“That was caused by her evil sorcerer of a king, no one could possibly blame me.”
A new morning brought back a scent of sense and reason to the air of Zancerwell.
In the hallways of the one high school in Zancerwell– Castle Hill High, Damiana walks toward her friends as she sees the most handsome prince in school – William Wellington, all brilliant teeth, and hair and courtly fair, all any princess could ask for.
William is walking slightly ahead of a bookish boy, Albert Appleby, crazy hair and simple clothes, wearing glasses.
Damiana waves in William’s direction.
William smiles in her direction and Damiana swoons until she realizes– Zizadore is walking a few steps behind Damiana.
Albert smiles at Zizadore but his smile fades as she is suddenly blocked by– William, who rushes up to Zizadore, reaches out his arms-
“Zizadore, may I carry your books?”
Zizadore hands her books to William as Damiana is ignored.
“Of course. Thank you, William.”
William walks off with Zizadore as Damiana stands, crushed.
Albert accidentally bumps into Damiana.
“Watch it, four-eyes or I’ll have you condemned to the royal dungeon.”
Damiana had no authority to carry out this threat– yet, but a rumbling of thunder seemed to follow everywhere she went.
In a dance recital hall, in the late afternoon, Damiana, Zizadore, and William are rehearsing for a production of “Swan Lake.”
Zizadore has the lead role. As William lifts her in the air, Zizadore discovers her magical abilities as she rises further into the air and across the room, as William rushes to catch her when she starts to descend.
The dance teacher, Lady Pinkerton, watches amazed.
“That’s not quite the choreography– but I’ll allow it if you can perform it with an audience. Can you, Zizadore?”
“I think so.”
“You must be confident of your abilities before opening night.”
“Then yes, yes I can.”
“Good. Let’s take a five-minute break, then pick up where we left off.”
Damiana steps forward-
“What about my performance, Lady Pinkerton?”
Zizadore stands next to Damiana, not sure if for support or to prepare her next retort.
“Disappointing as you both have royal dance ability in your blood.”
“What do you mean?” asked Zizadore.
“Your grandmother was a great dancer. An international star.”
“I didn’t know that.,” asserted Damiana.
“Neither did I,” asserted Zizadore.
This seemed a bit shocking to Lady Pinkerton.
“I assumed your mothers told you both of your lineages.”
This new knowledge haunted Zizadore all day until she was home at the dinner table, ready to learn her dancing legacy.
At the dinner table, while Zelda was pouring drinks, Zizadore demonstrated her newfound magical abilities to move her broccoli spears from her plate to her father’s plate.
Zack enters and sees her, laughs, impressed.
“Your powers are getting stronger! They will certainly surpass mine. And soon.”
“I’ve been practicing.”
“Wait until you turn thirteen. That’s when you will be in full possession of your powers.”
“Thirteen is a lucky number for magic. Especially if it’s a full moon. Twice as powerful since Halloween is also your birthday. All the magic of the past, present, and future will be at your disposal.
Zelda turns as the last spear lands on Zack’s plate.
“No magic at the dinner table. You have to eat your broccoli, young lady.”
Zack uses his fork to return the broccoli to Zizadore’s plate.
“How was dance rehearsal?” asked Zack.
“Lady Pinkerton said I have royal dance ability in my blood. Is that true?”
Zelda and Zack exchange glances as Zelda places the goblets on the table and sits down. They begin eating as Zelda forms an easily digestible answer.
“Yes, I told you about your grandmother. You don’t remember? You were named after her. She died before you were born.”
“I would think if your mother was a famous dancer you would be reminding me every day.”
“Your mother was quite a talented dancer and choreographer herself,” added Zack.
“I met your father and he swept me off my feet. We got married, then your grandma died and I was crowned. Then you were born soon after that. My life has been devoted to you and service to the kingdom ever since.”
“You never told me you were a dancer too–”
“I didn’t want you to feel pressure or privilege because of the family legacy.”
“I want you to become your own person. Make your own choices, when you’re ready.”
“You could become a scientist–” said Zack.
“Or develop my magic–”
“In any case, be independent. Zizadore, as you can see, I don’t rely on dozens of servants to maintain the castle. I have two good strong hands and feet and I am grateful to be able to manage this castle and this kingdom– with care.”
“Builds a strong work ethic. Not like that cousin of yours. She’s a lump of laziness with legs.”
“What’s the point of being royalty if you don’t have a bunch of servants doing all the chores? That seems like one of the major perks–”
Zelda shakes her head.
“No, the biggest perk is to have a positive impact on the lives of the citizens. Everyone in my kingdom gets an education, nutritious meals and aid for all the Arts and Sciences.”
“She sent the servants back to school and now they’re working as professors, doctors, and artists. No one in this kingdom under her reign has gone hungry. She has spent her royal trust when necessary.
“Why? Then there will be nothing left for me!”
Zelda frowns at Zizadore’s selfish attitude. Zack shakes his head, disappointed.
“This younger generation.”
“Only a selfish heart cannot hold that kindness above all should be counted as gold–”
This sentiment doesn’t sink in as Zizadore continues her thought threads.
“If dancing is in my blood, then why isn’t Damiana as good a dancer as me? It’s in her blood too–”
“Natural ability will only take you so far. You practice more–”
“You want it more.”
“Tomorrow’s the recital so I hope I make Grandma Zizi proud.”
“I’m sure you will.”
Zack can’t resist bringing up his latest project.
“I’m almost finished with the turbo-charged Chariot 3000 so we can arrive in ultimate style–”
“At the speed of light?” asked Zizadore.
“Not quite but-”
“Will we be able to have a picnic on Neptune?”
“Sometime soon, I’m working on it.”
“Zack, what are you filling our child’s head with?!”
“Dreams, my dear queen, dreams.”
Zelda shakes her head.
“Not a bone of practicality between the two of you– This is like a castle with two children sometimes–”
Zack and Zizadore laugh.
“Thank goodness and thank magic.”
Zack and Zizadore get up and walk toward the castle’s storage room.
Now in front of a stone wall, Zack presses a series of magic stones which suddenly light up. A glowing door forms, opening.
They both go in. A large room filled with tables of half-finished inventions and bubbling potions, Zack’s mad science laboratory.
A large desk has a giant seemingly archaic computer and an oversized printer which occasionally emits sparks.
Zizadore rushes to the computer and starts pressing keys.
“Teach me how to use this,” said Zizadore.
“Oh, that’s on the fritz again. Most of that information is stored in my brain now anyway.”
On the computer screen, a faint shadow of a svelte dancer, a mix of strength and electricity of a century’s music coursing through her veins, then shadowing closer to the screen.
A face of a ghost, a listless gaze floating as if in outer space for a moment, seemed to be looking back at Zizadore. Then a rush of emotion and the blood of roses seemed to fill her face, now smiling.
Zizadore sees a face becomes clearer – paler than porcelain with a blinding light behind her eyes.
“Good luck tomorrow, my angel. I will be with you,” Grandma Zizi whispered.
Grandma Zizi’s face vanishes as-
Zizadore gasps and turns to her father who is gathering tools.
“Did you see that? I think I saw Grandma–”
“You have quite the imagination, even for my daughter.”
“But I swear I saw her– and heard her.”
Zizadore looks again at the computer screen which is now black then jumps down and joins her father in front of–
“Come here and help me with the final touches of the Chariot 3000–”
A futuristic chariot, which looks more like a spaceship with wheels and a rocket engine.
Various parts are scattered on the floor. Zizadore runs to the chariot and gets in.
“Take me for a ride.”
“I’m afraid it still needs a bit more work or magic or both,” Zack explained. “I’m sorry I haven’t gotten as far as I hoped. We’ll have to settle for zero to three thousand miles per hour in five seconds flat.”
“That sounds acceptable…” and then,
“Damiana says you’re a sorcerer.”
Zack starts working on the chariot as Zizadore hands him some tools.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about – hand me that lightning in a bottle, please–”
Zizadore searches the table and finds a bottle marked ‘Thunder’ and a second bottle marked ‘Lightning’.
Zizadore grabs the bottle.
“That’s right. Now watch as I pour some into the Lightning Acclimator.”
As Zack pours the bottled lightning, a small explosion occurs.
They both hear Zelda yelling from somewhere in the house.
“I said no explosions!”
Zack yells back through the walls.
Zizadore notices the bottle changing before her eyes.
Zizadore hands the bottle to her father. He shows off the panels of the chariot.
“Sure is, and then the battery is recharged using both solar and lunar panels. Remind me to take this out to the driveway so it’s fully charged with moonlight
for your recital.”
Zizadore watches her father work for a moment, as the chariot glows and
hums with energy, levitating slightly.
Zizadore admires her father’s work.
“Wow… What is magic exactly?”
Zack considers the question carefully before answering, deciding to evade the most profound of answers for a later date.
“A little song, a little dance, little seltzer in your pants!”
“Sorry, my vaudeville chromosome was accidentally activated.”
Zizadore stares at him, waiting for a real answer.
Zack smiles, thinking a moment, then explaining as he sings an ancient
WHAT IS MAGIC?
WHAT IS MAGIC?
WELL– DIFFICULT TO DESCRIBE
MAGIC IS THE OPPOSITE OF TRAGIC
IT’S MUSICAL AND LYRICAL
IF A WISH COULD COLLIDE
INTO A MIRACLE
Zizadore begins singing along:
WHAT IS MAGIC?
WHAT IS MAGIC?
AN OVERWHELMING TRUST
IN THE TINIEST SPECK OF STARDUST
FALLING FROM THE SKIES
LANDING IN YOUR EYES
Zizadore is waving at the frogs which suddenly can fly across the room.
IS THIS MAGIC?
IS THIS MAGIC?
I HAVE NO DOUBT IT’S TRUE
Zizadore spins then flies across the room then walks up the side of the wall.
IS THIS MAGIC?
IS THIS MAGIC?
Zack starts to get concerned and jumps up, spotting her, in case she falls.
MORE THAN MERE FASCINATION
WITH A CLEVER INCANTATION
MAGIC IS PART DREAM
AND A BIT OF THE UNEXPLAINABLE
REMEMBER TO LOOK UP AT THE STARS
AND NOT DOWN AT YOUR FEET
TO CREATE A LIFE THAT’S COMPLETE
Zizadore is now dancing dangerously upside down across the ceiling as Zack drinks a swig of a potion then rises in the air, arms outstretched, struggling to be ready to catch her if she falls.
IS THIS MAGIC?
IS THIS MAGIC?
Zizadore suddenly loses her ability and starts falling–
Zack frantically waves his hands as he makes a butterfly net appear, then an inflatable mattress, then his arms inflate like balloons–
Zizadore falls into his arms safe and sound. She laughs as Zack puts her back on the ground.
I PROMISE YOU, ZIZADORE
EVERY DAY YOU LEARN AND GROW
MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER KNOW
YOU BECOME THE MAGIC
AND THE MAGIC BECOMES YOU
Zizadore spins around, trying to take flight again.
Zack looks toward the door, listening for footsteps.
“Okay, just don’t tell your mother.”
Later that night, Zack drives the Chariot 3000 into the driveway, admiring it in the shredded moonlight under raven-winged clouds.
He walks back inside, exhausted and excited for the day ahead.
The shiny souped up Chariot 3000 sits gleaming, humming its own song of energy, bathing in moonlight.
Demonia and Damiana appear on horseback and Demonia jumps down, holding a satchel, rifling through it.
“Get ready to ride away like the wind,” warns Demonia heading for the Chariot 3000.
Demonia slinks across the lawn taking out a pair of wire cutters, disappearing into the chariot.
From inside the castle, Zibbles hears a noise, and runs toward the front door, gnawing at the knob until it turns and opens.
Zibbles runs out the door, barking a tiny sweet bark then recognizes Demonia, and stops.
The Royal Guards awaken and rush to check the front of the castle, seeing nothing.
Demonia tries to shoo Zibbles away but with no success.
Demonia looks at the futuristic control panel, confused by all the buttons.
She takes out a saw and wire cutters, figuring out what’s what, looking down at the intricate braking system.
She sees wires connecting the brakes to the gas pedal.
She leans down and cuts the wires.
“That ought to do the trick. Long reign the new queen–Me!”
She silently exits the chariot.
Zibbles runs toward Demonia, barking louder, knowing something is very wrong. Demonia tries to kick him away.
“Get off me. Mangy rat.”
She shakes him loose and rushes to her horse when–
the two Royal Guards rush to see Demonia and approach her.
“May we assist you, Princess?”
Demonia spins caught. Demonia thinks quickly, dropping her ring onto the lawn.
“I thought I lost my royal ring. Here it is.”
She picks it up. Puts it back on her finger.
“Is that all, Princess?”
With a twinge of a threat–
“Yes, so sorry to have woken you. Back to your posts.”
The following morning was a glorious morning as Zack, Zelda, are seated with Zizadore, dressed in a glittering dance outfit, smiling, happy. Zelda is brushing Zizadore’s long, multi-colored hair.
Zibbles and Zolly are sitting on Zizadore’s lap and shoulder.
Zelda looks at Zibbles and Zolly.
“I don’t think dogs or birds are allowed.”
“Nonsense” replied Zack, “Zizadore is Zibbles’ comfort human. He will howl like a wounded wolf without her.”
“And the ballet is Swan Lake”, added Zizadore. “All birds should be able to attend.”
“Alright,” Zelda resigned, “and after your recital, we’ll go to the Chocolate Castle for all you can dream ice cream sundaes!”
“That’s my favorite confection of perfection!” said Zizadore brightly.
“I just have to be back by nine to finish some final touches in time for the Mad Scientist And Sorcerer Convention,” said Zack as he started the engine of the Chariot 3000.
Zibbles suddenly starts barking, which only Zizadore can understand, pointing his paw at the brakes.
“What is it, Zibbles? The brakes?” asked Zizadore.
“Don’t worry, I took the Chariot 3000 for a test drive last night. Everything is in perfect working order,” said Zack confidently as confidence could be.
Zibbles continues barking frantically, but Zizadore holds him tight.
“If you don’t stop barking, we’ll have to leave you at home.”
Zibbles whimpers, desperately as–
A storm suddenly erupts, rain pouring down.
“Well, at least it’s not unicorns again. I guess I’ll have to drive the darn speed limit,” Zack said, disappointed.
Zack drives the chariot down the driveway and turns around the corner.
The slippery streets are causing the chariot to skid.
As a huge boulder falls from the hill about to crash into the chariot–
Zelda looks concerned “Put on the brakes!”
Zack slams down on the brakes, which don’t work.
“They’re not working!”
“The brakes! The brakes”, cried Zizadore in a total panic as the chariot crashes into the boulder, spinning over several times.
Zizadore finds herself crushed in the wreckage, and sees her parents are dead.