Dear readers, tonight we are joined by three friends who claim their friend was kidnapped by an evil wizard. I mean, we were supposed to be joined by three friends who are, well, I guess they’re still out looking for their friend? Wait! Something is happening. Yes! A portal is opening. It appears to be made from water. This beautiful circle is expanding on the wall, opening up to–oh my! Lo and behold, we’ve now been joined by three young women. High school ages I would guess. Behind them are lovely trees and a city up in the—no wait! The portal closed. (heavy sigh) Well, welcome guests! May I get your names?
Girl 1: Hi, I’m Genie. Sorry we’re late.
Girl 2: I’m Mei.
Girl 3: And I’m Whit. Hello!
So, portals! That’s an interesting way to travel. Tell us about why you’re here.
Whit: First of all, thanks for having us. We’re all excited for this opportunity.
Mei: Though we can’t stay long. Beth, that’s our other friend, she’s being held captive. So yeah, Morgana gave us, like, 10 minutes to spread the word.
Genie: Sorry about that. You’ve heard of Morgana, right? AKA Morgan le Fey? Basically, one of the bad guys from Arthurian legend. While I still have my suspicions, she is helping us rescue Beth, so there’s that. She’s pretty strict about things being her way or the highway, and I thought she was going to curse us just for asking for 10 minutes.
So where are you all from? Is it where you portaled from? Oh look, I think I just made a new word. Portaled.
Mei: That is strictly classified. I mean, I’d like to tell you, but.
Whit: We’re actually just visiting there. It’s so pretty in Av–. I mean, that av-idly magical place.
Genie: Whit is the smooth one of the group, as you can obviously tell. Ouch! Watch the elbows, Whit. Anyway. We’re not supposed to let the outside world know this land still exists.
Mei: I tried to take a selfie, and Morgana zapped my phone. So not cool. It’d better work after we find Beth and go home.
Genie: We’re actually from this small town in Northern Minnesota. Its near Hinckley, if you’ve ever been to the Casino there. The cell phone reception is the worst, but we discovered we have a portal connecting us to a magical land.
Mei: Talk about well-disguised. No way would you guess it’s secret. It’s this old, crusty fountain that we made a wish into. The waters are all orangish and gross. Like you’d never guess it was a magic fountain.
Whit: (whispering) I think they get it.
Mei: (louder) Even if you had a thousand guesses–
Genie: Anyway! We made this wish and apparently an evil wizard now wants to capture us and our wishes. His minions got to Beth. So now we’re on a quest to rescue her. We could use your help, if you could spread the word.
Why does this wizard want your wishes?
Genie: He’s using coins thrown in wishing wells to reforge Excalibur. Basically, he’ll be able to cut himself free from the bonds of his prison and take over Earth since there’s all this dormant magic we’re not using anymore.
Mei: I guess he’s got Excalibur’s hilt, but no one’s seen the blade since King Arthur died or something. That right, Genie? She’s the King Arthur expert in our group.
Genie: You know, Morgana is pretty hush-hush on the details there. Total sus.
Whit: Maybe she’s just misunderstood.
Mei: Watch out, Genie, Viviane may call you arrogant again if you keep on judging Morgana.
Genie: Don’t remind me! So embarrassing.
Whit: Viviane is the Lady of the Lake, by the way.
Genie: Yes, well, Viviane and her friend the misunderstood dark sorceress said this wizard is using people’s hopes and dreams that they imbue into their wishes to reforge the blade.
Mei: So now we’re kicking robes and taking names.
Mei: Wizards wear robes, don’t they?
Got it. So what’s the scariest thing in your adventures so far?
Whit: Val’s sword training.
Mei: Morgana’s beady eyes always watching us.
Whit: The bruises I have from Val’s sword training.
Mei: Morgana turning into a raven. She’s like Edgar Allen Poe’s dream girl. Can you imagine what a meeting of those two would be like?
Genie: Seriously, no. It was those Betwixt creatures that attacked us. Twice.
Mei: They’re not scary at first. Stout little dudes with giant puffs of hair.
Genie: They are when they morph into different creatures to try and trick you. And when they have swords they can use effectively. Cause, we can’t use our swords.
Mei: YET. Can’t use swords yet. But okay, you win.
Tell us about your friend, Beth.
Genie: She’s usually our fearless leader. It’s so weird not having her around.
Whit: We know where she is, but we have to rescue her is the thing. We could use all the help we can muster.
Mei: Who says muster?
Whit: I say muster, Buster!
Mei: I think you’ve been hanging out with the ladies from King Arthur’s time a bit too long.
Whit: Its true too! They’ve been alive since King Arthur’s days.
Mei: Thought you were going to end that sentence with ‘of yore.’
Whit: I will never say muster again, okay?
Mei: Shouldn’t we be getting back soon? Feels like it’s been 10 minutes.
Genie: Oh, I’m sure it has. However, I may have asked Tristan to provide a distraction. Figured the more information we can provide, the more people can help us rescue her.
Mei: Wait, you’re knowingly tricking Morgana?
Genie: She can’t prove it was me.
Whit: Um, hello. Have you seen the way Tristan looks at you? *bats eyes dramatically*
Is there a budding romance you’d like to talk about?
Genie: Stop! He’s a knight, descended from knights of the actual round table.
Genie: So, I’m not! I’m just Genie.
Mei: And I’m Just Mei. Nice to meet you, Just Genie.
Genie: Maybe you should tell everyone about you and Lance. Or Whit and Wayn.
Whit: Maybe we should tell them where we’re going instead?
Yes, please. Where are you going?
Mei: First to this place called Dunsate. Then it’s onto the Glass Tower where our friend is being held hostage.
Whit: The Glass Tower is actually the wizard’s prison. All the places have cool names there.
Genie: If there are any able-bodied knights or warriors or…maybe elves? Man, I wish we’d seen some elves on the way. Or a dwarf or two?
Mei: This isn’t New Zealand, and we ain’t in Lord of the Rings.
Whit: But wouldn’t it be cool if we were!
Genie: So cool!
Whit: You know what would be even cooler?
Genie: You know I do.
Genie and Whit: A Legolas and Gimli buddy cop show!
Genie: Saddle up for crime fighting adventures!
Whit: So cool!
Mei: Please excuse them. They tend to geek out at random times. They’re nerds.
Genie: Right, so meet us at one of those places.
Whit: Guys look!
Mei: Uh-oh. Morgana’s back.
Is that what I think it is? Yes! Yes. A portal is re-opening. That must mean your quest continues. But you haven’t told us the name of the magical land.
Genie: Look, we know you have connections to all sorts of other fantasy worlds.
Whit: Which means maybe you have connections to ours as well? Thus, if you recognize the names, be there.
Mei: You just said thus.
Genie: If you don’t recognize them, well–
Mei: It’s all strictly confidential.
Whit: OMG look! Tristan is coming through the portal to get Genie.
Mei: Maybe he’s fleeing Morgana, who found out about your nefarious plans, Genie.
Is this one of the knight descendants you mentioned? And a possible romantic partner?
Genie: Why would you say that so loud?
Mei: Yeah, even I wouldn’t embarrass Genie so bluntly like that.
Tristan: Everyone ready to get back to Avalon?
Mei: You just blurted that out!
Genie: I thought we were sworn to secrecy.
Whit: And we’ve been so good!
Tristan: Oh, oops. You can cut that out right?
Of course. It’s been a pleasure meeting you all. Good luck rescuing your friend, Beth! We hope to see you there.
J. Lynn Else is a hybrid author of historical fiction, sci fi, and YA fantasy books. She creates stories with multiple female protagonists (and occasionally dragons) who overcome obstacles in a historical or magical setting. Book three of the Arthurian-inspired Awakenings trilogy was released July 2021. J. Lynn loves Star Trek, Star Wars, sketching, and reading–not always in that particular order. She believes in unicorns and practicing random acts of awesome.
You can find Genie, Whit, and Mei on the pages of Descendants of Avalon and its sequels in the Awakenings series.
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