JS Frankel is an amazing writer who writes primarily young adult scifi and fantasy. He’s been gracious enough to share an excerpt from his book Master Fantastic. Read on and please check out the book and his other books as well.
Synopsis:High school student Paul Coleman’s life is an ordinary one. His existence takes a turn for the extraordinary when he and his best friend, Rory, are attacked by a winged demon one day. The demon, which calls itself Hekla, possesses the power of sound, and kills Rory with its scream. Paul survives, but the force from the blast has left him mainly deaf.
A year later, Paul is out of school, working part-time, and is fearful of going deaf forever. Although he has learned sign language well, he wonders where his life will go. All that changes when Montague (Monty) Trillian, also known as Master Fantastic, enters his life and requests his services as a sign language teacher for his daughter, Myrna.
Paul accepts, and soon finds out that Trillian is not just any magician, but an Elementalist, one capable of wielding the four elements of Earth with ease. He can also open portals to other worlds, and often does so, visiting those of earth, water, and fire.
Many adventures follow, and Paul and Myrna grow close, but Hekla returns and demands Myrna be given to her. It seems that Myrna is the product of a union between Monty and Hekla, and like all mothers, she desires to protect her own.
Now, Paul must do everything he can to save Myrna from being used for a fate far worse than death, and only the abilities of Master Fantastic can save them all—or can they?
Trillian excused himself to make a brief call. He walked out of the room, and I engaged in navel-gazing, but did take a quick peek to see whether his daughter had moved from her position. She hadn’t. My employer then came back wearing an expression of satisfaction. “It’s all taken care of,” he said with a satisfied air. He’d already sold the house?
“I have,” he informed me. “My real-estate agent, Larry Bloom, will go over to your house tomorrow morning, appraise it, and then come here at three-thirty to go over the details with you.” He then cocked his head to one side. “So, are you ready to go?”
“Go where, sir, er, Mr. Trillian?” “We’re going to see what’s behind door number one.”
Come again? His face had a mysterious smile on it. He walked over to Myrna, waved his hand in front of her face to get her attention, and then signed we should go back to the basement. She nodded, put down her book, and dutifully followed.
Downstairs, Trillian ducked behind a partition and changed into his tux. I stared into the mirror he had down there and saw my face. Can you say confused? I didn’t know what to think. Was this some kind of kinky joke? After coming out to face us, he gave me a reassuring smile. “Paul, I know this will come as a shock to you, but since you’re going to be part of this family from now on, it’s only right you should know everything.”
Know what? What was this part of the family stuff he’d started feeding me? I knew it. I’d just signed on to a white slavery ring, and images of being someone’s plaything did a tap dance in my head. “What do you mean, sir?”
Trillian didn’t answer, merely turned and muttered something under his breath, cast his arms out and… holy… oh you gotta be kidding me! A door, bluish-green and pulsating, opened in the air. Around five feet in diameter, it was a door to… where? I cast a quick glance at Myrna’s face, and it looked calm enough as if she’d been expecting it to happen. Me, I was about to drop a load right then and there. “What… what’s going on?”
This couldn’t be real, could it? Trillian turned to us, his smile still in place, something that offered the promise of adventure. “Paul, I’m a performer. If my talents are appreciated here, they can also be appreciated elsewhere.”
Uh, yeah, but this is… weird. “Sir, what is that thing? I mean, you’re not tossing an illusion at me… are you?” Right now, this whole experience gave me an out-of-my body feeling. I was seeing this, but not really believing it. My hand came up to touch my ear, as if to make sure I was hearing the entire truth. He gestured to the portal. It remained open, inviting us in.
“Oh, you mean that? You’d call it a gateway or a door, or maybe even an entry point. It doesn’t matter what you call it. For me, it’s a chance to explore other worlds and show the people there what I can do. I don’t do it for the money. It’s the adventurist in me, yes? Besides, if anyone finds out what I can really do, then I’d never have any privacy. Shall we go?”
Myrna signed to me, It will be fun and then rolled her eyes. What are you waiting for, a bloody invitation?
Holy crap, she’d been playing me the whole time!