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Magic And Mayhem - Tree Of Knowledge
Gillian Duce


Our Price: 5.99 USD

ISBN-10: 1-77115-279-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-771152-79-2
Genre:  Fantasy/SF/Young Adult
eBook Length:  148  Pages
Published:  January 2016





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From Inside the Flap

Not the same old, dull, over told story of young witches and their life. The story of a teenage witch, Boh Pierce as he slowly becomes an adult in a world where an evil of great magnitude is growing. 'Human' tales of all other beings lose credit and the basis of all good in any being is seen in their actions rather than their appearance. The M & M series follow his transformation from awkward, comical teen to competent, young adult witch, while he and others protect the world from threats.

Boh Pierce is like any other fifteen year old at the beginning of last century. He and his close friends believe that vampires and werewolves are not only real but also evil. It is a challenge, then, to his way of thinking to find out that there is more to the hidden world then spoken of in ‘human’ stories. He is not only a witch, but his uncle a werewolf. This is the story of Boh as he stumbles with six other young apprentice witches to find their way in the hidden world of the other races that inhabit the earth. The truth of witches being the protectors of all races, clans and beings. The underworld which humanity is kept naïve of; with exception of a few.

Boh’s class is sent on their first mission to protect the migration of the low-land elves as they make their way to their summer lodgings in the east. They are made aware of Boron, son of the dwarf monarchy, King Nevin, and his pursuit of the throne of the low-land dwarves. Boh and his class are caught up in the battle which leads to the end of a two hundred year old war.



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Excerpt


Chapter 1

THE VISITOR

There are many things in the world that we do not understand and others do, and there are many things that we understand and others do not. I am writing this book for a reason. There are a lot that are tired of being thought of as horrid, ugly or just plain sinful, well therein lays the reason for my writing. I am here to right some of the wrongs that have been told of certain groups of beings. How do I know about what I write? Well, that is my secret but, as I have already stated, there are those that have certain knowledge and those that don't. Of course my mother ¾ hi, mum ¾ and father, the best spirit in the world ¾ hi, dad ¾ and all others that have taken the time to notice my name on the front of this book and know whom I am. Yes, yes. Hi, to you as well. All right, enough of that. Let us begin.

Boh Pierce was a simple fifteen year old that was like any other of his village. He would spend most of the time doing his chores or work for his father, occasionally his mother and, very rarely, his grandfather, who was also the village mayor. There were always things for him to do beside these chores, and he would often be heard complaining that there was no time for him to do them all... or that he was bored. When he was not doing chores, he would be out with his friends Fred Witcombe and Gordon Delta, cousins that lived together with Fred's family, a few houses along the lane.

They all lived quite close to the village of Marree and the three friends would walk to school each day together and home again in the afternoon. Marree was a peaceful little town that had cobblestone streets and many beautiful buildings. Even the horses of the town would trot lively, as though they enjoyed being alive and living in Marree. Boh did not dislike the town, though he would often talk about when he was older he would go to the city and he would live there. I guess this is something that all of us that have lived in the country think of doing at some time.

Fred's family were owners of a little shop that supplied the town with most of the oddities that they might otherwise get in the city, which was at least a day's travel from Marree by carriage and over a half a day by fleet horse. Boh had only once been to the city, and that was an experience that he would not forget. It had been some time ago this journey, he was quite young at the time, and his memories had become a little distorted, but the feeling of wonderment still lay within him. He would often ask if he might accompany his friends and their family on one of the several trips that they would take each year to the city, but Boh's parents were adamant in saying that he should not travel away in such a way until he had reached his sixteenth birthday (this was only a few months away in June).

The friends would go fishing or swimming in summer and would often skate on the ice when it was hard enough in winter. There was also a lot of their free time devoted to their love of stories about the miraculous and the supernatural. Fred's father would order books of all sorts for the store, and would often include a few for the three of them. It was a good thing that the Witcombe's owned the store, as it was most frowned upon this type of reading. "A waste o' what precious storage yer might have in that head," Mrs Lennox, their teacher, had said once when she found them reading one of these very books one day. At night the air would be clear and the sounds of the nearby forest would be the only thing that could be heard when everyone else had gone to bed. It was nights like this that the friends would go camping, not far from home, and tell stories back and forth until the morning; none of them could sleep as they had tried to scare the wits out of each other.

Boh had good parents who would, quite often, let him do pretty much as he wished to. There were times when his parents would come to his room in the night and tell him that they had to go out and that he was in charge of the house until they returned. He liked this, even though it was night-time, his little sisters ¾Ruby, Rose and Tullah ¾ were all in bed, and there really was nothing for him to be in charge of. Still he felt it right that he should go down stairs and he would sleep on the couch in front of the fireplace. He would usually fall asleep and be waken when either of his parents returned, which they always did before any of his sisters woke. Most of time his father would go alone in the night, but now and then, his mother would join him.

"Perhaps they are really witches and they fly around doing misdeeds at night." Gordon would joke. "Or maybe they turn into monsters and feed at night." He would add. He then thought about this and, pretending to look a little nervous said, "You know. I heard something outside my window last night. You don't think that there are such things, do you?"

"Oh for goodness sake, Gordon," Fred gave his cousin a friendly push with his open hand. "For such a big guy, you are such a coward."

This was a jest from Fred, as it was well known that it was Fred not Gordon who was the "overly cautious" type. Gordon was as tall as any of the men in the village. He had been told that he was part Edetornian, in some parts they are called Yeti or Yowie, among other names; these are the giant people of the hills that hide and generally are never seen by a human. It was well known that the only time that an Edetornian might be seen was from the corner of a person's eye, offering only the smallest of glimpses. Most of the time it would be late evening or early morning and, because they wore only fur and with their darker skin, they looked as though they were covered in hair. Gordon did not mind when the other children of the village said that he was one of the giants; he thought it was a good thing. It would keep them from picking on him too much, and because of that Fred and Boh were also safe from being teased. Boh would have been a good target for any jokes if it were not for Gordon. Boh looked short, pale skinned and thin. His hair was dark, nearly black and he hunched his back most of the time, if it were not for his hunching he would probably be rather tall as well. Before Gordon had come to live with Fred, Boh had been called the undertaker. Fred was chubby, not fat, just chubby, and thought of as not the smartest rat in the pack, this was Mrs Lennox again, who usually was not so contrary to everything, but had a tendency to be bad tempered on occasion and would say such things to any who crossed her path, included her peace loving husband. Any jokes that might have been stopped on the day that Gordon joined them at school. No one else knew that he was a quiet and fun person. This was not his fault, but because his face always looked like he was ready for a scrap and his size said that he was going to win if there was any. As I said, he could not help this, and, believe it or not, when he smiled he looked even angrier and less approachable than ever.

We start following Boh, and his friends, just as it is time for the winter break from school. Christmas was in a few days and every one of the town was running around trying to make sure that they had everything planned exactly as it should be for the season. Of course, Boh, Gordon and Fred were preparing themselves. They each thought that it was the best time of the year. School was out and the weather was perfect to do the things they wished. They all wanted to finish making the presents that they had been working on for their respective families. It was not easy for Boh, as he had three sisters, but he tried his best to make them each a doll. He had sewed them himself and when he had finished he showed them to his friends. Each doll he had made to look as much like the sister that it was to belong to. Two dolls had the same, light brown hair and the third had red hair. He had been saving the scraps that one of the town's dressmakers had been letting him have, in return he had been sweeping the floors and, now the winter had come, shovelling the snow from the front of the shop, which was usually Fred's job. He had borrowed a needle in the evenings from his mother and he would sit, doing his best. He had never sewed before, but he was proud and was feeling this way when he showed his friends.

Gordon and Fred stared at them at first. This turned into joke of him being too old to play with dolls. Finally they agreed that he had done a good job and they gave him a pat on the back. It was then that Gordon and Fred showed the present that they had been working on with each other and Mr Witcombe for them all to share. It was a wooden sleigh. They had started work on it well over a month before. Fred's father had spent time with them steaming and then bending the wood for runners. After the seating and side panels had been fixed to the runners, Fred's father, Fred and Gordon had coated the sleigh many times to stop the wood from bloating and rotting, and they had put extra on the runners.

"What do you think?" Gordon asked while he ran his finger along the edge of it to show how well it had been done.

"Its' amazing." Boh said. "How did you get time to do it all?"

"Well," Fred said. "Dad did a lot. It is not only for us. Mum needed a way to get about when father was up in the hills doing whatever it is that he does up there and he thought that the old mare was as good a horse as any for us all to get about with the sleigh in winter. You have to see this." Fred's enthusiasm at trying to show Boh what it was that he was so excited about ended when he hit his head on the sleigh bending over trying to pull something from under it.

"Here." Gordon stepped forward and placing his hands on Fred's shoulders, then effectively, but gentle, removed him from the task. Gordon then bent, making sure not to do as Fred had, and released a lever that was well hidden under the contraption. Immediately there were stirrings and the sound of a piston being release; which sounded very similar to that of a steam engine as it is pulled to a halt. As this happened two wheels were lowered to the ground from beneath the vehicle. This having been done, Gordon pushed in a plunger that had been sticking out from the front of the sleigh, Boh had thought this for the reigns when the sleigh was not in motion. The wooden beams for the sleigh to run on were lifted into place along the sides of, what was now, the carriage. "Your dad helped with this. What do you think?"

"That is brilliant." Boh shouted his amazement. Mr Pierce, Boh's father, and Mr Witcombe liked to invent things. Most of the time they were silly things that either did not work when it came time to show others, or caused damage or harm to anyone or anything close by. There were two things that had been invented that they used quite often, one was flycatcher that had the most atrocious smelling liquid in the bottom and the other was machine they use to help wash clothing and sheets by clipping their feet into pedals that were attached to a large barrel, this had also once attacked his mother, but had been working wonderful since. "Let's take it out for a trial run."

It was not long before they had packed together a lunch and went off to one of their favourite spots along the river that ran near their town. They all decided to stay sitting in the sleigh, as the ground was too cold for them to want to leave the warmth they had under their blankets. They were still eating when a man approached them. He was extremely thin, ugly and smelt bad enough that Boh was sure he must never have bathed. His hair was unbrushed and unwashed, hanging in clumps with bits of old leaves and twigs that had caught in it.

"Hello, there boys. I am looking for the way to the town of Marree. I think that it is this way, but I can't be sure anymore. It has been so many years since I have been this way." His teeth showed when he spoke and they were stained yellow with the ends black and seemingly rotten to a point.

"Why aren't you following the road? It would lead you straight to the town." Fred asked rudely.

"Not all paths taken start or finish with an obvious road to walk on," the man replied.

None of them knew what to say to this. It sounded too much like something that the minister would say in church. The friends had heard of people that devoted their whole lives to the worshipping of God. Still, thought Boh, he smells and has the look of all that is evil. Why send him to the town to bring curses on them?

"No, sir." Boh spoke before either of the other two could. Gordon and Fred whipped their heads around to look at him. "If you follow this river downstream until you come to a large rock that looks like the head of a rabbit, then turn to the west and walk for a further day, then you will come to it." Boh pointed out the directions as he spoke them, then looked to the man to see if his lie was believed.

"Thank you." The man said, raising one eyebrow and looking a little suspicious. "Where are you boys from? I do not remember another town around Marree, not until the city."

"Sir. We are from our family homes that are just over the little hill and beyond. It is a small settlement of only our families." Again Boh lied, by now he did not wish to risk being found after his lie was discovered.

"Perhaps I have changed my mind and I will go over the hill and beyond," the man said, eying Boh carefully. "I do not think that I have been there before."

Boh stood to try and tell him not to, but he could not think of a good excuse that would stop the man now going that way. The man had already started walking up the hill when Boh called out behind him that there were werewolves. The man stopped. Boh was surprised that he had heard because he seemed nearly too far away. He watched in horror as the man turned and began walking back to them.

"Werewolves?" Gordon asked.