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

5

I step through the library doors, set my handbag and my suitcase on the floor, and stand there warily. I’m not about to lock myself in, not before I take a good look around. The feeling of being watched by someone or something I can’t see nearly overwhelms me.

Then there he is.

A man is lurking in a shadowy corner between two bookshelves. Silent, still, a strange silvery sheen to the look of him.

I crouch in the position “Street Smarts for Women” taught me. Fists clenched against my chest to ward off a blow or deliver one, feet ready to dodge or kick or flee, whichever comes first.

“Hello, sir? Sorry, am I disturbing you? Esmeralda Tormenta tells me there’s a lavatory in here, and it would be all right if I came in and changed clothes. Do you know Esmeralda? I’m Abby, Abby Teller, and–”

My voice dies in my throat.

Total silence. Total stillness.

That’s kind of rude. I stride across a luxurious Persian carpet of dark scarlets and blues to where the silver man stands.

He’s not a man at all, but a genuine medieval suit of armor of forged and hammered metal, intricate chain mail, and heavy stitched blood-colored leather. He stands strictly to attention, his gauntlets hanging rigid at his sides.

What a marvel! What’s he worth? Priceless, no doubt. I’ve never seen such an artifact outside of a major museum housing medieval antiquities. And there, in the museum I went to, the suit of armor stood well behind a rope of scarlet velvet.

What a cutie! Men of five centuries ago and much leaner days grew to manhood as a tiny, scrawny lot. Even noble knights. The top of this knight’s helmet barely reaches my shoulder.

I peek in the helmet’s eye-slots. Darkness, darkness, nobody home. I rap my knuckles on the breastplate. The rap echoes in an impressive regression as if bouncing around in a cavern far vaster than the breastplate could possibly contain.

I step back, and now the suit of armor clutches a blunderbuss in his left gauntlet. Wait a minute. Where did that come from? Did medieval knights carry firearms? Even primitive firearms?

“You’re holding an anachronism, sir. A weapon way after your time.”

Skeptical silence.

“Knights in armor carried battle axes, bludgeons, hatchets, lances, spears, swords, sure. But not firearms. Not even blunderbusses.”

Insulted silence.

“Don’t sulk. Now that we’re friends, I shall call you”–I consider the question–“Sir Tin Man. Beware of rain and rust. You like?”

Disapproving silence.

“No, I don’t like that much, either. I don’t know what metal you’re made of, but it’s certainly not tin.” I think again. “I shall call you Sir Little Big Man. Better?”

Grudging silence.

“Better, definitely.”

A chill crawls up my spine as if someone is standing right behind me, watching me. I whirl around. Nothing, no one. I sprint to the double doors, yank them shut, and shoot the dead bolt home. Now that I’m sure—mostly sure—no one is here but me, I look around.

The library has an odd shape to it. I run my eyes around twice before I realize there are five walls. The place is a pentagon. Magnificent teak bookshelves line each wall from floor to ceiling, and each shelf is crammed with books of every size and color. Each book glows faintly and smells of dust, calfskin, a touch of mold.

The scent of Knowledge. Ancient Knowledge. Secret Knowledge.

Another scent of magic.

Teak armchairs offering plush scarlet-leather seat cushions crowd around a pentagonal table with a cherry-wood pentagram inlaid in the teak top. Tiffany lamps adorn the side tables, their multicolored glass lampshades glowing like jewels.

A soft creak startles me. Sir Little Big Man has lifted his left gauntlet and points the blunderbuss toward a shadowy doorway between two bookshelves.

The lavatory, has to be.

“Thanks, Sir Little Big Man. I knew I could depend on you.” I retrieve my handbag and suitcase, step inside. I run my hand over the wall and toggle a light switch. Fluorescent light flashes on in a ceiling lamp, lighting up a tidy little white-tiled lavatory smelling of lavender soap.

I shut and lock the door, set handbag and suitcase on the white porcelain commode. I strip off my sweaty tank, step out of my short shorts, unbuckle the Isis sandals. I unclasp the silver chain with the Eye of Horus and lay chain and amulet on the little glass ledge above the wash basin. Same for my rings and bangles.

The amulet certainly got a rise out of Esmeralda. But why? What does she know about the Eye of Horus that I don’t?

Standing before the basin in my peach lace bra and panties, I worry about the antique-looking bronze faucet. But a twist of my hand coaxes hot water out of the spout. I foam soap in my palms and relish washing away the sweat and grime of a very long day on the road.

Rinsing off, I gaze in the mirror.

Who is that woman staring back at me? A woman with haunted eyes of hazel and gold? Whose face is that, a face dripping with water like too many tears?

No time for tears? No time for grieving?

Now grief nearly blindsides me, a constriction gripping my chest, an ache overwhelming my heart.

Only days ago, Mama had looked up at me, her face strangely rigid like a mask of yellow wax, her breath rattling deep in her lungs, and whispered, “Abby, listen.”

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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