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 fairy’s rescue party is ushered to the palace of King Katsuro by gun-toting warriors in blue skeleton masks. The Blue Skulls are a bizarre lot with gold and silver accents on their masks and weapons. To Charles, they look like assassins from a G.I. Joe cartoon.

As the kids arrive at the palace, Captain Kid gives Ozzie his broken compass, saying King Katsuro could fix the switch and arm Ozzie for battle…if he wasn’t abandoning the quest to find the Patch Fairy. This is super important because, remember, Charles suggested they might have to steal the compass to get back to their world. Now they have it without steeling it! But Captain Kid had given it to Ozzie who was to most likely to jettison their plans in favor of adventure.

The captain tells the kids to follow his lead in the palace. If he says “Your Majesty” and takes a knee, the others should do the same. Also, the boys need to leave their silliness at the door.

So, they approach the palace, looking out at a hundred girls in golden dresses practicing Tai-chi on a perfect green lawn. The palace is bright white with blue doors, and blocking their way is the cyclops, a massive war-hammer in his leathery grip.

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When the kids arrive at the palace, they are confronted by the Cyclops, a huge monster—one-eyed, of course. He has a horn on his forehead, sharp pointed teeth, and he carries a war hammer. Strangely, he claims to have seen them coming all the way back in Doloptree.

When Ozzie asked how, the cyclops points to his eye as if that’s an explanation. Speaking of his eye. It’s red. Like, the ball of the eye is red, and it’s white in the center. Also, the white part of his eye splits apart and moves around. It’s pretty weird.

Anyway, they all go into the palace, and Charles sees a bunch of paintings on the wall. The portraits are all old kings and queens, and in every one of them is the same sword, a curved katana in a turquoise scabbard. A placard below one of the paintings reads, “King An-dob-o the Destroyer who reigned from 1646 to 1670.”

The Destroyer…just like King Katsuro. So, why are both the kings called that?

Charles asks, but his question is met with impatience.

When he presses the point, William has a look at the paintings. All the royalty of Atsuma are tagged with the title “the Destroyer.”

Then the cyclops says in his rumbling voice, “They are all Destroyers, kings or queens, but the sword itself is the ruler of Atsuma.”

When Captain Kid sees his knights are unwilling to proceed without answers, he explains that the sword in the paintings is called the Destroyer Blade. It was made by a dark wizard who killed himself with it. Now, whomever the sword cuts is sliced from the very fabric of reality—their whole life gone in an instant—even their past. It’s like they were never even born.

William suggests there’s something wrong with that story because if it were true, how would anyone know if someone was cut? The person the blade sliced would be forgotten by history and memory alike…so, who would know they were gone? Who would know if the magic in the sword really worked because no one would remember it being used?

“Maybe it’s just a story,” Dawn declares.

But it’s not just a story because of two things. Not everyone forgets the lost. Not Captain Kid, not the black unicorn in the Red Realm, and not the cyclops. Also, the blade itself remembers them, and as a warning, whenever it’s used, the blood of its victim appears on the gleaming blade.

There’s one exception, however. If a person is cut with the blade and lives, they become the new ruler of Atsuma in the Attic of the World.

One more thing. In the brief time Charles has been around the cyclops, he’s gotten the feeling the monster can see through walls, look at things too far away over great distances, and even peer into other people’s thoughts.

 

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Previously in Chapter 28

Charles and his friends are led to the king, Chaptain Kid and the cyclops going ahead of them. When they arrive at the Presence Chamber, the room is guarded by more of the blue-skulled guards. One guard opens the door for them with a golden-gauntleted left hand.

Entering the room, they find men in matching pea coats, on their knees, bowing before the king, with fedoras held to their chest. Along the walls, women are comparably dressed but in skirts. Seeing these people, Charles has a growing conviction that they are not the sort of people to go before a king—they don’t even have uniforms!

But they go in and march right up front. The cyclops introduces them, and right away, Captain Kid starts asking questions. He wants to know how the king knows of the kidnapping.

“The cyclops sees much,” the king proclaims. Then he says the kidnapper is taking the fairy to the Red Realm, and she’s almost there already!

Captain Kid goes ballistic. “Why didn’t you stop her?” he demands. Then he announces to the entire room that if Katsuro the Destroyer is unwilling to help the fairy princess, he’s unfit to be king.

A person in the crowd says, “But he cut himself on the blade and lived.” Remember, the Destroyer Blade is magic, and cuts people out of reality. That didn’t happen to Katsuro, so he was made king.

Captain Kid isn’t having it. He turns to the king and cries, “Then cut it again!”

Katsuro stands, brandishing his blade. Even Cyclops of the Seven takes a cautious step back. But Katsuro won’t kill Captain Kid with the destroyer blade—which would erase even the captains past! Instead, he snatches away the captain’s rifle, intending to shoot him with his own gun!

Just then, Charles feels Dawn’s hand leaving his. “I’ll touch it,” she says, reaching for the blade. And even Captain Kid isn’t swift enough to stop her.

 

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When Dawn reaches for the Destroyer Blade, King Katsuro spins away as Captain Kid collides with Dawn, driving her to the ground.  What happen? Charles doesn’t know. Chaos erupts, the Blue Skulls ready with their weapons. A guard grabs Charles, the cyclops scoops up William, and someone kicks Ozzie in the stomach.

When Captain Kid climbs off Dawn on the floor, he stands and points to the king’s sword. “LOOK!” he shouts. There, on the razor edge is a gruesome streak of red.

“Impossible!” King Katsuro declares. He claims there must’ve been someone else—someone cut from time—because of the blood. But what about it, Charles wonders. If Dawn was cut there definitely would be blood. But something about it bothers him. There’s just so much of it.

Dawn stands, presenting her hand to the gathering. All can see the cut across her palm.

Katsuro is livid. She couldn’t have touched it! But when the Blue Skull with the golden gauntlet examines Dawn’s injury, he sides with her and gives his allegiance.

“I require my sword,” Dawn says, but when Katsuro backs away thrashing with the Destroyer Blade, the Blue Skull guardsman shoots the king dead.   

As soon as Dawn is given her sword, she petitions to the audience for their help to stop the fairy’s kidnapper. The captain asks for a helicopter and weapons for his knights, including grenades! No problem, they say, but Charles feels the rug pulled out from under him—no way they’re going home now.

Then again, with the help of the people of Atsuma—and with Dawn becoming their QUEEN!—maybe there’s a chance to save the fairy after all. Maybe he and his friends ARE the kind of kids cut-out for adventure.

The chapter ends with Charles talking to the cyclops. Their conversation leaves Charles with a very surprising impression…that given time, he and the one-eyed monster might even become friends.

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After Dawn becomes queen of Atsuma, Charles, William and Ozzie are ushered to the armory. While Ozzie and Charles wait in a hallway, William goes into the armory for his outfitting.

Passing time on a hall bench, Charles stares at a bottle cap he’d kept from the Howl soda back on the train. He’d kept it because the white-on-red, cursive HOWL script looked so much like the Coca-Cola logo. In fact, the cap was a near-perfect Attic-of-the-World twin for the cap he’d kept from the soda back on the launch tower—a soda from his world. But he’d somehow lost the original bottle cap.

Still…why had he kept this one?

He kept it because it was RED.

Red…why should that matter? His mind had an involuntary fixation on the color: red like a fire truck, red like Darth Vader’s lightsaber, red like a stop sign. He was sick on thinking about it… Red like the blood on the Destroyer Blade.

He turned the cap over in his hand, and when he flipped the top-side up again, he half-expected to see the Coke logo reappear. It didn’t, and why would it?

Then William came out into the hall dressed like a musketeer! He’s got a sword and everything.

“They’re waiting for who’s next,” he says, so Ozzie gets up and goes in the armory, and William sits down next to Charles.

“What’s this?” William asks, looking at the bottle cap sitting between them on the bench.

Charles explains he kept it because it reminded him of the cokes William carried to the top of the launch tower.

“Not me,” William says. “You got me mixed up with someone else.” He says he hadn’t had a Coke in weeks. All he had at the tower was his “stupid water bottle.”

That was impossible, but as William spoke, strangely, his version of the story overtook Charles’s own memory of events. William came up the ladder, nothing in his hands. No coke bottles. And if he had a water, he must’ve left it in the shuttle.

Ozzie comes out into the hall dressed—you guessed it—like another musketeer. He’s so pleased with his outfit because it matches the Oakland A’s team-colors, yellow and green.

Charles is next, so he goes into the armory, weary of what he might find. There are two Blue Skulls inside, a man and a woman. They present to him four outfits: an army uniform, a suit of European armor, a samurai outfit, and finally another musketeer jersey. After a brief inner debate, he settles for being the third musketeer, a choice that seems so much like fate.

When he rejoins his friends, Dawn is there too, with Captain Kid and the Blue Skull with the golden gauntlet (whom Charles is referring to as the Blue Reaper). Dawn is now dressed like the queen, in a gold dress, and she wears the Destroyer Blade. Charles takes her hand, careful to be gentle with her bandaged left hand.

The cyclops lumbers down the hall saying the helicopter is almost ready, and Captain Kid declares it’s time to go. “You didn’t get all dressed up for nothing!”

Charles asks if their next stop is the door to the Red Realm, which it almost has to be, but he wants to hear the captain say it.

To Charles surprise, “no,” the captain says. “I think we have time for one more stop.”

Where will they go? We’re about to find out.

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This episode is the end of the Book!

Into the Attic of the World has been a presentation of the Blue Deck Podcast. Thanks for listening and sharing! Please, subscribe so you will not miss announcements about future stories. 

Buy Into the Attic of the World on Amazon

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Twitter: @josephmazerac

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Email: joseph@thebluedeck.com

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