The Garden of Abracadabra
Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
“Abracadabra” is a real magical spell formulated by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago. Originally invoked to cure mortal diseases, the spell has since been employed as the enabling word to cause the result of a magical operation. The spell can only be used to create good results, never evil (see E.A. Wallis Budge, Lewis Spence, and others) and is so powerful everyone in the world has heard of the word.
A Bast Book
Copyright 2012–2014 by Lisa Mason.
Cover art, interior art, and logo copyright 2010–2012 by Tom Robinson.
All rights reserved.
Serial 7: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason
“Brand? Oh my God, Brand?” a woman calls out in the rasp of a three-pack-a-day smoker.
The rasp’s owner bursts out of the town house, her welcoming smile swiftly rearranging itself into a dangerous frown. She stands over six feet tall with the muscular build of a gal who hauls UPS packages for a living. A Valkyrie in ripped jeans. I can see how she and Brand made a stormy physical match, if not a magical one.
She clutches, of all things, the knitted arm of a man’s sweater, the rest of the garment trailing beside her. The sweater looks to be nearly finished. A welcome-back gift for Brand? She also clutches a ball of homely gray yarn and a pair of lethal-looking steel knitting needles.
A dazed look films her eyes, as if Brand’s voice compelled her out the door before she had the presence of mind to set her knitting down.
She looks at him, at me, at him.
“Who the fuck is she?”
“Hi, there.” I wave. “Pleased to meet you, too.”
“Abby, this is Barb,” Brand says.
“Brand and Barb. Sweet. You two sound like a nineteen-forties horse opera in black and white. Starring John Wayne, say, and Barbara Stanwyck.”
They both look at me–he amused, she outraged–and say in unison just like a longtime couple would, “What?”
“Free-range rancher wants to roam around. Lady rancher wants to fence him in.”
Brand laughs, his easy merriment a little strained. “You see, Barb? Abby’s cool. She gave me a ride all the way from Sacramento.”
“Oh, I see. I see, all right.” Barb fixes her furious eyes on him as if she could bend him to her will. He stands where he stands, unmoving. Nope, she’s got no power. No power over him, anyway.
She steps between us and swivels to face me, looming over me. She’s got a good five inches on me, and I have to look up. I hate having to look up at lunatics.
“Brand is staying with me.” Gripping the knitting needles in her fist, she viciously jabs the tips against my breastbone, hard.
Oh, man! Is she trying to kill me? With knitting needles? The tips hurt enough to have punctured my skin, pierced flesh, dented bone. I jump back and glance down, expecting wounds and blood, but glimpse only a pair of angry red spots above the scoop neck of my tank top.
“Hey, Barb, you know? People get arrested for less.”
“Hey, Abby, you get it? Brand. Is staying. With me.”
I turn to him. “Is everyone so friendly in Emeryville?”
“Cut it out, Barb,” Brand snaps.
“Don’t give her any ideas.” My hand whips out and seizes the needles and pulses a volt of my power up the steel. A friendly electrical shock, that’s what Barb needs.
“Ow, fuck!” She flinches and shakes her hand, then stares at me, wide-eyed. I’m one of Them. One of the Weird Ones. Don’t ask me why, but I don’t think she likes me. “Why don’t you hit the road, you freaky slut.”
Brand grins, a lot less comradely. “I’ll catch you later, Abby. You should go.”
“Later,” I say as they stand in the street, glaring daggers at each other. A shining example of how love and hate tangle with passion, whereas indifference means the affair is truly over.
I climb into Hi-Ho Silver, turn the ignition. I don’t make a habit of grappling strange men in front of their jealous ex-girlfriends. I’ve got too much respect and sympathy for women. Even a psychopath like Barb.
I drive away from Emeryville, wondering whether I will catch Brand later. I kind of want to, even though he’s a cad. He’s got magic, oh yeah.
I should catch Brand later only after he’s moved to a place of his own. I want to meet up with Barb’s knitting needles a second time like I want an ice pick plunged in my chest.
And what about him staying with her? Isn’t that a little cruel when she so clearly hopes for a reconciliation and he so clearly doesn’t? Do I really want to connect with this user?
Brand plays a lot of games. Games I’m not ready to play. I’m on a rebound of my own devising after leaving Daniel.
First things first. Land the job, line up a paycheck. Register for school, start the class. Never forget what my mother told me on her deathbed. My survival depends on learning to master my power. Survival against the Horde when they finally come looking for me.
I feel feverish, my cheeks and my forehead burning. When I glance in the rearview mirror, my face is the color of a boiled lobster. Brand’s great big bear hug left little to wonder about and much to fantasize.
But, wait, wait. This isn’t me, Abby Teller. I’m not the feverish, fantasizing type. Am I?
No way. Not in a million, billion years.
So why did I pull over to the shoulder and slam on the brakes? Why spill my life story inside of five minutes? What did our clasped hands do? Why didn’t I mind he was being disingenuous, lying, jerking me around? And why do I feel so feverish?
What has Brand done to me?
You see? I set one foot outside of Buckeye Heights, and a foxy sorcerer is trying to enchant me.
Berkeley is going to be a blast.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also available in three affordable installments, beginning with The Garden of Abracadabra, 1: Life’s Journey.
Coming soon! The Labyrinth of Illusions, Volume 2 of the Abracadabra Series.
From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.
Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website, Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
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