Where Rainbows Hide
19 year old Neera Luxquaera still has no clue where her life is going. Hopelessly drifting from one job to the next she finally gets one on-board a shuttle heading out on an expedition beyond her Domed world. On-board she meets Chi, a genetically engineered chimpanzee and Zaq, a child genius who appears more mad scientist than juvenile. Will this last ditch attempt to find her niche in a fractured world finally help Neera see the rainbows she’s been searching for so long?
Extract from Chapter Nine
I was worried about Zaq. My medical knowledge was minimal, but I could tell he was having trouble. We were only two days into the expedition and it would take at least another day to reach the other side of the mountain, allowing for rock slides and so forth along the way.
That night, while he dozed, I prayed the med scanner in our packs was still working and took it out to play doctors and nurses. What I found frightened me to the point where I wanted to tear off my gloves and bite my nails down to the quick. The dangers of the hazardous atmosphere were the only things stopping me. I had hacked into the med-scan on Zaq's suit. To all intents and purposes his stats suggested he was suffering from the ancient earth disease cancer. I knew a little about this because I was a bit of a pre 25th century history buff.
Cancer was the big killer in the twenty-first century - an epidemic swept earth, killing swathes of people.
There had to be an error in the med device. Zaq couldn't be suffering from cancer. There hadn't been a reported case in over 40 years! In a panic I used it to check my own stats; a bit dehydrated, that was to be expected, otherwise normal. I logged into his stats again - same thing, not a device or suit malfunction.
I did not sleep that night, could not sleep, felt my skin go cold and clammy with my fear. If we were back in the Dome, Zaq would have received an intensive course of medication. Out here, in the middle of nowhere, underneath a huge chunk of the Pinternth - Zaq was dying...
The Lonely Dragon
Brueberon is the loneliest dragon there ever was on Long Upon A Time World. Vandabar the Wizard is away on holiday and can provide no solution to Brueberon’s problem. So he’s off to seek help from Kastaspella – one nasty witch. But will Kastaspella’s costly magic really help him? Or should he trust instead in Clarissa Henry, a girl who loves to dream?
Extract from Chapter Three
Bruberon, completely unaware of what his actions had set in motion, sat placidly on the common outside the witch's home. He sighed every now and then and every time he did so puffs of smoke like candy floss would drift from his nostrils and float high up into the sky to join the clouds already there.
Brueberon could tell that Kastapella was already working away at a magic potion for him because there was a lot of multi coloured smoke coming out of her chimney. And he could see bright flashes like small zig zags of lightning at the windows of the room where she mixed her potions.
Kastaspella meanwhile consulted her large stuffy text book on the ancient art of Hairs and Their Various Magic Properties. She had read it all the way through when she was studying at the Magic Academy. But it was always advisable to revise for any big magic endeavour.
Every once in a while she cackled to herself. She did it quietly though because she didn’t want anyone, especially Brueberon waiting outside on the common, to realise what she was up to. She scratched her nose and pressed her lips together in concentration then made certain she had all her ingredients to hand.
1. A single hair (in this case, Clarissa's)
2. essence of ladybird spittle (½ a teaspoon)
3. fresh ant antennae (4 or 2 pairs)
4. dried mouse tail (1 – diced finely)
5. the juice of one lemon (pips optional)
6. essential secret magic ingredient (it's secret so I can't say what it is)
Doing a spell is a bit like baking a cake and Kastapella approached it in the same way.