There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs, Connor and Shelbe. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.
One day Benjamin watches from behind the Rhododendron as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi in front of the cream colored house with the forest green trim next door and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him in a frenzied speed, like a derailed freight train.
And when Benjamin finds a peculiar old relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.
Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have moved to Grandlochcheshire from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.
In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes known as the Set, and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of prophecy, portended by the ancient seer Pajah Set, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty known to all as Tar Vigorn.
This ruthless Queen is not without humor however, and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve the young Benjamin. Her phantom army known as the Blunt are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.
Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude and a thick Irish brogue, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. “All tings be possible ya wee chil’ren, if’en ya put yer mind to it! Thar be nothin ya can’t accomplish. Ya just need ta be placin all yer carage inta tha middle of yer core whar yer Spirit shines…an ya can do anythin! Ha!”
Filled with many wonders, and home to the Fet clan of Gnomes, Coranim is a magical world of art, sound, thought, invention and discovery….and home to the World Library of Identity, with none other than Dunston Tibbitts at the helm.
Every being on the planet has a book dedicated to the entirety of their lives. Dunston reports to Benjamin, “according to what I see here now, this very minute, whatever it is that you are seeking will show itself today and change your Path immediately. It will put you into a whole new dynamic as they say.”
What could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming 2013
A Whisper is an extremely magical little being that stands about three feet tall, slight of build, not stocky like the Gnome, they look like miniature people. They are all Warriors in truth and their biggest advantage is they can travel between dimensions in a blink. Which is why they all tend to float about on something, it’s easier to pop in and out on an object or animal that is in the air, allowing movement to continue. Also allowing for any kind of terrain to jump into...as they are always in the air.
Remember that funny little pixie woman I described in my first post? The one I painted balancing in the middle of the air on a big floating ball? Her name is Chantilly Lily, and she became a leading character known as a Botanical Whisper.
The Whispers are the ambassadors of Nature. They are the emissaries that keep the balance of the Forest in tact and safe from all harm. Each Station has it’s domain. The clan of Botanical Whispers, like Chantilly Lily, uphold their position as preservers of the esthetics of beauty and color in nature. Chantilly Lily travels around on her balancing ball, except when her journey takes her further, then she rides on the back of a blue Raven, called Jeno. The Alchemists, like Briggins Jin, are exponents of the ancient sciences and chemistry in nature, Briggins stands upon an orb of pure energy. Then there are the Warriors, champions to the protection and healing of nature, of which Tsula is King of his clan. Tsula travels on the back of an outstandingly rare and mystical Red Hawk known as Mott. And, last but certainly not in the least, there is a member of the higher Spiritual Evolution known as The Essence, who represent the Purity and Grace in nature.
The Essence are transformed Elves of the Darmon. They are elected to take up station as head of the Essence clan for a period of 70 years, which is a small moment time wise in the Elf world. They morph themselves from the rather tall, slender stature of an Elf to the diminutive creature of a Whisper. It is a sacred responsibility and a sovereign position to hold. Although Elves of royalty are never elected to this position.
However, during an extremely tumultuous battle between the dark Queen, Tar Vigorn and the residents of Goats Mead Shire, Vena, the acting Essence, witnessed the cruel killing of many Gnome, one in particular, a personal friend, Lorn, wife of Rolf Quibbly, both Gnomes of the Til’aut Set (these are soil working Gnomes, vegetable gardeners in particular). As Essence are forbidden to kill or harm any living creature, Vena’s outrage was such that she quickly transformed back into the body of an Elf and went head to head with the evil Queen, only to end up disappearing in a cloud of thick purple smoke, never to be seen or heard from again.
The Elf Princess Avenel, daughter of Queen Brityn, distraught over the disappearance of her closet friend, took it upon herself, against her mother’s ruling, and stepped in as head of the Essence Whisper clan. She rides on the back of a giant white owl, called Dew. She has held this position for the past 19 years and has not seen her home or family...nor the Elf she loves...since she left the Darmon.
The Whispers all have their quirky personalities and specific duties and bring a great magical element to the story. I really enjoyed creating this unique little being....a Whisper...just as the name implies...and hopefully this has piqued your interest enough to wonder just how all these characters fit into one adventure...let me warn you...you’ll start to fall in love with some of them.
He looked back at the Queen and calmly said, “You know you never answered my question about the prophecy. You HAVE heard the portend…am I correct?”
Tar Vigorn tilted her head in interest and her smile never wavered.
“Ahh, the prophecy of Pajah Set. Please tell me they don’t actually have you believing you are… THAT boy? You couldn’t possibly believe that. You are aware they’ve found others before you, are you not? Other boys they swore were going to save the world and put an end to all my beautiful darkness. Can you guess where those young lads are now, Benjamin?”
Suddenly Tar Vigorn disappeared from site, Benjamin looked up totally stupefied. However, before he could take another breath, she instantly reappeared on the other side of the Travel Chamber behind him and whispered, “Boo!”
Benjamin let the surprise grab him, “Ahh!”
“A little jumpy are we?” hissed the Queen.
Benjamin turned to look at her, his face filled with anger and question. She continued with her masterful web of unnerving him.
“Let me give you a bit of advice, dear boy. You’d be a fool to trust these imbeciles with your life. They’ll recruit anyone they can use to gain information. The last boy who followed the directive of Cottie Set….well let’s just say, he’s no longer following anyone. After all, how gullible does one have to be to believe in fairy tales…a prophecy, ridiculous! I thought you were much wiser than that young, sweet Benjamin. I mean honestly, do you really see yourself winning anything against the likes of me? You’re just a normal boy after all.”
Benjamin contained his anger, but the questions started to arise in his heart.
She’s right, how could I be the One? Why am I any different from the other boys who were told they were the ones? But before he had a chance to delve further into his impending doubt, the voice of Tannis appeared in his mind.
“Master Benjamin, the two boys that perished were always a question, she is not divulging all the information. There is much more than you have heard. You must not falter in the belief that the three of you are the children of truth, or she will gain advantage…..You are the prophecy, I put my life into your hands in trust and certainty. Search your heart young Benjamin and you will know the truth. You can not hide from your Path.”
Benjamin thought a moment, and once again a slow smile began to fill his face, disarming the Queen. Benjamin looked over at his friends, locking eyes with Annabel until she began to smile with him. Then Mathilda wiped her wet face with the back of her hand and followed suit. The girls walked over toBenjamin, standing on either side of him, and held his hands. They all looked up at the now boggled Queen.
“What you don’t know,” began the boy ever so cooly, “is that the prophecy was never about just one…it is about three friends. It also says that these three friends have a very powerful magic, the likes of which has never been wielded in the Gilley Forest before…a magic that stems from Love. But you wouldn’t know anything about that would you..Love? It also talks about a boy who has the ability to make things happen…just by THINK-ing them.”
The Queen flinched, her smile gone. Benjamin continued with his own Cheshire Cat grin.
“Can you guess what I am thinking right now Tar Vigorn?”
Then in an attempt to get even with the Queen and take back her power, Mathilda stepped closer to the Chamber wall, leaning forward as close as she could get, she locked eyes with the Queen.
“Better watch out, someone might drop a house on you,” she giggled.
The Queen went pale as the thought occurred to her in that instant, thatBenjamin McTish may very well be the boy of the ancient prediction. But before she had a chance to change her mind, a chestnut mare with a rider on his back was leaping high over the Travel Chamber and right over her head! The Queen swung around and looked as Tannis and Bits landed on the Forest floor a few feet away from her. A sly smile came back to her face.
“Well, if it isn’t my old friend Tannis. I should have know you would be involved in this. And how are things in the Darmon these days?”
Tannis smiled back at Tar Vigorn.
“You know perfectly well that I have not seen my home in many long years. But all this is about to change.”
And with this the battle commenced.
The children huddled together kneeling down on their heals, as Tar Vigorn unleashed a bounty of rapid fire lightening bolts straight for the Elf.
Tannis deflected the spikes of energy while jumping over the Chamber on the back of the stallion. The Queen instantly joined Tannis on the other side, and the exchange of red tinged electrifying currents flowed out of the two Forest dwellers. Bursts of exploding trees and stumps resounded like canon fire. The trio in the Travel Chamber were shell shocked at the intensity and force of the magic flying between the Elf and the Queen.
Errant lighting was ricochetting off the sides of the Travel Chamber causing the children to cover their ears from the booming sound it made inside. The entire Chamber shook with upheaval. Small trees that were unfortunate enough to be caught in the line of rage pouring out of Tar Vigorn, burned to char in seconds. The Travel Chamber was creaking and moaning, sounding like a wounded animal. It swayed and pulsed with every outcry of explosive energy thrown it’s way.
The Elf of the Darmon and the Queen of Darkness fought relentlessly. The Fairy clan dove in between the bursts of lightening to blind the Queen with their bright wall of color light. But the Queen would not be swayed.
Then, unexpectedly, Tar Vigorn halted her tirade and spoke the magic she needed to surrounded herself in a misty haze of smoke, thick, dark and ominous.
Everyone watched in astonishment as she appeared to be completely enveloped in the self propelled murk. Then she magically emerged from the cloud of spinning grey fog, in what appeared to be a large halo of light surrounding her body. It looked to the children as if she were in a small version of her own chamber, like an elliptical force field. Her own personal vibrating shield surrounding her entire body. And suddenly Tannis’s magic was senseless. Instead the powerful force of battle energy being heaved at her from all directions was bouncing back off of the protective barrier she now resided.
The Travel Chamber began to sound off an alarming vibration. It shimmied and shook with dramatic force. It felt as if the whole tunnel of light would collapse any moment. The sound engulfed the children and threatened to take their sanity with it. Mathilda was screaming at the top of her lungs. Annabel was holding onto her little sister as she grabbed Benjamin’s forearm and yelled with all of her might.
“Benjamin, I think the Travel Chamber is falling apart or something! We can’t just sit here!”
Benjamin’s mind was a whirling dervish of confusion. He could not keep up with the tremendous acceleration of events. He felt an immensely deep disappointment in himself for bringing this amazing journey to this final outcome. He looked up at the girls and just when he was willing to admit defeat, they all turned to look up as something flashed above them.
They had entered the eye of the storm.
The tightly nestled trio watched the activity around them in the syrupy silence of slow motion. First they witnessed, amidst the clouds of smoke and singed sky, as the belly of the chestnut stallion carrying the Elf of the Darmon, leapt over the slowly disintegrating Travel Chamber. They moved their gaze over to the backside of the Chamber where the steed landed with precision. The children looked up at Tannis.
Tannis looked calm and resolute, he smiled at Benjamin. In that quick momentBenjamin realized the intention of the Elf, and raised to his knees shouting, “NO TANNIS! DON’T DO IT!” But it was too late. The Elf was leaping on the back of his faithful stallion right into the center of the Travel Chamber.
Tannis turned Bits around to face the bewildered children. They all looked over at the Queen who was now standing solo amid her enraged destruction. The look on her face was worth every bit of fear the children had lived in the past evening. Her eyes were wide with incredulous disbelief. She was steaming with a rage strong enough to fell the tallest of fir trees. Then she let out a scream the likes of which had never been heard in the existence of the Gilley Forest.
She flew like a lightening bolt of deep dark magic at the Travel Chamber and it shook with a husky primal resonance that alarmed the inhabitants. When the Queen realized that her torture was beginning to wax heavily on the object of her anger, she reloaded and pulled the trigger again. She reigned a full force attack on the side of the Travel Chamber.
The walls were showing signs of dismantling. The glowing light of the Chamber began to flicker and the children could see that it would only be a matter of a short time before she would penetrate the protection shield. She would have them in her hands and at her unwavering mercy.
They all knew no one would survive.
Tannis jumped off of his steed and closed his eyes. He stretched his arms out beside him and touched the sides of the Travel Chamber with his hands. Within moments the watery energy of the Travel Chamber started to become more solidified. And without warning or thought…the lights went out.
After a moment the children, still in the darkness, realized there were no more sounds around them.
“Benjamin, where are we?” asked Annabel.
“I can’t see a bloody thing. But it doesn’t feel like we’re with the Queen anymore. Maybe…” and before he could say another word the small orb of light, generated by the Elf, was in the middle of everyone.
“Wow!” said Mathilda. “Where are we Tannis?”
“We are in between.”
June lives with her soon to be husband and best friend Ray, his youngest son and their two dogs, seven chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Ray’s two older kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons.This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.”