Chess With Agatha (A Fantasy Novel) By James Mahoney

Back In 2012-2013 I Wrote A Fantasy Novel Within This Blog… Hired An Editor, Then Sat It Down… In 2015 I Hired A Second Editor/Wordsmith, And They Worked On The First Few Chapters… Here They Are

cwa

Chess With Agatha

A Fantasy Novel by James Mahoney

With

Additional Wordsmithing by

Kaitlin Q. Calkins

Cover Photography by

Kirsty Pang @ laplumenoire.co.uk

Cover Design by

James Mahoney & Kirsty Pang

Editing by

Shannon Fox @isleofbooks.com

With additional Editing by Kaitlin Q. Calkins

Special Thanks to Bethany Beckman & Héloïse De Smet

This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

CHESS WITH AGATHA

Copyright © 2013-2019 James Mahoney

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

*******************************

PROLOGUE;

“No One Loves The Fool…”

“No, Indeed Not”

“But I shall Change This…”

“It Is Within MyPower to Change This”

Iliad The Fool~

The King knelt down and hugged his raven haired daughter.

Being only five years of age, she may not have remembered this occasion later in life… but under the spell that was being cast, she definitely would not.

At least not for some time…

“We must hurry my lord, the portal will close soon,” spoke the King’s Wizard.

“Know you this… it’s for your safety that I’m doing this daughter,” spoke the King.

 

CHAPTER ONE

The Protector

A seventeen year old girl sits alone in the dark on the floor of an old rundown apartment. Around her are some dozen or so half-filled boxes, filled with items from a life that is now over. A time which has ran its course.

My parents are gone.

Or rather, my adopted parents. Killed in a car crash, on the way home from the liquor store that cold winter night in November.

     Cold winter nights…There’s been so many of those this year.

The sun slowly rises outside the living room window behind her, which is largely blocked by an olive green bed sheet.

Her adopted mother’s choice.

She had hated the sunlight, you see. Hangovers had caused this… sensitivity to light.

And as the slivers of the morning light begin to enter the room, they catch the ends of Agatha’s hair, lighting them up like a tapestry of gold.

Yes, her name is Agatha. And her blue eyes, though hidden now in the darkness of the room, pierce the skies, and rival the sea with their majesty and brilliant glow.

As Agatha waits for Agamemnon to arrive and escort her to school, she finds herself playing with the thick black laces of her short black Doc Martin boots.

Draped over her body, she wears a worn, second hand black navy pea coat, which goes all the way down to her ankles when she stands, though she’s five foot nine.

And, about her neck she wears a deep purple scarf, most royal indeed.

Soon Agatha would hear the clip, clop, slide, of Agamemnon’s lame leg, coupled with the tap, tap, tap of his black cherry wood cane.

     Who is this stranger? She often asked herself.

This, dark, quiet man who comes for me, every morning now. Supposedly a guardian, or some such thing appointed by my adopted father.

But Agatha, in her now five months long daze, has never really given it much thought.

CLIP… CLOP… SLIDE… TAP

CLIP… CLOP… SLIDE… TAP

It’s him…

“Agatha… Come,” called Agamemnon from outside the door.

 

CHAPTER TWO

Another Life

As we walked, Agamemnon made sure to never look me directly in the eyes, keeping mostly to himself. Which was fine by me, as I generally found myself gazing at his lame leg.

CLIP… CLOP… SLIDE… And his cane.

TAP… TAP…

     It was a particularly cold day, and yet, there was no color in the air. It all seemed to go out that morning, leaving a faint, grey-blue haze.

And that was when the voice would come…

     You will need one Knight… NO! TWO!

     He’d correct himself.

     And a Magician.“NO! NO! YOU FOOL! TWO!

     He’d correct himself again. This had been going on for weeks. The unknown voice making me question reality and the imaginary.

My sanity began to twinge at the thought of my own madness. Hearing voices is a sign of lunacy, especially when the voices you hear are of even crazier people…    

Things of this world are of little matter, Agatha

Suddenly a new voice sprouted in my head. A familiar one…    

There is another life, Agatha… a harder life

It was Aggememnon’s. Intense and deep…

Yup, I am definitely going insane…

With this thought, Agamemnon stopped and turned to face me.

His eyes were dark as they looked intently into mine                                                            

There will be no turning back

His voice seeming to be talking with me. Could he actually be talking to me? Or…

“You must play me a game.”

     Agememnon actually speaking jarred me out of my previous thoughts. A game? What was he talking about?

“And you must play well.”

     He was serious, as he dramatically turned to leave me standing there without waiting for me to reply.  

What the hell was going on?

…yup, definitely going insane

“…Okay?” I said out loud to myself, walking toward the doors of my stereotypical high school. Another day in paradise…   

 

CHAPTER THREE

Hemmingbyrd’s Dream

WITHIN THE PLANE OF ORDOSE

STANDS THE DARK FORTRESS OF DOOM.

AND WITHIN IT THE BLUE WIZARD HEMMINGBYRD’S TOWER OF MAGIC

The Blue Wizard Hemmingbyrd finds himself suddenly awake at a most ungodly hour.

     I woke in a tussle that night. Body covered in the sweat of the Gods. As I will surely do their bidding. And soon I think.

     Hemmingbyrd sits up, legs over the side of his dark wood four post bed, and stretches as he wipes away the slumber from his eyes.

At first glance, one might not realize how young he looks, in his mid to late twenties at most, because of his white hair which he has in a braid that runs down his back. But in reality, he is indeed quite old. For soon he shall see his five hundred and eleventh birthday. But he would rather not speak of that, as Wizards don’t oft live beyond seven hundred and twelve. And he finds this most distressing. So much left to do…

But for some reason as of late, his true age has slipped his mind.

Hemmingbyrd stands and pulls a freshly washed blue robe over his head. He walks toward the thick grey drapes that cover his tower window in large, uneven strides. opens them to an early morning blue, purple and black sky.

“Ob it!” he exclaims, as he is often making up his own words and obscenities. He had hoped that all things foul and evil in the world had removed themselves.

But of course, that was not the case… Evil awaits.

He shuts the drapes, “Pfft,” he sighs.

“But enough of all this,” he mutters to himself as he leaves his chamber, always making sure to break the length and rhythm of his strides. One must maintain their illusiveness after all

His hands clasped behind his back, he makes his long uneven steps down the dark and dismal corridor.

I wonder how I came to be in service of such a dreary place. The fact that I cannot remember is quite alarming…

He thinks to himself.

But I do not have time to dwell on such things right now.

Soon he will reach the great and currently empty Hall of his noble King, who as we speak, is imprisoned deep in the dungeons of Norawyn, hanging by chains with only a beam of sunlight for company.

Depressing.

But this part of the story will come later…

Beyond her arrival.

Suddenly Hemmingbyrd reaches into one of his deep robe pockets, and brings forth a yellow crystal ball, some four inches in diameter, and sets it afloat before him as he walks. He gazes at it intensely. But it offers him no insights, and so he snatches it back out of the air, deposits it back into his pocket, and says, “Round it!” which, of course, makes no sense.

As he enters the King’s abandoned Hall, pushing the great doors wide open, he proclaims these words, “I had a Dream,” only to be terribly disappointed to see Iliad, the King’s Fool, standing upon the great throne, dancing and singing in false gayety, in order to entertain Jodan and Morr, the King’s ‘Rooks’ as it were, who sat in chairs clapping and cheering him on.

Now, Iliad was a wiry little fellow, blond haired, and dressed in red and yellow Fool’s attire. And of course a silly little Fool’s hat,

which bore three little bells.

“FOOL! BE GONE!” Hemmingbyrd commanded as he approached the throne.

As Iliad runs out of the King’s Hall, Hemmingbyrd grabs his shoulder as he runs by him, and brings his ear directly a spec away from his whispering mouth. “Did you tell her about the Knights?” Hemmingbyrd inquires.

“I did, I did, My Lord…” the Fool replies.

“And what of the Magicians?” Hemmingbyrd continues.

“Indeed, Indeed, My Lord. Two of each, as you say,” he replied once more.

“Two?” Hemmingbyrd states while pressing two fingers at Iliad’s face.

“Yes,” Iliad replies, “Two.”

“Be gone, Fool!” Hemmingbyrd demands once more, releasing Iliad, who quickly scurries off.

Jodan suddenly steps forward, “We can no longer wait for this ‘Chosen’ one to arrive, Wizard.”

Jodan, who, despite his grizzly beard, appears surprisingly quite noble. A tall, muscular fellow, with dark brown hair.

Meanwhile the black haired, pale skinned Morr, clad in black velvet clothing, merely stirs his dark red drink with his dagger, and smiles in his typical menacing way. Never looking up at Hemmingbyrd.

“Don’t you see! WE MUST!” Hemmingbyrd proclaims as he waves his hands around. “The game must be played!”

Jodan grimaces in disagreement, and returns to his seat.

Meanwhile, Hemmingbyrd suddenly freezes and speaks softly to himself, “The Game? Must

be played… THAT’S IT!” he suddenly bellows, to Morr and Jodan’s dismay. “SHE HAS YET TO PLAY THE GAME!” With this Hemmingbyrd turns and departs, still speaking as he goes,         “I must consult the Stones,” are the last words that can be made out as he goes.

Jodan looks over at Morr who has finished his drink in one foul gulp. “The old man’s quite mad,” he says, smiling at Morr.

They both begin to laugh maniacally.

One Response to “Chess With Agatha (A Fantasy Novel) By James Mahoney”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: