Donald L. Anderson, II, their son came up with the storyline.
A full day at Peter & Pattimari’s book signing. Tired, but worth it. We met a lot of other authors, and found it interesting learning about other authors and how they started their writing careers.
Wizard’s Wizardry and His Travels
Teddy & Gracie
All morning long Teddy had been working very hard filling his backpack and suitcase; first his favorite fiddle then his sister’s letter, and on top of both he lay in his clothes. Zipping the old torn suitcase he closed it, and then flung down his hats leaving only the one that was on his head.
“I’ll only need one hat!”
Without even saying his final goodbyes to his gracious friend who was gracious enough to allow him to be a guest in his home during the summer, he fled toward the road two miles ahead where his friend the Wizard of all Wizards promised to pick him up in his magic red wagon. Stopping half way – he turned and looked back at his friend, Mackie, one last time, then took off in a heated run until he reached the darkened road. Wizard was nowhere to be seen,so Teddy sat on the grass, and spied a dark hole in the other side of the road. He eyed it more clearly and saw that something bright shined on his face when his head tipped a certain direction, and before he could stand up and cross the road he was suddenly blinded and couldn’t take a step forward. Suddenly, a wagon from which direction it couldn’t be determined, for you see, it was magical. He leaped out of his seat and rushed over to
Teddy, and said, “I’m here Teddy, so go ahead and climb into the wagon while I grab that little bright star over there in that hole. Teddy gave his friend a puzzling eye because there were confusing things going on he didn’t understand, but nevertheless he turned and climbed into the wagon.
Before he could settle himself on the hard surface, Wizard popped up on his driver’s seat, holding the star in his hand, he said, “Okay, star of beauty, star of great, guide this wagon right to Teddy’s sister this night, don’t be late, and take us right to the gate.”
The wagon took off with an abrupt start while Teddy held tightly on to the wagon’s edge which set off a laugh within him. He felt alive and happy with the wind caressing his face and scattering his hair in all directions yet allowing his hat to remain fixed and in place. His anticipation stirred within his spirit; an excitement that felt as if it might burst at any minute. The thought that his sister was soon to be saved brought him back to reality,along with the reason he was zooming off on a magic wagon. Only a week ago, Teddy had received a letter from his sister, telling him that the giant up on the hill in the castle near Baker’s Feast had stolen her away and was making her his slave. She complained about working from morning to night and how she wasn’t allowed to go outside. Teddy wasted no time convincing Wizard to help him. The Wizard’s agreement wasn’t easy; he made Teddy promise to join him on another journey as soon as his sister was rescued; he satisfactorily agreed. Peering down from the bright red wagon Teddy saw the road’s rough collection of rocks and hoped Wizard knew what he was doing because one tiny pebble had already flung up and smacked him on the shoulder. Wizard smiled sympathetically as he scrambled along on the hardened road. Off into the distance Teddy heard a train’s whistle blowing and it rattled noisily down the tracks. The sun’s brilliance kept Teddy from seeing it, but he knew it was there just the same – just across the field.
Wizard steered the wagon off the road and as it screeched to a crawl he bellowed out, “Get out of the wagon Teddy; we have no time to waste.”
Teddy looked at Wizard with a wrinkled up nose and inquired, “Where are we going Wizard?”
Wizard let out a chuckle and then said, “We’re going to fly on that big yellow bird right up there in the sky. He’s my friend and we call him Yellow. Come on Teddy and scoot along quickly.”
Teddy looked up just in time to catch Yellow landing on the ground right in front of him. He said in a feeble voice, “I’m ready, but can Yellow Bird carry as both, Wizard?”
Wizard let out a roar of laughter and said, “Of course Yellow Bird can carry us Teddy. He has carried ten people at a time…now climb up on him boy; don’t waste a minute.”
With a cry of dreadfulness Teddy picked himself up and jumped high in the air as Yellow moved in closer and Teddy landed right in the middle of his back. He was thrown into a panic when the Wizard landed solidly beside him, and immediately thereafter Yellow Bird took off like lightening up and away into the sky. Teddy scooted closer to Wizard and clutched his hand tightly on Wizard’s wide belt.
Teddy looked down at the ground only once and that was enough for the entire trip he thought. Shaking with fear he hoped the trip wasn’t going to be much longer before Yellow Bird landed. When he finally did Teddy jumped to the ground terrified and fell to his knees and pleaded to Wizard to never make him ride the big bird again. Quaking with laughter, Wizard swung his body around and thanked Yellow Bird as he flew up and away. Wizard ushered Teddy over to a canal and instructed him to climb into the small shiny blue boat that had been awaiting their arrival. Teddy scrambled into the boat and
heaved a sigh because boats were his favorite thing to ride in. Teddy was so tired – before long he had fallen into a deep sleep. Wizard chuckled at the sight of the boy as he directed his magical star to take them high up on the hill to the Giant King’s Castle. In mid-air and almost to the entrance of the castle Teddy woke up. Sitting up, he rubbed his eyes, and then with a rushing of energy through his veins he leaped up and saw the castle. He stood up and wailed, “Wizard, oh Wizard please take us down.”
“Oh very well Teddy,” said Wizard and with the command to the star, they landed with a sudden and abrupt plop!
Teddy scrambled busily across the field adorned profusely with wild flowers, and to the tall wrought iron gate. He let out a sigh and looked around at all the beauty around him – birds building nests in the trees, budding flowers everywhere, animals rushing about in fun and play; it was a magnificent display of gaiety and happiness. His happiness was complete or so he thought, but all at once he looked up and saw a stream of water sending off its glitter of sparkle, and it seemed to go on for miles. He raced over to the gate and just as he did
Wizard instructed the magic star to open it and in that very moment the gate swung open with a jolt then it settled down and slowly reclosed. Teddy ran to the creek’s edge and dropped down alongside the magical water and ran his fingers into the crystal clear substance. He then cupped his hand and brought it up to his mouth filled with the liquid and sipped generously. He stood up and was mesmerized with this, the most beautiful stream he had ever seen. He lifted his arms up high toward the heavens and whispered, “We’re here Sally, amongst all this beauty, and we are coming for you.”
Teddy was momentarily once again distracted by all the beauty and enchantment that surrounded him. The majestic trees looming out of the ground near the creek seemed to be standing at attention
guarding and watching everything around the castle. He wasn’t sure if he was in a dream state or if this could possibly be real. When he gave
the creek a closer look as he needed another drink of water, he saw what seemed to be tiny pieces of gold shimmering from the bottom and up to his reflection. The flowers were beautiful and there was one of every type and color. It was all so breathtaking and inviting just like story books had so often described such places. His thoughts left these distractions as he focused again on Sally. Teddy could not comprehend while in a land filled with such wonder how anyone could be kept a captive indoors with no escape. He knew the imaginary keys were in his hands to find his sister and set her free. He now just needed a plan along with his determination. But he knew the Wizard would come up with a good plan.
Just as Teddy stood up Wizard appeared in front of him with a stick in his hand, “Now Teddy I want you to do as I say, hold this stick and say what I say after me.”
Teddy took hold of the stick and nodded, “OH, yes, I will Wizard…I will.”
“Okay, then here we go, but first point the stick up to the heavens, then say I will use this stick only for the good of saving my sister,” Wizard said with a serious expression.
Teddy pointed the stick up high and said, “I will use this stick only for the good of saving my sister.”
“Very good Teddy, okay, repeat after me while you’re looking at the stick, stick of power stick of good, don’t turn into powder, but stay with me like a book.”
Teddy repeated the words and grasped the stick tightly in his hands as he waited for more instructions from Wizard, but the Wizard turned and walked toward the castle door. The door was at least 15 or 20 feet tall and it was made of brass with little patterns of what looked like diamond shapes filled with rubies from the top to the bottom. It was shiny and looked to be strong enough to keep anyone from entering who wasn’t invited in. Teddy stood in a daze until Wizard turned and gestured for Teddy to follow him.
Teddy moved closer to Wizard and whispered, “What are we going to do Wizard? Shouldn’t we have a plan?”
“Of course Teddy, we must have a plan, and that plan is to rescue your sister.”
“I know Wizard, but what I mean is…oh never mind. I will just follow you and do as you instruct me to do.”
“Good idea Teddy. After all it was you who pleaded with me to rescue your sister so is it now I who will do just that?”
Teddy lowered his head and then peeked up at the Wizard and nodded, “It is so Wizard; this boy is in his deepest regrets.”
A guard emerged from the gate-house into the outer court of the castle which lay between the inner and outer curtain walls. It had an outer layer with various domestic buildings built in it right at the entrance, but it stretched away unimpeded to the left. Up above the inner arch of the outer gate-house was a bronze plaque with the Giant’s name on it; actually he was a King, but the peoples of the land called him Giant because he was indeed a tall man who looked like a giant when he was standing beside someone of smaller stature. Some said he was almost seven feet tall. He never dressed like a King, In fact his clothes were not of the present period, and many couldn’t even describe the attire he wore – only to say he was a man of his own taste. In fact, he liked to wear torn and tattered jeans with a bright yellow and orange sweatshirt that said “Go Bears” on it. How strange for a King to dress like that. Oh well, he is the king after all. Meanwhile Wizard and Teddy were getting antsy to rescue Teddy’s sister so they both took in a deep breath and were just about to beat on the door when a guard approached. Wizard stepped up to the guard and said, “I am Wizard and I am here to speak with the King.”
The guard laughed heartily and said, “The King sees no one without an appointment.”
“Do you know who I am, guard?” asked the indignant Wizard “No and I don’t care,” the guard replied.
“Oh, this is not good,” thought Teddy.
With that, the Wizard waved his wand and put a spell on the guard Who immediately opened the castle doors while Teddy held his stick realizing Wizard had instructed him to use his stick too, but of course only in a real emergency he guessed. Teddy and Wizard walked through the massive doors, entering into a beautiful courtyard with a fountain flowing with colored water. It was the most beautiful thing Teddy had ever seen. There were plants and flowers of every kind with an array of colors that almost overwhelmed Teddy. “Oh, this is enchanting,” said Teddy.
“Yes, yes, now come along Teddy, we must find your sister,” said the eager Wizard.
They walked further, through long corridors, when at last they came to another door. Wizard opened the door and he and Teddy entered. There before them was a table with a feast set upon it. Right away Teddy moved over to the table and began to grab turkey drum sticks and something that looked like gum drops. He stuffed his mouth before Wizard could warn him not to eat anything, but it was too late. Teddy had already fallen into the Wizard’s arms and they hadn’t even gotten into the main part of the castle yet, “Oh my! My boy you’ve got to stop jumping in to temptations. You must wait on me – after all you did request that I help rescue your sister.
Oh well,” Wizard said as he lowered Teddy to the small room floor. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out the star and said, “Star of light, star of bright, grant me this wish tonight – awaken the boy for he has learned his lesson.”
Before Wizard could blink an eye, Teddy sat up and rubbed his eyes asking where he was and what had happened. Wizard took his hand and helped him up and told him about the food having sleeping spices in them and that he had fallen into a deep sleep. “Now Teddy, you must not fall into anymore temptation. You follow my lead – after all you requested that I come to help rescue you…”
Teddy shook his head and said, “Yes, yes, Wizard, help my sister. I know because you’ve reminded me so many times. Okay, I will follow your lead.”
Wizard took the lead with Teddy just a short step behind him. Teddy was feeling excited, curious and apprehensive all at the same time. As they arrived at the main entrance of this huge castle they stopped walking to take in the sights that were so overwhelming to Teddy’s young and innocent eyes. His eyes kept bouncing from one area to another because he did not know what to gawk at first. The ceiling seemed taller than the sky and had a dome shape and was lined with high, numerous and smaller windows. The windows were obviously for decor and not sight-seeing for little boys. There were ornate, big beautiful pillars that seemed to be holding this gigantic place together. As he looked a little lower, he was mesmerized by the intricate details of a spiral staircase surrounded by hand painted
murals of people of royalty and from gorgeous unknown places. To his right was a small sitting area enclosed within this gigantic room. He saw in this room, elegant velvet covered furniture in red and gold colors with a crystal chandelier above it, giving it dim light and inviting privacy. Teddy wondered if this was the meeting place for the King. It must be he thought, because there was also a giant-sized high back chair that was purple with special ornate carvings in the wood; a chair that looked fit for a King, especially a Giant one. A table that he assumed separated the guests from the King was made of marble of the most intricate interweaving of colors not commonly known. He then looked in the other direction and noticed entrances to numerous other rooms marked by rounded doorways. He remembered when he was outside of the castle; he had looked up and noticed one tower that stood alone at the very top surrounded by a balcony. Teddy’s mind was racing. There was so much he could explore and do, but he remembered their ultimate mission was his sister. If he could just have ten minutes his thoughts entertained…He then looked up at his
friend, Wizard, and said, “Wizard, I realize we are on a mission, but I find myself in this place of wonderment and it is such that it needs further study, but I know my sister must come first.”
Wizard understood the lad and sympathized with his need to investigate, but it couldn’t be at this point in time. There was important business to be done, and the king had to be dealt with in such a way that his evil deeds would never place innocent Lass in such a state as was his sister, so on they went.
“I know how difficult it is for you Lad not to want to linger and observe the magnificence of this place, but trust me, we will have time.”
Teddy reluctantly agreed, not because he was trying to be obstinate, it was just that he felt compelled to linger. Perhaps this was the master plan for those entering the castle without permission. They were held as mental captives. By lingering and observing, it gave the King a chance to plan a way to capture the two intruders before they could initiate their plan. Wizard, however, was way ahead of the King and knew exactly what was going on. It was only because of his wizardry and special talents that he didn’t fall prey to the King’s plot, and of course, that is why he was there. Suddenly, and quite abruptly, there was a disturbance down the corridor, but it wasn’t visible to the two. Wizard quickly realized that this was part of the King’s plot and
abruptly yanked Teddy into an enclosure, a nitch, alongside a pillar,
so as to be out of sight. The last thing he wanted to do was fall captive to the King’s plot by going on to investigate the disturbance, which in fact wasn’t a disturbance after all, but a trap.
“Follow me, Lad. Dart this way and stay close behind me or you will find yourself alongside your sister subjected to the whims of the King. He has set a trap for us, but we are too smart to be ensnared with this simple ploy.”
Teddy didn’t really understand but did as he was told and darted this way and that, practically in the exact footprints of Wizard. They soon found themselves at an advantage point where they could actually observe the disturbance created by the King. It was in reality a mirror bearing the image of Teddy’s sister, as if she was there beckoning for him to come and set her free. In truth, it was a device that when grabbed, would hold that person or persons captive with some strange force that was inescapable. Of course Wizard wasn’t fooled because this force being created by the King was basic magic 101 and surely no challenge for a seasoned Wizard such as He.
“Follow, Teddy. Let us enclose ourselves so as not to be seen so that I can initiate my ‘locator’ device in hopes that it can give us the exact location of your sister.” Teddy had no choice but to obey Wizard’s request, for at this mental state he was in total bewilderment and not even sure he was where he was; his mind was in turmoil. Using his most advanced techniques, Wizard closed his eyes, waved his arms in strange circles, and incanted sounds inaudible to Teddy. Wizard twisted and turned, kneeled in a cross-legged position and just sat silently. The wait was numbing, for Teddy was helpless in his location, for had he the need to escape, he wouldn’t know in which direction to run. After what seemed like hours, Wizard stirred, unfolded his legs, lifted his arms straight over his head and uttered a chant. When that was done he stood and motioned for Teddy to follow and not say one word. The two moved stealthily along the pillared walls until they came to a solid mass of intricately carved metal. In reality, it was a built in secret door that led to a passageway. As the two entered, they continued along, very slowly and carefully so as not to trip a wire or otherwise set off an alarm as to their whereabouts. There being no impediments, they proceeded to the end
of the walkway and were stopped cold, for there was no door, at least
not one they could recognize. Again Wizard put on his thinking cap and quickly broke into a giggle.
“Does it look like we have come to the end of the walk? Ha, ha, what a neat trick. In fact, the wall on which we gaze is in fact an illusion and we need only continue to walk through, and when we do, we will be enlightened to find ourselves in the secret chamber of the King.”
Posh! There the two stood in the King’s chamber of a dimly lighted room struggling to hide behind a brass-designed pillar that had diamond edgings on it. It sparkled and if they’d had more time they would have admired the beauty of it, but right now they were simply trying to stay hidden from the Giant King. Wizard slipped his hand back behind him and patted Teddy’s leg as he whispered to not move or say a word.
It seemed an eternity before the King left his chambers and when he did, Teddy flailed, gasping and clutching onto Wizard’s belt. Wizard’s strong hands gripped Teddy’s wrists and pulled him out over to the bright golden King’s chair. He released the lad’s wrists and pushed his hand into his bulging pocket and pulled out the star and said, “Star of light, star of bright, guide us to Teddy’s sister this night.”
A hissing sound rang throughout the room and within seconds a cloudy substance feathered out over the chambers and out into the long hallway, and just as the two, Wizard and Teddy, scooted out into the hallway they heard the King’s loud steps approaching them. Teddy wanted to let out a squeal but instead cupped his hand over his mouth and remained quiet. When he looked up he saw that the King was having difficulty walking because his eyes were burning from the substance and he began rubbing them as they watered up. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain so Wizard and Teddy didn’t waste a second of a good thing. They rushed on down the hallway
where the star led them to a door covered The Wizard’s Wizardry & His Travels with a black tar-looking goop. When the star’s magic flashed a bright yellow reddish glow over the surface of the door, it popped open and in hurried Wizard and Teddy.