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 13: The Garden of Abracadabra, Vol 1 of the Abracadabra Series

Lisa Mason

6

I remember her dark, pinched look on a summer’s eve years ago. The Dibners and the Donnelleys sat at the redwood picnic table on our brick patio in the backyard, eating potato salad and sipping cold beer. At age fourteen, I’d started tending the house, preparing the bills for Mama’s signature, cooking our meals. That summer’s eve, I stood at our barbecue grill, trying to light the charcoals to sear the chicken breasts and the shrimp.

Twilight suddenly fell, and I just couldn’t get the charcoals to catch. Concentrating on the match and lighter fluid, my mind as calm and clear as the starlit sky sparkling above, I called out, “Light. I need more light.”

All I wanted was for Mama to turn on the patio lights.

A warm wind rustled and stirred, and a scent filled my senses: red roses and some sort of sweet spice. The wind coaxed a spark in the charcoals, and I heard the snap and flutter of tiny wings.

I looked up, startled, as fireflies swarmed all around me. There must have been thousands, tens of thousands, of the velvety black bugs. They strobed and spiraled, broke apart in checkerboard patterns, formed arcane symbols and spelled out words in a language foreign to me. Their blinking bodies cast a golden glow all around me.

Casting light. More light.

I laughed out loud, delighted, and my power rushed through my blood like an intoxication.

The Dibners and the Donnelleys stared, suspicion in their narrowed eyes. Suspicion and fear.

“What in the blue blazes is goin’ on here?” Mr. Dibner muttered.

And Mama looked at me in her dark, pinched way and said, “Oh, Abby, don’t. Don’t, I beg you. They’ll see you!”

See me? There was nothing I could do about the neighbors. They’d seen me use a power I barely knew I possessed. But, from the way she said it, Mama didn’t mean the neighbors.

Who, then?

After the neighbors left and I brought in the dishes and glasses and stacked everything in the dishwasher, I demanded to know just what she meant. But Mama pleaded exhaustion and crawled off to bed. She’d taken to sleeping twelve hours a day. I didn’t have the heart to ask her again.

Who else could I ask? No one, that’s who. Papa had died when I was a child of eight. He’d suffered a heart attack, Mama told me. But some secret shrouded his death, something even more terrible than him dying so young and leaving us, his young family, alone. The kind of family secret you sense as a child, but no one will talk about.

I remember riding on his shoulders, my tiny hands gripping his forehead, his huge hands wrapped around my ankles, while I giggled at the world down there from the summit of Papa.

For years after his death, I woke screaming from a nightmare. A recurring nightmare in which you run, run, run and can’t escape the evil pursuing you. Mama took me to a therapist, a kindly woman who taught me how to hypnotize myself and make the nightmare go away. I banished it from my memory.

The world down there became me and Mama and her wasting illness. I took her to doctors, to tests and treatments. I fed her medications and miracle foods. Still her illness lingered over long, frustrating years. Sometimes she got better, sometimes worse. Mostly worse. Much, much worse.

On what turned out to be the last day of my mother’s life, I sat at her bedside, feeding her teaspoons of vodka tonic with a squeeze of lime. Her request for her last taste of this world, and we joked about whether she was in danger of becoming a bar fly. Her oncologist stopped by, stroked her forehead, and said, “You’ve got four hours to live, hon.” She checked the IV with the morphine, tucked rolled-up washcloths in Mama’s fists, and left us with a whispered good-bye.

Mama looked up at me. “Abby, listen. Are you listening?”

“I’m listening, Mama.”

“I’m sorry I demanded that you stay away from your power. That I made you feel ashamed of what you are. You can’t stay away from your power any more than your papa could. I understand that now. Will you forgive me?”

“Of course.” But I didn’t understand, exactly, what she was asking me to forgive.

“Good.” She nodded and sighed. “After I die, you must embrace your power and learn to master it. Your life depends on it! No one will be protecting you anymore. Here’s what you must do. Are you still listening?”

“Yes, Mama.”

“There’s a college that teaches magic in a town called Berkeley. Real Magic. One of the only schools of its kind in the country. Apply now. Apply today! Tell them you’ve worn the Eye of Horus your whole life. Tell them your papa gave it to you. That your papa was Jorge Teller. They’ll accept you at once.”

I was doubtful. I’d been moping around the house for weeks, having just gotten laid off from my marketing job at an airline going bankrupt, and I didn’t think a college of magic would accept me, just like that. Anyway, I couldn’t afford to go back to school.

“List the house for sale,” Mama whispered. “Find a part-time job in Berkeley on the Internet, take the Mustang, and go. Go! Go as soon as you can!”

“But, Mama, I’ve got a life here. I can’t just go.”

“But you must! You must! Before the Horde sees you.”

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 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 is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age 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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