Little Book of Magic

“It is my little book of magic,” the girl said to the man who sat on the other side of the wide, wooden desk. “I have put my heart and soul in it. I want to share it.”

The man pulled his glasses off and rubbed his nose. “No one wants a little book of magic, dear girl. Heart and soul or not, it won’t make money.”

She swallowed as her stomach twisted. “But it is magic. It’s meant to be shared.”

“I’m sorry. It’s not for us.” He returned to his work, and she noticed the deep stress lines in his forehead, the rumpled slouch of his suit jacket. His hands were a blur as he ran pen over paper, ignoring her.

She stood and left, her little book of magic tucked tightly inside her backpack.

The next door held a similar office, with a similar man behind a similar desk. He gave the same answer as the other, and she moved on.

The hallway grew as she walked, doors adding to doors, stretching far behind her. Each door locked with a forever click as she exited, and her heart and head sank lower with each step.

And the little book of magic weighed heavy on her back.

“Maybe I should just go home,” the girl muttered to herself. She stopped and turned around, looking down the narrow hallway. A door at the end swayed open. But darkness pulsed on the other side—a tempting darkness that promised both relief and despair.

The girl slid the backpack off her shoulder and opened it. She pulled out the little book of magic, then clutched it to her chest. The door slammed shut, and even from a distance the girl could read the words scrolled across the wood: The Land of What-If.

She sighed, and reached again for her backpack.

“Oy, little girl, what have you there?”

The lilted voice startled her and she spun, nearly dropping the book. A space suit stood before her, although she could not see who—or what—filled it.

“It-it’s a book. My book. My little book of magic,” she said, her heart sputtering back to a normal rhythm.

One arm of the space suit rose then, and the gloved hand pushed a button on the side of the helmet. The dark shield clicked and slid upward, revealing the face beneath.

The little girl gasped. The creature’s face was covered in downy feathers, with bright, round eyes. A pair of metal-framed spectacles perched on its narrow beak.

“You’re a bird!”

“A kiwi, to be precise,” the creature said, and a smile ruffled the feathered face.

Comfort flooded the little girl as she gazed at the kiwi’s warm expression. “Would you like to see it?”

The kiwi’s eyes lit up. “Oh, may I?”

She handed the little book of magic over, and it was grasped lovingly by the gloved hand. The kiwi sat against the wall then, and opened the book. The girl held her breath in anticipation as those bright eyes scanned page after page.

Finally, the kiwi looked up and closed the book. The bright eyes blinked. “Why have you not shared this little book of magic, dear girl?”

“I have no means to share it myself, and those who do will not help me.” She turned toward the hallway behind her and stared at the forever-locked doors, refusing to let loose the tears that burned the edges of her eyelids.

She heard scuffling, and then the kiwi’s voice again. “Would you come with me if I offered to help you share your little book of magic?”

The girl eased around to face the now-standing kiwi once more. “Yes,” she said, and followed the kiwi far, far from the dreary hallway.

…And for those of you who didn’t quite catch that, because maybe you’re not familiar with Grace Bridges from Splashdown Books…Grace is a sci-fi writing New Zealander, which makes her a “space Kiwi”…and yes, she has agreed to publish my novel, Finding Angel. The release date is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2011.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of Odd Little Miracles, the short story collection by Fred Warren, published through Splashdown Books’ Darkwater imprint.

Odd Little Miracles is Splashdown’s most recent release, although that’s not the main reason I’m giving away a copy. Fred Warren is the reason I found Splashdown. I fell in love with his short stories I’d found online and decided to buy his book, The Muse, which is, of course, published by Splashdown. I knew then that Grace had an eye for awesome fiction, and the more I got to know her, and the company, the more I wanted to earn a spot in her catalog! So, thanks, Fred, for being such an awesome writer and drawing my attention to Splashdown.

Leave a comment to enter. I’m posting this on multiple blogs, btw, so you can enter at each place: here at NAF, at my personal blog, and my Finding Angel site.

About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

32 comments on “Little Book of Magic

  1. […] comment to enter. I’m posting this on multiple blogs, btw, so you can enter at each place: at New Authors’ Fellowship, at my personal blog, and here at Finding […]

  2. Congratulations, Chicky. You know I am so very happy for you. And Grace is just the best Kiwi ever. I love this story. 😀

  3. Awesome! Congrats Kat!

  4. Congratulations to you. Fun times ahead!

  5. Not everyone can say they’ve starred in their own fairy tale.

    It struck me speechless, then allowed me to type only in peculiar metaphors that no one could understand, such as buckets of sweetness and globular neologisms. It choked me up with happy like little else can in this sad old earth. I’ll sleep joy tonight because of it, joy pouring from my pores as I slumber, filling the oft-drained tanks of life.

    Thank you. I’ll treasure this always.

  6. Thanks, everyone :). I am most excited!

    Grace–I’m honored to be the one who rendered you speechless, and more so, joyful. Oh, and look at the kiwi picture! Too cute!

  7. Congratulations, Kat. I’m glad I was able to encourage you in some small way, and I can’t wait to read your book.

    Oh, and I know you’ve got a few more little books of magic tucked away in your backpack. Keep knocking on those doors…there are more literary birds out there who know a good thing when they see it. Don’t let the turkeys get you down.


    • Thanks, Fred! Yes, yes I do have a few more… 😀

      Hm, guess I’m not entering you in the contest, though. Hehe.

  8. Lovely, I know how you feel.

  9. Congratulations, Kat. So glad you found the Space Kiwi.

  10. Kat, thank you for sharing the story with us. I was entranced and even more so when the story came true.
    Always thought I liked Kiwis. 🙂 Now I know that they’re kindhearted and generous!

  11. I had to laugh at the mental picture of a space kiwi. Congratulations on your upcoming release. I pray the Lord blesses you with great success!

  12. I must say, that was a beautiful story! So glad your little book of magic will be shared with the world. As I read this post, I kept wishing one of the men would just open the book-I could see the stress lines softening and the dreariness of the walls fading away. Ah well; their loss and our gain.

  13. What about your author page, Chicky? I think that is a good idea.

  14. Thanks for the note on the Kiwi. I missed that!


  15. Thanks for the note on the kiwi — I had forgotten that!!


  16. Well, bless her heart and yours too! Great news.

  17. Most excellent.

    (Don’t enter me in the contest, though. I’m buying my own copy of Odd Little Miracles.)

  18. Loved your story Kat

  19. The more I see of Fred and Splashdown Books, the more I like. Congrants to both and to you Kat. So many exciting things happening now in our little genre!

  20. MY Dearest Dearest Kat,


  21. Oh, wow, I can’t keep up with the comments! Thanks everyone!

  22. Kat–you still jumpin’ on the bed?

  23. Well done,and congrats Kat. It really does sound like a magical book. Can’t wait to read it.

  24. I love stories with happy endings…

  25. YeeHah!! Wow! Really! Have you celebrated yet? So happy for you!!! I’ve got to tell Simeon.

    He had writer’s block for quite a while, but he’s been back at it lately. I know he is going to write a great book… He lets me read portions and comment.
    GUESS WHAT? I am back at Sylvan- this time in S. Tampa with Lynda. Carolyn just retired end of June. I started mid-June. I am deliriously happy- though I am going to miss Carolyn. She’s so sweet. Lynda is wonderful and it is such a pleasure to work for her again. God is good.

  26. […] was rumored to live in the Land of Floridia. There she found Chickadee-Chicky perched over a Little Book of Magic. A dark swoop of feathers capped her head and five sets of silver hoops pierced her wings. The bird […]

  27. […] by a tattooed wolf. A grinning cat with unusually long claws and watchful eyes crouches over a little book of magic. Each creature holds an egg as varied as they […]

  28. […] sometimes you find yourself doing weird things. Like in Finding Angel, I decided to include a short story I wrote in homage of my awesome publisher, the amazing and talented Space Kiwi (aka Grace Bridges) for […]

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