Mushroom (Book Five) by James J. Deeney by James J. Deeney - Read Online

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Mushroom (Book Five) - James J. Deeney

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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including, photography, filming, recording, photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, or shall not by way of trade or otherwise be lent, resold, or otherwise circulated in any All rights reserved. No part of this book may be utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published, without prior permission in writing from the publisher, James J. Deeney. The moral rights of the author have been asserted.

Other books by James J. Deeney

An Alien called, Robert

Alien on the run

Angels, Devils and Demons

Demon Destroyer

The Mystery of Seahope

My Witch Family

The Lost magic

Magic of the Dolphin

Look for, The Workhouse Boy, if you like historical fiction. Set in Derry.

1

In the dark woods above the small town of Kilkee, the night creatures were restless as a strange whispering wind soughed through the tall oak trees. To a human, everything would have appeared normal, but it was the magic, the powerful magic, that was everywhere, that had disturbed the night creatures.

Sitting on a branch above the clearing near the center of the woods, where the Magic Mushroom had last appeared to Badger and Beano, were two owls, a tawny, the bigger of the two, and a barn owl. They hooted nervously, for they too could feel the tingling of the magic as it rippled through the branches. 

It's happening again, isn't it? hooted the barn owl, its big glowing eyes widening with the question.

The tawny didn't reply. It was staring at the ground in the center of the clearing. It blinked twice and hooted softly when it saw a glowing mist begin to seep up through the ground. 

Do we have to fly down to the town to alert the Grey One like the last time? asked the barn owl. 

The tawny still did not reply. It hooted a little louder when it saw the mist change color, sparkles of white magic beginning to ripple in waves across the clearing. 

Are you getting hard of hearing? hooted the angry barn owl, its fierce eyes glaring right into the tawny's face. I asked you, do we have to fly down to the town to alert the Grey One?

With a hoot of annoyance the tawny turned. Not yet, it said quietly, then turned to look back down at the clearing. 

Not yet! Not yet! screeched the barn owl, flapping its wings in agitation. What does that mean? Its angry feathers ruffled along its neck. 

Not yet, repeated the tawny, its eyes fixed on the clearing, for now it had spotted the tips of two mushrooms pushing slowly up through the magical mist. Not yet, it hooted again, its eyes widening with fear.

****    

Far below on the edge of the town, Beano was sleeping. He was huddled in the back of his kennel. His whole body was trembling. He was having a nightmare. In his nightmare he was being pursued by dogs. But they were no ordinary dogs, these beasts were ten times bigger than any dog. They had glowing faces and sharp teeth dripping with blood-red saliva. At that moment, in Beano's nightmare, they were catching up with him. Running beside him was a man and a boy. At first Beano didn't recognize the tall man, but when they almost ran into a white wall Pimlico screeched and flew from the man's shoulder. Beano and Archer Bo stared at the wall then slowly turned. They were trapped. Beano now could see the boy clearly. It wasn't Badger. The dog beasts, growling, closed in a semi-circle around them. Beano whined as one of the biggest of the beasts crouched and got ready to leap on him. As it did, Beano woke with a terrified yelp. Trembling he became aware of the glow in the kennel. Instantly he knew what it was. Looking at his chest he saw the Cross of Life. It was glowing and visible. Beano whined softly for he knew something magical was happening.

The Cross of Life had been given to him by Badger. The Cross hung on his chest, invisible to both Badger and Beano until it wished to show itself. The cross had powerful strange magic that was unpredictable.

Wide awake now Beano walked out into the yard. It was a warm moon-lit night. He glanced at his chest again. The cross was no longer visible. Beano trembled again when he remembered his nightmare. Whining he looked up at Badger's bedroom window. He was wondering was Badger awake, when just then the window opened.

Yes, I'm awake, Beano, came Badger's voice. Badger stuck his head out of the window and smiled down at Beano. The grey streak in the center of his hair seemed to glow in the moonlight. 

Badger, thought Beano. I had a terrible nightmare. It woke me. 

Did it? said Badger frowning. Did it frighten you?

Yes... but Badger? 

Yes? 

The Cross of Life was glowing when I woke. 

Was it? 

Yes. What does it mean? 

I don't know, said Badger looking up at the hills. But I expect we'll know soon enough, he added, smiling at Beano. 

Beano stared up at the hills. He was trembling again, but this time it was with excitement. Do you think we should go up to the woods? he thought, turning to look up at Badger. 

No. If we're needed the mushroom will contact us. Go back to sleep. There's no sense in the two of us staying awake all night. We mightn't be needed for some time. Go back to sleep, he repeated. Then with a smile and a wink at Beano, he closed the window.

A few seconds later, as he lay on his back staring up at the ceiling, Badger was thinking about his last adventure, and the one before that when his father had been captured by Curselees. But the monster was dead. He smiled when he thought about his mother. She had helped him overcome Curselees and Demonial. He wondered was his mother OK. She had been injured when she had helped him battle with Demonial. The fairies had taken her to their land. If they were going on another adventure soon he hoped he would see his dead mother again.

****

Meanwhile, up in the woods, the wind had increased. The squirrels chittered nervously and almost every bird huddled deeper down into their nests. Other wood creatures shivered as they felt the magic grow stronger and stronger.

It's happening, hooted the tawny. See. The bigger owl nodded below. Both owls watched as the wind whistled all around them ruffling their feathers and threatening to topple them from the branch they stood on. From the mist below the two mushrooms grew quickly bigger. The mushrooms were identical and each glowed with powerful magic. The dots on their umbrellas flashed on and off and changed color hundreds of times every second. 

GO! The soft commanding voice came from above the owls. At first the barn owl wasn't sure what it was. 

GO! BRING THE GREY ONE! HE IS NEEDED!   

Immediately the tawny owl leapt from the branch and soared upwards. Taken by surprise, it took the barn owl several seconds to catch up with it. Shortly both owls were dropping down towards the edge of the little town of Kilkee. As they soared towards Badger's house the barn owl gasped, Two mushrooms? I didn't know there were two Magic Mushrooms. 

Neither did I, hooted the tawny, leading the way along the back of the housing estate. 

Seconds later they were landing on Badger's bedroom window-sill. The owls glanced at each other when they saw that the window was open. Inside, they could see Badger sitting on the edge of his bed. He was dressed. 

Come in, he said smiling. I've been waiting for you. 

The owls glanced at each other again. With a soft hoot the tawny flew into Badger's room quickly followed by the barn owl. They landed beside Badger. 

You are needed again, Grey One, hooted the tawny, its big glowing eyes studying the pale-faced boy. 

Cool. I guessed I was, said Badger rising. He wore blue jeans, white runners and a blue sweater.

****

A minute later the owls sat on the window-sill watching Badger feeding an excited Beano. 

I wonder where they are needed this time? hooted the barn owl. The tawny didn't answer. He was studying the Cross of Life on Beano's chest. It was glowing again. 

Minutes later the owls flew past Badger and Beano as they headed up to the hills.

****

Soon the boy and his dog were descending from the back hills to the woods. As they entered the darkness of the trees Badger could feel the hair crepe along the back of his neck. Beside him, Beano could feel his excitement. As they passed below one of the tallest trees, magic suddenly sparkled from it, dropping like small lightning bolts to the ground. 

Beano, whispered Badger. It's never felt like this before. 

What?

The magic, it's different. Can't you feel it? 

No, thought Beano, quickly becoming apprehensive. 

In a few moments they were approaching the clearing.

Above, the tawny hooted to the barn owl. They're here. The owls watched Badger and Beano's reaction when they entered the clearing and saw the two mushrooms.