A Middle Age Magic Academy Continues

So, I’m warming to the idea to keep publishing the chapters for the story on my blog as a bit of a thank you for my supportive readers.

That way you get to read the book for free as I’m getting it ready for publication.

Feel free to drop me a line about the story, if you like, or anything else.

I hope you’re staying safe and well during these challenging times.

Here’s the next chapter. Happy reading.

Why can’t skeletons leave the cemetery?

Chapter 2

Skeletons know how to dance

“May I help you up?” says a velvet voice above my head. If I weren’t stuck face first in the mud, I’d probably turn around to look at the stranger. “And may I thank you for releasing me from years in the dark. It’s such an enlightening experience.” There’s the sound of a raspy laugh followed by, “get it? An enlightening experience after years under ground…” he trails off.

Now there’s an odd sentiment, I think, forcing my limbs into action.

Scrambling to my hands and knees, before getting to my feet, I notice my stockings are now nothing more than shredded bits of material around my ankle.

I can’t help but think there’s strange magic at work here.

Looking up now, I finally find myself nearly nose to nose with a skeleton. He’s wearing pants held up by suspenders, a straw hat, and a bandana around his neck.

“Who’re you?” I ask, doing my best to hide my fear. Where the heck’s Allegra?

“How rude of me,” says the skeleton, extending bony fingers toward me. “Let me introduce myself. Victor Von Furhausen the third. And you are?”

“Ehr,” is all I manage to blurt out.

“Enchante Erh,” he bows his head a little, popping his lower jaw open to reveal teeth.

“Fraya, Fraya Farbenfroh,” I correct the skeleton, trying to work out what’s going on. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of Allegra. She’s dancing with a skeleton.

“You know here?” Victor’s looking in the same direction as me.

“She’s my friend,” I explain, glancing down my legs, wondering about the ivy I felt before.

“Ah,” is Victor’s response. And then, “care to dance?”

Before I can process the question, I’m being held by the skeleton and propelled around the graveyard.

To my shock, more and more skeletons make an appearance. Some looking confused, others walking with purpose out into the dark night.

Butterflies multiply in the pit of my stomach as the place starts to crawl with the dead. This isn’t good.

“You did it,” cries Allegra as she swirls past me in the arms of a skeleton dressed in a black suit with top hat.

Open mouthed I stare after her.

“What do you mean I did it?” my words are no louder than a whisper.

“You pulled on the poisoned ivy, opening the lock to the invisible door keeping the dead under ground.”

“I…no…what…” I splutter, trying to remember what had happened seconds before I’d fallen.

Being a witch, my senses are sharpened, and I had felt the ivy. Instead of carefully removing it from my leg, I’d taken a step forward, tugging at the plan material before falling.

And, while falling, my arms had flailed windmilled like, reaching for something. A dim memory of finding a lever, it moving as I was desperate to stop my speedy acceleration toward the ground.

Then, I don’t know. I’d thought nothing had happened. Had the lever been what opened the locked door for the skeletons?

I doubt it.

Anyway, why are they locked up? How much harm can the dead do?

“Quite a lot actually,” says a faceless voice to my right. Shrieking, I stumble. A black bird with beady yellow eyes is perched in a tree branch staring down at me. “In fact,” the bird swoops toward me in a flurry of feathers, landing on his feet.

Instead of yellow beady eyes, I’m now looking into dark, intense coffee eyes. My knees wobble, unable to withstand all that’s happened in the last, I don’t know hour, day, weeks.

“Sorry to arrive so unexpectedly, but when I’d heard the dead had been released, I got going straight away.”

“How…who…” the rest of the question doesn’t make it out of my mouth. Instead, I feel my knees buckle, and the world turn black.

When I open my eyes, nothing’s changed. Except for the fact I’m now in the arms of the bird, man I mean. He’s supporting me, as I’m lying on the ground.

“Are you alright dear?” those coffee eyes are peering at me, as if trying to see inside my head.

“What happened?” I croak, desperate to get back to my feet. The way my body’s reacting to being held by this man is unnerving to say the least.

There’s tingling as if I’ve stuck my fingers into a light socket. My nerve cells are quivering in anticipation, and there are other things going on I don’t care to examine right now.

I mean, I’m just getting over my bitter divorce. Jumping into bed with another man, is not on what I plan to do.

Rolling my eyes, I can’t believe I’v just jumped the gun like that? Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous as me leaping ahead from being held as a result of a near fall, to having sex with a man you’ve not even met properly?

Perhaps I’m going mad?

The dickhead ex kept telling me how mad I was acting.

“You’ve turned mad,” he’d said during one of the mediations we had to attend. “You did always act strange during our marriage. You witch.”

He could not have known how hard his attempted insult hit its mark.

Like a kick in the guts, it took my breath away. Not so much because I find the term offensive, but because I was offended by him hurling it at me to make me sound nasty.

Truth be told, I’ve known for a long time about my true heritage.

For too long I tried to be someone I’m not.

No more. Well, that’s the theory. But you know how life goes, don’t you? We rarely end up doing what we plan to do.

“Who are you?” I decide to ask the obvious.

“Oh my,” the man, who’s eyes have not left mine, finally helps me to my feet. “How rude of me not to introduce myself. I’m Rector Tradar Obin, the head of the Magic Academy for the Middle Age, which by the way, I find a rather unfortunate name with a lot of our students not identifying as middle aged.”

“I guess, how do you identify as middle aged?”

Tradar shrugs. “Age is but a number we assign too much importance to. I mean there are witches, wizards, and some humans, who are say fifty, but feel more like thirty, and vice versa. Perhaps in time we’ll put in for a name change. But just like humans, there are many magical folk set in their ways, I’m afraid, which will make changing the name of the school difficult.”

I nod, even though I’m not following.

“I’m Fraya Farbenfroh,” I say to fill the sudden silence.

The Rector nods. “I know,”

Perplexed I stare at him. “It’s a bit complicated, and there are few more skeletons we have to try and re-capture to put behind the safety of the barrier that’s come down tonight. Are you up to coming with me, or would you rather wait here, with,” he peers past me at the gravestone. “With Marge Myrtleford?”

“I’m coming,” I say without hesitation. With no sign of Allegra, I’m not hanging out at the cemetery a minute longer, on my own.

“Good,” Tradar turns and invites me to walk past him.

“What exactly is wrong with the skeletons roaming the streets?” I ask not really able to see the problem.

Again, my ex would have a field day. “That’s just like you isn’t it? Unable to see the obvious. Too wrapped up in your own world to get it.”

Sighing, I do my best to push thoughts of the bastard out of my head. I didn’t come here to constantly think about the man who broke my heart. I mean, I really thought we were going to grow old together.

He obviously didn’t.

In fact, he’s already replace me with a younger model, and rumor has it she’s pregnant. So much for telling me he didn’t want to have children.

“Sorry?” I turn to the head of the school, feeling foolish for having missed his question.

“I was just wondering if you’re looking forward to studying with us.”

Am I? “A bit. It’s also frightening to be going back to school to learn new things. I mean, you know, how to use our powers. Part of me worries that my powers have left me since I’ve spent so many years suppressing them.”

“It’s a natural emotions. I wouldn’t’ worry too much about it. Once a witch always a witch.”

“Thank you, I hope you’re right.”

“I am, he replies with confidence.

“So, why can’t the skeletons be out?” I ask, as the Rector makes a beeline for a whole bunch of them huddled around a tree on the outside of the cemetery.

“The chaos that would cause would take years to repair, not to mention so many minds to befuddle to make sure they forgot what they’d seen.”

“Why befuddle them?” I’m not following.

“Can you imagine the outcry if skeletons suddenly walked around the streets? It would test the very core believes humans have about life and death. Not something I want to try and fix. No. We need to make sure we get everything single skeleton back to the cemetery where they belong.

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice movement. Was it a dead person making a run for it? I’m not one hundred percent sure. If it was, they’re long gone by now, so I decide against telling Rector Tradar about.

How much harm can one wayward skeleton cause?

Learning about potions at the Middle Age Magic Academy

Meet Fraya a middle age witch – A new novel in the making

So I hinted the other day (more like yesterday), at a new novel I’ve been toying with. A middle age academy book following Fraya’s attendance at a Middle Age Magic Academy to help her get over her divorce.

I liked the idea of putting the first chapter on my blog, and so here it is. I’ll try and post a chapter every other day. Feel free to add feedback if you wish. It’s always good to get brutal honest opinions from readers.

Typical Material Required at the Magical Mage Academy

Book Title: Middle Age Magic Academy: Book 1 – My Skeleton’s Better Than Yours

Chapter 1 –

On extra credit assignment number one

This cannot be happening. I mean, seriously? Come on universe, give me a break. Haven’t you heaped enough shit on me already? A cheating husband, a nasty separation, and a bitter divorce, how much more are you going to make me suffer?

I’ve only just stepped out of the cab, and managed to get a ladder in my stocking.

“Look at it,” I say to no one in particular, or maybe the faint white glow on the other side of the gate. “Now what am I going to do? I didn’t pack any spares.” Sighing, I’m reminded why I never wear these blasted things in the first place. They are way too delicate for me. Fricking flimsy things.

She, the ex’s new toy, always wore them. Her favourite were the black ones with the seam on the back.

Stop thinking about those two, I rouse on myself. Toxic emotions are the last thing you need right now. I try to remind myself about the vow of positivity I’d taken before embarking on this course with the additional challenges accepted.

Focus on the positive, I hear the owl’s voice tell me mantra like. The messenger owl had been part of the deluxe study package I paid for, well, the ex paid for, and had meant to put me in the right frame of mind before I started my studies.

Sighing, I glance the hole getting bigger and bigger, as if magic was used to unravel it. Wait a minute. My eyes dart around. Is someone using magic to…I stop myself continuing with the thought. It’s not going to go anywhere useful, is it?

What’s done is done. I didn’t pack a spare pare of tights, so I’ll just have to cope.

That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life, isn’t it? Cope.

“Just cope with it,” is what the bastard ex used to say when I pointed out his coming home so late wasn’t conducive to a family life. Fucking prick. There, I’d finally done it, swore in thought at the filthy, cheating, son of a camel hunter and chook thieve.

Sighing, I stare at myself in the reflection of a small hand held mirror. The one you’re meant to carry to touch up your lip stick, check your hair’s still immaculate, and the makeup’s not smudged. Except, you don’t wear makeup, don’t have time to go to the hairdresser, and the last time you saw your lips stick was…I can’t remember.

Dark circles under my eyes are the tell tale sign of sleepless nights. Too many tears spilled over the prick, and general run down-ness. Is that even a word? Who gives a…

Focus, I remind myself, as I extend a shaking hand toward the gate of the cemetery. Glancing at the scrunched up piece of paper in my left hand, I try to recall what the instructions had said. Something along the lines of ‘walk through the gate, turn left when you see the head stone to Albert Fishbein, and wait for Glint to find you. Once the ghost sees you, she’ll escort you to the portal to get to the Academy. You will get bonus credits if you bring with you, a magical item.’

A magical item, according to the note, is worth five extra credit points. Five. Not one. Or two. But five.

Okay, I’ve got no idea what good these extra credit points will do, but, I have to admit, I want to go for them. I mean, why not? What have I got to lose?

The loud squeak the rusty metal thing makes as I shove it, has me nearly jump out of my skin.

Holy shit.

My head snaps around, half expecting an army of ghouls to appear. When nothing of the sort happens, I look back at the minuscule opening I’ve made into the place of the dead.

Thankfully, weeks of not eating as a result of wallowing in self pity, mean I lost some of those extra pounds put on during the good old days of being married to that bastard. TB. I like it. Acronyms aren’t my thing, but if I invent it, heck, it’s got to be good.

“What’s kept you so long,” hisses a voice out of the dark, and this time I react like every woman in this situation would react.

I scream. A high pitched, typical hysterical female scream. The one that’s meant to get your husband running to your side, like a knight in shining armour, ready to rescue you from any vicious flesh eating monster. Or clear the room of any and all eight legged living creatures no matter how small the blasted spider turns out to be.

Of course, he never comes. Because, it turns out, he’s too busy fucking his secretary.

Oops. Was that me dropping the f word? Sorry. It was an accident.

“Stop it,” hisses the voice, followed by a hand reaching for me to cover my mouth.

I should have known this was a mistake. Not come here. Not even answered the advertisement to attend this place called a magic academy. Not just any magic academy. Oh no. The distinguished MAMA. Middle Age Magic Academy.

“If you promise not to scream I’ll let you go,”

Frozen with terror I don’t say anything.

“Fraya, it’s me, Allegra, your best friend.”

My eyes try to focus in the darkness, a rather difficult task if you ask me. With no moon to speak of, I’ve got to rely on my eyes adjusting to the dim light, which of course they haven’t because I never did eat enough carrots.

“Are you calm now?”

This time I nod.

“Why’d you scream?”

I roll my eyes. “Why’d you frighten me like that?”

“I didn’t know you were going to react like one of those banshee,”

“Okay, let’s not go over it shall we? I mean we’re here to get our extra credit points.”

“Talk for yourself. I’m here to check out the dead.”

“What?” I stare at her in complete disbelief. If I were the drinking type, I’d be wondering right now if I’ve consumed too much alcohol and am still suffering the after effects of this. As it is, I vowed not to succumb to the quick fix method of drinking too much at night to drown out the pain for a few hours.

It’s such a short lived solution. And then, the next morning, the pain’s worse. Not only does your heart still hurt, your head aches as well.

“Haven’t you heard? It’s known for the dead to be walking among us.”

“I think that’s only on Halloween,” I reply, rubbing my upper arms. Perhaps I should have dressed warmer.

“Oh no, I’ve seen this gorgeous skeleton…”

“Stop it,” I interrupt her, knowing my friends weakness for men. Unlike me, who’s struggling to come to terms with the fact my marriage failed, she’s on to her third separation. “We’re looking for the magical artefact only found on a cemetery,” I hiss at her, keeping my voice low just in case. I don’t want to wake the dead. At least not on my first assignment.

“What’s wrong with bringing back a good looking skeleton?”

“Because I doubt it counts as a magical item. Can you please concentrate on the task?”

Allegra pouts. “You’re no fun at all. I thought when you said we’d be going to this Academy, you’d loosen up a bit.”

I stiffen at those words.

“Alright,” grumbles Allegra after a tense pause. “Remind me again what is it we’re looking for?”

“A graveyard shovel.”

“Where do we find that?” Allegra’s eyes search our immediate surrounds. “In that shed over there?”

Shrugging, I squint, trying to remember the things I read about the significance of graveyard shovels, how to recognise one, and where to find it. A shed, I’m pretty sure had not been mentioned.

As I let my gaze sweep over the headstones, stopping here, looking there, I think I know where to go.

“This way,” I tug my friend at the arm as I make my move. It’s nothing specific, only a gut feeling. The same gut feeling I get seconds before I avoid being run over by a car.

Keen to grab the magic item, find the portal to get to the Academy, and make the welcome address of the new Rector of the place, I don’t pay attention to what’s at my feet.

The possessed ivy has wrapped around my ankles at least three times by the time I try to take my first step.

“Shit,” I grunt, as the inevitable happens. I fall flat on my face.

Note to self, when falling face first into the dirt don’t keep your mouth open. Make sure you keep it firmly shut.

Another week goes by

Is it just me or do the weeks seem shorter to anyone else?

Maybe it’s because we’re all stuck at home with every member of the household present, which means no matter how hard I try, I never get as much writing done.

The plan had been to be up around 20 chapters for my next novel – Going Down – An Enemies to Lovers Romance, but I’m only at chapter 13, hopefully chapter 15 by the end of the day.

Here’s a sneak peak at the potential cover image:

Anyway, I did manage to type out another Erotic Short Story, which is right now sitting in the Amazon Review queue, waiting to be approved for publishing.

With any luck, it’ll get approved before the end of the week, meaning I’m keeping up with my attempt at publishing one of those at least weekly, if not two a week.

I know there are many negatives to the virus (Covid 19), but, on a positive note, it is great that we’re still able to access books. Imagine a world without books.

Having trouble doing that? I do.

Looking ahead, I hope to have ‘Going Down’, published by the end of next week, ready to start another steamy romance novel.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a Middle Age Academy Book – the premise a forty something divorcee finds out her magical powers are real – and she’s invited to attend a Magic Academy for like minded people.

Instead of all young people learning to control their magic abilities, it’s middle aged men and women, a lot of them just getting over a divorce.

There seems to be a bit of interest out there.

Maybe a way to test the waters is to publish some chapters on here? Or you could drop me a line what you’re thoughts about it are.

I know there are people who like reading those sorts of books, and then there are those who don’t. A bit like you’re either a dog person or a cat person.

Why write such a book?
It would be a way of highlighting that not all divorced women succumb to depression, and anxiety and fear of the future, but are able to take control of their own life, and even make something of themselves.

I also like the idea of creating spells to cast onto their ex (this could go either way, a spell against the ex wife or ex husband).

Let’s see where a plot outline takes me, and maybe I’ll share some of it over the next few weeks for feedback.

Well, better write those chapters, since they won’t write themselves by magic. Wouldn’t that be fun, if you had a magic keyboard (now there’s more of an idea for the novel).

Stay safe my dears. Stay at home if you can.

Tschau for now.

Vintage witch pot with blue and green smoke for Halloween