It features the first four books of the Curse Breaker series in one electronic file. Auntie Sovvan still refuses to comment on her activities between Enchanted (book 1) and Falls (book 4), but we have a book in the works to chronicle what “heavenly business” kept her busy. It’s coming this summer.
Now back to our continuing adventure. When we last saw our heroes, Papa had worked some impressive magic and it took its toll. (If you need a refresher, check out part one, part two, and part three. I’ll wait.)
Who will prevail–your favorite duo and their hapless scribe or the storm? 🙂
Fictional Characters vs the Nor’easter, Round 4
Papa shook like the trees whipping past the car window but not from the wind throwing its weight around outside. He had a mysterious condition no one talked about whenever I was within earshot.
When he stilled, I gripped the air compressor. Did it work on people? I wiped tears from my eyes. I didn’t want to find out.
“Come back to me, Papa. I need you.”
Papa remained silent. His eyes were closed. No light spilled out from between his long lashes. The car lurched sideways, knocking the air compressor out of my hand.
“What was that?”
Melinda shook her head and concentrated on the road as we slalomed around another bend.
“Is it the tire?”
Her silence answered my question.
“It’s flat isn’t it?”
I reached for the compressor but, another curve sent me sliding into Papa.
“We’re almost there. Just hang on.”
I nodded and held Papa’s arm. What had Bear said the last time Papa passed out like this? He’d said something about recuperation.
Where are you Bear? I felt along the backseat for my fuzzy companion, but he wasn’t here. I curled into Papa’s side and my lower lip trembled.
I’m in the footwell where you dropped me. I have short arms, remember?
Indeed, as Bear’s voice faded from my mind, a furry paw poked out from under the driver’s seat.
Well, aren’t you going to help a Bear out?
“How’d you get stuck under the seat?”
Who said I’m stuck? I’m just temporarily inconvenienced by that thing you call a chair. It’s a strange place to put a portal. I’ll give you that, but patrons don’t get to choose where the door’s located. We just step through and hope for the best.
With a little wriggling and lot of tugging, Bear finally flew into my arms. I squeezed him until a paw tapped my shoulder.
Ease up a bit, kiddo. Even Spirit Bears need to breathe.
Melinda turned the wheel hard over to avoid the red taillights rushing toward us.
Would you please operate the vehicle in a safe manner? There are children present.
Bear shot Melinda a look. She shook her head and muttered under her breath. Maybe even a few curses passed her lips, but they were drowned out by the drumming rain and the swishing wipers.
I poked Bear’s belly, and he swiped a paw playfully at my nose.
“You can’t breathe. You’re stuffed.”
“Don’t forget inanimate,” Melinda added from the driver’s seat.
A spark skipped over the threads holding Bear’s button eyes in place and his stitched lips quirked.
Don’t discriminate. I might be spectral, but I still breathe, just not air.
“Then what do you breathe?”
“You take in magic,” I said, my eyes widening at the realization.
Bear winked a button eye at me and tapped the pink triangle that stood in for his nose. You guessed it.
“Will you help, Papa?”
He’ll be fine. You remember what I said about “low magic” right?
I thought back to that afternoon when we ran from the many-armed monster in the Ægeldar. What had Bear said? Something about Papa being a ‘brittle mage’ and needing to recuperate when his magic level dropped too low.
Bear tapped my nose with his paw and winked again. Exactly right. So he just needs rest and a plate of barbecue ribs. Maybe a side order of trout too on a bed of greens. Bear rubbed his paws together and licked his stitched lips.
I tried not to stare. Since when did stuffed bears even have tongues? My tummy rumbled at the mention of food.
“Do you have any All-Fruit? I like them.”
“Check my bag. It’s back there with you and hang on!” Melinda shouted as the car careened around something I couldn’t see.
The car spun. When it jerked to a halt, Papa’s arm and the seatbelt stopped me from going anywhere. But Bear flew off my lap and struck the windshield. He turned his head and glared at Melinda as he dropped onto the dashboard.
“Sorry about that. I think we hit a guardrail.” She turned the key, but the car made a grinding sound instead of starting. “Did you say there’s a portal?”
I leaned over Papa’s protective arm, but there were just shadows and the boxy shape of the air compressor under Melinda’s seat. There was no telltale purple glow either.
“I don’t see it.”
It’s under the seat. I doubt any of you would fit.
That explained why the car wouldn’t start. Magic and electronics didn’t mix well.
“What do we do now?”
Papa flung open the door, letting the rain in.
“I’ll figure out how close we are to your apartment.”
Before he could climb out, Bear materialized on his knee.
And what part of ‘you need to recuperate’ did you not understand? Bear shook his head. Why do I have to do everything?
I knew what Bear had in mind, so I thrust my hand between the seats. Melinda took my hand. Papa still held on to me, so when Bear turned translucent and sparkly, so did we. Did I mention Bear’s magic tickles?
The stormy world outside the car swirled around us, pelting us with rain as Bear jumped and we jumped with him. We splashed down in a puddle maybe a hundred feet further down the road–everyone except me. Papa had pulled me in tight against his chest and wrapped both arms around me, transferring my scribe’s hand to his arm in the process, so my boots stayed dry.
“This isn’t my apartment.” Melinda lifted her now soaked foot.
You try jumping three people in the rain. It’s not as easy as it looks. Bear gave the asphalt and the dark woods beyond the guardrail a baleful look. There’s not much magic in this world for me to draw on.
“How will Papa recuperate?”
I shivered as the wind cut through my rain-dampened clothes. Papa hugged me tighter, but he too was shivering.
Bear shot me a look and I remembered the portal in Melinda’s apartment. Would it still be open when be reached it?
We’ll find out next week and we might have a special guest to help us. Because let’s face it, Bear’s being less-than-helpful this time around.
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Until next time, dear reader
This is Ran, son of Sarn, “the Backseat driver” wishing you a great week!
Here’s your rundown:
- Our scribe was trapped in a tower in New Rochelle (part 1). We got her out, faced down a flat tire, celebrated our scribe’s birthday and redecorated her apartment in cocoa powder. True story. (Part 2)
- Last week, Papa threw his magic around, rearranging the world to enhance our escape. (Part 3)
- This week, Bear tried to help us with mixed results. We’re hoping next week’s special guest is more helpful.
- We released a boxed set! It has an epic cover. Show it some love!
- Missed an episode? Check out our past shenanigans here.
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