Merlin's School for Ordinary Children - The Ring of Curses #1 ... ISBN - 978-0-6487654-2-4

A fantasy/adventure read for all the family (340 pages)

BLURB - Calder Cove ... a quiet seaside village.

Or is it?

When a strange medieval castle appears out of nowhere, the town's folk are thrown into utter turmoil. Time reveals that the building is a school - one where children are locked away, a cursed ring is stolen, a boy vanishes, and a golden door materializes inside an empty room.

Is the village and its people doomed?

Excerpt

‘Well … I stand corrected, Mr Black,’ Madam Bloom said with a sniff, the colour returning to her face. Folding her hands before her she floated across the room to stand before Adrian. She smiled a watery smile, simpering at him like a maiden. ‘Well, kind sir, I will ask you to run, as swift as a gazelle, and inform Mr Blokk so that he can remedy the affliction when we have terminated our class.’

     Adrian hesitated, his mind mulling over the request until it made sense. Then his face lit up with a smile when he realised he was being released from Madam Bloom’s airy domain.

     ‘Righteo, Miss, but where will I find him?’

    ‘Never worry, Mr Black, he will find you. Now off you go.’ Adrian didn’t have to be told twice. Dodging a tiny meteorite, he dashed out of the Planetarium like he had a rocket in his pocket. He wasn’t going to hang about, just in case teacher changed her mind. Which was always a possibility!

     Upon his hasty departure, Madam Bloom floated to her desk and picked up a bell, sending a delicate peal of sound through the classroom. She refused to lift her voice above the strong whispers that she normally used for fear of disturbing the subtle vibrations of her mini universe. She did not believe her students had the same power as herself though, therefore she chose to ignore their rambunctious laughter and occasional raised voices.

    ‘Shall we resume?’ she smiled dreamily into her space.

     ‘I wish she would,’ Bridget said, sotto voice, to Daffodil, ‘otherwise we’ll never get out of here.’ She evaded a particularly noisy star as it whizzed past her like a Katherine Wheel, only to die noisily on the floor at her feet. Daffodil snickered with laughter again, and Bridget joined her, very glad of the change in her friend’s mood. She hated Daffodil’s frumps as she called them. They were enough to put everybody and anybody in a bad mood.

     Madam Bloom looked towards the two giggling girls, her eyelids fluttering impatiently. She had no intentions of resuming her session until peace reigned once more. Bridget and Daffodil knew this from past experiences, so suppressed their humour as best they could, allowing the Professor to continue. Which she did, her voice soaring to great heights, sprouting the universe’s praises as if they were the only things worth listening to.

     ‘The squaring of our most auspicious star, the sun, and our hazy ninth planet of Pluto, brings particularly strong vibrations into our equinox.’ The Professor sighed and closed her eyes in rapture, moving her clasped hands up to her chin as if in prayer. Then her eyes flashed open once more. ‘Normally this squaring would be of no great consequence to our planet, but the addition of our moon in Libra makes it a momentous event.’ She lowered her voice and continued in a whisper that was barely audible to the room full of students.

     ‘This time though, I feel that all is not as it should be.’ Madam Bloom fell silent as the grave, while she thought over her own prediction. She sighed loudly then dropped her hands once more to her sides. She began to flow around her students in a mercurial stream; her eyes scanning their faces with concentration that made them stare. Suddenly she stopped. ‘A student is missing.’ She looked about, her eyes narrowing this time. ‘Where is Neville Cormac?’ She seemed to be focusing wholly on Daffodil when she asked the question, as if the vacancy was entirely her fault.

     Daffodil looked at Bridget, who shrugged her shoulders in return. Sure, they had seen him when picking apples earlier that morning, but as to his whereabouts now. Who knew?

     ‘Don’t know, Madam Bloom,’ Daffodil eventually answered, though the Professor had since moved on, clasping at her throat as if she was struggling for air.

     ‘A voice speaks from within,’ Madam Bloom croaked out. ‘The crystal turns as it always will. That should be whole, will be whole again. But that which is not will fall. It is the making of shades that brings this decline.’ As if in accordance Madam Bloom tottered over to the nearest chair and sat down with a flop, her gowns shimmered around her in a flow of silvery fabrics.

     ‘Are you or’right, Miss Bloom?’ Cedric Finnegan asked warily.

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