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Magic And Mayhem - The Winning Game
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-287-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 197 Pages
Published: February 2016

From inside the flap

Not just another teen witch story told with the same old boorish storyline. This is the real story of Boh Pierce, a young adult witch that is relatively naïve to much of the duties and abilities of his kind. Thrown into a world where beings, races and clans of all kinds intermingle with understanding and tolerance, but for few that try to throw the balance in their favour. Remembering, always, that humans must never find out the truth of the hidden beings and that he, and others like him, must act as the protector for all. ‘Human’ tales of the hidden beings lose credit and the basis of all good in any being is seen in their actions rather than their appearance.

Bound by the elders of Marree to complete each task and as it is set, he is sent with his class of six fellow witches to chaperon the return of sacred item to an unnamed knight. They are led by Boh’s Uncle Dale, a half werewolf witch, and the dwarf prince, Boron. They travel with warrior companions from many different races.

When several of their entourage disappear and further members taken before their eyes, they find themselves in aggressive company of King Bors of the desert Lepreharn clan (disowned Leprechauns). Uncle Dale and Boh are forced into the middle of what appears to be a royal disagreement and soon the entire company are battling for their lives.

Magic And Mayhem - The Winning Game (Excerpt)


Chapter 1

FORWARDING ON

Boh's hair was hanging not that much different to his uncle's messing lot. He could not help but feeling as badly for himself as he had when he was in the migration of elves ─ which really was not that long ago, yet at that moment seemed so far behind him. Boron had given him something to put in his hair to protect it from the sun, for though it was not exceedingly hot, the land was in drought and the sun damaged easily. Though it had looked offensive, even when it was still in the tub, courteously Boh had agreed to use the mixture offered. What Boron had failed to tell Boh was that if he used the elixir given, that he would end up smelling similar to an unkempt goat; or something as dreadful smelling. At first he had thought there was something on the trail they were following that was rotting, but he soon realised that even Heather and Caitlin, who were the most talkative of their group, did not seem to be overly enthusiastic in spending time which him. He had tried to wash the smell from him, but was left with a greasy feeling that was all over his skin. Boh felt like a skunk.

To add to his misery were his now companions, given to him for his travels by the dear Princess Rose of the low land elves. No, maybe I phrased that wrong, as no one can actually own another creature. Princess Rose, I should have said, asked that two little brownies, Kite and Eagle, might accompany her friend, Boh Pierce, on his travels to a great castle in the north. Now, that sounds better ¾ doesn't it?

Kite and Eagle were exceedingly adventurous brownies and had travelled a long way from their own homes. They wanted to be the first brownies in history to do some great deed that would make them heroes in their homelands, and to be spoken about with awe in other kingdoms. This is not an easy thing when one is only four inches high... and in centimetres, for those of you who think metrically (for every one inch that is about two and half centimetres) a brownie is about ten centimetres high fully grown.

Kite and Eagle meant little harm, but they were sometimes a little annoying for those that are not use to a brownie's ways. They were always wonderfully mannered for ladies and could remember these manners in diplomatic circumstances, but most of the time, for the male part anyway, they were sometimes quite insufferable. Well, not really insufferable, rather more... to put the words right- uncouth, bad mannered and, for the most part, impolite. Of course they were meaning this more as jovial fun, but, as I said, if one is not familiar with the ways of a brownie, then one might think that these little creatures might have it in for you. In reality this is a way they treat those they really like. I know it seems all very odd, but if you ever heard how they spoke to those they did not like, then, and only then, you would understand the difference, such incivility I cannot replay.

Kite ran across Boh's shoulder and whispered something in his ear somewhat in the order of, "You are a goat breathed being and now coated in the proper fashion." He then plonked himself, as though he had offered something soothing to his companion, on Boh's shoulder and dangled his legs down, as a pirate would have his parrot sit.

Unlike what you may think, this comment had not stirred any malice inside of Boh, nor had the way he had become the transport to the little beings, in fact it was all well with him that he was still the desired company for some and had not been completely abandoned. Eagle had decided that he like the company of Heather of late and had taken to travelling some of the time with her. No, none of these things really bothered him terribly, other than the hair treatment, it was not even the length of daily journey they had been doing. It was Mrs Lennox, their teacher. He was sure that she had deliberately given him the most complicated of all assignments.

Oh, perhaps before I go on I should inform you of their predicament and how they got to this journey that I have spoken of.

Not so long ago, only months, Boh had started his training for his duty as a witch. His duty is to help assure the safety of all races and resolve conflict if there is any. As you might know already, but for those who don't I will inform you, all beings; whether they be vampire, werewolf, harpy, goblin, abatwa (African fairies, and the smallest in the world) or any other; are generally good and wish no harm to another, the same as you or I, but, as with humans, there are the occasional bad folk to be found. All races know about one another and usually exist as peacefully as they can with one another; all races but one that is- humans. It also tends to be that humans, who very rarely know the truth about any of the other beings around them, write horrible stories about things that they have no idea on, only what they have caught perhaps a glimpse of. There are some humans that know the truth and are regarded as confidants to witches and other races, but these are few. However hard the humans are on other beings, they are still regarded as a race to protect and remain naive to all that is around them. Anyway, I am rambling and have not yet told you about how Boh and his class of seven ended up on this journey we started our story with.

Boh and his class, Gordon, Fred, Heather, Caitlin, May and April, had been assigned a mission to supervise the yearly migration of low land elves part of their way to their summer lodgings, but they had run into a few complications. As a result of all these problems they now have been bound to supervise a dwarf returning to a castle of an unnamed man, a knight by description, with a something of great importance and value. As most beings possess very little magic ability, and most well trained witches had already duty elsewhere, Boh, though only fifteen, and his class led by his uncle (a werewolf witch), also accompanied by Mrs Lennox (a school teacher and also a skilled witch), so they would not fall behind in their regular studies, were now heading north with Boron, the dwarf I mentioned above. They have been sent instead of older; more experienced witches because the witch elders of Marree, the county where Boh and his class are from, saw that they were best for the journey. That was several weeks ago. Now we are pretty much up to where we started this book.

Mrs Lennox had asked that Boh keep a journal of their travels in which he must record everything they passed. This included towns, mountains, rivers or creeks, people and other beings they met and so on. Boh did not know it, but his whole class had been given this to do, he had not as yet sat down and spoken to them about what they were doing. Mrs Lennox had come that very morning to him and given him a beautifully bound brown leather book, which could never be completely filled as when one got to the very last page and new page would appear, and yet would never be much bigger than this very book. She also gave him a quill pen that did not ever need to be refilled. She gave these happily to him, he was sure that she smiled so much because she was always conspiring new forms of 'teaching tortures.' Now, it was not that Boh was bad at school ─ he was not head of the class, but he was not stupid either ─ it was more that he felt simply irritable of late. I suppose, in truth, all of these things came together to form his mood.

Mrs Lennox was always seen as happy since starting their journey and, even when she got angry, wore a pleasant face. It is sometimes hard to see such a personality in those that reign over one, instead Boh thought of her as near evil incarnate. Boron, being a dwarf, did not like the idea of flight; that and the rest of his party were too many to be ferried by only nine witches; so they either had walked or ride on borrowed horses. With Mrs Lennox's upbeat attitude it was hard to imagine that they had been travelling for many weeks.

In truth, Boh was the only one that was not in a similar frame of mind. The rest of the class saw it as an opportunity for adventure. Boh had too, at first, but had since gotten bored. Now, being told that he had to start observing and recording just made him ill tempered. You or I would know that this would be a good way of learning many classes ─ more fun that's for sure. For science one would learn botany and biology; recording different trees and animals and enquiring how they might survive. For English, one's records would be sufficient, I would think. For maths, well, I suppose everything breaks down to mathematical equations in some way or form. For geography- do I really have to explain that one? For history, meeting the people and beings that anyone meets on a pilgrimage of any type leads to learning history, customs and many other things, and so on and so forth.

"Look at that rock." Heather had skipped up to him, breaking into his solemn mood. Not wishing to have his sulk interrupted, Boh, frowned, raised his head to look in the direction of her pointing finger. Out of the side and on the absolute peak of a cliff was a giant, red bolder. What was interesting about this bolder was that it looked amazingly like an eagle, and not just any eagle, one that was obviously in a mood reflective of Boh's.

"Doesn't it look like an eagle?" Caitlin said, she had joined her sister, but on Boh's other side.

"Yes, I suppose," Boh, by no means with enthusiasm, said. Kite had jumped up at Boh's boorish reply and had offered him a kick in the ear. Boh flicked at his ear, hoping to catch the little imp, but brownies can move exceedingly swift and was on the other shoulder before Boh had a chance to complete his move. "If you do that again I will feed you to Uncle Dale tonight."

"I am brave enough that a werewolf would no more scare me than you, chicken legs." Kite said sarcastically.

"Really." Boh jumped a little at the voice, but Kite screamed with fright. Uncle Dale had snuck up behind them and had been listening into their conversation. "Perhaps then, you would keep me company in containment this evening?" Uncle Dale grinned a spiked, yellow teethed smile and Kite screeched yet again.

"No fear, my brother," Eagle stood up on Heather's shoulders, "I will protect you." Uncle Dale turned his attention to Eagle and winked. This was enough that the brownie returned to a sitting position. "¾ Or I will sit right back down."

It was the first night of the phase of the full moon; this was three days that would cause Uncle Dale to revert to the form of a werewolf. Mrs Lennox would contain him so that there would be no danger to anyone. The rest of the class had been learning more spell work, but had not yet perfected a containing spell, May was the closest to being able to do this, but would still not be able to offer any help this full moon. April, her twin sister, was as clever with her spell weaving as May, but excelled in all the opposite fields to her sister. They were a near mirror of one another. Boh found himself thinking of this suddenly and thought that, possibly he should ask one of the girls to help weave a spell that would at least disguise the awful smell that he exuded.

"That's Eagle Mountain," Uncle Dale said pointing to the rock they had been observing.

Well, duhis pretty much what Boh thought, still sulking. Uncle Dale then began to tell then of different superstitions and beliefs that surrounded the area they were in, but Boh was no longer paying attention and had started watching what Fred was up to.