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A Fallen Leaf

Toybox 1 (Smashwords)

by Tony Farnden

A Fallen Leaf - Tony Farnden - Toybox
Part of the Toybox series:
Editions:Kindle: $ 0.99
ISBN: 9798215689134

Tel is an astrophysicist and an unwilling witch. A letter changes all that. Accepting the invitation within leads him into a nightmare existence on an alien world full of paranormal beings. Well it is like something out of a nightmare but the said paranormal beings are far from nightmarish and maybe just the type of people he needs in his life.

Tel has to become the person he has been ignoring all his life. As the son of a hedge witch he has healing abilities he must now use. In fact he is potentailly so much more than a healer and that is why he is now where he now is, stuck on a world with little available magic unless you are special. Tel is on a journey to discover who he is and who the man from his past really is and how he could be the man of his future, his partner and lover in more than dreams. Star is the make believe friend of Tel's youth or so Tel thought. Tel discovers Star is real and the one responsible for Tel's current situation, stuck in a world similar to Earth but not Earth and empty of all 'human' life other than the the ones sharing his space. Maybe stuck is not the right word. Just maybe Tel is where he should be.

Publisher: Manifold Press
Tropes: Band of Misfits, Evolving Powers, Fated Mates, Found Family, Inaccessible Magic, Marooned, Parallel Worlds, Possession, Psionic Powers, Reluctant Hero
Word Count: 26,823
Setting: Lost department store
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Tropes: Band of Misfits, Evolving Powers, Fated Mates, Found Family, Inaccessible Magic, Marooned, Parallel Worlds, Possession, Psionic Powers, Reluctant Hero
Word Count: 26,823
Setting: Lost department store
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

A raven’s call drew Tel’s attention from the rock pool he was peering into.  He looked up tracking the raven as it flew out across the mercury sea. Where was it going? He scanned the horizon and spotted something. A dot. He shaded his eyes and watched as the dot quickly resolved into a figure on what must be a surfboard as it sped towards the shore. He lowered his hands from his face and pushed up from the rock he was sitting on and made his way down to the shoreline, stepping from rock to rock, avoiding the strands of seaweed left behind by the receding tide. He waded into the sea until it lapped at his ankles. 


The sea was like glass without a ripple, reflecting the clouds above, yet the surfer sped towards the beach, growing more distinct, the raven circling overhead. A man, probably a tall man, thought Tel. How is he doing it with no waves? Tel stepped back from the sea as the surfer noticed him and turned his board towards him. He had a grim look on his face as the board hit the coarse sand and dissolved away. Magic, Tel gasped. He could almost smell it. 

“What are you doing here? Are you here for me? Did you get the summons?” The man approached Tel, his hands tensed like claws at his sides.

Tel went pale. “What summons? What do you mean?”

“Did you get a call?”

“No! Nothing. I was early so I was just . . .” What did he mean by ‘call’? Was it the dream he had when he fell asleep on the train here? That dream that had him paddling in the sea with someone at his side. The rocky coast drew him almost as soon as he alighted from the train carriage at the station. It was situated overlooking the bay. He’d registered at the Manor Hotel and headed back as soon as he could.  “I .  . . maybe. I have an invitation.”

The man frowned before nodding.

“Is this a private beach? Private cove? Sorry, I didn’t know. I have an invitation for some sort of week-end do at the manor house, the hotel. I thought this cove belonged to the manor.”

The man stared at Tel, looking him up and down. Tel dropped his eyes and blushed as he noticed the man’s prominent bulge showing through the wet suit. He looked back up and was caught by the man’s deep blue eyes. “It does. I’m heading there as well. I want to see your invitation as guests are not expected this early.”

“My mistake. I must have misread the time. I thought I'd look around until I can use my room.”

“When’s that?”

“In a couple of hours or so. I think. You’re early as well.”

“Besides the point. Show me the invitation.”

“I haven’t got it on me.”

“Is it nearby?”

“It’s in my backpack,” Tel turned and pointed back at the rocks. He led the way up the beach. He reached for his backpack and opened the side pocket. He pulled out the envelope and handed it to the man.

“Terrence Briers? That you?” The man looked at him, frowning.

Tel nodded. “Tel. Most people call me Tel.”

“I’m not most people,” he said. ”The postmark on this is seven years old.”

“I know. Weird. I found it recently amongst my mother’s things, tucked in a drawer. In a stack of unopened letters.” It was weird. They were all addressed to him. His mother had never hidden things from him. He was sure or least he had been until he had found those letters. It was not like her at all. The letter with the invitation was on top like it was waiting for him.

“Your mother’s passed? Sorry for your loss.”

“What? Oh, no, she’s fine. She’s gone off somewhere. To find herself or some crap. Left her cottage to me. Said I could keep what I wanted and release the rest into the world. Her words. She’ll be back when she gets bored. She’s all New Age.”

“New Age?”

“Some weird spiritual thing from the nineties or eighties.” He frowned. “Seventies? Before I was born but still important to her. I’m not sure what it was all about other than all the whale songs and boring music I had to listen to growing up.” He did not mention the magic, the spells, the potions. The things he shared with his mother alone.

The man lifted the envelope to his nose. “What can I smell?” He brought it close to Tel’s nose briefly. 

“Lad’s love and lavender.” Tel sniffed again. “Maybe some thyme.”

“Are you a herbalist?”

Tel shook his head. “No. I’m an astrophysicist. I hope to be. I work remotely for an observatory.” He gave a shy grin. “My mother had a herb garden. Taught me all about it.”

“Obviously not a herbalist.” The man raised a brow. 

“My mum is a better one.”

“I can look inside?” he said, opening the envelope and taking out the card within. He read the card, his lips smiling slightly. “You're a bit old for your initiation.”

“Initiation? It says invitation. I read it as invitation. Can I see?” He reached for it but the man moved it out of his reach. Tel shrugged. “I’m just twenty-eight. How is that old?”

“Twenty-eight you say. I’d’ve thought older. Still, my favourite age, Terrence.” He smirked.

Tel blushed, making his deep tan skin glow. “Just twenty eight.”

“Just? It’s your birthday today. On the seventh day of the seventh month of the year. Auspicious, as it is 2023.”

Tel frowned. “2023?” He closed his eyes and let the numbers flow. Two plus zero plus two plus three. Seven. 2023 divided by seven. Two eight nine. He opened his eyes. “Somewhat auspicious.”

“So it is.” He reached out and clasped Tel’s chin and turned his head to the right and then to the left before releasing him. “Very auspicious and lucky. For you.” He frowned. “At least . . .” He paused and gave Tel a brief smile. The man returned his attention back to the card. “I see you can bring a plus one.” He raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t . . .” Tel shook his head. “I don’t know anyone,” he whispered.

“You know me.”

“You? I don’t know you. I don’t even know your name.”


About the Author

Tony is touched by fairies and he does wish they would stop poking him when he walks his dogs. Since he moved to the wilds of Wales things have got no better. Anyway he has made a tentative offer to them. He's gong to write about them, tell their stories and spread a little fae love. They are thinking about it. Tony is not sure they'll approve when they read the tales he's been telling. He's not so worried as he believes he has the dragons on his side. He rather likes dragons in all their shapes and flavours. Whether they feel the same way . . . he's sure they're fine about it.

He's not so into social media but that could change. He could write about his bees, his garden, his wine and beer making but that might imply he's quite good at it while in fact he's more often surprised than anything else when something goes right. (That's not necessarily so when it goes awry.)

Oh yeah. He sometimes writes science fiction as well as fantasy, both he hopes with some romance involved or at least some kind of action or other.