First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons“
I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.
DO ANIMALS FEEL sentimental about their homes?
I imagine they must. So many of them are built with their own little paws or claws or…whatever is on the ends of those eight horrible little tarantula legs. But what actually constitutes a home? Take, for instance, the terrarium in my lap with the wonky little stick insect inside. He was part of the menagerie collected by Emery Flint, the previous owner of Precious Greetings—the menagerie that now needed to be re-homed.
I don’t know if Sticky Stickerton was born in captivity or captured in
the wild. Heck, I don’t even know where these little critters would roam free. But I do know that ever since he was bought and paid for by Mr. Flint, this little plastic box was all the home he’d known. So, did he care if we moved him from Precious Greetings to my parents’ rec room? Hard to say.
56% of 79
Dixon’s breath caught in the way it did whenever I opened my paintbox. Sometimes I thought he was more excited to see me open that box than he was when I opened my fly. This was not necessarily a bad thing. People are attracted to each other for many reasons. It might as well be a reason that can’t fade as surely as looks eventually will.
I drew a bottle of water from his knapsack and a small, blank card from my opposite pocket, cleared my mind, and sent my focus outward to encompass all of Taco Town. The people so desperate to preserve their livelihood. The disasters falling like dominoes in Fonzo’s wake. Dixon’s pathetic hope that everything would somehow manage to turn out just fine. I held these ideas in my mind for a moment, then dabbed my brush, and painted.
Yellow-brown, some orange, some blue-gray. A dark speckle that was a smattering of birds against a blue sky. And a scattering of white spots that only appeared once I was done painting, thanks to contaminants trapped between the paper and paint that caused a pattern of resist. I squinted at a beam of light knifing through a hole, and saw the sunbeam was dancing with motes of dust. I flapped the small paper and considered the flaw. The Seen felt no less potent to me…as if there really were no accidents.
Once the surface was dry enough for ink, I handed it to Dixon. He turned it this way and that, not critically, but with fascination Dixon has seen many paintings in his life. Not only in his family shop, but in his travels through far-flung cities. And even with so many works to compare to, he continues to find subtle nuances in mine.
“It’s Taco Town in all its magic,” he said wistfully. “Do you think there’s magic to this place, aside from just the Spellcraft turning the town upside down? Sometimes I wonder if memories count as magic. Or whimsy. Or fun. They’re intangible things, and yet they’re so…present.”
When Dixon and Yuri head for Taco Town, they’re hoping to track down Uncle Fonzo. What they find instead is a fiasco. Is it sabotage? A curse? Or is it just a bunch of badly worded Spellcraft?
The small Minnesota berg is a tourist destination featuring a memorable roadside attraction: The Big Taco. It’s not actually edible, but there’s a flock of birds passing through that never got the memo.
One thing’s for sure, Fonzo has been there. Not only do plenty of folks recognize his photo, but they paid him to solve certain problems…all of which are now exponentially worse. Dixon wants to chalk it up to a run of bad luck. Yuri knows a con man when he sees one, and while he doesn’t relish the thought of destroying Dixon’s hero, he wouldn’t mind knocking the guy down a few pegs.
But there’s definitely something screwy about the Spellcraft they uncover. And they’d better figure out how to repair it before the Big Taco is reduced to crumbs—and with it, the livelihood of all their new friends.
The ABCs of Spellcraft is a series filled with bad jokes and good magic, where MM Romance meets Paranormal Cozy. A perky hero, a brooding love interest, and delightfully twisty-turny stories that never end up quite where you’d expect. The books are best read in order, so be sure to start at the beginning with Quill Me Now.