The second volume of the ‘Takuan from Koto’ trilogy is published on Amazon. Google and Barnes&Noble will follow soon.
Tomorrow, a virtual blog tour starts, and to celebrate that, I’ll be updating my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts as well as this blog. Expect character profiles, essays on concepts and inner workings, and even some proverbs from the world of Takuan from Koto!
I will leave you with a very short excerpt from the book, from the one of the chapters that I like the most.
Mortally Afraid of Weredemons,
He Finds One Without Much Quandary
As soon as Bricabrac and Takuan had gone to their rooms for the night, a commotion broke out outside.
“Demon! Demon!” yelled someone at the other end of the village.
“Save yourself!” cried a high-pitched female voice.
“It will eat us all! Run! Run! Get help!”
More and more voices were added to the screams, and they came closer and closer to the inn.
Finally, the doors to the dining room swung open and a portly woman wearing only a nightgown rushed in. Her hair was dishevelled, and in her eyes, like tea bowls, tiny pupils darted with horror.
“Where is your sorcerer? Bring him!” she cried. “The demon is here!”
Bricabrac, who was hiding upstairs, had heard each and every scream perfectly and trembled with fear. He trembled even more when he heard a hasty knocking on his door.
“Venerable one!” He recognised the voice of the same farmer who had earlier accused him of demon attacks. “Your help is needed!”
Bricabrac jumped up on the spot, and, picking up the flaps of his dressing gown, climbed into a large wrought-iron chest that stood at the head of his bed. He closed the heavy lid, leaving only a thin crack.
The pounding on the door got even louder. The flimsy latch could not stand it, and, after another blow, the door swung open. In the doorway stood the farmers’ headman and his wife, whose hair still looked as if she had been dragged through a hedge backwards. In the light of a lantern, her dishevelled hair glowed ominously.
“It must be the demon!” flashed through the head of Bricabrac, who had only a thin slit to see all this through. Fear shook him, and he in his turn shook the chest, whose hammered rivets clicked against the wooden planks.
“It must be sorcery!” flashed through the head of the farmer, who found only a chest in the room, instead of a wandering sorcerer, who was clearly unhappy that he had been disturbed. The farmer resolved that Bricabrac had bewitched the chest to guard the sorcerer’s sleep, and that the wizard himself had become invisible.
“Forgive us, venerable one, for disturbing you!” he said, falling to his knees.
The lantern in his hand clinked, the flame hidden in it faltered, and Bricabrac realised that next to the farmer there was no demon, but only a woman frightened to death, as often happens in life.
The sorcerer boomed in a deep guttural voice, “Why are you bothering my master? Let him sleep!”
“Shoo them away, and they will deal with the demon themselves. And in the morning, I’ll be on the run already,” thought Bricabrac, already forgetting about the promised power. Only one thought now occupied his mind: how to stay alive.
“We need help!” said the head farmer without getting up from his knees. “The demon attacked the village once again. If you don’t stop him, he’ll soon get here!”
At these words, Bricabrac trembled again. The chest shook more than ever, and the headman decided that he had angered the bewitched demon who guarded the sorcerer’s dream. The farmer prostrated himself on the floor, begging for help.
“Very well,” Bricabrac finally said. “I’ll wake my master up. Go downstairs and wait for him to come down.”
Bricabrac was not going to help the farmers. All he needed was for everyone to leave his room. Then the sorcerer would quietly climb out of the chest, squeeze through the window and flee without waiting for the demon to arrive. He did not even think about fighting him. On the contrary, he drove this thought away with every other thought he had.
When the last floorboard of the hallway had creaked farewell, Bricabrac carefully lifted the lid of the chest. There was no one left in the room. The sorcerer jumped out of the chest and reached through the round window above the bed. He grabbed the frame with his fat fingers and pulled it towards him. The window opened, and cool street air blew into his rat face.
Bricabrac jumped up, stretching his arms out in front of him, and leaned halfway through the window. He put his elbows on the outside of the frame and began to drag his backside out. Unfortunately, either Bricabrac’s heart had fallen into his belly and swelled his already wide buttocks, or it was the overly fat chicken he had eaten for supper.
The sorcerer got caught in the window like a cork in a bottle. He tried to back out, but that didn’t work either. He kicked with his legs and even thought of screaming, but then he saw the farmers below and thought better.