Looking Glass (Free Sample Preview)
Casanova Da Vinci
Copyright © 2017 Casanova Da Vinci
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 10: 1539987647
ISBN- 13: 978-1539987642
For my two daughters Chantal & Jade
May your imaginations flourish and bring you joy
Jack Dawson is a 12-year-old boy that has pretty much grown up his whole life with his Aunt, Milly Dawson, at her country home in the quiet town of Fairydown, Resheen. Having lost his Father at a young age, Jack’s Mother, is forced into a deep depressive state through the death of her Husband. Now she searches for a way to deal with her life, as Jack begins to deal with his – whether this is in Fairydown or elsewhere.
When Jack receives a couple of oddball characters appearing in his bedroom throughout his young life, he is finally confronted and introduced to Jaspro Sprig and his hapless friend Norsh Light – Shadow Runners of The Looking Glass.
Taken on an amazing journey through one Mirror to the next, Jack is taken to Spyglass Valley, meeting for the first time the Overseer of the lands: Charadelle – Mage of Light, as well as a few others of the same age with fantastical abilities, and skills.
But with the good, there also comes the bad. Jack’s arrival at Spyglass Valley is found to be no coincidence…it was written.
A race of time to save a Creatic Species threatened with death and extinction, Jack, Jaspro, Norsh and all the other Shadow Runners bring together a force more powerful than any Darken Mage could expect, to bring balance and peace to the rest of the land.
“Those days of adventure in Fairydown are the days I miss most as an adult – to be young once more would be Epic.”
Jack Dawson – 1845
1 Looking Glass
The Shadow Runners
They were called “The Shadow Runner’s”, though their ability to run through shadow’s was not the only fascination about them that had me join their group of Wanted: The Shadow Runner’s; gifted with the ability to transport themselves by ‘Reflection’, or simply by immersing into any ‘Shadow’.
Our first encounter came when I stayed at my Aunt Milly’s house in Evermore’s East End, while the second was at my Cousin Steven’s house in Marsham, near Borello. And on both occasions I saw that Jaspro and Norsh had not aged in any way – they were still as young as they were when I was 6 and 11. How could this be?
Having just had my twelfth birthday, Jaspro had come to visit me for what he believed was the very last time. Taking me by the wrist with no reason and somehow taking me to a place I didn’t recognize. It kind of looked like a New York postcard; the tall buildings, apartments and skylines that bested the same views and awesome backdrops that proved it was the Big Apple. And, in no way mistaking the Empire State Building.
Jaspro was the leader, maybe, as he didn’t get given orders by anyone else that I knew of, but then, there were many things that he kept to himself and didn’t tell anyone else.
‘The Looking Glass helps us travel around,’ Jaspro said, his sitting up on the very ledge on some very tall building five hundred feet up in the air not causing him any worry. ‘Yous be a lucky ones, we will be old soon…then it will close – forever!’
He was somehow saddened at the expectation.
‘Close! What do you mean?’ I asked making my way over to the ledge to join him.
‘The Looking Glass is only for us young kids yous sees Jack, though I am not a kid, I’m a young man,’ Norsh cried out to get in his tuppence worth before Jaspro noisily took over the conversation.
‘The Looking Glass is our way of keeping an eye on those that can’t stand up for themselves, kind of…here, we’ll show you, won’t we Norsh?’
With this Norsh stepped forward and took from his pocket a small square piece of glass – it was a mirror. With it he held it out for me to take a hold of, which I did with the thought that they may be pranking me and the glass did nothing at all.
‘It doesn’t look special! ’ I exclaimed examining it closely.
Norsh and Jaspro laughed. ‘That’s because you have to say the magic words, ain’t it, Jaspro?’ Norsh called out with a giggle.
Jaspro nodded. ‘Cadabra is the magic word you have to say, or it don’t work none, Jack.’
I suddenly remembered that the magic word to the Magicians was similar, not exact, but certainly along those lines.
‘Cadabra! ’ I exclaimed, immediately feeling the small square mirror vibrate and pull away from me, but I held it fast.
The whole top of the building that we were stood upon lit up with a very bright light, brighter than my Mum’s house lights that dimmed whenever she turned on the TV. Closing my eyes so as not to blind myself, I held out the mirror as far as I could before suddenly, as quickly as the light appeared, it vanished.
‘Cadabra! ’ Jaspro and Norsh said in unison, as right before us stood a young girl, she was around eleven-year-old dressed in strange clothing.
‘Hello,’ She welcomed me with a smile. ‘I’d be very careful with that, if I was you?’
Jaspro cut in. ‘He ain’t the likes of us, Cadabra, so don’t you be going and spoiling our fun.’
To me it sounded more of a threat than a request, but for the young girl, she took it lightly for some reason. I had no idea what he meant by his sudden statement that had Norsh taking back the mirror from me with a quick snatch.
‘Pity, he looks a lot better than you two…I mean, he looks like he can run better than you two!’ She quickly cleared up her mixed words.
‘I want to go with you! ’ I shouted up.
Norsh was somehow excited. ‘Are you sure?’
I nodded my head and all three started to rush to one another, grabbing an arm each and dance around in circles doing a jig.
‘Starlight, Starbright, into the night, bring this child a star tonight. Lift his head to shine with beauty, transport him to his true place of duty.’ Cadabra sang out while breaking the six hand circle and surrounding me with Norsh and Jaspro, and then closing me inside where I found I could no longer move.
‘What’s happening to me?’ I yelled to no straight answer.
‘The Starlight will decide whether you are ready or not, take the mirror from Norsh and speak your promise into its image. Only then will you know whether you can be one of us.’ She spoke with a voice that was somehow enchanting.
Turning to Jaspro I asked him what promise it was that would make me like them, and in turn he spoke along with the other two still dancing around me in a circle.
‘You promise fine, you promise true. The things you will see and the things you will do, will stay forever a secret between both me and you.’ They chanted.
I took hold of the mirror from Norsh and stared into its dark surround of reflection that found my face, before repeating the words that they had told me word for word. At first the mirror didn’t do anything, but then, then it started to move, quiver and then shake in my hand.
‘Erm…Guy’s! ’ I stuttered.
Staring hard into the mirror I began to see something behind the glass, behind the silver back, it was getting larger and very close to the point of crashing out of the mirror that was still in my hand.
‘Think of a place where you have always wanted to be, Jack Dawson…be free…’
My mind immediately thought of the one place I would always wish to be, the only place I wanted to be.
The Way From Paris
I had no idea what happened with the mirror, not until I was suddenly faced with something of a very odd incident. My eyes opened to the break of dawn…in Paris, France!
‘How did I get here?’ I asked myself aloud and not in my head where it should have been kept.
‘Bon Journo, Jack, did you sleep well?’ Cadabra asked holding out her hand for me to take so she could pull me up off of the floor. ‘You’ve been asleep for hours.’
Taking her hand I pulled myself up and looked around to see that the sun was rising behind the Eifel Tower, which meant that it was still 4am back in Resheen.
‘Very good Jack, but I bet you can’t get home before the sun reaches your bedroom window?’ She challenged me dryly.
For a moment I stood thinking hard about what Cadabra had said, then thought logically and clearly about accomplishing the challenge by its outright clue ridden statement.
Looking around both Cadabra and myself, I saw a car parked up alongside a Hot Dog Stand, the wing mirrors clearly in my line of sight.
‘Before you do this, Jack, you have to know something. If the mirror you use to travel is cracked and never broken, you will be lost forever in the darkness.’ Cadabra told me with sadness deep in her voice as if she didn’t want to tell me.
‘The darkness is the void of Hellencia, home of Salbrinia the evil Sorceress.’ Jaspro spoke up appearing behind me suddenly. ‘It is said that she helped create the Mirror Port, as a way that she could travel from one place to the other, wreak her vengeance on all of those who opposed her. This is not a place for you, Jack, if you are taken into the darkness, you may never return.’
The story scared the heck out of me – why wouldn’t it?
I guess I needed some advice. From Jaspro I welcomed a small shard of mirror that he handed to me.
‘Can you help me, Cadabra, please?’ I asked walking up to her and handing the small piece of mirror over.
With a long stare into my eyes she took the mirror and turned the reflective side to face me, while with her hand she wrote the word: Redstone into the open air with a single finger.
‘Got it?’ She asked, just as I looked into the mirror.
‘Yes, I’ve…!’ I was suddenly dragged into what appeared to be a cascade of water tides that had sped up by their very fast turbulence. A Jetstream of some sort, it’s surrounding ampulets streak racing past me.
Looking down at myself I noticed that I was freefalling, and yet, my whole body felt as if it was resting on something solid, like a table or bed for instance. The fact was I wasn’t secured to anything and the faster I traveled, the faster I was starting to see a little white spec becoming larger than life in the middle of someone’s living room wall. Slowing to an almost stop I was thrown from the mirror, but not as if discarded in any way. My body bent, folded, turned and flipped until I was placed on my feet facing a couple eating their cereals and drinking their morning coffee while watching the television.
‘Oh, hello,’ I said with embarrassment.
The couple stopped what they were doing – eating – which gave them a little touch of doubt; doubt whether they were indeed actually seeing me, or whether they were somehow going completely mad.
‘Yes, well, I erm…Bye! ’ I didn’t know what to say.
Turning around to face their mirror on the wall once more, I thought of home, and in an instant I was back home in the lounge, with the dark sky still above the house outside. I had made it.
Going to bed I slept the remaining few hours before I heard my Aunt Milly’s voice shouting me downstairs for breakfast. It was sometimes seen as a waste of time getting me up so early, usually, that is. But today was a great day to see exactly where I could go and how fast I could get there. The adventure had now begun.
Charadelle: The Good
Taking the school bus and arriving to school late came to be quite annoying, as so many of the teachers believed that I had been Dilly-Dallying. It was an unusual feeling for me, too, actually being late marked for register.
‘Jack Dawson, why are you in school early?’ Mrs. Prech asked while staring down her gold rimmed glasses at me.
‘I had my alarm clock fixed, Mrs. Prech.’ I replied jokingly.
Giving out a slight moan she continued with the register call.
From registration to my next lesson, I talked with the friends I had outside in the classroom before seeing something that was very strange in one of the corridors: a bright light radiating from one of the empty classrooms at the end of the hallway.
Finding myself entering, there inside was a tall man, middle aged and weathered looking. His eyes were showing an eager, if not determined look as he searched the pictures, the paintings and other posted papers children and teachers had stuck to the walls with cello tape and Blue Tack.
‘Are you lost?’ I asked walking in on him.
‘No, I’m looking for something,’ his reply came as he turned to face me. ‘I’m looking for Starlight!’
I knew then at that very moment that the man was referring to The Shadow Runner’s, and that he must never know what I knew about them. Norsh and Jaspro told me that the Starlight was for those young children, not someone the age of the man.
‘Starlight! ’ I gasped. ‘Don’t you mean sunlight? ’
The obvious attempt to fool the man, though “Fool” may not have been the operative word here, as I was merely trying to take any undue attention from me knowing about anything that he was looking for. He gave a smile that pleaded my attention.
‘Do you know anywhere that I can find Starlight, Kid?’
Just as I was about to give my answer the door of the room swung open, it was Jaspro, he was unprepared for the man who had stopped looking at the walls and pictures that hung from them to look straight at Jaspro.
‘Blarney stones and Fiddle Sticks, Marlow Watts!’ He gasped out a name that he was obviously afraid of, or at the least he was familiar with as this man stared coldly at my new friend.
‘Jaspro Sprig, you is mine, Boy! ’ He shouted, taking from his pocket a small box – a weaponry device of sorts, maybe?
Jaspro told me to run, but I didn’t – I couldn’t.
Watts, the man, pointed the box at Jaspro before walking up to him with quick steps. From the box came a bright light that radiated out like a sphere, its size increasing to that of a wave which had Jaspro clinging to the nearest wall.
‘You is mine now! ’ Watts laughed madly.
‘And…You is mine! ’ Jaspro exclaimed.
As the light touched Jaspro’s face, he began to disappear as if being erased from the reality of the room; his eyes looked at me with a strain, the eager intense glare that begged me to get the hell out of there before I, too, became a victim of Watts. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave my friend.
‘Leave him alone! ’ I shouted my demand at the man.
Watts paused for a moment. ‘Two for the price of one, I is on a roll today’s.’
Rushing over to the man and knocking the box from his hand, Jaspro was suddenly free of the erasing light, but he was weak.
Grabbing my arm he pulled me toward a wall – was I going to hit it hard and hurt myself? No, there, just barely visible was a small Dream Catcher stuck to the wall with Blue Tack, its tiny mirror now glimmered a capture of the sunlight as we both now entered the Jetstream of the Looking Glass. We were free from the clutches of Watts – for now.
The Looking Glass Jetstream brought us both to an empty house, or so we thought. Jaspro was very weak.
‘Who the hell was that? ’ I yelped sitting down on a chair to catch my breath for a moment. ‘What was that…that THING he was holding?’
Told that it was known as ‘The Dark Light’, though it was of bright light like sunlight, I looked confused.
‘The Dark Light, it be the end of us…you, me, all of us who travel The Looking Glass. You saved my life, Jack Dawson, but now you have put the eyes of Salbrinia upon you, too!’
Salbrinia was an evil woman, her anger formed many years ago in the unreachable realms of Dark Light. Her sister, Charadelle, had imprisoned her for her own good – or so the legend tells.
‘Who is Charadelle? Is she…an Angel?’ I whispered softly.
At the least I expected Jaspro to laugh in my face, but he didn’t, he sat down by the side of me and nodded.
‘Charadelle is nothing like her evil sister, Salbrinia, and I guess that she is an Angel, of sorts…’
‘The Dark Light, does it kill people like us?’ I asked.
Jaspro had regained his energy. ‘You is a funny kid, Jack, and one who wants to know everything…’
‘I am one of you now Jaspro, don’t you think that I should know everything that you know, too?’
I could see in his face that he wanted to tell me, but this soon faded as he began to search the room for a mirror.
‘First we gets out of here, then we finds us the others. Here, we can use this one. Is you ready Jack Dawson?’
From the room we both disappeared, while from a dark corner a young boy of twelve, maybe thirteen made his way from a closet in the wall. Searching the room frantically he eventually gave up looking to see where we had vanished to.
‘Fairies! ’ He exclaimed running from the room and down the stairs shouting for his Mother.
Following Jaspro through the Jetstream we arrived at a place that was unlike my world; the sky was a lot darker, colorful in a way that made me feel strange in myself, while around us those people that gathered around glared, whispered and pointed at my unusual clothing. From a large crowd a woman made her way to Jaspro, leading him a short distance away from me to talk discreetly. I could see that he was being asked something with the quick nods, an occasional smile and clear indication that he was listening to her every word.
‘Charadelle!’ I spoke for him. ‘You’re the sister of Salbrinia.’
The woman was quite impressed by my assumption.
‘Jack Dawson, the boy from the inner world, welcome to The Crucible,’ she smiled.
Charadelle was beautiful, though I very much doubted that she was human – as much as she looked human, she had a glow that set her apart from the likes of me; her white hair that hung from a jewel encrusted crown, while her clothing was like those of a Victorian – maybe an earlier Bohemian – style, which made me think of some yesteryear Queen…or Princess, even.
‘Inner world! ’ I exclaimed puzzled.
Jaspro cut in with a light, but effective cough. ‘They’re here! ’
Turning to face the mirror which both Jaspro and I came through not long since, several men – adults – appeared before us. Charadelle wasn’t pleased with their sudden intrusion.
‘Consequences Gentlemen! ’ She shouted, her hand lifting into the air and directing some invisible howling force at them.
The men battled forward to try and reach Charadelle, but for the power of the force that had them lift off of the ground and spin backwards, back through the mirror. They were gone.
‘Jaspro, take our new friend back with you,’ Charadelle spoke with a weakened tired breath.
‘But you said…!’
Charadelle turned to Jaspro with blazing cold blue eyes and a voice that even had me straightening up.
‘DO AS I SAY! ’ She cried out demandingly, before giving a single loud cough and turning away from us.
Jaspro said nothing. He did nothing.
From the mirror came two other Shadow Runner’s, two boys, who went straight up to Charadelle and apologized for their lateness. Each of them giving me a second glance.
‘They are attacking, Charadelle! Do we summon The…Oh, hello,’ the smallest of the young boys suddenly caught sight of me standing there in the crowd.
At first, until Charadelle instructed them to return home, the two Shadow Runner’s glared at me with a look of unease.
‘He runs with us,’ Jaspro shouted to them. ‘This is Jack…’
‘Dawson! The boy from the Inner World, but how?’
Loris was one of – if not – the youngest of all The Shadow Runners who ran with Calpit and Quendor.
‘There hasn’t been an Inner World runner with us since…’
Charadelle silenced him with a raised hand. ‘Enough! Jack is one of us now. Jaspro, take him home and introduce him to the others. Loris, take a message to everyone and tell them to return home…by any means necessary.’
This was an order that seemed hard for Charadelle to make.
Travelling through so many mirrors had me feeling dizzy. On the final one Jaspro had to keep a hold of my arms to steady me into the path of my reflection; it was different somehow to the fact that the face looking back at me, wasn’t that of me. It was this that worried me tremendously.
‘The last one, Jack, and then that’s us – we’re home.’
The words spoken by Jaspro soothed me in a knowing that there weren’t going to be anymore mirrors, no more running.
Looking up into the place that for Jaspro was home, I was set back with amazement at the sight; buildings like tall temples, rolling hills of color and a town that looked so much like a city.
‘Jack Dawson…Spyglass Valley…’
‘It’s beautiful,’ I whispered dreamily.
Giving a smile of pride that any human such as I could call his home by a honoree title given to only beautiful things, Jaspro led me down a long path that would bring us to the first of the many buildings: The Gold Guild Inn – a Tavern of sorts.
‘This is where we can find good brave warriors, ones who don’t fear The Dark Light’s. Here we is safe Jack, nobody will break the spoken words of Charadelle here, not even The Dark Lighters’…or Watts!’ Jaspro spoke, his words trailing off into an almost silent whisper.
My attention was taken to the huge valley that the town stood between, while its steep raised hills on either side showed the low bluey-green skylines that brought sunlight spilling over the horizons edge and across each building roof and structure it touched.
‘What do we need warriors for again?’ I asked turning to face Jaspro, who was still in deep thought with his last statement.
‘Because we does, Jack Dawson! Come inside…let me do the talking.’ Jaspro replied snapping out of his troubled thoughts.
Inside The Gold Guild Inn, we were greeted by several people – everyone there in the town was no older than fifteen, sixteen at the best. They stood around tables, sat lazily in chairs, while at a long bar-like counter in front of us kids stood grabbing and clutching at wooden cups from other kids serving behind the bar.
‘Mucky Beer! ’ I exclaimed too loudly, as everyone in the place fell silent and snapped their heads around to stare at both Jaspro and me.
‘Mucky Beer! ’ One of the kids standing closest to us cried.
Jaspro looked at me with concern. ‘You is not a Mage, Jack Dawson, is yous?’
His question meant nothing to the likes of me, but for those others that now shuffled forward toward me, it was that of the question which had me stepping backwards toward the door that both Jaspro and me had just walked through. The feel of fear was washing around in my mouth, that bitter coppery dirt taste that had me gulping hard.
‘Mage! No, of course not…do you hate Mage’s?’ I asked in a shaky voice that had Jaspro break his character of the serious and cautious Inquisitor, to show a rising smile that suddenly turned into laughter.
‘I is just messin’ with yous, Jack Dawson!’ He laughed hard.
Everyone else in the place started laughing, too, except for me, of course. They were so playful, and yet, appeared to be less perturbed by the fact they were at war with The Dark Light.
‘Jaspro Sprig! ’ A loud booming voice sounded out over the rapturous laughter – it was Charadelle and Cadabra.
The laughter ceased. All eyes were now turned and focused on Charadelle, who made her way toward both of us, her face showing impatience and disappointment.
‘Charadelle, I is sorry, we was just having funs time with Jack Dawson, that’s all!’ He defended himself.
Raising a hand to Jaspro, Charadelle pointed a concentrated fingertip onto the end of his nose. ‘Funs, Jaspro!’
There was nobody in the entire building who wasn’t stood with baited breath as to see what was going to happen to Jaspro; in earlier times, before The Looking Glass had taken on those of my services, Charadelle was known to turn humans into little animals, according to legend and myth – and rumor.
‘Please, Charadelle, it was my fault! ’ I cried out suddenly, very much to Charadelle’s surprise.
Taking her finger and stare away from Jaspro, she turned and looked at me – right at me with those blue flame eyes as well as a serious face that made me freeze in my movement.
‘Your fault, Jack! ’ She probed loudly, easily seeing through that of my lie.
‘Whatever Jaspro has been accused of doing, it was all my…’
Cadabra stepped forward with an apologetic smile.
‘If I may talk to Jack, Charadelle, just for a moment?’
Charadelle nodded, her eyes still fixed on my eyes, before turning to everyone in the Inn. ‘Let them have privacy…Shoo! Jaspro, follow me.’
Everyone left, except for Cadabra and me, we were stood as if not knowing what to say to one another. And, if we did have something to say, then it would be a simple case of not knowing just how to word it right to speak it out loud.
‘Is Jaspro in trouble, Cadabra…for bringing me here to The Gold Guild Inn?’ I asked, suddenly breaking the silence.
Cadabra was hesitant on her reply, one which soon brought a reassuring and confident smile to her face.
‘No, Charadelle has a job for him to do before The Midnight Chimes, that’s all…is there something that I should know, Jack?’ She replied with a question to my behavior with Jaspro.
I shook my head. She asked again, only this time, her tone of voice was different, more demanding. This time I answered.
‘We were…we were recruiting Warriors!’ I confessed finally.
Cadabra was surprised, but not shocked by my confession that could have caused many problems for Charadelle and Jaspro.
‘Warriors! ’ She laughed.
‘Fearless Warriors who are neither fearful of The Dark Light, or it’s Dark Lands, Cadabra…Don’t you see?’ I begged her to understand.
The laughter fell to one side quickly, to be replaced with a more serious, grown up look that I recognized only too well from when my Aunt Milly became angry with me. Cadabra was smaller than my Aunt – smaller than me, even, but she was a girl – beautiful all the same.
‘Why don’t you go with Jaspro, you know, help him run the errand for Charadelle? When you come back, and if you still want to gather your fearless Warriors, then I shall volunteer my own services to your cause. How’s that, Jack?’
The more I thought about Cadabras’s words the more I thought the whole thing was a trick, a trapping of sorts that would have me change my mind on facing the evilness that hid behind it’s scores of other men and children just like me. Jaspro, Norsh and Cadabra.
‘What’s the catch?’ I asked with a knowing sigh.
It was considered useless the sigh that I gave, because there was no catch, as I put it in Resheenian terms. Cadabra knew that there were limits to my presence in Spyglass Valley, even if I was feeling something strange deep inside.
‘Alright,’ Cadabra spoke up suddenly, ‘if you can travel to The Dark Lands, Jack, then you will prove to me and Charadelle, that you are not just an…Inner World Boy!’
All of a sudden, Cadabras’s voice was changed; the young polite girl who I had first met along with Jaspro and Norsh, was now someone who sounded authortive – like my Aunt!
I bowed my head for a moment before looking back up and into Cadabra’s eyes, an act that brought something of a chaotic sense around us. I didn’t – couldn’t – understand it.
‘You sound worried, Cadabra, is everything alright?’ I asked taking a different approach. ‘Is it the town?’
Cadabra was looking right at me, her eyes to my eyes, my eyes to hers. It was somehow intense, exciting, but also scary, too.
‘What are you doing?’ She whispered softly, her eyes staying focused on mine.
‘I’m not doing anything. What are you doing?’ I asked as only a stupid person would by asking a stupid question. ‘I mean…’
‘I know what you mean, Jack Dawson, now stop staring at me and come…!’
I didn’t hear her order of taking my eyes away from her, though I have to admit, when I was drawn into those deep blue eyes of hers, I saw something both remarkable and at the same time terrifying. I don’t know how I saw what I did, but I did, and this left only one important question remaining: Did Cadabra know too?
~ End Of Free Preview ~
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