Monday, July 25, 2011

BEAT to a PULP #136: Enter the Red Door by Sandra Seamans


Deep in the belly of Wulfenite Mountain the flames of a small campfire cast dark shadows on the glittering walls of a small crystal cave. A young man and an elderly woman are hunkered down by the fire, hiding from spying eyes.

Mama Kazlowki is the last practicing yidoni, because reading the future, or practicing magic of any kind, is an act punishable by death on either side of the dimensional divide. But these are desperate days and the risk is of no consequence. For in these unsettled times both humans and magical creatures live their lives on the brink of death with every breath they inhale.

Mama poured the gleaming contents of a worn leather pouch into her hand, closed her fist around the golden crystals, brought the clutched fist to her face and muttered, “Fairy days, Fairy nights, share with us the future sights.” She blew softly on her hand, then cast the crystals across the ground in front of her. What she saw in the crystals made no sense. How could a mere slip of a girl bring peace between the dimensions and restore the magical balance to both worlds?

“Well, what does it say? Will the truce hold?”

Mama raised her eyes from the crystals to look into the worried face of the boy across from her. No, not a boy, Mama reminded herself. Jonathan Farnsworth had grown up in a world ravaged by the war between Noah’s Gribbons and the Staurolite Witch’s magic. The truce should have brought him peace, instead he led a band of rebels who believed in the survival of magic and were fighting for the right to practice their craft.

“No, Jonathan, the truce was doomed from the start. Noah is determined to rid the world of magic, you know that. This truce has only given him time to improve his weapons. He won’t stop until he’s destroyed the witch and after her, the entire human race.”

A sadness swept over Jonathan. “Is there any hope of saving our world?”

“A princess is coming who will set the world right and bring back the magic.”

“A princess?” Jonathan stood, anger shaking him to his very soul. “A princess? We need warriors, a knight, a king, a man, someone strong enough to lead us into battle. What is a princess going to do? Teach us how to dance and pick out pretty ball gowns? No. The crystals are wrong this time.”

“The crystals are never wrong. Trust me, Jonathan, this girl, this princess is like no one you’ve ever met before.”

“She’s still a damn girl, isn’t she? There’s no way she’ll be able to fight them both and win.”

“This girl is different, my friend. She is the daughter of a witch and raised under the wings of a dragon. There is a strength in her that even she hasn‘t fully realized. Trust in the magic, Jonathan, it hasn’t failed us yet.”

“I think the magic is losing its power, Mama.” Jonathan shook his head as a chorus of giggles filled the cave.

“Trust in the magic, Jonathan, with the magic comes faith, and with faith, there is hope.”

“Yeah, and all our lives are resting on the shoulders of a girl. I don’t see much to hope for there.”

Who's the girl? Sandra Seamans invites you to "Enter The Red Door" to find out.