer.
It took forever for them to leave. I couldn’t move. I heard Sleeter crashing through the brush, calling me. Quint continued crying in the car. Then Sleeter yelled at him some more, and told him to move over so he could drive.
I heard the car pull away, but didn’t dare to make a sound.
“Dylan?” Matthias called. “You okay?”
“Are they gone?” I whispered.
“You’re safe, for now. But we need to get you home.”
I tried to wiggle back out of the pipe, but couldn’t move. “Matthias? I think I’m…I’mstuck!”
“Don’t worry, m’boy, I’ll have you out of there in no time.”
He grabbed my ankles and yanked me out of the culvert as if I were a dead fish. My back scraped up against the rough cement. “Ow!” I howled. “Take it easy!”
I got to my feet, rubbing my back and blinking in the bright sun. Matthias shook his head. “You’re going to have some explaining to do, sonny. You’re a mess. Wait until your mother sees you.” He reached out and brushed some twigs and leaves off my shoulders. “Now, follow me. I know a shortcut through the woods. We can’t stay on this road, in case they come back looking for you.”
I looked down at my torn, muddy clothes, bloodstained hands, and scratched-up arms, and the dried brown splotches on my shirt from my bloody nose. My soaked sneakers squished with every step I took. Then I stared at Matthias as I followed him across the road and into the woods. His clothes were spotless. He didn’t even have any mud on his shiny black shoes.
He looked over his shoulder at me. “You’re going to have to tell your parents that you were kidnapped. You know that, don’t you?”
“No, way! They would never let me walk to town by myself again. Mom’s already really mad at me.”
“Why is she mad? You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“She thinks I lied to her about taking her dish towel, and playing the piano that night. Then she found all of her paintings thrown on the workbench in her studio, and thought that I did it! And then she said that I was the one playing with her eggbeater and it left pancake batter on the couch, and she made me clean it up.” I glared at him. “You always get me in trouble. Why do you have to play with all of our stuff?”
He shrugged. “I’m a ghost, Dylan. We’re naturally curious about the lives and possessions of those who follow us.”
“Well, you better put Dad’s book back. He’s been looking for it.”
We didn’t say much more as we trudged through the woods. I watched as a chipmunk scampered over the leaves and squatted on its hind legs to nibble at something it held in its paws. It was cute. “Matthias, look,” I said, pointing it out.
He hardly glanced at it. “It’s just a chipmunk. Now, stop dawdling. Sleeter could be looking for you.”

Here are some links for the book:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Matthias-Salvation-Jodi-L-Auborn/dp/1499321236/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428164991&sr=8-1&keywords=matthias+the+ghost+of+salvation+point
Amazon UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Matthias-The-Ghost-Salvation-Point/dp/1499321236
My website: http://jodilauborn.webs.com/
And the book’s Shelfari page: http://www.shelfari.com/books/38703908/Matthias-The-Ghost-of-Salvation-Point

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