The Garden of Abracadabra

Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

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 8: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series Lisa Mason

3

University is a boulevard of eight hectic lanes, traversing the tiny town of Berkeley eastbound and west. A polyglot of enterprise holds court along the curbs. I spy Smokey’s Eatery featuring Bear and Waffles. Through the wide front window of Kali Copy Center, I glimpse a blue woman whirling, her dozen arms feeding doctoral theses into a dozen steaming copiers. Salaam’s Emporium purveys Carpets: Persian, Indian, Floating & Flying. Merlin’s of Berkeley offers alchemist’s supplies: Alembics, Catalytic Reformers, Orreries, Retorts, Homunculi Guaranteed or Your Money Back!

Tattooed skateboarders cruise by in the bike lane, baseball caps bill backwards and sweatshirts with the slogan: I DON’T KNOW AND NEITHER DO YOU.

Turning at University onto Oxford, mindful of a herd of Priuses stampeding silently up the eastbound lanes, I fetch from the glove box a printout of the ad I found on craigslist:

GREAT JOB IN BERKELEY   NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

FLEXIBLE HOURS   APARTMENT PROVIDED   SALARY NEGOTIABLE

APPLY IN PERSON ANYTIME

Hmm. A job too good to be true? Perfect for a working student like me returning to college, facing her first course load?

So what’s the catch?

I scan the printout for directions: South on Oxford. Cross the intersection at Bancroft. Continue on to Fulton.

I hear bells as resonant as church chimes tolling the hour of six in the P.M. Above the soaring dark foliage of eucalyptus and pines, beyond the flat rooftop of Wheeler Auditorium, stands the source of the sound: the famous Campanile. At the top of the Venetian-style bell tower a soft golden beacon beams through the twilight stealing over the eastern hills.

Below the Campanile cluster turreted gothic buildings of luminous dark brick, and my heart leaps into my throat. The Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts! I recognize the distinctive profile of the towers from the web site. How I long to go and learn there! If only things work out!

A left on Dwight Way takes me up a block from quaint shops and mom-and-pop businesses to a residential neighborhood of well-worn houses and apartment buildings. A right on Hillegass, a left on Derby, then a sharp right onto Mirage Way.

It’s a slip of a street, an alley really, overgrown on either side with gnarled old oaks and spreading elms. Crooked sidewalks lead past the ragged rock gardens of vintage brown-shingled craftsman houses. The streetlights have yet to turn on, and shadows play hide-and-seek with sunset’s rosy glow.

The perfume of magic infuses the evening air: the scent of red roses and some sort of sweet spice. I hear the jangle of a wind chime, the mew of a cat.

Hi-Ho Silver and I cruise slowly now, searching for the address. There it is, the number stenciled on the curb in iridescent white paint: Seven Mirage Way.

A cobblestone driveway angles up from the street to an apartment building set back in a grove of willow oaks. I cruise through the welcoming wrought-iron arms of an ornate gate, pull onto a roundabout bordered by manicured boxwoods and lacy fan palms. A fountain drizzles water over marble angels poised above a pool. Amber lamps atop wrought-iron lampposts glow on, lighting the roundabout in gossamer gold.

I turn off the ignition, pull the parking brake, climb out and stretch, savoring the restorative crackle of my travel-weary joints. “Good car.” I pat the little chrome galloping mustang next to the door. The mustang tosses his tiny chrome head and snorts.

Then I catch my breath.

I’ve never seen any place like it!

Five stories of Mediterranean magnificence rise before my eyes. Andalusian windows punctuate peach stucco walls, the sills and the eaves meticulously trimmed in ivory and teal. Half-moons of terra-cotta tiles adorn the gambrel roof. A forest of stonework chimneys promises cosy fireplaces inside.

Two lions stand guard on either side of a glorious door, each with his paw raised up, his jaw agape in a silent marble roar. Inlaid in the cobblestones, a bronze plaque engraved with a cipher sets out a powerful spell conceived by Cabbalist magicians two thousand years ago:

A B R A C A D A B R A

A B R A C A D A B R

A B R A C A D A B

A B R A C A D A

A B R A C A D

A B R A C A

A B R A C

A B R A

A B R

A B

A

A richly ornamented arch soars over the carved oak of the door. As I gaze up in sunset’s last glow, I see chiseled deep in the arch the name of the place:

THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA

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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