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

5

Esmeralda locks eyes with Senor. The dog scrambles to his feet and smiles the way dogs do, lolling his tongue, snuffling and slobbering, and thrashing his tail. She nods. “Sure, I’ll show you.”

Excellent. A Great Dane has green-lighted me.

“Is there some place where I can freshen up and change clothes? I’ve been driving all day.” I pluck at my sweaty tank top. “I’m not presentable for a job interview.”

I expect her to protest that I’m not welcome in her apartment, but she only nods again. “Sure.” To Senor she says, “Heel,” and strides to the glorious door. The dog trots obediently by her side.

I collect my handbag and suitcase from the backseat, lock Hi-Ho Silver, and catch up with her. A tall, arched plank of solid oak, the door is heavily carved with arcane symbols. In the adjoining wall is a console with numbered buzzers. An intercom connects to the residents within. I like that. Some apartment buildings this old aren’t wired for security.

Esmeralda pries a key from her jeans pocket and fits it in the lock. “You’ll need to get one of these from poor old Stanley. The door locks automatically, so don’t ever step outside without your key, looking for your morning paper, or you’ll find yourself locked out in your jammies.” She smiles in her sardonic way. “Unless the famous Abby Teller can open locks with magic.”

“Not yet.” Gosh. Every person with power I’ve met today has mastered more magic than me. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do at school.

Senor turns as I walk in behind Esmeralda and bares his fangs, favoring me with a full-throated growl.

“Good Senor,” I say. “Nice doggy.”

“Senor, don’t make me take the MacBook away,” Esmeralda says. The dog trots beside her, studiously ignoring me.

Huh. That is one smart dog. Does he have a web site?

We stride across the polished hardwood floor of a cavernous lobby scented with lemon wax and some sort of sweet spice. A picture window looks out at the roundabout and the fountain. Scarlet silk shantung richly covers the walls, and honeyed light streams from filigreed bronze wall sconces.

A bank of brass mailboxes takes up an entire wall. How many? I take a quick count. Twelve boxes across, five rows up. Sixty mailboxes. Sixty apartments. That’s a lot of responsibility for whoever takes the job.

Is that the catch? The salary doesn’t match the responsibility? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Esmeralda leads me past a splendid staircase braced on each side by wrought-iron banisters spiraling up from the lobby to the floors above. We leave the lobby beneath an archway and stride into a broad hall sprawling some distance in either direction.

No windows let in the last glow of sunset. The hall, spotlit here and there by ceiling lamps, holds pools of light and pools of darkness. Weird rustling whispers drift from the darkness.

I could get used to weird rustling whispers.

Esmeralda points to a pair of stately double doors standing ajar midway down the hall.

“We’ve got our own little library at the Garden of Abracadabra. There’s a lavatory. Lock the doors while you’re changing, if that makes you feel more comfortable, but leave them open when you go. The books like company.”

“I will.” I peer through the gloom. I could have sworn the hall was one long, unbroken expanse. But there they are, stately double doors standing ajar.

She points to a door at the far end. “That’s our place.” She turns and points to a door at the opposite end. “And that’s Number One, where you’ll find poor old Stanley.”

“Thanks for all your help, Esmeralda. I couldn’t have found poor old Stanley without you.”

She stares at me for a moment, wonder and skepticism warring in her dark eyes. “Are you really Abby Teller?”

“I’m really Abby Teller, and I’m really not dead.”

Esmeralda nods, apparently satisfied. I notice she doesn’t invite me over for a neighborly cuppa java, but that’s cool. Storm witches who trap tornados in pasta sauce jars and own big black snarling dogs want their privacy.

“Good luck with the interview, Abby.”

Senor growls a farewell.

“Thanks. And a good evening to you, too, poochie.”

The mistress and her Great Dane saunter down the hall, her high heels clicking on the hardwood floor in a rhythm with his canine toenails. They make a striking woman-and-dog couple.

“Senor, pipe down. You’re just asking for Alpo for dinner tonight.” She waves her hand at her door, the door swings open, and woman and dog step inside. Darkness swallows them.

She hasn’t used a key.

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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