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The Secrets of the Storm Vortex (Lightning Catcher)

The Secrets of the Storm Vortex (Lightning Catcher)

Author: Anne Cameron Publisher: Lightning Catcher Genres: For Children Publish Date: May 5, 2015 ISBN-10: 006211283X Pages: 464 File Type: epub,mobi,lrf,lit,htmlz,pdb,azw / Audio Book / E-book Language: English

Book Preface

Book Preface

If you have ever been chased to the top of Mount Maccrindell by an abominable snowstorm, you will know that it is the best place on the whole Isle of Imbur from which to see Castle Dankhart. It is also an extremely dangerous spot to linger. And unless you are a fully qualified lightning catcher, you should make a hasty retreat the instant you’ve chipped the icicles off your eyebrows, taking a solemn vow never to return.

If you are a lightning catcher, however, fleeing from an abominable snowstorm, then you would be well advised to take a different route. Follow a concealed path until you reach a deep crevice in the mountainside that leads to a secret cave. Inside the cave you will find two of your fellow lightning catchers, Azolla Plymstock and Morton Knapp, discussing the weather patterns over Castle Dankhart.

Catcher Plymstock had just completed a long two-week stint on observation duty, making notes on every temperature change, cloud formation, and shower of rain that had fallen over the dark castle in that time. Catcher Knapp had arrived twenty minutes earlier to take over.

“I’m happy to report that the last fourteen days have been remarkably calm and quiet,” Catcher Plymstock said, pulling a coat on over her stout frame and buttoning it all the way to the top.

She was now heading back to the Perilous Exploratorium for Violent Weather and Vicious Storms for a hot bubble bath and an evening with her favorite book about cake baking.

“There has been no sign of the icicle storms returning?” Catcher Knapp asked, studying the neat chart that Catcher Plymstock had already handed over.

Catcher Plymstock shook her head. “There were several abominable snowstorms on Tuesday morning, followed by a brief scattering of pale pink snow at 1:15 p.m., but it didn’t last long. We have run out of chocolate cookies again, I’m afraid, so you’ll have to make do with plain for the time being.”

She pointed to a neat desk at the back of the cave stacked with weather sample canisters, spare candles, and a cookie tin. A small fire was burning in a log stove next to an armchair. The camp bed had been freshly made.

“There’s also a herd of wild mountain fog yetis camping close by, so I’ve left you some earplugs in case they start howling in the night.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Catcher Knapp said, making a swift note of it. “There’s nothing worse than a late-night yeti yodeling session. I’ll try to—”


A powerful shock wave suddenly rippled through the walls of the cave.

“What in the name of Perilous—” Catcher Knapp toppled over sideways with a startled expression, twisting his ankle as he fell. Catcher Plymstock stood her ground, feeling the floor of the cave shake violently beneath her feet. She waited for the worst of the vibrations to stop, then dashed to the cave entrance, where a sturdy pair of binoculars was kept at all times. The binoculars, however, were completely unnecessary. She stared at the calamitous sight before her, with her heart thumping hard against her rib cage.

Castle Dankhart, which had been sitting benignly in the sunshine all morning, had now disappeared beneath a huge, tumultuous cloud, an explosion of weather so thick and threatening it had obscured all turrets, gargoyles, walls, and the very rock upon which the dark castle sat. The cloud began to spin in a treacherous whirlpool of lightning bolts, unstable blizzards, and what looked like violet rain. Azolla Plymstock gulped. It was the most violent weather vortex she’d ever seen.

“Azolla, what is it? What’s happening?” Catcher Knapp asked, hobbling across the cave to join her.

“There’s no time to explain!” Catcher Plymstock sealed the crevice in the mountainside hurriedly with an inflatable doorstopper before the weather could force its way inside. “We must send a message to Delphinia Dark-Angel immediately! If we launch one of the clockwork messenger pigeons from the south entrance, it might just make it back to Perilous without being pulverized.”

She hurried to the back of the cave and flipped open a wicker basket where a row of feathered mechanical messengers stood waiting. She grabbed the largest pigeon, lifted its wing, and extracted a small canister nestling underneath that contained a slip of paper.


  1. Dedication
  2. Prologue: The Dark Castle
  3. 1. The Starling Museum of Storm Science
  4. 2. A Lightning Tour
  5. 3. Crevice and Sons
  6. 4. The Feathered Message
  7. 5. Night Owls with Beastly Wiz
  8. 6. The Storm Hollow
  9. 7. Secrets of the Inner Sanctum
  10. 8. “Coming Soon!”
  11. 9. Shimmer Shark Surprise
  12. 10. The Cryptic Stranger
  13. 11. The Second Demonstration
  14. 12. Winnie Wrascal Strikes Again
  15. 13. Indigo’s Confession
  16. 14. The Walking Encyclopedia
  17. 15. The Weather Eye
  18. 16. Murderous Stinging Fog
  19. 17. A Storm of Ancient Flames
  20. 18. The Final Lesson
  21. About the Author
  22. Credits
  23. Copyright
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May 5, 2015

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