Saturday, June 28, 2014

Leaving Mistasia

Leaving Mistasia
   This summer marks the end of a long and extremely fulfilling journey in my life.  It marks the completion of the Land of Mistasia, at least in new stories as I will be moving on to the Gossamer Pen. Mistasia has been a part of my life nearly as long as my youngest daughter, 8 years this summer (2014). When Mistasia Novellas became available on Tuesday, I put my final mark on a place that has become very dear to my heart.

  The Land of Mistasia has had a profound effect on me and my family.

  The name itself has roots in the Purrett family, as do so many of the characters and places within Mistasia. Just the other day, I found myself explain the meaning of the word Mistasia and its origin. It is actually a running joke between myself and my wife. When we originally meet in the summer of 1997, I went to her apartment for the first time. While she was showing off her place I made a reference to the size of her bed (a queen size, which was enormous to a college kid still sleeping in the only bed he ever had...half of a bunk-bed I shared with my little brother). I called it "Mistasia", referring to my wife's name, Misty, and the fact it was a big as the continent, Asia...and the name was born. Silly, but it has become something that we in the Purrett family find humorous.

  That is just one of the many personal references that have etched their way into my first novels. As I mentioned before, many characters and places are named for things that have been a part of my life. For example, I have worked for the same retail company nearly all of the past twenty years, so naturally some of the street names where those buildings were located are present;
   Harper - the last name of my first character developed for these stories.
   Cadieux - the castle title and last name of all regal characters in Mistasia.
Both are streets in Michigan where I worked in the past.

  Even the city where Phillip, Whizzy & Rachel live has actual roots in my life, Greenville. It is a city in Michigan, where I actually have never been, however, the name itself has a story that my wife and I have shared with our children many times. During a trip back to Mount Pleasant, we stopped off the highway and in the parking lot met one of the oddest couples we have ever encountered. A man exited the car beside us and approached our vehicle wearing a fanny pack, holding a map outstretched in his hands and screaming "GREENVILLE" repeatedly. His wife started screaming with a frighteningly high-pitched shrill, through the open passenger window attempting to explain her husbands ranting. It was an alarming event...I am laughing right now thinking about it.

  In 2007, the Land of Mistasia had become a reality for me. I started telling bedtime stories to my daughter, Lea. It continued to develop from there into what I eventually released as my first independent novel, Land of Mistsia in 2011. Although, Lea was my intended audience at first, her younger sister, Kyra, has become the aficionado in all things Mistasia. It means so much to know the impact these stories have had on the both of them, especially their futures. Lea has taken an interest in writing, both poetry and stories. Kyra has developed into an amazing artist, who writes her own comics.

  Mistasia has been a way for me to put parts of my life down to remember forever, even if these references were moments for me and those closest to keeps those memories alive forever. I will cherish these stories as long as I live, and sincerely hope that you all will as well.


Copyright 2014: Christopher M. Purrett

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why The Eye? A Cover Story.

Why The Eye?
A Cover Story

 When I was writing the stories behind the Land of Mistasia, I had put little thought behind the cover art of the forthcoming that time anyway. In the months before the release of my first novel, Land of Mistasia (2011), I began working on the artwork that would accompany it and the follow up the time a total of 4.

Above is the initial cover designs from November 2010 that I found on my computer just a couple weeks ago...which prompted this blog. I have had many questions about the cover art. Each is an eye, but why? What is the significance? To those that have yet to have the fortune to read these stories I will explain.
   I wanted to write these stories from a different point of view. Many books are written from one characters point of view throughout, and there is nothing wrong with that in anyway, however, I thought it might be interesting to use the main characters to tell the stories, allowing for each one to have a different emotional feel.

   Land of Mistasia is told by Phillip Harper, who is a green tree-frog in Mistasia. It has a more humorous cadence with many awkward moments emulating his life as a gangly teenage boy.
   Return to Mistasia is told by Michael "Whizzy" Whizzenmog, who is a red fox in Mistasia. He is more explosive in temperament, sometimes happy and funny, but sometimes angry and frustrated because of his small stature. Whizzy feels he always has to prove himself.
  Last Emerald is told by Whizzy's twin sister, Rachel Whizzenmog, who is a gold fox in Mistasia. She is strong and confident in Greenville, but when placed in Mistasia becomes uncertain and wary of her abilities.
  So why the eye on the cover of each novel? It is very simple. Each eye represents the readers view point in that particular story. The characters eye on the cover lets you know who is telling that story.

   Edited (8/24/2015: by CMPurrett)

  After the completion of the novel, Gossamer Pen (2014), work began on an epilogue that explained the discovery of the Gossamer Pen in Greenville...which is the same hometown of the main characters in the Land of Mistasia novels.  That epilogue, titled: Keegan Castle appeared at the end of Gossamer Pen. It is now known to fans of the Mistasia series as "Kraylan's Love"., and is available to read at  
  During that time production on other projects began and it was believed that the Land of Mistasia was completed. (Click Here for Blog) However...and I will rarely admit this in public, I was wrong. A new story developed from that epilogue has brought about a new story titled: Cragon's Revenge, which will be the 4th book in the series. I have no idea if it will be the last...since I thought Last Emerald (2012) was the final book.  Stay close to our blog and for more information about the release of Cragon's Revenge...and enjoy the journey.

Copyright 2014-2015: Purrett Productions, LLC.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Escaping from the Haunted House

Escaping from the Haunted House
This is a children's story originally written prior to the development of the Land of Mistasia. It contains the characters Phillip and Whizzy in their original form. The story was written for my daughter, Lea, when she was entering school. It is a far cry from what eventually became the Land of Mistasia, but I thought it might be interesting for everyone to read. Laugh, mock & enjoy!

   A strong cold breeze pushed across the town of Greenville.  Leaves piled up next to a shed in Phillip’s yard.  The colors were spectacular.  Shades of orange, yellow, red and brown leaves mixed together on the dark, wet, green grass in the front yard.  Outside his small, green, wooden house was a big orange pumpkin. It was the largest pumpkin Phillip and Whizzy had ever seen.
Together they stood and admired Mr. Frog’s selection.
“How did he get that pumpkin here?”  Whizzy wondered.  “It must have taken thirty frogs to carry that!”
“I know.  It’s huge! It must be the biggest pumpkin ever,” Phillip proudly boasted.
Leaves rustled up onto the porch, tickling the young frogs webbed feet.
“My dad said we could carve it next week.  Just before Halloween.”  Phillip said emphatically.  “It’s gonna be awesome!”
   This is Whizzy the wizard fox’s favorite time of the year.  Halloween meant costumes, candy, jack-o-lanterns, candy, scary ghouls, and CANDY!
The two best friends were getting ready for an interesting night at a haunted house.  This was not Phillip’s idea of fun, but Whizzy was very excited.  So much so that Whizzy paced around the room; he was dressed and ready, waiting for Phillip.  They had matching black shirts that read ‘HAVE NO FEAR’, with black pants, flashlights and a special tool kit.  The kit had all sorts of goodies for the boys to use on their unknown adventure.  Of course Whizzy had his trusty wand too.
“String, batteries, paper clips and chewing gum?”  Phillip was trying to get interested, but didn’t understand Whizzy’s infatuation with haunted houses.  “Whizzy, what are we going to use chewing gum for at a haunted house?  Blowing bubbles won’t save us from ghosts and ghouls.”
“No, but it will help your ears pop when the ghastly witch squeals so loudly that it busts your eardrums.”  Whizzy was almost wearing a groove in the floor where he had been pacing for the past ten minutes.  His excitement was brimming.  If he didn’t get going soon, he wondered if he might explode.
“Is this house really haunted Whizzy?”  Phillip didn’t believe his friend.  “How can a house be haunted?”
“Sally the snake said she has seen all types of scary things at this house.  She is the one that invited everyone for the party.”  Whizzy was looking out the window at Phillip’s parents who had started the car in preparation for their trip across Greenville.
“That weirdo is hosting the party?”
“She’s not a weirdo, just different?”  Whizzy defended their host.  It had been Whizzy the wizard fox’s dream to see a ghost since he could remember.  He didn’t really know why, it just seemed cool.
Phillip’s parents drove them to the spooky house.  It sat on an old deserted road.  The road had
long weeds growing up through the cracks in the pavement. Very tall grass lined the sides of the road. The trees stood tall and ominous along both sides of the lonely road.  This house looked like no one had lived in it for a very long time.  It was old.  The windows were cracked, shudders damaged and faded.  Paint was peeling from the siding and spider webs covered every corner.
“We’ll be back tonight at ten o’clock to pick you boys up,” Momma Frog said.  They opened the car door and stepped out.  Phillip and Whizzy stood at the end of the stone walkway.  It didn’t lead to the front of the house.
“Where do you think this goes Whizzy?”
Whizzy didn’t answer.  He stared at the yellow lights burning in the upstairs windows.  It made the house appear like it had evil eyes against the darkening sky.
 “Whizzy?”  Phillip yelled smacking his friend’s arm.  “Where does this go?”  He pointed at the stone path.
“Let’s find out.”  Whizzy was still very excited.  Not scared in the least.  Phillip on the other hand was becoming nervous, and wondered if Whizzy had gone a bit crazy.
They followed the winding path through an overgrown vine patch.  The vines reached out as the frog walked past.  One grabbed his left arm.  He pulled to get away, now walking backwards.  Whizzy had stopped at a door.  Phillip slammed into him and they both fell down.
The door creaked open.  Standing there was a scaly, slender, red-eyed snake named Sally. 
“Hello Whizzy.”  She sounded absolutely giddy.  “Phillip, how are you?”  She noticed him as Whizzy moved.  Phillip had ended up underneath him when they fell.
“Just great Sally.  How are you?”  Phillip asked as he rubbed his knee. “Strange, I imagine.” He whispered so Sally the snake wouldn’t hear, but Whizzy did.  The fox gave his rude friend an unhappy glance and entered the house.
Please wait here in the kitchen.  There will be others arriving soon.”  Sally slithered across the grainy tile floor.  Phillip thought the sound was quite gross.  It made him shiver.  “Your invitations are on the table.  Please, do not open it until I return.  Thank you.”  Sally said in a pleasant voice.  Then she smoothly slithered out of the room into a dark hallway.
“This house is really creepy!”  Phillip groaned.
“Yeah, I know.  It’s awesome.”  Whizzy exclaimed happier than Phillip could remember ever hearing his best friend.
Phillip stood fidgeting with his flashlight.  His palms were already sweaty.  He gulped as a huge spider dangled from the chandelier in front of him. 
“BOO!”  The spider yelled and then laughed as Phillip jumped.
They waited for quite a while alone in the kitchen, as it had grown completely dark outside.  It was 7:07 PM.  Sally led the next guest into the kitchen.  It was Sebastian the Squirrel.  He was still wearing his aviator’s jacket and orange flying goggles. 
“Does he think he can just fly out of the haunted house if he gets scared?”  Phillip joked with Whizzy.  Whizzy laughed briefly as more animals entered the room. 
This time it was Bruno the Bear and his friend Henry the Hippo lumbering in behind the slender snake hostess.  Henry sat down on a chair next to Phillip.  Seconds later a crack, followed by the loud thud of Henry’s rump hitting the floor.  Sebastian gasped.  Whizzy and Phillip cackled at the humorous position Henry laid in on the grimy kitchen floor.   His thick round legs hung in the air as the seat was lodged under his backside.  Bruno and Sally quickly assisted him back to his large feet.  A small splinter of wood remained stuck in his derriere.
“Ah...Hen…Henry.”  Phillip began uncertain how to explain the situation without laughing.  He really didn’t want to anger the very large hippopotamus.
“YES!”  The red-faced Henry blasted.
“Ah.  Well there is a small piece of the chair.  A splinter really, but…oh I mean rump…AH.”  Phillip covered his mouth.  His cheeks were as red as a rose.  He began to laugh again.  The hippo was very agitated and snorted at Phillip who ran behind Whizzy.  “Save me, Whizzy.”  He stuck his head out from behind Whizzy’s shoulder.
“There’s a splinter in your butt, Henry,” Whizzy said calmly.  “Phillip cut it out.”
Henry turned around to see the tiny splinter lodged in his rough bottom.   “Oh.  Thanks, Whizzy.”  He pulled it out and walked away.
The eventful moment subsided as the final guests arrived, the twins Devon and Dolly Duck.  The guest list was complete.  They all waited patiently around the kitchen table.  Four letters sat, temptingly close to them, but they remembered that Sally asked them to wait for her before they read them.
“Thank you all for coming.  Are you ready for a great time?”  She hissed.
“YEAH!”  The crowd cheered.
“Well, as you are all aware, you have been invited here tonight for a fun night in this haunted house.  The invitations on the table have your instructions for the night.  Please, read them carefully, because if you do not, you will not be able to leave this house,” Sally said emphatically.
“What did she say?  Not leave the house?  What do you mean, Sally?”  Phillip asked Sally, but she had vanished.  “Where’s Sally?  What did she mean, Whizzy?”
Whizzy stood very silently holding the invitation in his hand. 
“LOCKED IN!”  Dolly the duck quacked.
‘WHAT’S GOING ON!!!”  Phillip screamed.
“The note said we have been locked in this house and that the only way to get out is to solve the clues to find a key to the front door,” Whizzy explained as everyone listened.
“Oh, no!  That’s not good.”  Sebastian said with a scared expression, his eyes bugging out of his orange goggles.

  The terrified green frog grabbed Whizzy the fox by his shirt and shook him as he yelled, “How are we going to get OUT OF HERE?”
“Phillip,” Whizzy said as his friend continued to shake him.  “Phillip.”  He was becoming dizzy now as the room bounced with each shake.  “PHILLIP!”   Whizzy yelled as he pushed the sweaty, webbed, green hands from his arms.   “Calm down, Phillip.”
“Calm down?”  Phillip said rudely.
“Yes, please, sir.  You are scaring everyone.”  The timid voice came from underneath the kitchen table.
Everyone peeked under the table to see that familiar aviator’s jacket huddled against the wall.  It was Sebastian the Squirrel.  He was the smallest in the room and was
visibly shaking.
“I’m sorry, Sebastian.  I didn’t mean to scare you, I guess…I guess I was scared,” Phillip said as he reached a hand toward the terrified squirrel.  “Take my hand, Sebastian.”
The squirrel reluctantly removed himself from his hiding spot. 
There were seven animals standing in the dreary kitchen.  Whizzy noticed just how disgusting the kitchen really was.  He hadn’t noticed before with all the commotion and excitement.  The ceiling and floor were very dirty.  Thick spider webs were hanging in every corner and from the chandelier above the table.  The room was strangely empty.  There was no refrigerator, or stove.  Just holes in the counter where they had once rested.  Piles of dirt and dust had collected in their place.  A picture was hanging crooked on the stained, yellow wall behind Bruno the Bear.  The frame was metal colored, but the picture inside was completely black as if the image was missing.  Whizzy thought that this was very strange.  In the bottom right corner a name was etched into the frame. 
“HILDA DRA_ _N.”  Whizzy read aloud.  The name was missing letters.
“Huh?  What, Whizzy?”  Bruno said in his deep growling voice.  He turned around to see what Whizzy was looking at and saw the picture on the wall.
“That picture.  It looks like someone tried to take it down.  It must be stuck.”  Whizzy noticed.
“Yeah. Look, there are marks on the wall next to it.”  Phillip pointed at two rectangular areas, one on either side of the picture.  It looked like someone had taken frames off the wall.  The wall appeared much cleaner in the rectangular areas.
“Who do you think Hilda is?”  Bruno wondered.
“She was once a resident in this house.”  Sally the snake had slithered up behind Bruno.  She startled him when she hissed.  “Hilda the Dragon was a young girl when her family left.  It is said that her spirit returned here after she passed away.
“She died?”  The duck twins, Devon and Dolly, quacked.
“Yes, Hilda was very sick when she was born and only lived until she was 10 years old.  Her parents were so sad.  They left this house afterward, but many say that Hilda’s ghost still lives here.”  The animals were saddened to hear about poor Hilda, but also frightened to know that she may still be roaming the house. 
“She could be in the kitchen right now,” thought Phillip.  He began searching the room for the young dragon.  He looked at the picture frame on the wall, and this time Hilda’s face appeared.  A purple faced dragon with red spots on her cheeks.  Phillip gasped.  Hilda’s eyes moved.  They looked right at Phillip the Frog.  A shiver rose up his body.  He couldn’t move.  He was so frightened.  Then, Phillip couldn’t believe his eyes.  Hilda the Dragon walked out of the frame.  She disappeared.  “Wh…Whi…Whizzy!”
Whizzy was talking to Devon the duck, as Phillip began to tug on his shirtsleeve.  “What Phillip?”
“Whizzy, I saw her!”  He had turned a strange shade of white.
“Saw who?”  Whizzy asked.
“HILDA!”  Phillip screamed quite loudly.  So loud that everyone in the kitchen was now gawking at the young frog.  “She was in the picture frame.  She…she looked right at me and then disappeared.” 
Phillip was acting very strangely, Whizzy thought, but when Whizzy the fox looked at the picture, it was empty, just as it had been earlier.  “I think we’d better get started before Phillip goes crazy.”

  Each group began their quest to find the key that would release them from the haunted house.  Sebastian the Squirrel, wearing his orange goggles for protection, opened his envelope.  He turned his head to the side as he slid the paper out as if expecting something to explode from the envelope.  The duck twins, Devon and Dolly, also opened their letter with a large amount of reluctance.  Dolly Duck covered her eyes with her yellow-feathered hands.  Henry the hippo and Bruno the Bear passed the tiny envelope back and forth.  Each wanted the other to open it, but neither would.  Whizzy tore the side of the envelope off without hesitation and removed the white sheet of paper, which was folded in half.
Every group received the identical letter, and as all read their letters, which revealed the first clue, they knew it was time to start.  The letter read:
Go to the cellar and find the toy chest.
“That should be easy enough,” declared Phillip now that he had regained some composer.
“Come on, Phillip!”  Whizzy shouted as he began to run from the kitchen.
No one knew how to locate the cellar door.  It was a very big house, but Phillip and Whizzy were the first to find it.  Whizzy excitedly opened the door and began down the darkened hallway.
Phillip hesitated. He was very scared of the dark cellar, but he didn’t want to be left alone upstairs either.  Quickly, he darted down the stairs to catch his friend.  He stumbled on a damaged stair, but held on to the railing.
“Phillip, stop fooling around,” Whizzy scolded.  “Get your flashlight.”
The two slowly moved into the cellar.  It smelled like old sneakers, and the walls and floors squished beneath their feet.  They shined their flashlights across the walls and floor trying to locate anything that may be the first clue.
“Whizzy, what was the clue again?”
Go to the cellar and find the toy chest,” he read using his flashlight to see the words.
“Well, where is it?”  Phillip started when they heard a noise from behind them.  He whipped around to find the origin, but saw only the piles of junk that they had walked past.  His green skin appeared much whiter than it should. 
“What is it, Phillip?”  Whizzy asked while he continued toward the back of the cellar.
That’s when Phillip saw her, Hilda the Dragon.  She floated out from behind the stairs and directly in front of him.  She smiled, revealing her long sharp teeth and forked tongue, which wiggled at him.“HI!”  Hilda was really a nice dragon.  She only wanted someone to talk to.  She had been so lonely in this house.
Phillip smiled uncomfortably.  He wanted to scream for Whizzy, but couldn’t.  He was terrified.  In front of him stood the ghost of a purple, girl dragon.  His eyes widened, and all the remaining color seemed to drain from his face.
“Phillip, you coming?  What are you doing?”  Whizzy yelled from across the cellar.  He shined his flashlight on Phillip and noticed the ghostly dragon’s figure.  “Ah!”  He burst.  “Hilda?”
The young dragon bolted for the stairs.  She screamed as though she had seen a ghost.
“Hilda, wait.”  Whizzy ran gripping his wand for protection.  “Phillip, are you…?”  He reached his friend, the frog, and noticed that he was stiff with fear.  “Phillip, wake up.”
“I…I…I,” Phillip stuttered.  He hadn’t blinked in a long time.  His eyes stayed focused on the stairs, waiting for Hilda to reappear.
“Was that Hilda?”  Whizzy was so excited.  Phillip just nodded.  “Phillip, you have to snap out of it.  Relaxo!”  Whizzy cast a calming spell on his best friend.
Phillip’s brilliant, green complexion returned.  He fell to his rump.  Now sitting on the cold, damp cement floor in the cellar, he could finally breathe.  The past hour had been a lot for Phillip to handle.  He was overwhelmed, but Whizzy’s spell helped him relax. 
“Thanks, Whizzy.”
The boys heard noises from above.  It sounded like others had finally found the entrance to the cellar.  They needed to hurry and find the clue.  Just then, a small ball bounced out from under the stairs.
“Hilda?”  Phillip said in a meek voice.  The dragon pounced on the ball, and it shot across the room, bounced off the wall and hit Phillip in the chest.  Hilda giggled.  Phillip rubbed his chest in discomfort.  Whizzy started to laugh.
“Hello, Hilda.  Do you live here?”  The wizard fox asked.
She just nodded her head shyly.
“Can you talk?”  Phillip added.
She nodded again, but didn’t speak.  They heard more noises from above.  It sounded like quacking.
“Devon and Dolly,” Whizzy and Phillip said simultaneously.  They began to run toward the back of the cellar.  There they found the toy chest hidden in a corner underneath a dusty blanket.
“Phillip, look,” Whizzy yelled.  He reached for the first letter and pulled it free. “Here is the clue.”
“What’s the next clue?”  Phillip eagerly wanted to know.  He was suddenly enjoying himself.  He also hadn’t noticed that Hilda the ghostly dragon was standing directly behind him.  She watched the two boys as they read the next clue.
“Find the stick that leaves the yard,” Whizzy read sounding confused.
“What in the name of hopping mad does that mean?”  Phillip snorted.
“It’s a rake.”  A soft female voice whispered into Phillip’s ear. 
He hopped so high that he nearly bumped his froggy head on the ceiling.  The boys whirled around to see Hilda.
“Hilda,” Phillip said sounding relieved.  “You really scared me.  I thought it was a…”
“Ghost,” She interrupted.
“Well, yeah.” Phillip’s cheeks turned a bright shade of red again.

  Phillip, Whizzy and Hilda climbed the stairs and now stood in a dark hallway.   Phillip watched a black spider climbing the wall.  It followed a crack that led all the way across the ceiling directly overhead. 
Meanwhile Whizzy kept reading the newest clue, with the aid of his flashlight. 
“Are you sure, Hilda?”  Whizzy said with concern.  He didn’t know if Hilda the ghost dragon was playing a joke on him.  Whizzy knew that Phillip wouldn’t last much longer in the haunted house, so they needed to get out fast.
“Yes,” Hilda replied.  Her tail swung around in a circle. 
Whizzy stood next to her.  He noticed how small she really was.  He always thought that dragons were huge, but Hilda barely reached his shoulders.
“Well, where do we go now then, Hilda?”  Whizzy watched as Phillip’s eyes followed the spider on the ceiling.  Phillip’s mouth hung open in an odd fashion.  It looked like he was in a trance.  Whizzy slapped him in the back of the head and yelled. “Wake up, frog!”
Noises erupted in the hallway.  It was Bruno the Bear and Henry the Hippo.  Whizzy and Hilda darted around the corner and pressed against the wall.  The wizard fox peeked back toward the cellar door and saw Phillip still staring at the spider as it dangled on a web from the ceiling.  Only now it was in Phillip’s face, and they appeared to be talking.
“Phillip,” Whizzy whispered, but nothing happened.  “Phillip, come here.”  He tried again.  “What is wrong with him?”  The confused fox said to himself.  He checked down the hallway to make sure that Bruno and Henry hadn’t seen them.  Then he ran, grabbed Phillip and pulled him around the corner.
“Wait, Whizzy, Cedric is telling me the answer!”  He yelled as Whizzy dragged him.
“Silenco.”  Whizzy pointed his wand at Phillip’s mouth.  Phillip’s froggy mouth moved, but no sounds came out.  He grabbed his throat in a panic.  “Shut up, Phillip.  You’ll get us caught.”
“Excuse me, Mister Fox.”  Hilda began shyly.
“It’s Whizzy.”
“Oh, sorry.  Whizzy,” She laughed nervously. “Why are you trying to avoid your friends?”
Whizzy hesitated.  Then fixed Phillip’s mouth with a spell so he could talk again.  Whizzy quickly wished he hadn’t as Phillip began to mutter about his conversation with Cedric the Spider.  Whizzy told him to be quiet.  He was getting very upset with Phillip.
“I don’t want the others following us.  We are going to get out first: I don’t care about them.”
“Aren’t they your friends, Whizzy?”  Hilda asked.
“Yes, but they are not…I mean they are…” Whizzy was searching for the right words.  “They are supposed to do it themselves.”
“But I’m helping you.”
“FINE!”  Whizzy became very mad.  Hilda was correct, but Whizzy didn’t want to hear it.  He quickly stood up and walked away.  Phillip and Hilda followed.
They didn’t speak as they walked.  At the end of the long hallway was a door.  Whizzy tried to turn the handle, but it was locked.  He walked away and started down another hallway.  Phillip followed.  Hilda grabbed Phillip’s arm, and pointed at the door.
“It’s in there?”  Phillip asked.  Hilda nodded.  “Whizzy.  WHIZZY!”  He yelled.
“What?”  The angry fox snapped.
“Use your wand to open the door.”
“Abeirto” Whizzy shouted.  A red flame shot out of his wand tip.  It slammed into the door handle.  The handle melted and fell to the floor with a loud clank.
“Whizzy, couldn’t you have just unlocked the door?  Phillip said noticing the missing handle.
Whizzy pushed open the door. “After you.”  He said with a smirk.
“Phew.  It stinks like sweaty feet in here.”  Phillip held his nose.
Hilda’s head floated through the wall into the garage.  After checking out the area, she floated through the wall and landed next to Phillip in the middle of the floor.  Whizzy now stood beside
It was very cold.  Their breath rolled out like dragon tongues.  Phillip’s green skin was bumpy.  He wrapped his arms around himself, as he began to shiver.
“Wh...ere’s…the…cl…ue?’  He stuttered.  His mouth chattering from the cold.
“WARMO!”  Whizzy belted as he cast a spell on his friend.  A flame leaped from his wand and engulfed Phillip.  Hilda screamed as the frog stood in flames.  Suddenly they evaporated and the frog appeared dirty.  Black soot covered his entire body, but he was warm now.
“You burned me!”  Phillip screamed in a high-pitched voice.
“No, I didn’t.  Look.”  Whizzy wiped off the black soot.  “It’s just a side effect of the spell.  You’re warm aren’t you?”
“Yeah, but I’m dirty too.”  Phillip whined.
“You’re welcome!”  Whizzy rolled his eyes.
“Over here,” Hilda the dragon called from across the garage.
It was very dirty.  A net hung from the ceiling with many footballs, soccer balls, and other play toys.  Spider webs dangled from every corner.  Against the wall hung old yard equipment.  Shovels, axes, a garden hoe, and a rake swayed slightly.
“Look, Phillip.”  Whizzy pointed at the rake’s wooden handle.  “Leaves the yard!”  The second clue must be this rake.”  He said excitedly.
“I told you.”  Hilda snarled
The rake hung with four envelopes attached to the handle.  The wizard fox reached for the nearest envelope and pulled.

  “Your nose knows where the rose won’t grow?”  Whizzy read with some confusion in his voice.
“I’m so not understanding what that means,” said the blackened frog.  He stood in a shadowy part of the garage so all that could be seen were his circular white eyes.
“No, you’re invisible.”  Whizzy laughed.  “You look like a pair of floating eyeballs.”
“Oh, spooky Phillip.”  Hilda the Ghostly Dragon pretended to be scared.  She ducked behind Whizzy and giggled.
“Come on. We only need to solve one more clue and we’ll be free,” Whizzy commanded.

They headed down the hallway.  Searching for the staircase to lead them to the upstairs bathroom.
“Did you hear that?”  Whizzy asked.  Something was growling and rustling in the upstairs hallway.  Phillip and Whizzy peeked over the top step.  Hilda’s transparent head slid through a crack in the wood floor and then expanded back into its regular appearance.
Bruno the bear was stomping and growling.  He looked strange.  His eyes were bright red.  Suddenly, he noticed their heads at the top of the stairs.  He roared and charged at them.
“Look out!  He’s possessed.”  Phillip yelled.
“Freeze!”  A chilly blue blast exploded from Whizzy’s wand and hit Bruno in the head.  He flopped and fell over with a loud thud.
Footsteps thundered behind them.  “Someone’s coming!”  Phillip yelled.
Hilda disappeared quickly and then reappeared.  “It’s your hippo friend.”
“Henry,” they said together.  “Hide!”
The three entered the nearest door, a room with no lights.  It was completely dark.  Two blood-shot eyes glared at them from the corner.  A vicious growling from a scary beast echoed through the room.  They found a door and escaped into a large closet.  Now, they were trapped.
There, they turned on a flashlight and found Sebastian.  He was tied up in a chair with a sock shoved in his mouth.  The squirrel tried to yell for help.
“AHHHH, what is that?”  Hilda gasped.  She hid behind Phillip, who was still cowering himself.
“It’s Sebastian,” Whizzy replied as he untied the helpless squirrel.
“What…what is a Se…Sebastian?”  The young scared dragon stuttered while staring at him.  His appearance was unusual.  Orange goggles and aviator jacket made him look peculiar.
“No.  Not a Sebastian.  Sebastian is his name.  He is a squirrel,” Whizzy stated sounding rather irritated.  “Will you guys stop goofing around?”
“What’s a squirrel?”  Hilda continued.  Even Phillip, who was now standing again, seemed surprised that she didn’t know what a squirrel was.
“That’s a squirrel Hilda.”  Phillip pointed at Sebastian who still had a sock in his mouth.  He mumbled again as Whizzy struggled to loosen the ropes around his body.
“Oh, sorry Sebastian,”  Whizzy said noticing he forgot about the sock.  He removed it quickly.  A long strand of spittle was hanging between the sock and the small squirrel’s mouth.
“Oh, gross!”  Phillip yelled.  “That is really sick.”
Sebastian began to cough.  He inhaled deeply and then thanked them.
“Undone!”  Whizzy snarled.  He was becoming frustrated and wanted to leave.  His wand lit up in an orange flash and the ropes untied and fell to the floor.
“Thank you! Thank you!  Oh, my gosh, thank you so much,” Sebastian spoke very quickly as he rubbed his wrists.  He always talked fast.  Phillip thought that he must have been making up for lost time now.
“What happened, Sebastian?”  Phillip inquired as to how the squirrel had been captured.
Sebastian explained that he had been searching for clues and wandered upstairs alone.  Then he heard growling and panicked.  When he saw the frightening blood-shot eyes in the darkness, he screamed.  That was the last thing he remembered until he woke up inside the closet.  He was all tied up with a sock in his mouth, and it didn’t taste good.
“I didn’t see who did it, but I bet it was an evil witch,” Sebastian squealed in fear.  His eyes were distorted from the thought of it.
“Hey, Whizzy, maybe it’s one of your cousin’s,” Phillip laughed, but Whizzy did not.
“A witch?”  Whizzy said sarcastically.  “That is highly unlikely.  My family has the only witches or wizards in town, and none of us is evil,” he said offended.

  They slowly opened the closet door.  Whizzy peeked out first.  Then he stepped into the room, followed by Phillip the Frog, Sebastian the Squirrel and Hilda the Ghostly Dragon.
“Watch out for the hideous beast that trapped me,” The squirrel whispered.
Suddenly the eyes reappeared in the darkness.  Slanted and blood-shot, the red pupils blazed at them.  It charged toward them.  Whizzy leapt to the side.  Phillip hopped in the air.  The evil beast darted straight for Sebastian as Hilda slipped through the floor screaming.
“Levitatar!” screamed Whizzy amongst the commotion.  A white light blinded them.  Whizzy opened his eyes.  It was completely dark except for little star-like images that danced in his vision.  They were from the bright light that had emitted from his wand.
Phillip finally found the light switch and turned it on.  Everyone shied away as the sudden light hurt his or her eyes.  When Sebastian the Squirrel reopened his eyes he screamed.  Hovering directly in front of his face was the horrid beast, a little white furry dog, no larger than him.
“This is your evil beastie?”  Whizzy pointed in astonishment.  “It’s the size of a football.  Hey, let’s kick it!”  He joked.
“Whizzy,” Phillip scolded in a fatherly tone.  “That’s not funny.  Look at the poor dog.  He was just as scared as Sebastian was that’s all.”
The group left the room and began its search for the final clue.  Sebastian decided to join them, since he hadn’t found any clues by himself anyway.
“Your nose knows were the rose won’t grow!”  Phillip muttered to himself.
“It has to be in the bathroom,” Whizzy the fox exclaimed.
“What makes you think that?”  Hilda asked.
“No rose could ever grown in the bathroom,” Whizzy snapped.
“Why?”  Phillip asked with curiosity.
“Have you ever been in there after my dad?”  Whizzy held his nose.  “It smells soooo bad!”
They all laughed.

  The door was locked.  Whizzy believed the key was hidden behind the bathroom door.  The door had stains and chips in the paint.  The handle was old and tarnished.  He tried to turn the knob, but it wouldn’t budge.
“Abierto!”  Whizzy shouted.  His wand lit up and he tried to open the door again.  It was still locked.
Phillip and Whizzy exchanged surprised glances and shrugged their shoulders.  Whizzy had never cast a spell before and not had it work.  What would they do now?
“Oh, no.  That’s it. We are trapped in this horrible haunted house forever.  How will we ever get this door open?”  Sebastian was very nervous.  “There’s no way we’ll ever get that key.”
“How is it that your spell didn’t work, Whizzy?”  Phillip said with concern.
“I don’t understand.”  Whizzy looked at his wand as if it were broken, but it appeared to be just fine.  No cracks or splinters.
“It’s her.  Vilma the witch.”  Sebastian shouted quite loudly in Whizzy’s ear.
He raised his wand toward the squirrel.
“Silencio!”  He said sternly.  Sebastian the squirrel was becoming quite bothersome.
“Whizzy.  What if there is an evil witch and she cast a spell on this door so we couldn’t get the key?”  Phillip rambled, sounding somewhat like the now mute squirrel.
Whizzy now pointed his wand and Phillip. “ Don’t start, froggy, or you’re next.”
“Wait a minute,” Whizzy said with renewed excitement and hope.  “Hilda?”
“Yes?”  She replied wondering why her name was spoken.
“You can float through walls,” Whizzy realized.  “You can go in and get the key for us.”
“Oh, yeah.”  Hilda smiled and darted through the door.  Next, a click broke the silence in the hallway as the doorknob began to turn.  The door opened and Hilda slid out with the key in her hand.
Just as she handed Phillip the final clue, a loud thunder echoed through the hallway.  A cackling laughter filled all around them.  Then smoke billowed in across the floor, and a figure appeared at the end of the hall.
“It’s her!”  Sebastian yelled and then collapsed to the floor.

  The loud cackling echoed though the hall.  Sebastian laid flat on his back with his legs straight in the air.  Phillip gasped and Whizzy’s mouth dropped wide open.  They were very surprised.
“ARGH!”  The cackling voice yelled with arms raised in a menacing fashion.
“AHHHHH!”  They all screamed, except Sebastian who still laid motionless on the floor.
“Wait.  Did she say, ‘argh’?  I thought pirates said ‘argh’, not witches.”  Whizzy was very confused.
“Oh no, maybe she’s an evil pirate witch,” Phillip exclaimed now cowering behind Whizzy.
“Hey, maybe she’s the queen, evil, pirate, witch captain, and she’s going to steal our treasure by turning us into flowers and then escape to sea.”  Hilda was so scared, nothing she said seemed to make sense to Whizzy now.
“Don’t worry, Hilda, she can’t hurt you.  You’re already dead,” Whizzy sarcastically remarked without thinking.
Hilda began to cry.
“I’m sorry, Hilda.”
“No, it’s true.  I’m a ghost.”  She wiped the tears from her scaly cheeks.
“Guys, she’s gone.  The evil, pirate witch is gone!”  Phillip yelled as he frantically pointed down the hallway.
Sebastian still didn’t move.
“Grab him and let’s go,” Whizzy the wizard fox demanded.  Phillip and Whizzy each grabbed a side of the motionless squirrel and lifted.
Down the hall they ran to the stairs.  At the bottom of the staircase, they stopped.  A horrible sight was before them.  Devon and Dolly duck, Henry the hippo and Bruno the bear were all tied up on the couch. 
“She got them,” The terrified frog croaked.  His cheeks were bright red with fear.  “What do we do now?”  He questioned the fox.

  Phillip's legs trembled.  They were so close to freedom.  On the other side of the living room was the front door.  He could see it, but it meant they would have to get past the same menacing figure that haunted them upstairs. Its face was invisible, just a shadow.  Large boils covered its neck.  Skin was yellowed, dirty and covered by a long black robe.  The figure stood hunched over like it carried something heavy on its back.  Two, blazing, red eyes gazed out from under its pointy-rimmed hat.
This witch had no arms, and a long slender body.  From the hideous high pitched cackling, they believed it to be a woman.
“Whizzy, what do we do now?”  Phillip tugged on the wizard’s sleeve, but there was no answer.  Phillip saw that Whizzy looked stunned.  The wizard fox knew that he would have to face her so the others could escape.
“I’ll draw her attention while you and Hilda save the others.  Then, when the witch chases me, you use the key and escape, Phillip.  It’s almost 10 o’clock.  Your parents will be here any minute.  They can help us.”  Whizzy seemed certain that his plan would work. 
Sebastian began to stir.  He was finally waking up.  The small squirrel sat up and shouted very loudly.  “Where’s the witch?”
The scary shadowed figure turned briskly.  Her red eyes glared under her hat.  “ARGH!”
“AHHH!  The queen, evil, pirate, witch captain.”  Sebastian screamed like a little girl. 
The witch bolted toward them.
“Run, Phillip!”  Whizzy commanded as he gripped his wand tightly.  He cast a spell that barely missed the oncoming enemy.  Quickly he ran away, and the witch followed as he had planned.
Phillip the Frog and Hilda the Ghostly Dragon furiously worked to untie their friends.  First Bruno the Bear, then Henry the Hippo and finally Devon and Dolly Duck were set free.
“Follow us,” Phillip shouted.  He started for the front door, but when he saw the witch hovering on the stairway.  Her black robe swayed beneath her.  “OH!”  Phillip stopped running and gasped.  The others had to move quickly to avoid running into him.  He stood trance like, gazing at the witch while they all past him.  “What happened to my best friend?”  The saddened frog thought.   Then he heard Whizzy’s voice in his head telling him to run.
“BINDO!” A voice shouted from down the hallway.  A light, green flash illuminated the walls and slammed into the witch’s silhouetted figure.  Phillip turned his eyes away from the powerful blast.  He felt a tremble, followed by a painful shriek and then a thud.  Phillip opened his eyes to a wonderful sight.
“Run, Phillip. Save them.”  Whizzy stood over the unconscious witch.  His wand still glowed at the tip and he was breathing heavily.
Phillip was so happy that his friend was safe.  They smiled together and then Phillip hopped away to catch the others.
They ran to the front door.  Phillip pulled out the key and unlocked it.  He grabbed the handle and flung open the door.  The cool autumn breeze was a joyous welcome.  They were free.
“Let’s go!”  He shouted and they all cheered.

  The beaming frog led the way down the stone path between the hedges.  They ran fast.  Phillip’s tiny heart was beating so rapidly that he could hear it in his own head.  Bruno, Henry, Devon, his sister Dolly, and Phillip dashed to the end of the walkway.  Just when they turned to exit, Phillip ran straight into someone.
Whizzy stood next to the witch.  She laid on the floor sleeping.  Her deep red eyes still open slightly.
“Is it her?”  A young shy voice whispered in Whizzy’s ear.
“NAAA!”  The wizard nearly jumped out of his fur.  His wand was pointed directly at the ear of Hilda the Dragon.  “You scared me. Hilda, why aren’t you with the others?”
She frowned.  “I can’t leave this house Whizzy.”
“You can’t…Why not?”  Whizzy realized the answer before she got a chance to respond.  “You’re a ghost.  I should have thought about that.  Did the others get out?”
She just nodded and smiled, which exposed the fact that she had very large fangs.  The witch began to moan causing Whizzy to jump again.  Hilda giggled at him.  The mysterious witch now stood as Whizzy pointed his wand directly at her.  The tip began to glow a bright red as he became frightened.  Whizzy’s furry hand trembled.  His voice cracked.  “Wh…who…are you?”  He stammered.
Whizzy could see a faint smile under the blazing red eyes.  “Don’t you know, Whizzy the Fox?”  The soft hissing voice questioned.  It was a much different voice than before, the anger was gone.  “I’ll show you.”
The witch spun.  Out from under the hat and black robe slithered Sally the snake.
“Sally?”  The fox snapped rudely.  “Was it you all along?”
Meanwhile, outside Phillip was flat on his butt.  He looked up at who had blocked their escape.
“Son, are you hurt?”
“DAD!”  Phillip yelled excitedly.  He hopped directly into his dad’s arms.
“How was the haunted house, Phillip?”
“Dad, it was terrifying.  We had to find clues to escape, and we met Hilda the Ghostly Dragon and Whizzy…WHIZZY!”  Phillip was so frantic that his dad nearly dropped him.
“Whoa, slow down son. Where’s Whizzy?” Everyone began shouting.  “Wait.  Wait a minute.  One at a time,” he chuckled.
“Whizzy saved us by distracting the queen, evil, pirate witch,” Phillip said.
“Pirate, witch CAPTAIN,” Sebastian added.
“All right, let’s go get him,” Phillip’s dad said with a laugh.
Inside the haunted house they found Whizzy and Sally sitting on the couch.
“Whizzy thank the holy frog you’re alive!”  Phillip hugged him so hard that he knocked them both over.  “What happened to the witch?”
“I was the witch, Phillip.”  Sally blushed with embarrassment.
“Oh.”  The young green frog was a slight shade of red.  “I knew that.” Whizzy and Sally rolled their eyes. “Where’s Hilda?”  Phillip asked avoiding the uncomfortable situation.
“She went home, Phillip,” Whizzy said, nodding toward the kitchen.
“Dad, I’ll be right back.”  Phillip ran into the kitchen, and there in the picture frame Hilda the dragon smiled at him.  She didn’t move though.
“You seem happy, Hilda.  I’ll miss you.”  Phillip’s eyes watered.  “Good bye.”  He turned and walked out of the kitchen, but as he neared the door he heard Hilda’s voice.
“Good bye, Phillip.  I’ll miss you, too.”

Written 2007

Copyright 2014: Christopher M. Purrett