The Blue Deck Podcast: Into the Attic of the World

Magic, monsters, fairies, and strange new worlds. Presenting Into the Attic of the World by award winning author Joseph Mazerac

The Blue Deck Podcast Presents: Into The Attic of the World, by Joseph Mazerac

After returning to his childhood home, Charles Miller is visited by ghosts from his past. Not literal ghosts, but strange memories are returning to him, stuff he’s either forgotten or repressed, memories of adventures in faraway lands, of monsters and magic, and a boy called Captain Kid. All of this is too much to be believed, of course. The things he recalls are impossible. Yet, he believes them anyway. After all, even impossible things can happen when magic cuts holes in the world.

So, Charles begins to tell his tale. It begins in the summer of 1990. He was thirteen back then, living in a lakeside townhouse in Florida. Life was good. But the appearance of a strange boy riding a sailing raft has threatened to upset Charles’s position as the leader of his little neighborhood gang.

Also, for some reason, this Captain Kid character is particularly interested in merit badges. Hmm? I wonder why? 

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This podcast, set in Jacksonville Florida, is family friendly. By that, we mean it's enjoyable to adults as well as younger listeners. Set in the Nineties, the tale enjoys a nostalgic glow, while also taking listeners to new worlds of fantasy, mystery, and danger in a pursuit to find the missing Patch Fairy. 

 

About the author:

Growing up with a father in the U.S. Army, Joseph Mazerac traveled extensively. He was born in Germany but quickly moved with his family to the United States where he spent his youth in Alabama, North Carolina, Alaska, Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Georgia.

After graduating high school, Joseph hit the road again, this time to California where he met his wife. While in California, he began his “day job” career as an Unexploded Ordnance Technician. That job sent him to remote locations across the U.S. and around the globe.

When he wasn’t blowing things up, Joseph pursued a less dangerous but equally adventuresome creative life. He is a Royal Palm Literary Award-winning author, graphic novel illustrator, and podcaster—all of this despite his childhood battle with dyslexia! After many years with drawing as his first passion, he has traded the pencil for a keyboard and microphone. Now he uses carefully crafted prose to envision cowboys, phantoms, magic swords, and evil unicorns in a multi-layered reality overflowing with rich imagination.

Joseph is a husband and father to four who prides himself in his family. He is also a dedicated person of faith and does not shy away from writing about faith as a normal part of the human experience. He cherishes time with friends and loves audiobooks, strong coffee, and scratching his dog’s back.

While he still travels, he and his family have made Jacksonville, Florida their home.

 

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Whg8pkLa7Ns

Email: joseph@thebluedeck.com

 

YAF019000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / General

YAF001000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General

YAF051060 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Religious / Christian / Fantasy

FIC009010 FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary

Chapter 2: Patches

Over an extravagant picnic, Charles, Dawn, and Ozzie learn the importance of Captain Kid’s merit badges. Wherever the captain is from, in that place, when a kid learns a difficult skill, does something brave, or acts nobly, the Patch Fairy visits them at night and leaves a merit badge under their pillow. The problem is, this strange fairy has gone missing.

The captain bids his farewell, and later that day, Charles and his friends gather outside, hoping to find Captain Kid again. They do not find him, however, and as Charles returns to his home, he is left with an inescapable feeling that something special is about to happen, maybe even something magical.

That evening, lying in bed, in a moment of inspiration, he tucks his hand beneath his pillow, sure he will find a patch hidden there by the Patch Fairy. Unfortunately, there is no patch. Disappointment and doubt wash over him until he has another bright realization: Jacksonville might not have a Patch Fairy, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely without magic. There’s still a God to pray to at night—always him, overlooking everything, everywhere. Charles breathes out a prayer, catching it in his balled fist, and quickly tucks the prayer beneath his pillow. God would find it—his secret wish—even if the fairy could not.

What had he prayed for on that enchanting summer night?
That Captain Kid would find his fairy, and Charles could help him do it.

 

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

In the morning, joined by Charles’s best friend, William, the kids return to the lakeside in hopes of finding Captain Kid. They do not find the captain but find his raft tied along the bank.

An attempt is made to pull the raft ashore, but the thing will not budge a single inch even though it’s floating and has no anchor. Undaunted, Dawn kicks off her sandals and goes out into the water to investigate. The others join her, and when they climb up onto the raft, they find that not only will it not move toward the shore but it won’t move at all.

Even with the four of them standing on the little raft, their combined weight doesn’t rock the boat—not one bit. That is when Dawn points with her toe, directing the boys’ attentions to the floor planks. In the floor, narrow grooves form a rectangle. Their youthful, detective minds identify the purpose at once: the raft has a secret compartment.

Then Charles remembers something Dawn said when they were still on the bank. When he’d pointed out the lack of human footprints in the muck along the shoreline—an idea that suggested the captain hadn’t come ashore—Dawn looked out at the immovable raft and muttered, “He’s hiding on it someplace.”

Hiding on the raft? That seemed impossible.

But now… impossible or not, Charles thought she was right.

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

Piled onto the captain’s abandoned raft, Charles and his friends stare down at a door set into the planks. A secret compartment, Charles thinks, but as he cautiously opens the cubby, he is not met by a small compartment for stowing trinkets, rather, an entire basement! To be clear, the basement is a physical impossibility. First of all, it’s far too big to hide under the little boat. Second, as they lean out over the water to peer below the raft, they see nothing beneath them but water, sand, and weeds. Third, the interior of the lower cabin is made of more logs—like a log cabin out in the woods—no way it’s watertight.

In the cabin, they spy Captain Kid, looking up at them as he sprawls in a hammock hung between a pair of bookcases. What’s more, the captain is not alone. In a dark corner of the room, sits the most menacing cowboy. A hat hides his face, his coat is worn and dusty, and the points of his black boots cut hard triangular shapes into the line of sunlight falling at his feet. Also, he’s carrying a rifle.

Here sits the reason the Patch Fairy’s gone missing—she’s been kidnapped: Charles believes this, but he is wrong. The fairy was kidnapped, true, but not by the cowboy. The shadowy stranger folds open his duster to reveal a metal star pinned to his shirt. He is a U. S. Marshal, presumably one of the good guys, and he and the captain are planning a rescue mission.

That is when this cowboy, Marshal Rayban, notices Charles and his friends know nothing of, what he calls, the decks. What are these decks? Charles doesn’t know. Evidently, they’re important to the cowboy because, peering over at Captain Kid, he rumbles, “Are you going to explain it, or should I?”

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

In the secret cabin beneath Captain Kid’s raft, the young captain explains the true nature of reality. As Charles, William, Dawn, and Ozzie watch on, he presents two decks of playing cards. One of the decks is blue. The other is red. He shuffles the decks together so the two stacks of cards just barely interlace. Then he explains that reality is like a deck of cards, there’s layers. If a person knows where the layers touch, it is possible to jump between them. Furthermore, one side of the Reality Deck is red, while the other side is blue. This concept remains mysterious.

Captain Kid says that Charles and his friends live on a layer very near the top of the blue side of the Reality Deck. Also introduced is the concept of Reality Gravity, which means it is easier to travel “down” the layers than it is to go “up.”

As for the fairy, Marshal Rayban found her cart turning to dust outside a Victorian house in an otherworldly version of New Orleans. Neighbors reported that the house was rented to a girl without parents. After entering the house, Marshal Rayban discovered a trap set for the fairy beneath the girl’s pillow in her bedroom. Now, the marshal suspects the fairy was taken up the Reality Deck into a place he calls the Attic of the World.

“But you should know,” he says, “monsters live in the Attic of the World. Great things, too, but even they are dangerous.”

When Charles asks, what kind of monsters, the marshal answers, “Spiders with faces, dead kings of darkness, the terrible black unicorn, Night Mare, with all of his minions.”

Making the matter even worse, the Patch Fairy is no ordinary sprite. She is a princess of the highest order, daughter to the king and queen of the entire Blue Realm.

Amazingly, the captain wants Charles and the other kids to help with the rescue mission. All of this is very exciting and interesting, but Charles feels compelled to raise the alarm. “No offense,” he says, “but we’re just kids. We can’t save a princess.” Then gesturing to the gunslinger, he adds, “Take him. He could do it easily.”

Much to Charles’s disappointment, Marshal Rayban is unwilling to go into the Attic of the World. According to him, the Attic is outside of his jurisdiction. Besides that, it’s no place for grownups.

With varying levels of reluctance, our earthly friends agree to help the captain find his missing fairy. Charles is amazed and scared, and he cannot help but remember that this is exactly what he’d prayed for.

So it begins, in the belly of a magic raft, the makings of a quest.

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Chapter 6: The Way

For Charles and his friends, their adventure into the Attic of the World begins with the four of them packing their bookbags. They do this and set off without telling any grownup what they are doing. When gathered again outside, they follow Captain Kid and Marshal Rayban around the lake to the edge of the forest.

When Marshal Rayban directs the troop towards the mysteries of the forest, Charles once again plants in his heal. Kids have no business following strangers into the woods—especially when these strangers carry guns.

Ultimately, they arrive at two small bits of new information. One, the girl who kidnapped the Patch Fair was tracked to Charles’s world by a hawk. And two, Captain Kid used to know this girl.

With a voice showing no sign of heaviness, the captain says, “But walking helps me think, and her name is difficult to remember. Will you let me think about it on the way?”

How sensible the captain sounds. How confident. Even so, Charles is not convinced. In spite of this, when he sees his friends’ agreeable expressions, he swallows his objections and goes along.

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

 

Charles and his friends follow Captain Kid and Marshal Rayban into the woods until they come upon a huge concrete barrier. This wall is about eight feet high and extents in both directions through the dense forest growth. Marshal Rayban hoists Charles onto the wall, and when Charles stands, he is looking out across a vast concrete ring of unimaginable purpose. The inside of the ring is filled completely with murky water. All Charles can think is this is some kind of abandoned water treatment facility, but even that seems highly unlikely.

The marshal and captain probably know the real purpose, but, as always, those two are infuriatingly tight-lipped. The only thing certain is that Marshal Rayban is aggravated by this water situation. He sets off to find the pump because the circle has to be drained to get to the “shuttle” they’re looking for.

After locating the pump, the marshal has difficulty starting the cursed machine, so Captain Kid suggests the cowboy go on to find his own secret door, the one leading into the Red Real. Here, their paths part.

Charles never care for the gruff cowboy, but the departure leaves him feeling even more lost in the woods than he already was. Still, there is work to be done, and when the pump fires up, Charles’s attention is drawn to the forest lowlands which are filling with black swamp water.

 

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

Charles and his companions have come through the forest to find a vast circular structure filled with water. As the water drains, the secrets of an immense subterranean facility are revealed.

Standing on top of the concrete ring, the kids look down upon, what can only be described as, an antique fantasy version of a space shuttle. The shuttle stands, poised atop a launch tower, strung with dripping vines, algae caking its windows, and the name Nautilus stenciled upon its wing.

Awed by the site, the kids venture into the shuttle grounds by way of a narrow, rickety stairway. Eventually coming into the control room, it is there where Charles will finally begin to get real answers.

The captain’s plan involves launching the shuttle—with them in it! But before they contemplate the complexity of a shuttle launch (and the suicidal risks involved), Dawn brings them back to the matter of the kidnapping: “You didn’t answer Charles’s question,” she says, looking to Captain Kid. “The girl who took the Patch Fairy, who is she?”

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JosephMazeracAuthor/

 

In the humidity of the control room, sitting in a circle on desks and chairs and snacking on Dawn’s bag of Skittles, Captain Kid tells his story of wonder and loss.

The girl was called Castatine, and he knew her way up high in the rooftop of the world. He was from the Blue Deck, she from the Red, and they would meet in the middle, at the well, in the center of the Gossamer Gardens. Castatine was a troublesome girl, even if she was fun and he liked her, but she was careless, dangerous, and always laughing.

During one of her games, she fell into the well, not knowing that the hole was for more than drawing water. It was the doorway, and it carried her into the Red Attic where the Dark Unicorn reigns.

Captain Kid, shimmied down the rope after her, but that was the problem. You see, at that time, he didn’t understand the passages between worlds, that the water would take her to the Red Deck below, but the rope would take him to the Blue side.

For a long time, he was lost, not knowing where to go or how to get there. When he finally made it into the Red Attic, it was to late. Castatine had entered into the service of that land’s evil king.

When his story concludes, it is at last time to address to shuttle. Will they stay or will they go with Captain Kid? Charles insists upon the danger of the mission, that the Nautilus could blow up just like the Challenger did—they all watched that live on national television. Ozzie protests, dismissing such concerns, but Captain Kid is obliged to agree with Charles’s more pessimistic assessment.

The shuttle might explode, the captain admits, but to him it is worth the risk, because the Patch Fairy is worth saving. “In a world full of worries,” he says, “people need to know someone good is watching.”

The captain’s reasons are all well and good, but Charles cannot be convinced to forsake his family and risk his life to save a fairy, even if she is a princess from some high-away land. But for his friends, yes, he would go for them.

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This is our first OFF-SEASON show. We have something a little different in store for you. During the next few episodes, before beginning Season 2, we have a guest host, Dalyn Woods. She has prepared questions for Joseph Mazerac, and we hope you will enjoy his interrogation.

Dayln is a good friend of Joseph's and a fellow writer. Her book, My Sister’s Keeper, is available on Amazon. Also, her new book, The Bride Escape, will be out soon, so if you’re listening to this podcast sometime in the future, chances are, that book is available also.

This episode covers topics like Conan the Barbarian, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, C.S. Lewis, Joseph’s love of audiobooks, and his early battle with dyslexia.

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