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First pages

Prologue – The Beginning of Chaos

Part A

Before the Founders came along Eden was a lawless land. Magic was power and those without were enslaved or offered as sacrifices to tame the magical creatures that also inhabited the area. The land became corrupted and Chaos freely roamed. The Founders were wise Magi who wanted the land to flourish and the people to be equal regardless of their magical ability. They wanted to create a balance between the negative energy that corrupted and the positive energy that existed in small pockets. They wanted the future to be a place to hope for and their land to be on par with the far away lands that refused to interact with them.

The Founders came up with a way to clear the negative energy using stones from the lands that would one day become their kingdoms. They were undistinguishable from any other stone but the Founders of the five kingdoms of Eden had chosen the stone that best represented what they hoped their nation would become. Terra’s founder chose the most rugged stone that would never crumble as a symbol that its citizens would be able to withstand any hardship. Caeli’s founder chose the roundest stone to ensure the country remained united from internal conflict and would heal from external ones. Ignis’ founder chose the darkest stone. They believed this would make Ignis into a powerful nation. Aquas’ founder chose the shiniest stone to help unlock the unlimited potential within its inhabitants. And Sidera’s founder chose the most stable and sturdy stone as they hoped Sidera would become the most stable country and help maintain the balance between the other four. Once the stones were chosen and blessed by all five Founders they were buried in places of importance to each kingdom. Terra’s stone was thrown into marsh land, Caeli placed theirs upon the highest peak, Ignis settled theirs at the base of a volcano, Aquas threw theirs into a lake and Sidera buried theirs in the spot that the Magic Council was built upon. The founders asked their familiars to guard the stones with their lives as they would live much longer than humans. And so, for thousands of years the five precious stones protected Eden by absorbing the negative energy from the kingdoms. Forgotten about as time passed.

 

The Magic Council had been an initiative of the founder of Sidera. It helped those blessed with the powers of the Magi and ensured that magic would never again be used for unnecessary evils. And who judged which evils were necessary or not? The Grand Council Woman or Man. They ran the Magic Council and held power in all four surrounding nations. No one dared to go against them. This meant the Magic Council needed to ensure they chose someone who would not be corrupted. Power usually corrupts so this was always a difficult task. It usually led to one of the few necessary evils: disposing of the corrupt leader so a new one could take charge. Many more had been assassinated out of jealousy. It was a huge responsibility which weighed heavily on those chosen. The 357th Grand Councilman was a wise and just man. Unfortunately, history will not look kindly on him due to the actions of his jealous son.

Part B

Rain poured from the darkened sky. It was another magic induced rain that had been ordered by his father to stop a drought. William sighed. It wouldn’t hurt for people to suffer a little. It would help them to grow and stop relying on magic so much. The number of Magi had been declining and the population had kept growing. They couldn’t expect the Magi to solve every little issue and complaint. Yet his father continued to coddle them. William was not impressed. When he became the Grand Council Man he would limit the Magi to providing aid to natural disasters, epidemics and wars. Every good war needed extra Magi. And none of these services would be free of course. The Magic Council building was in desperate need of repairs and upgrades. How they still expected people to sit on hard wooden benches in draughty stone buildings was beyond him. Central heating and plush sofas had come into existence for a reason. That was the reason he had spent months down in the dusty, cold Lesser Great Library scouring an endless maze for the slightest bit of information for his plan. He would become more powerful than the Grand Council Man. This Library had become a dumping ground for books that wouldn’t fit in the Great Library. There were many ancient books that had wound up in here simply because they weren’t popular. While on cleaning duty, he’d come across a legend by chance. It was the legend of five forgotten stones left behind by the Founders of the kingdoms. Thousands of years spent collecting untouched magical energy. He’d find them and then they’d see who the most powerful Magi was in the land. People would be unable to say he was not suitable for the job then. They may look like ordinary stones but the energy they’d be emitting would be impossible to miss for someone who knew what they were looking for. By chance William had felt that energy before while exploring the Magic Council as a child. He’d never forget it’s pulsing like a heartbeat. Back then he’d thought it was the power of the building. Now he knew better.

Following legends, myths and fairy tales he’d been able to piece together the general region he would need to search. All he needed now was a reason to travel. He wasn’t concerned. Something would come up and he would take that chance. He lay back in his chair. Damn it was uncomfortable, surely a little magic wouldn’t hurt to make their lives at the Magic Council a little more pleasurable. It wasn’t like they were the same as the monks in Terra. The Terrainian Monks had made the vow to live a life of simplicity, the Magi of the Magic Council were here to research magic. Yet as if fate had planned for it, as he thought about improving his posterior’s comfort a messenger bird flew in with orders. William smirked. This couldn’t have been planned any better. The Founders must have been on his side. They knew that change was necessary and Eden had become far too complacent.

He travelled lightly as to not raise suspicion. Magic would compensate for anything he couldn’t pack. Altitude sickness, erupting volcanoes, watery depths or mosquitoes would not keep him away from his goal.

At his first destination he joined a tour group heading to climb the great mountain. No one blinked an eye at a member of the Magic Council joining. They did this kind of thing all the time. He had probably been sent to survey the land from high up and had grown bored of flying. These Magic Council folk liked to enjoy mundane pleasures when they were out of Sidera. That was common knowledge.

Altitude sickness was the least of his worries as they trekked up the mountain. There was a newlywed couple that had to stop every two seconds to take in the view. Apparently if they could overcome this trip they would be able to overcome any challenges in their marriage. William wondered how one of them dying of frost bite might impact that superstition. He held back as the last thing he needed was more Magi investigating this area or trying to track him. The tour guide managed to convince them to keep a less leisurely pace and after five days they reached the top. Boom boom the pulsing had been getting louder and louder as they climbed higher and higher. William moved away from the group. The BOOM BOOM became louder. William thought it might cause an avalanche from the vibrations. He picked up a perfectly round stone. No one would think it had been there battling the elements and who knows what else since the beginning of the kingdom. He could feel the incredible power stored inside a stone that fit snugly in the palm of his hand. William pocketed it before the others got curious. If they asked he would say it was a souvenir for his son. No one would question that. The climb back down was a lot quicker and more subdued that the climb up. The newlyweds had been fighting. It did not seem they would overcome this trip let alone any future challenges. This was what a dependence on magic had done. William was sure he would change that.

Armed with bug repellent, his second destination was the marsh lands of Terra. Although he struggled with the rocky outer wall that protected the swamp it was nothing compared to the mountain he had climbed to get the first stone. Again, he followed the pulsing beat and found a sharp, rugged stone that also had not altered its shape in thousands of years. He had similar levels of success in Ignis and Aquas. All that remained of the once great volcano was a crater. There was not even a trickle of lava in sight. Similarly, the lake in Aquas had dried out. A giant tree had sucked the lake dry to provide nutrients to its incredibly long branches. Time had not been kind to areas that should have been considered sacred.

He was a little disappointed. He hadn’t expected his plot to essentially take over the world to be so easy. Surely there was a creature on guard, so kind of magical traps set by the Founders, or the natural elements to fight. Something, anything more. All he needed to do now was to get to Sidera’s stone. With all five stones it would be the end for his father and the world as they knew it. It was time for a change. People would look back on history and see that his father was too ingrained in tradition and that William’s actions had been a change for the better.

William returned to the Magic Council. He didn’t want to wait too long and give others a chance to discover or steal his plans. He acted swiftly to retrieve the last stone. This one posed more of a challenge. How could he lift a building that had been specially designed to protect the stone without raising suspicion? Lifting the building would raise too much of an alarm and when he became all powerful it would be annoying if there were even less Magi left because he’d had to kill them. Creating a hole would cause less alarm. Ideally it would be manual labour but there was a powerful shield created from dragon scales that only a very powerful type of magic could penetrate. William set up some traps of his own. If nothing else they would slow his father down, giving him precious seconds or minutes more to complete his goal. It would be a race against the clock. Would the Grand Council Man reach him before or after he had broken the stones and absorbed the magic within?

William took some deep breaths. He had not worked this hard to fail at the end. As the sun set and the light dimmed William cast a spell. He coughed as the dust and debris settled. It was not deep enough. The Grand Council Man would be rushing despite his old age and frail body to stop whoever was doing this. William needed to ensure he won. With the other stones increasing his power slightly he was sure he could cast the spell another two times. He did not hesitate. The crater grew deeper but still not deep enough. He needed to succeed this time or else he would not have enough energy to destroy the stones. The magic of the Founders was nothing to take on half-heartedly. There was a reason it had survived as long as it had. Once more he cast the spell. The pulsing stone reacted to the other four. The echo was deafening. William picked it up and laughed. Finally, he had won! No longer would people look down on him for not being anywhere near as powerful as his father. He was about to become the most powerful man alive. Victory felt so sweet but a little sweaty. He could imagine sipping a celebratory whiskey on the plush sofa he would place in the Grand Council Man’s room. It would be on the rocks of course. He would re-enact his moment of triumph by crushing the ice into the whiskey. He continued laughing as the dust cleared and he crushed the stones in front of his shocked father. His laughter stopped as five streams of magical energy disappeared into the night sky.

The Grand Council Man hadn’t been able to stop him nor had he become all powerful. Instead William had unleashed thousands of years of Chaos into Eden.

 

In this Age of Chaos our story truly begins.

Part 1 – The Girl with Stars in her Eyes

Chapter 1 - Zane

“Zane, we’ll get in trouble. We should go.”

Jayne kept tugging on my sleeve and pleading with those wide eyes of hers. Damn those eyes would always win me over eventually. We both knew it. Even though she was only four, my cousin had gotten very good at finding ways to win me over. Then again, we spent a lot of time together. My father had little time to spend with me and people liked to pretend Jayne didn’t exist. Or at least they liked to when they weren’t running away in fear and whispering nasty comments thinking that she was too young to understand had done nothing good for Jayne. I put my finger to my lips.

“Quiet they’ll hear you.” I whispered gently. “Trust me this is a good idea.”

Jayne and I were hiding on a balcony. Below us we’re Jayne’s parents and an envoy from Ignis. I was curious. What did Ignis what with the rulers of Aquas? The two countries hadn’t been on good terms for a long time and it had only gotten worse after the Chaos spread. We had all heard the stories. Five years ago the Grand Council Man’s son had tried to overthrow his father. As a part of his attempt he had unleashed the Chaos which had been building up since the time of the Founders. Now there were even less Magi’s than before and their magic was weaker. Citizens of both Ignis and Aquas had clashed many times at the border over resources. Maybe this was finally a chance for peace?

“I want to see Alice.”

Those bright blue eyes grew wider still. This was a conversation that Jayne and I had at least once a day. It was no surprise that Jayne wanted to see her sister. She was the only other person in this place that didn’t treat her like she was a monster. Alice had been in a bad state when I had snuck in earlier.

I shook my head. “You can’t today. She’s sick.”

Jayne stomped her feet. “She’s always sick! They don’t let me near her.”

I patted her on the head. Alice didn’t want her to know how bad she was getting. But how could I explain that to a headstrong four year old? Jayne wouldn’t understand. The talking downstairs had stopped. I couldn’t see my Aunt and Uncle or the envoy. Had we been too loud?

“I know. Be a good girl and stay quiet. I’ll try to take you tomorrow.”

“Promise?” Jayne held out her pinkie apprehensively.

I hooked my pinkie into her tiny hand. “I promise.”

Jayne believed in the power of pinkie promises. To her they were more than the empty words and lies adults told. I’d have to find a way to sneak us in tomorrow. It was important Jayne continued to believe in their power because Alice had pinkie promised that she would get better.

Alice had been sick since not long after Jayne was born. Everyone was convinced it was something to do with the Chaos. It wasn’t an illness known by modern medicine or magic. Between a sick child and a country on the brink of war, it wasn’t hard to see why the child with strange powers had been swept aside and ignored. That was why I stayed with her. It wasn’t out of pity or fear like some people thought. Jayne was like any other child her age. She just had a gift that was different. Plenty of new things and events had come with the Chaos. Jayne’s power was one of them. One day she’d be able to control it. Magi were once all born with their powers, nowadays it was rare but it hadn’t stopped. Hanging out with my little cousin cured my loneliness too and there was never a day spent bored when we were together. Something would always happen.

All of a sudden a pair of hands grabbed us, one in each and pulled us away from the balcony. I looked up to see how much trouble we were going to be in and if it was a member of staff I could bribe or blackmail. Uh oh. Those hands belonged to my father. We were in trouble. A whole lot of it.

“And just WHAT were you both doing?”

His face had turned the same shade of red as the curtains behind us. He was mad. Very mad.

“Dad… I”

“We were just playing Uncle Edward.” Jayne cut me off and smiled sweetly.

“Just playing?”

Jayne nodded enthusiastically.

“We were playing umm umm ninnn—ninjyases.”

“What!”

“She means ninjas. “I tried to chime in and bring the attention back on me. This was not going to end well for Jayne.

“I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WERE PLAYING! Your parents are in an important meeting. If you had disrupted it with your playing it would have been a great embarrassment! You were supposed to stay in your rooms.”

Dad had gone even redder than the curtains. I needed to get his attention on me. Fast.

“It was my idea.” I looked him in the eye and held my gaze. “Dad it was my idea.”

I felt the sting on my cheek before I had seen his hand move. I held back my tears. He hadn’t hit Jayne. That was the main thing.

“Don’t you cover for her!” He grabbed my wrist. “You are coming with me. You are not to visit your cousin unless I say so.”

“But Dad…”

“My decision is final. She is a bad influence on you!” As he dragged me pass Jayne I mouthed sorry. I spent so much time apologising to Jayne. One day we would be able to play together without it ending in me saying sorry.

“If only the Magic Council had taken you instead of your brother.” Dad spat the familiar phrase at Jayne.

Dad slammed the door as he pushed me into my room. The click echoed through the room as the door locked and I finally let my tears fall. Why couldn’t they just treat us like normal kids?

Chapter 2 - Jayne

If only the Magic Council had taken you instead of your brother.

That wasn’t the first time those words had been said to me. I had learnt not to let them hurted me too much but maybe they had taken the wrong baby. It wasn’t fair. I was always getting in to trouble. If only the Magic Council had taken you instead of Isaac. Well I didn’t want to hear about him anymore. If Isaac was so great then how would he like it? All the nasty words they think I couldn’t hear. All the scared looks. Members of our family hitting him. How much would he take? How much would he want to see Alice?

Why was it always me getting in trouble? I hadn't done anything bad. I wanted to play with Zane. He was the only one here that would talk to me. Zane could do all the things that Alice couldn't. We could climb trees together, we could talk in our secret spot and most importantly we could use magic together. No one would let me use my magic. They didn't like it. They thought it was scary. Zane's magic was pretty but mine was bad. Mine would hurted people. I didn't want to hurt people. I wanted friends. I wanted to play and explore beyond the palace walls. I wanted to see parts of Eden I had looked at it stories with Alice.

Alice. I wanted to see her. I promised Zane I would wait. But I needed Alice now! It would only be a little visit. I wouldn’t stay long. Then I could have a long visit with Zane tomorrow! That way I wasn’t breaking my promise. Alice would be lonely. I had promised her that I would visit when she was lonely. There were lots of people who would get in the way but they were not going to stop me from seeing her! Alice is my big sister. It wasn’t fair that they were hogging her.

Chapter 3 – Alice

The servants were fussing again. I hated it when they fuss. They made too much noise and worried about the slightest thing. Yes, I had been really bad during the last time Zane had visited but I had been getting better. A little fresh air and a change of scenery wouldn’t kill me. There was only so long a person could take lying in bed all day every day with people fussing over them. I was a prisoner in my own room. My parents had tried to make it a nice prison. They had gotten a professional to paint a mural of my favourite spot in the whole of Aquas on the ceiling. It had been a nice gesture but having no choice but to stare at a place I was no longer allowed to go really rubbed salt in the wound.

I closed my eyes and remembered the soft grass beneath my toes, the leaves that crunched as I jumped on them and would rustle as the wind shook them. I remember the lake. Once I thought that it might go on to the end of the world. Everything reflected perfectly in it until I skimmed a pebble. The world reflected in the lake that would be broken by the ripples. And a ripple was all it took for my world to be taken away. I got sick. The best medical professionals and the best healing Magi were called from across the world. No one knew what was wrong with me. I was perfectly fine one day and then the reaper was knocking the next. Now my entire world consisted of the four walls that I was confined to.

I had another collection of art work in my room that I liked much more. The drawings Jayne did for me were my treasures. They made my time in this cell slightly more bearable. My condition always improved when Zane brought them. If Jayne could sneak them in herself it was even better. We’d spend hours in our own little world while she explained each drawing. Jayne’s imagination was magical. She could bring those little scribbles on the page to life and create worlds for us to explore together. Her talent for drawing had improved as she created more and more pieces for my collection. Her artistic talent could take her somewhere one day.

I hid my treasures between the pages of The Monster’s Little Treasure. Its pages had many tear stains from the thousands of times I had had it read to me. I learnt to read on my own with the help of that picture book. It had once been one of my favourites. Now most of the copies had been destroyed and it had been banned in at least three of the five kingdoms. Apparently it was one of the books the Grand Council Man’s son had used to bring the Chaos.

It was a harmless, beautiful story.

A long long time ago a lonely monster guarded its treasure on a mountain top. It wasn’t much but it was incredibly important and valuable to the monster. Rumours spread about the treasure and many different creatures travelled far and wide to try to tempt him or trick him to hand it over. Each time he would ask if they were sure they wanted it. They always said they wanted it. The monster would show them different things and ask them to pick his treasure. If they got it right they could keep it. If they didn’t they had to give the monster something in return. Never did they get it right but the monster would hand it over anyway, hoping it would make others stay away. This only caused the rumours to spread about his treasure hoard and more and more creatures braved the snow, hail and icy winds to take the monster’s challenge and win a piece of his treasure hoard. Eventually the monster was only left with his real treasure when a hooded figure approached. The monster gave the human the same choice as everyone else. The hooded figure looked at a small, round stone and pointed at it. The monster let out giant wails but was true to his word as he handed over his real treasure. The hooded figure asked the monster why a stone was so important to him. The monster explained through his tears that it was all he had left of his master and held all of their memories together. The hooded human put the stone on the monster’s chest and exclaimed loudly that he had lost. The monster looked confused. The hooded human pointed at the monster’s chest and told him that his real treasure was in there. That was where he kept the memories of his master guarded safely. Since the hooded human had lost they had to pay the penalty. They told the monster that they would stay and both of them would make many more treasures together.

Jayne was like my hooded figure. She’d always show up with a smile on her face and give me more treasures. I hoped she would visit soon. I would be hard for her to get in though. Now they had people guarding the door. The last thing I wanted was for her to get into more trouble for my sake.

“Alice!” The pure joy in Jayne’s voice was reflected in her toothy grin.

There she stood, with ruby red eyes, as if having heard my silent plea. Her face was flushed and she was out of breath. She’d lost some more teeth since I’d last seen her. I wrapped my arms around her. No one would hurt her if I was in the way. Using my big sister magic to protect her like this was all I could do.

“Alice I came to see you!”

I nodded and held back tears. “Thank you Jayne. I wanted to see you too.”

Jayne broke out of the hug and held my hand tightly.

“I’ve come to take you outside. Wanna go? Me, you and Zane. Let’s all go explooringing together.” Jayne looked up at me with those wide red eyes. I couldn’t understand why people were afraid of her. The cheeky little girl that owned these red eyes was no different when her eyes were blue.

“Zane and me practised playing ninjyases so we can be sneaky sneaky and all go together. We’re going to go on a treasure hunt. We’re going to search all the way to the hor.. horizened and way way more further. While we’re explooorining we’ll make you better. Then we can play more.”

I wanted to go with her. If it was Jayne, maybe she would find my cure. Sitting in this room was doing nothing.

“The only place you are going is to your room.” The plans were crushed before I’d properly formed them. “Princess Alice is sick and needs to rest. She won’t get better if you are always disturbing her. I have told you before, you are not to come here unless your parents say so.”

A maid frowned at us firmly. This was it. There would be no adventuring or arguing today. Madeline was an old lady set in her ways. She answered directly to our parents and Zane called her the last boss.

“The last boss may have stopped us this time but one day.” I whispered in Jayne’s ear and entwined my pinkie with hers. “I promise we’ll go exploring together.” I truly believed that. There was something about Jayne that made me believe she could do anything she put her mind to. If Jayne wanted us to go exploring then, one way or another, we would go exploring together eventually.

Our pinkies were forcefully unhooked and I could do nothing except watch as Madeline pushed my little sister out of my room and Jayne look back at me longingly. The door was gently shut and I was left alone in my prison with nothing but muffled snippets of the scolding Jayne was getting.

Chapter 4 – Jayne

The dark abyss engulfed the whole room. The curtains gobbled up any ray of light that might have slipped through. The morning sun was particularly bad. The curtains had no mercy for the stream of light trying to flow in. It was as if even the smallest shadow might damage the fragile darkness.

Alice's room had been made pretty. She had paintings on the ceiling and a big comfy bed that I loved to bounce and lie on with her. She had stars lighting up the room to chase out the monsters and lots of toys. My room had bare walls and an uncomfortable bed. All of my toys had been taken away and I was left in the darkness.

I was in time out again. They always did this when I saw Alice. They put me out of sight and out of mind for a little while. I had gotten used to the dark room and it welcomed me like an old friend. I was supposed to spend my time in here bored and thinking about what I did. I wouldn’t say sorry! I didn’t do anything wrong. That meant I would be in time out for a long, long time.

It was ok though because I find the darkness calming. Here I can’t see the nasty looks or hear the mean words. Here I can close my eyes and I’m not alone. Six little grey worms tangle together. I untangle them one by one and see where they take me. Sometimes I am with Alice, sometimes I am with Zane and sometimes there are people I don’t know. They aren’t scary people. They are kids like me. The worms dance in the darkness and sometimes tangle together again. I hope one day they will stay untangled but for now I like the company.

After lots of untangling, tangling and untangling again, I used my magic to make a teeny tiny light and my worms ran away as shadows came to eat them. I also had my secret book. Alice had given me. There were pictures of places from all over Eden. I hid it under my mattress and used my teeny tiny magical light so I could look at the pages. I had to be sneaky. If I made it too bright they would open the door and I would get into even more trouble for using my magic. I had to be a naughty girl sometimes because then I could go to Grandpas and have fun. Grandpa gave me colours and paper. He made me promise to stop taking paper from the room where Mum and Dad worked and he would give me as much as I wanted. I was drawing each place in my special book for Alice. She loved to listen to me tell her about the adventure we would have there. She called my pictures her treasures.

I could hear the lock turning in the door. Quickly I hid my book and stopped my magic. The sudden bright light stung my eyes.

With light streaming in behind him was my Grandpa. His brow was furrowed and his glasses were slightly crooked. He had come for me.

“Come here my little Star Eyes.”

It was definitely my Grandpa and not a trick of the light. That was Grandpa’s nickname for me - Star Eyes. He said that when my eyes turned red they had been kissed by the stars. He told me that stars were big balls of fiery gas and my eyes looked like stars that were burning brightly.

I stumbled into the light blinking and walked into someone as I did. I quickly hid behind Grandpa when I saw who I had bumped. It was my mum. I flinched. I didn’t want her to hit me. Grandpa watched my reaction to seeing mum and the crease in his forehead grew deeper.

“My little Star Eyes would you like to have a sleepover with Grandpa?”

I nodded, still hiding behind him.

“Jayne will stay with me while you figure out how to treat her like she is your daughter. Your mother and I raised you better than this. Jayne has a gift. We don’t understand it but we should be nurturing it, not shutting her out. She is a child but she understands what is happening.”

Grandpa’s house was one of my favourite places. It was completely different from the palace that was filled with venom. It was cosy with a big fire roaring. Grandpa would settle in his armchair and I’d sit on his knee in front of that fire and we would tell each other stories while a pot of tea brewed. Here I could be me. It didn’t matter what colour my eyes were. Grandpa didn’t look away or be scared. I didn’t need to worry about being locked in darkness or hit. Here no one would say that the Magic Council should have taken me instead of Isaac.

Grandpa put a pot of tea on and started the fire.

“My little Star Eyes, I want to teach you a special magic. It will mean you can visit me whenever you want.” He looked around the room, put his finger on his lips, leaned in and whispered “You can use it to see Alice and take her exploring. We have to keep it a secret though. Got it?”

I nodded in awe. I could see Alice, Zane and Grandpa any time I wanted! Just think of what we could do together.

“I want you to take some deep breaths. Breathe in. Hold it, hold it. Breathe out.” Grandpa did the breaths along with me. “Keep going you’re doing really good. The breathing helps us to balance our energy flow. That’s really important when we are doing magic. Now imagine a door in the wall in front of you. The door is made just for you and the people you want to let open it. It is a safe door. Through that door imagine a tunnel. That tunnel is well lit and you can walk through it with ease. Don’t make it too long or you might get lost. At the end is another door. Think of where you want to go with all your heart. It is on the other side of the door.”

It was hard. Really hard but the first time I did it Grandpa beamed with joy. I finally understood why Zane could sneak around without being spotted. He used the tunnels. Now I had a ticket out of the palace and more importantly a way to see Alice a whole lot more. It took me many days to do it and even longer to make it strong enough for more people.

Over time Grandpa taught me more magic. It would have been hard for him. Once he had been a powerful Magi but had lost most of his power during the release of the Chaos. He must have researched hundreds of techniques and ingrained the theory into his mind and pleaded with some of his Magi friends. Just so he could pass them on to me. It wasn’t easy to learn new magic outside of the Magic Council these days. I was incredibly lucky to have him. Thanks to what he taught me I was able to see Alice more, get caught less and be punished less. I began to spend more and more time with him rather than at the palace.

“My Little Star Eyes would you like to come and live with me?” Grandpa asked me yet again. Over the years he had asked me many times. One the bad days I seriously considered his offer but my answer always ended up being the same.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

My favourite animals are turtles and I love Disney movies. I am a teacher in Australia and have been writing since I was little. This was the first time I wrote in a novel format as I usually write more like a script due to time. I have always said that eventually I would go back and turn them into a proper novel. NANOWRIMO 2017 gave me the chance to have a go at it.

Q. What draws you to this genre?
A.
I love fantasy and the fact that anything can happen. I especially love magic. After all who doesn't want a little magic in their lives?
Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A.
Trying to complete NANOWRIMO while working two jobs and having to travel interstate. Also fighting the writer's block.

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