Misty’s Magical Shed 21

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Story Snippets | Posted on 16-06-2016

“I couldn’t get too close, because my daughter-in-law…” Papa Hal laughed. “Your mother could tell when I was near. I can fool humans but not amphamorts.”

“Ampha whats?”

“Amphamorts.” A man with silver hair stepped from the shadows. He had the same shimmer to his skin as Mom.

The same as mine. Finny tipped his head sideways. Who are you? Where did you come from? Somehow it felt safer to ask that question with mindtalk.

“I’m your other grandfather. Call me Gramps. I’ll teach you what I have to share later, but one lesson at a time. Listen to Papa Hal first.” Gramps stepped back into the shadows.

“Thank you, Frank. Here.”  Papa Hal held out a black hoody to Finny. Much like his own, but smaller. “Put it on and put the hood over your head. Like this.” Papa Hal pulled the strings on his tight. Only a small part his face showed. Snug and secure, he raised a hand and pointed to the fountain beyond.

Finny looked away. When he looked back neither of his grandfathers were there to help him.

“Where’d you go?” Finny twirled around. “I can’t follow you.”

“Are you sure?” said Papa Hal.

“Oh Hal,” Mama Jack laughed and stepped from an indentation in the wall.

With the sound a soft outline of Papa Hal’s form etched itself on the wall nearby. He pulled the hood from his head and his body took shape.

“You always give yourself away, my love.” Mama Jack wrapped her arms around Finny. “You’ll have to do much better than that Sweetie. To fool Swirl.”

Misty’s Magical Shed 20

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Story Snippets | Posted on 04-06-2016

“Now we’ll see what that little…” She couldn’t think of a word low or disgusting enough to describe her feelings toward her nephew. “Never mind, we’ll get rid of them all. Then things can get back to normal.”

“What? What?” Cyandre’s squeak brought attention back to her. “Where do I go? I’m ready now.”

Swirl had not heard so much determination before. And that it came from such a small squeaky voice made it all the more impressive. “Beyond the fountain of fire is a castle. You need to make a home there. Listen well.”

“Listen?” said Cyndre. “But I want to do more.”

Swirl laughed. “You will, my little friend, but first be patient.” She turned to Pearl. “We’ll talk more later, but first help your daughter find her new residence. Here are your directions.” She waved her hand and as on a star map formed, Coordinates with pictures of the cavern and fountain formed a background to a bright pathway that traveled across it.

“Oh goody. Goody.” From her middle, two of Cyndre’s longest legs stretched out and tapped together.

***

Finny straightened. He’d been studying the book Mrs. Sanders had given him. More of the pages had gained words and pictures. Misty took over tutoring and pointed out many stories about his grandmother.

“And if you think Mama Jack is something, wait until you meet your other grandparents.” Misty’s whinny prompted Finny to look closer.

“How come I never met them before?” He’d grown up with only his parents. Until recently he hadn’t met any of his grandparents. Mama Jack was the first. Now he learned the other three were alive and well. Here was Papa Hal. Soon the other two would arrive.

In the meantime, let’s get some work done. Hal show him what you can do. Mama Jack stepped back.

“I’ve always been close, to watch over you,” said Papa Hal.

Finny hesitated, then realized it was alright for now to talk out loud. “I never saw you.”

“Because I didn’t want you to.” Papa Hal smiled. “I’ve always been near, but I could only protect you from a distance.”

Finny scratched his head. “Near? But at a distance? That doesn’t make any sense.”

Misty’s Magical Shed 19

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets, Story Snippets | Posted on 19-05-2016

“Ah Pearl, this time we are going to do more than scare. It’s time to take our existence back.” Swirl patted her friend’s smooth frontal lobe.

“Even better.” The spider rubbed the tips of two front legs together. “How do we begin?”

“First, we must find out what their plans are and how many of them fight against us.” Swirl motioned for the spider to follow as she turned to the side wall. “Oh yes. I will need this.” She gathered a vile with dark viscous liquid and continued her movement to the shiny reflective surface of the wall at the far end of the table.

“But you need someone inside, for this to work.”

“Yes. And I have someone in mind. Cyandre is small enough and won’t even be noticed.”

“My daughter?”

Before Swirl could answer a small replica of Pearl floated from above to land on Pearl’s back.

“Yes?” A squeak of a voice chimed in. “Can I be of assistance?” The small arachnid closed the book she’d been reading and folded the tiny spectacles that had rested over her eyes. A slender thread left from her descent, glistened bright purple.

“Come to Mama.” From the midsection of her body Pearl held out two of her longest arms., the tips also glowed purple. She gathered her baby close and turned her bulging eyes to Swirl. “I’m not sure she can handle it.”

“Yes I can. Yes I can.” Cyandre’s voice took on a disconcerting maturity. Strong and deep, but still she could not keep the squeak from it. “Tell me how.” She pushed glasses with multi-prism lenses back over her beady eyes.

“Very well. Do you remember the fire fountain?” asked Swirl.

“Oh yes.” The squeak returned and betrayed excitement. “Um. Yes. I mean of course.”

Swirl laughed. “I’m sure you will do very well. Now, let’s work out a plan to get you into their good graces.” Swirl took her hand and dipped it into the dark liquid, then smeared it against the wall. The surface glowed through forming a mirror-like image. The forms and figures of Finny and his cohorts took shape.

Misty’s Magical Shed 18

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 15-05-2016

Now, to get on with the plan, she thought. To begin with, I need to strengthen powers I already have. With the container of web cradled in her right arm, Swirl made her way through cold stone hallways that twisted and turned deep into the center of her prison fortress. At the end, a solid wooden door stretched from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. In the center, a long brass chain dangled from a gargoyle’s mouth. Carved into the surface, creatures, human, amphibian and other reached to her, pleading. Swirl grabbed a massive link and jerked. The door swung in to another hallway that grew increasingly smaller and smaller until another door, barely as tall as she, added another blockade. A soft tap of her left thumb and it opened to her laboratory. A sizzle wrapped around for identification, stretched to the ceiling, then settled gently to her shoulders when the spell she kept in place recognized her.

A protection spell locked the one refuge they hadn’t been able to take. This and everything in her power kept it under her control. On a high bench, several beakers overflowed with vapor. Two large crystal containers glowed, one crimson and one yellow. Popping sparkles ran over the top of a third and sizzled when they touched leaving more marks on the already scarred surface of the table. A sweet floral fragrance filled the air from the candles in the wall sconces.

Swirl coughed and forced herself to draw in slow steady breaths, but that did little good, so she picked up the beaker and threw it against the wall. Chunks of light disintegrated, and dark flooded in. “Now calm down, she said. Hatred burned deep, but uncontrolled it would do her no good. It’s time… Pointing at the wall where the beaker had shattered, she twisted her fingers around, from palm down to palm up. The shards of glass gathered and reformed into the original container. Right hand extended, she aimed and a stream of popping light flowed out to refill it. Illumination grew. Brighter than before, it hurt eyes that had grown used to the dark. Swirl sighed. Pain calmed anger that twisted in her belly.

Memory triggered another plan. Swirl chuckled. Something she’d used in the past to rob Finny of a good night’s sleep would help now. With the cup returned to its place on the table, Swirl held out both hands. “Come to me, sweetness,” she called with a voice as silken as the thread produced by this friend. She used the pointer finger on her right hand to add a gesture to her request. With her left, she tapped out a rhythm on the table. The tune she longed to sing wouldn’t come out of her mouth, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy it until… “Ha ha.” Again, she laughed and stared into the depths of the ceiling above.

A solid form descended and a graceful shadow grew on the wall.

Swirl fought to contain her glee. If she moved too fast, her friend would retreat back to her lair. It would take much longer to coax her out, time Swirl didn’t have.

The shadow grew and grew, until in full form, a massive green spider, with limbs twice as long as Swirl’s fingers, settled on the furthest corner of the table from the popping light. Fur covered, one leg reached to touch Swirl’s left hand. “It’s been a long while since you’ve needed my assistance,” said a silky feminine voice.  “Who are we going to terrify now?” Devious enjoyment caressed the words.

Misty’s Magical Shed 17

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 26-04-2016

The window frame swung out and an image shimmered, then sharpened. Swirl stretched her arms toward the stronghold that had been her family home. “No!” The proceedings grew dismal.

Strands of silk retreated through Papa Hal’s cavern and out into the dark sky. The fine trail spread to twinkling lights in the wide expanse. Spirals of stars and intergalactic dust gobbled all traces.

Swirl clenched her fists and quivered from head to toe. Unable to prevent what happened from her vantage point, she continued to stare with fixated horror. Inside a black hole that allowed no light to escape, her hideaway offered a sanctuary that. More prison than home, it Swirl gave the only protection she could depend on.

The remaining silk inside the oval container glowed with a mind of its own, but it could do nothing to change what happened. To prevent it from going to the rescue, she replaced and secured the lid. A glow protested, but it would be there again when she needed it, and need it she would.

Long black strands of hair fell into her face. As usual, she brushed them back, but could not brush away the darkness that overwhelmed her. She needed to get herself under control, so she scrubbed the wall and a shiny surface grew. Her reflection frowned back. Deep lines etched worry and anger around crystal blue eyes. “This has to stop. I’m still beautiful.” Despite that, no one wanted anything to do with her. That’s fine, she thought. I’ll show them. When I can use my siren call once more, I won’t have to worry about being alone ever again. She opened her mouth as if the song she longed for would spill out and surround her. Like so many times before, all that happened was a pitiful croak.

“Min! You did this to me,” Swirl screamed, but no one was there to hear, least of all her sister Minerva. A twinkle of an idea intensified. “Ah,” she laughed. I’ll get even with Min and all the others. First she would have to defeat her nephew. It had been fun building a fear of spiders in him when he was a baby. Maybe she could use that now. Next time I’ll be stronger. I’ll take back my birthright. She flicked her hand at the image on the wall and it vanished.