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

After Captain Kid introduces himself to the Kybees, the Kybee leader, a girl named Patricia, threatens the captain with a pistol. Also, when Captain Kid refuses to surrender his weapon, Patricia orders one of her scouts to take it from him—“And if he gives you any trouble,” she says, “cut his head off!” Yikes!

As the scout reaches over a shoulder for one of the machetes on his back, the captain fires his rifle, the bullet striking the ground between the Kybee boy’s feet. And he’s firing no ordinary bullets, oh no, they were made special by a U.S. Marshal. That doesn’t mean much to Charles, but it does to the Kybee leader.

Ultimately, a disastrous conflict is avoided when Patricia learns that Charles and his friends have come from the World Below. Also, they saw Castatine on their long trek across the desert.

In the end, Patricia offers Captain Kid a sand buggy to speed them on their way, but first, they will have a picnic. When the chapter ends, Patricia’s little brother, Billy Boy, is telling the group stories.

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YouTube: https://youtu.be/Whg8pkLa7Ns

In this episode, the brother of the Kybee leader, Billy Boy, with his face erupting in wards, soars, and patchy facial hair, tells stories to Charles and his friends. The first story is about a horse-thief from Charles’s world. “One-Eyed Joe” he is called, and the story concludes with someone looking for Joe’s brain in a jar. The second story is about a witch who turns an unfortunate boy into a murderous, rampaging elephant. But the third story is the one that matters.

Third, Billy Boy tells of Ayana, Queen of Hyadon, who enticed her bravest knight to go into the Red Realm. In the tale, as the queen and knight recline on her sofa, she explains the door to the secret world is concealed behind the mirror hanging at the entrance of her bathing den. At first, the knight, Sir Ronald, assumes she is teasing him, but when he examines the mirror, he discovers the hidden hinges. The mirror opens like a door, and, just as the queen promised, there stands a corridor of stone.

As the queen and knight stand at the tunnel, Ayana explains her plan, that Sir Ronald should enter the Red Realm and deliver to that land’s king a prized the queen has secured in a lockbox. Also, thirteen additional knights are to go with him.

In preparation to the quest, Ronald is given two noble weapons: one is the royal sword, and the other is a gun made by a wizard. If he succeeds in his mission, the queen promises anything he wants, including her own hand in marriage.

But that is a prize Sir Ronald will never collect because he and all his fellows are killed in the Red Realm.

At the end of the story, a pair of important details come to light. First, the treasure hidden in Ayana’s lockbox is the heart of her father. Second, that the Lord of the Red Realm can use royal blood to cast powerful spells, even to open doors to other worlds.

Learning this, Charles wonders if Castatine used the Patch Fairy’s blood to escape his world. Captain Kid says, probably not, but Charles isn’t convinced.

After the Kybee’s stories, Captain Kid leads his rescue party once more into the desert, but this time they are riding in one of the Kybees’ sand buggies. That evening, at one of their stops for gas, Charles finds an opportunity to speak to the captain privately. He wants to know why Captain Kid didn’t like the kybees.

“I mean,” he says, “they’re rough around the edges and a little strange, for sure. I think maybe radiation or something like the plague was turning Billy Boy’s face into road-pizza. But that wouldn’t make you dislike them. So, level with me.”

What the captain says next, Charles would never forget. “They’re werewolves.”

As soon as the words are out, Charles hears the distant howls. And then he remembers the Kybee flag, a cartoonish full moon against a field of deep-blue sky. The Kybees. The moon folk.

If Captain Kid hadn’t made them leave the picknick, the Kybees would’ve eaten them.

Here, feeling the pressure of near death, Charles again gets into an argument with his leader, this time, over the fact that Captain Kid isn’t admitting how much danger he’s put everyone in. Also, after being asked to fix a broken flashlight, he’s sulking over his mundane tasks as the team’s electro-technical officer.

So, that’s where we’re at, the Kybees behind and Dolloptree ahead.

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Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

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Email: joseph@thebluedeck.com

The gas has run out on the sand buggy, and the kids have spent their second night in the desert, but setting off the following morning they find the town they’re looking for, Doloptree. As the captain said, Doloptree isn’t much of a town. In fact, it’s hardly more than a truck stop, and a strange truck stop at that: a combo gas station, restaurant, and post office…That’s not especially odd, but, for some reason, all the diesel pumps are stretched out in a line a half a mile long. Also, working in the joint, they find only a kid and two teenagers. The kid, who is a waiter in the restaurant, has had a run in with Castatine, in which he’s agreed to rob a store register in exchange for her casting a spell on him to make him a radar man…whatever that is. But, the trade was no good. After handing over the money, Castatine drugged him, making him fall asleep for the rest of the day. While he was passed out, she called someone on a payphone—no one good, we’re sure—then sabotaged the phone lines. Afterward, she split town on the train.

Speaking of trains, the next one will arrive in town in just a little while to take Captain Kid’s rescue party to their next stop, to Atsuma, the Great City. But whatever they find there, Charles has determined it will be his last stop before turning back for home. And he intends to take his friends with him. 

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

Previously in Chapter 20

It’s no ordinary bus that shows up in Doloptree. In fact, it’s more like a train. It has road tires, but it’s half a mile long with flexible accordion-joints between each bus section. When Charles and his companions board the bus-train, they find it full of children and teenagers…with one exception. Spying through a window into a bus car marked the Smoker’s Cabin, they find three men in mobster-style suits. Two of the men sit across a chess board from one another but the third sits alone, gazing out the window and shuffling a deck of playing cards onehanded. To Charles, this seems like the kind of shuffle only a magician could manage. What’s more, the man with the cards sports a showman’s mustache with elaborate curled horns to either side of his mouth.

Then, into the Smoker’s Cabin walks a woman—a beauty—in a sparkling silver-white dress and red high heal shoes. She says something to the magician, and when he gets up, he moves directly to the door Charles and his friends are hiding behind.

When the magician pulls open the door, telling the kids to take a hike, inexplicably, Ozzie refuses.

“It seems we’re at an impasse,” the magicians says.

“It seems we are,” Ozzie agrees.

To this, the woman in the room breaks out into cackles.

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

 

The Blue Deck Christmas Special 

Hello guys, welcome back to the Blue Deck Podcast. This is our very first Christmas special. For those of you joining us for the first time, an especially warm welcome to you, and merry Christmas one and all.

This show is being published as a standalone episode and as part of our regular ongoing series: The Blue Deck Podcast where we’re going through my novel, Into the Attic of the World, one chapter at a time. Well…I guess it’s a good time to introduce myself. I’m your host, Joseph Mazerac.

Today we’re going to have a quick discussion about the Real Saint Nicholas. That’s right, Santa Clause, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Sinterklaas—whatever you call him, the legend started a surprisingly long time ago, with a real person called Saint Nicholas.

Before we get into that…Spoiler Alert! In this show, we’ll be talking about the history of our modern Christmas traditions, so, listener discretion advised. Parents, use your best judgment. Personally, I think it’s important to know the story of Saint Nicholas, and in my humble opinion, his story has a special kind of magic that’s at least is powerful as what kids normally believe about Santa Clause. More on that later.

The bulk of this show is based on the article, Yes, America, There is a Santa Clause, written by Pamela J. Adams. If you want to know more about Pamela or her articles, check out her website, TheFactsPaper.com. A link will be in the show notes. She also has letters about St. Patrick, St. Valentine, and many more. The one on St. Valentine is particularly interesting. Let’s just say…What’s he have to do with Valentine’s day, candy hearts, and affectionate greeting cards? Ummm… Not much, so definitely worth checking out if you want the inside scoop.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it. Let’s talk about Santa.

 

The Real Saint Nicholas

 

Nicholas was born to a wealthy couple less than 300 years after the resurrection of Christ. That’s about 1700 years ago. He lived in the ancient city of Patara, located in modern-day Turkey. However, young Nicholas was orphaned when an epidemic took his parents, and afterward, his uncle, the Bishop of Patara, raised him in the church.

Later, when he was a teenager, he traveled to the Holy Land. Experiencing where Jesus lived, died and rose again affected him greatly. Then, returning home by sea, a violent storm arose, jeopardizing the ship and all the passengers, but Nicholas prayed for protection, and the sea calmed. The ship and all on board were spared, and as a result, when Nicholas was sainted, he became the patron saint of sailors and voyagers.

That could be the end of his story. Certainly, it’s enough. But when we think of him today, we remember to call him “Saint” but have forgotten that he’s the saint of sailors. Instead, we think of stockings and presents. How did that happen, and why?

Well, as Nicholas grew into adulthood, he felt called by God to the ministry. Just as his Uncle was a bishop in Patara, he rose to bishop in the city of Myra, also in modern-day Turkey.

In those days, the Roman Emperor Diocletian was persecuted followers of Christ. In 303 AD he ordered all Christians to be captured and tortured before throwing them in jail. Because of this, Nicholas soon found himself imprisoned for his beliefs. Despite several beatings, his faith never faltered. In addition, he even defended other prisoners unjustly charged, strengthening to his legacy of humanity and justice.

Relief finally came when Emperor Constantine assumed power in 306 AD. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to accept and spread Christianity. After taking power, he ordered the release of all Christian prisoners, including Nicholas, who returned to Myra.

Nicholas, an only son, had inherited his parents’ wealth after their death. An ardent follower of Christ, he used his money to buy gifts, food, and other items for the poor and needy.

The most famous story of Nicholas’ compassion involved a poor widower and his three daughters (Now, for those of you who don’t know, a widower is a man whose wife has passed away). The widower could not afford a proper dowry for even one of his girls. At the time, unwed young females often became slaves. Nicholas secretly gave the man money for each daughter. Some say he tossed a bag of gold through a window while others believe he dropped it down the chimney. Regardless, the bag landed in a stocking that was hanging from the mantel.

The father of the girls eventually learned Nicholas gave the anonymous dowries, and when he thanked him, Nicholas simply replied, “Don’t thank me, thank God alone.”

Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD. He was sainted, and his feast day, December 6th, became known as Saint Nicholas Day. In the 5th century, nuns continued his tradition of anonymously helping the poor. In remembrance of him, during his night, they left food and clothes at the homes of the needy.

The predominance of saints sharply decreased after the Reformation. Nevertheless, Saint Nicholas’ legend continued to grow, taking on variations throughout the world. For example, he is known as “Sinterklaas” in Holland (Where my wife’s parents are from). Germans, Swiss, and Dutch leave shoes and stockings outside the door hoping for candy and treats from Saint Nicholas. However, naughty boys and girls wake to…you guessed it…to lumps of coal.

Eventually, immigrants brought the tradition of Saint Nicholas to America. Clement Clarke Moore’s 1820 poem “An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas,” forever changed the legend. The saint became a heavy, jolly man who flies through the air with eight reindeer and slides down chimneys. Cartoonist Thomas Nast finished Santa Clause’s transformation in 1881 with a red suit with white fur trim.

Most legends stem from some degree of authenticity. Actual events are embellished and fantasized with variations in each story. Regardless, the most remarkable element remains the grain of truth that exists in the tale.

Saint Nicholas was an incredibly faithful, God-fearing man. He quite literally fought for the Gospel. Even under torture and imprisonment, he refused to deny his Lord and Savior. He obeyed Christ’s commandment to love his neighbor and used his good fortune to benefit the needy. His legacy remains a map for each new generation that constantly points to Jesus.

So, as Pamela J. Adams puts is: Yes, America, there is a Santa Claus. He was an amazing follower of Christ. Therefore, don’t get distracted by the modern understanding of the jolly old man who gives you presents on Christmas. Instead, focus on the bishop who risked his life and spent his family fortune professing and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is the Santa Claus we should remember. This is the Santa Claus we should emulate.

Dear listener, I couldn’t agree more.

That ends our history lesson. Stick around after the music if you’re interested in my personal experience sharing this story with my four kids. Once again, a very special thanks to Pamela J. Adams for allowing us to adapt her article for this show. Remember to check out her website, TheFactsPaper.com.

 

Okay, I’ll make it quick here, but I thought it worth the time to quickly discuss my own experience with the story of Saint Nicholas.

First, I grew up in a home where we never—and I mean NEVER—admitted that “Santa Clause” wasn’t real. That was an idea that was to go UNSPOKEN. My mom especially loved Christmas and the traditions that go along with it. She was (and still is) the kind of person who wraps the presents fancy. She really goes all out, and that’s great. I love it. It makes the occasion that much more fun than it is already. Also, I grew up in a home where we always recognized the true meaning of Christmas, that is to say, we celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

As the years go by, that is the part of Christmas that’s becoming more and more meaningful to me. Jesus was born to the virgin Mary, he came to live with us, Emanuel. That is worth celebrating. I became a parent, then, as my kids got a little older, my wife and I had long discussions about what we should tell our kids about Christmas. I’m sure many of you have had these same talks. We hoped to join in the festivity, yet, we wanted to tell our kids the truth, and we didn’t want to take away from the focus on our Savior and King on his big day. For my wife, Johanna, Santa had never been that big of a deal. Remember I said her parents were from Holland. They grew up with Sinterklaas. To them, Santa was an American thing. But, even in my wife’s eyes, my family’s traditions seemed like a lot of fun—aside from the part about waking up in the middle of the night to ringing sleigh bells then opening presents one at a time into the wee hours. We pretty much scratched that from the get-go.

Ultimately, we did the whole Santa-Clause thing, just like all our neighbors and friends, and when the inevitable questions arose—Is Santa Clause real?—we agreed wholeheartedly that he was, either that, or we said it was up to them to decide, but, all the while implying he was real.

However. A few times over the years I had looked into “Saint Nicholas.” What was he about? And last year I found Pamela’s article. After reading it, that settled it for me. This guy’s story needed to be told. I mean, come on, that line he said to the widower when his gift-giving was discovered: “Don’t thank me, thank God alone.” The humility that demonstrates, the acknowledgment that all our good gifts come from God. I love it.

So, last Christmas my wife and I sat our kids down. Our kids were 10 years old, 11, 11, and our oldest was 12 at the time. We read to them the article. All the while I was reading, I’d look up to watch their faces. Where’s this going, their questioning eyes demanded to know. They hung on every word, particularly my youngest daughter who must’ve had the least doubts about Santa. How’s this Nicholas guy turn into Santa Clause?

Parents, put yourselves in their shoes. Santa is such a big deal. Christmas is like the greatest day ever.

When the reading ended, they let out with exclamations of, “I knew it,” and… “You lied to us!” (I was worried about that one.) But my youngest, Malia, had the funniest reaction. With her face twisted in befuddlement, she asked, “What about Buddy?” Buddy was our Elf on the Self. I couldn’t stop laughing. Yeah, sweaty, Santa is made up, but Buddy is totally real.

One last thing I want to talk about is the, “You lied to us!” accusation. It’s my strong conviction that parents should threat such claims respectfully. And, indeed, it was one of the reasons I wanted to go ahead and pull off the Band-Aid. Christmas is, legitimately, one of the best, if not the best day ever. As such, it’s very important that my children trust what I tell them about it. So, we were open and honest with them. We told them about how Christmas was celebrated in our homes as children, and we told them about the conflict we had early on about wanting to participate in the holiday traditions while also wanting to never diminish the true meaning of Christmas. In the end, it came to this: that, in a way, Santa is real in that the idea of him motivates people all across the globe to give anonymously, and that is a very powerful and rear event. Consider it, people spend lots of money each and every year to give away things and receive none of the credit. How incredible is that? My one critique is that if Santa Clause was real, living in the North Pole with the elves, working tirelessly in their winterland toy factory, I doubt he’d want the credit either. Instead, I think he would puff on his corncob pipe and say, “Don’t thank me, thank God alone.”

Amen to that.

 

Do you like the music? I do. Thanks to Brian Wages and Kelanie Gloeckler for letting us use their music in this show. Their Christmas albums Glad Tidings and Great joy is available on iTunes, and each of them have solo albums. Brian’s song, Gelena (Sown in Tears), is used is our regular season shows. And, speaking of that, if you’re new here and you’re interested in youthful fantasy stories, check out the Blue Deck Podcast. As of this recording, we’re right at the end of season two. In each episode, we cover one chapter from my book, Into the Attic of the World. That book is also available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. If you’re looking for something to stuff those stockings—something that cost less than a sack of gold—check it out. It’s about kids going on an adventure into mystery and danger. It’s set in the Nineties, so really, it’s good for the parents as much as it is for young people. A link to our Amazon page is in the description.

Thanks for tuning in. I hope it’s been illuminating. Stay warm out there, and amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, take those precious moments to slow down and remember the bright hope that came into this world with the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. I’m sure that’s what Saint Nicholas would’ve wanted.

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Click here to read Pamela J. Adams' article, Yes, America, there is a Santa Claus, and visit her home on the web, www.TheFactsPaper.com

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Whg8pkLa7Ns

Email: joseph@thebluedeck.com

Charles, William, Dawn, and Ozzie came to a section of the bus-train called the smoker’s cabin. There were three men inside, real nasty guys who looked like movie gangsters. Then there was the woman, too. She wore a silver dress. Well, when Ozzie protested to being kicked out of the bus car, the woman started interrogating them, wanting to know where they were from and if the knew the “other girl” who came up from the world bellow—She had to be talking about Castatine.

Dawn lied about where they were from, William, too, but the woman in silver wasn’t having it. Then she threatened to cut off all Dawn’s hair and gouge out their eyes if they didn’t start telling the truth. All the while, Charles was drifting in and out of a trance-like state. Something about being in the smokers cabin seemed WAY familiar, but how could that be? Was Charles going crazy? When the woman in silver, “the silver witch,” saw Charles wasn’t paying attention to her, she slapped his face!

But he’d noticed something—these people, these “smokers”—something was odd about them. They didn’t look…real. They were too gray somehow and too thin, like maybe they were just tricks of the light, like illusions.

Finally, Charles had enough. Staring at the silver witch he said, “I think you’re not what you appear to be. You’re no more a woman than I am.”

Then the woman slapped him again. But frantically, his mind tried to figure out the riddle—why was this place so familiar?

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Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

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Email: joseph@thebluedeck.com 

Chapter 22: Urgent

When the silver witch slaps Charles for the second time, an idea springs into his head—he’d been on this train before! But that didn’t make sense. It was impossible. He’d never been to this world before, much less the weird road-going bus-train. Then as he looked back at his friends… Yes, he had been on this train, and not only that but in this very situation. He could remember it (sort of) and the last time he was here, he’d been with William, Dawn, and Ozzie… except… the William he saw now looked different, not much different, just a little thicker with bigger ears but so similar they must’ve been brothers.

It was a trick. It had to be. The magician with the curled mustache was playing mind tricks on him. Then a fight breaks out between the kids and the adults, but as the grownups fight, they fall apart, crumbling to ashes and leaving their empty clothes behind. In the process, one of the men puts a knife to Charles’s throat and would’ve killed him if Charles hadn’t wedged a hand under the blade. Finally, Captain Kid shows up, rifle in hand, and shoots the witch. The woman lifts into the air, screaming out her warning—give up the search for the Patch Fairy, or the Red King will run you through with his horn! The lights of the cabin flickered, then she erupts into smoking ash, her silver dress falling lifeless to the floor.

Links to my appearance on The Bookshop at the End of the Internet:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bookshop-at-the-end-of-the-internet/id1447159542?mt=2 

GooglePlayMusic: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iqgwb5e25bmjzmgx6tcyac43sdu 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6Fm25oqPKmrGMZcidBbXPM 

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-bookshop-at-the-end-of-30811787/

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Buy After the Pandemic: Visions of Life Post COVID-19 on Amazon

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

Or email me, joseph@thebledeck.com if you want a signed copy of the book!

Website: thebluedeck.com

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

After the smokers burn to ashes, Charles’s mind is full of questions and frustration. Also, he’s about had it with this quest. Captain Kid explains that the smokers were phantoms—living illusions. They enchanted ashes and clothes to give themselves shape. When the kids fought back, the phantoms used too much energy and fell apart. They weren’t actually dead.

While explaining this, the captain takes the dagger left behind by the magician. Then after giving the knife to Ozzie, he suggests Ozzie might not want to keep it because it could lead the phantoms to him.

Ozzie rejects the dagger, offering it to William. William doesn’t want it. Dawn doesn’t want it either, so Captain Kid takes it again, sticking it in his pocket.

No one offered it to Charles, and that is sooooo annoying. He’s got a knife of his own—the Swiss Army Knife—but that wasn’t good for battles. If the captain wanted him to be a knight, he should have a real weapon! He throse his Swiss Army knife to William, and without asking, snatches the dagger out of the captain’s pocket. Then he scolds their leader for not taking the swords when the mountain man offered them back at Salvation Mountain.

Captain Kid only watches Charles, not complaining about the outburst, and when Charles secures the dagger to his belt, the captain says it looks good on him. But in the skirmish with the phantoms, Charles’s hand was cut. The injury needs treatment. After that, they should get a little rest.

Links to Joseph Mazerac's appearance on The Bookshop at the End of the Internet:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bookshop-at-the-end-of-the-internet/id1447159542?mt=2 

GooglePlayMusic: https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iqgwb5e25bmjzmgx6tcyac43sdu 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6Fm25oqPKmrGMZcidBbXPM 

iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-bookshop-at-the-end-of-30811787/

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Buy After the Pandemic: Visions of Life Post COVID-19 on Amazon

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

Send a message to joseph@thebledeck.com if you want a signed book!

Website: thebluedeck.com

After waking up in the sleeping car, Charles visits with Dawn while William and Ozzie sleep. They’re no longer in the desert, but outside, the passing landscape has changed to hills of luscious green.

Dawn reveals to Charles that they’re going to Atsuma, the great city, to see a king called Katsuro the Destroyer. The Destroyer—really?!?! That sounds awful. Also, Dawn tells him that before he woke up, she walked around the bus-train and saw a girl looking for a merit badge under her pillow. So sad. The girl didn’t know the fairy was missing.

After that, Charles risks asking Dawn about his vision in the smoker’s cabin. He nods to William who’s sleeping across the aisle. “Notice anything odd about him?”

“No,” Dawn says. “Why?”

“He looked different,” Charles admits, but after that, he’ll say nothing more, in fear Dawn will tell the captain he’s going crazy.

When the other boys wake up, they grab a table in the dining car and eat until they’re stuffed. That is when Charles tells them how he really feels about the mission. If they don’t find Castatine in Atsuma, they should abandon the quest and go home. To his surprise, they agree, all but Ozzie who’s decided he’ll catch Castatine and knock her upside the head with his baseball bat. But after remembering his mother—no doubt worried to death back home—even Ozzie agrees…with one condition. Charles must tell Captain Kid about the deadline. They can’t just ditch him because, In Ozzie’s words, “he’s the coolest guy I ever met.”

When Captain Kid shows up, Charles fulfills Ozzie’s requirement.

Captain Kid takes the news pretty well. He even understands, but he proposes Charles is supposed to be right where he’s at, searching for the fairy and looking after his friends. The captain reminds them of the shuttle, how it changed just for them. “Notice there wasn’t a seat for the marshal,” he points out. Then Dawn remembers the bracket on the wall, perfect for Joseph, the captain’s pet crab.

Already, the tides are turning against Charles, but their deal is made. If they don’t find Castatine in Atsuma, they’re going home. And even Captain Kid admits she’s probably too far ahead.

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Buy After the Pandemic: Visions of Life Post COVID-19 on Amazon

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

Email Joseph Mazerac, joseph@thebledeck.com

Website: thebluedeck.com

In chapter 25, Charles and his friends arrive in Atsuma, the Great City. The city is a sprawling metropolis, colorful skyscrapers everywhere. But like on the train, the city is inhabited primarily by children. Charles doesn’t understand why the place hasn’t gone to ruin. If left to the upkeep of kids, any city in his world would return to the earth in a mountain of overgrown vines or runaway fires would burn the whole place to ashes. They’re not kids, he suspects. They might look like children but something in this world makes it where people don’t grow up.

There were two notable exceptions, however. A woman in her sixties is talking on a payphone and, strolling across the park outside the bus station, there is a policeman wearing a ninja sword on his back.

The police officer walks straight to Captain Kid and says the king is looking for him. Also, he wants to know why Marshal Rayban isn’t there.

Dawn explains that the marshal didn’t come, but the officer wants to hear it from the captain.

“The chief just answered you,” Captain Kid says. “Why do you look at me?” Then, before agreeing to follow the policeman to the palace, he wants to know how the officer knew they were coming.

The man’s answer is another puzzle. “The cyclops saw you coming.”

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

Buy After the Pandemic: Visions of Life Post COVID-19 on Amazon

Twitter: @josephmazerac

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

Email Joseph Mazerac, joseph@thebledeck.com

Website: thebluedeck.com

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