Sen, Sanja, and the Cube of Runes, 2018 / YA fantasy
Sen and Sanja’s parents vanish in mysterious and ominous circumstances. After Social Services threatens to shunt them off to an orphanage, the intrepid siblings gather their courage, their vast magical know-how and their pure-hearted intent and set off to locate their mom and dad before the clock runs down. Stumbling on a rune-marked Cube in their attic that holds the key to their parent’s disappearance, our heroes open a trans-dimensional portal located inside their toy tent. With Social Services at their heels, Sen and Sanja navigate through impossible dimensions and extraordinary worlds in their trusty vessel Miss Moany, collecting a curious company of allies along the way. Will they find their parents and unlock the seven seals of the Cube?
“Before we go we need to construct a travelling and searching machine,” added Sen. “I’ve already given it some thought.” He rolled out a monumental pile of crumpled papers for Sanja to sit on. “Here are the blueprints and the redprints.” Sanja pretended to study them but she was really concentrating on putting on mascara and lip gloss.
Sen swallowed a sigh. He knew what was going on but like a true gentleman, said nothing, just discharged a silent fart spell and his sister, with a frown of distaste, quickly gathered her wits about her.
“Yes, yes, sure, sure,” Sanja hastily responded, adding a final touch to her makeup. She tossed her blond, long hair with a studied casual gesture. Her dark brown eyes shone with satisfaction. “I am ready to depart now, big brother.”
“Not depart! First we must find proper parts to build this machine!” corrected Sen. “Without the machine, we can’t do doodley squat. Our parents are gone. Vanished. Va-voom. How do you think we can find them without a searching machine, and bring them back without a bringing machine? It’s madly impossible I tell you, and quite irresponsible. Not to mention plumfestival.”
Sanja smiled. Then frowned. "But why can't we just use magic to find them?" She played her fingers in the air as if preparing to cast a glorious spell. "Maybe golden magic?"
Sen gawked at her as if she had uttered the worst blasphemy imaginable. "Sanja! You know better than to ask such nonsense!"
"I really don't!"
"Well, duh," Sen said with unparalleled patience, "we can't use our magic against the solid probabilistic principles of quantum mechanical reality!" He shook his fair, short-haired head sideways. "No, we construct a proper machine according to the good old laws of physics and metaballistics."
Sanja was fast when she wanted to be. Very fast. “Good. Fine. We will. I shall go downstairs and collect these parts here," she pointed to one of the redprints, "while you scavenge for the other half, and we shall meet right here in, let’s say, twenty-seven minutes.”
“Twenty-two minutes. When the big hand is here.” Sen waved his small hand.
Off they went into a blur of frantic activity and clamorous spells that could be heard throughout the whole rural neighborhood. An old farm hound three houses over cocked his ear in interest and gave a short barking response, and a murder of ravens flocked cawing and bickering to the cherry tree outside the house to investigate.
In exactly two hours and eleven minutes they reconvened in their bedroom for a brief briefing.
Sen brought a heavy, green cardboard box filled with wooden toy planks and nuts, pink plastic bolts, a heap of old newspapers and magazines, inordinate lengths of string and some rope, a half-eaten apple (for organic fuel), and a needle (haystack not included) and he unceremoniously deposited it all near the center of the orange, rose, and violet carpet. Sanja brought herself.
“Apparently we have all necessary parts,” observed Sen with closed eyes, “but we desperately need the know-how of putting said parts together in the proper manner if we want the machine to work.” He paused and considered Sanja with an honest gaze. “All I know how to do is insert AA batteries when we’re done,” he admitted frankly.
“Don’t worry,” Sanja replied airily. “Let’s just leave all the parts here and go watch a few cartoons. When we get back I am sure the machine will have been constructed.”
“By whom?” asked Sen.
“By machine gnomes. I saw them lurking around in the morning, just waiting for something to do, flailing their gigantic ears.”
"Oh yes, the machine gnomes," Sen said, knowing she was making it up. "Good call. What cartoons should we watch?” They ran to the TV and both dived for the remote.
At precisely and not a second later than one hour and oh, some amount of minutes, they were startled from their televisioning by a strange, staccato sound. At first they thought it part of the cartoon, but promptly realized it was coming from their bedroom, so they went and checked. On the colorful rug in the centre of the room loomed large the most incredible machine they ever had the privilege to witness. It resembled a rusty old car constructed of discarded bean tins. But it wasn’t that, oh no. It was an old rusty spaceship that also doubled as a car for children under ten.
Tales of Wonder
Four friends open hearts and minds as they travel through space and dimensions.
“And who do you think you are?” asked Joey, the most violent of the three bullies, as he walked half the way over to the interesting boy who dared to interrupt him.
“I am Wai,” the boy simply said. “And what are your names, may I ask?”
The three bullies laughed and looked at each other. “He may ask, right?” they made fun.
“We are the three bullies,” stated Joey proudly. “Nobody messes with us!” He raised a fist as if to prove a point.
“Especially not some unknown, shy, momma’s boy!” added Patrick, who was still holding the small boy by the t-shirt where he lay in the dirt. “Yeah, what are you gonna do about it, twerp?” added John, the strongest of the three, approaching menacingly.
Wai took a deep breath and kept smiling. His posture was erect and it was obvious that he was neither shy nor weak. His strong body looked quite invincible. Joey took a small, unconscious step back, and Patrick let go off of the small boy. John clenched his teeth and his fists to encourage himself.
Wai seemed perfectly oblivious to the provocations and violent signs that the bullies were presenting. He walked calmly towards the small boy and asked him if he was alright.
“What is your name, my friend?” he asked the boy.
“I’m Tommy,” the boy said and sobbed just once. He was still afraid, but felt much better now, because there was at least somebody who was nice to him.
“Don’t worry,” said Wai and offered him a hand, “you won’t be hurt.”
The Cow and the Hummingbird
A short tale of unconditional love between two friends shining light for each other.
“What is the matter, my friend?” asks the hummingbird in sudden alarm. “Is everything alright with you? And where are you going?”
The cow finds it in her deepest heart to smile at her trusty friend. She does not want to burden him with her own heavy fate. Yet she can’t lie to him.
“Oh, my dearest friend,” she says. “Nothing to worry about. I am finally going to my eternal rest, you know? It is my destiny, and I am not fearing it or running away. It is my life.”
The hummingbird strives to understand. He is still too young to know about death, and by far too joyful. He hovers around his friend’s head and wants to talk to her more. But the farmer has no concern for him and is leading the cow out of the barn to load her onto his truck.
“Where is he taking you?” the hummingbird keeps asking. “When are you coming back?”
The cow knows that this is the moment of truth. She sighs sadly and with great longing. She, too, wants to stay with his friend forever, but this is not how it goes.
“My dear,” she softly speaks, “I am never coming back again….” Her voice breaks down with deepest sadness.