Today we are honored to be hosting Richard Blunt on his virtual book tour this month with the 2nd installment of his 3- day Get to Know My Book series of book excerpts. Get to Know My Book is an ongoing feature between blogs where we post excerpts of an author’s book so that you can get to know the book better, one blog at a time.
About Richard Blunt
Richard Blunt is the author of the fantasy novel, Lucas Trent: Guardian in Magic. He is currently working on his second book in the Lucas Trent series. You can visit his website at www.lucastrent.com.
About Lucas Trent: Guardian in Magic
“Guardian in Magic” is a fantasy novel located in a world very similar to the one we live in. It tells the story of 16 year old Lucas Trent, an IT student living in Luton, England. His fascination for the supernatural leads him to take a glimpse at the world from an angle only few others look at. An angle that teaches him the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and trust in ways he had never experienced before.
Journeying through a secret community that is hidden in plain sight, he suddenly finds himself forced into living two lives at once, keeping his true identity even from his close family. In a struggle to handle this situation, he gets pulled deeper and deeper into a swamp of conspiracies and coincidences surrounding a young girl and the very truth about magic in the real world…
The entrance to the hallway opened just as they stepped up to it. Someone obviously had been waiting for them.
“No cameras, no cell phones. If you brought them, leave them in your car,” a young man, approximately 18 or 19 years old, commanded in a bored voice. He was quite tall and slim and looked a little bit like Darien on first impression. “And bring your robes.”
Lucas was very unhappy about this command. Not having his cell phone could prove to be a problem when it came to alerting the others. But there was no other option than to comply. So they tossed the phones into the glove compartment. Lucas tried to show it clearly long enough so that the others in the pub would see this as well. On the other hand Lucas was quite happy that he had never seen this guy before, so at least for now there was no danger of being recognized.
“Very well,” the boy said as they returned to the entrance. “Follow me.”
Then he led them down the stairs into the basement. The compartments to both sides of the corridor were divided by wooden dividers that looked a little bit like fences. The doors were also made out of wood, secured with padlocks. Like the rest of the building everything down here looked old and shabby.
“How far is it?” Lucas asked.
“Don’t talk, just walk,” the cold answer came.
As they approached the end of the corridor, Lucas could see a brick wall that was partially blocked by sheets of plywood. Their guide walked straight toward that wall and stopped right before it. Lucas looked around, but there was nothing but locked compartments here. Much to his surprise, the boy grabbed the plywood and pushed it aside, uncovering a whole in the wall. A dark shaft became visible. Lucas tried to make out something, but it was way too dark.
“Close up behind you,” the boy commanded. Then he pulled a flashlight from his pocket and went into the shaft.
Lucas looked ahead and could now see tubes running through this passageway. The walls were made only of dirt, with occasional wooden beams to support them. He indicated Jasmin to go ahead while he closed the plywood again.
The walk continued for a minute or two. It was clear now to Lucas that the shaft was connecting two of the apartment buildings, running water and electricity between them. On the far end, the tunnel entrance was also blocked with plywood, just like the other one. They stepped out of it, Lucas closing the entrance again while the other boy was stowing away his flashlight. Then he led them on through another basement corridor up to the ground floor again and much to their surprise, out of the building.
Lucas took a quick look around. They had obviously exited a building on the back side of the compound; the street name was different, but other than that everything looked quite similar.
The boy headed toward a small van parked a few meters away.
“Get in,” he commanded after opening the back door.
“Where are we going?” Lucas tried to sound calm, like the question came out of pure interest.
“Don’t talk, just walk,” the cold answer came again.
Lucas disliked this more with every step he took. They were already far away from their friends, with no way of contacting them or letting them know where they were going, and stepping into a car now would definitely only take them farther away. A look into Jasmin’s face showed him quite clearly that she had similar thoughts; she looked even more nervous than before.
“Hurry, we don’t have all day.” The boy was getting impatient.
Lucas took a breath and finally jumped into the car, closely followed by Jasmin.
It was a short drive, leading them to a suburb of Luton, where the scenery was shaped mostly by detached houses with small gardens surrounding them. They stopped just in front of an old house that looked deserted.
“We are here. Put on your robes,” the boy said while jumping out.
He seemed to have put his robe somewhere under the driver’s seat, as he was already in the process of slipping into it while Jasmin and Lucas where still making their way out of the car. They quickly followed his example and put on the black robes they had brought with them, pulling the hoods deep over their faces. Then they followed him toward the entrance.
The closer they came to the house, the more it became clear that no one had lived in there for a long time. The garden was overgrown with weeds, ivy was hanging from the wall, many windows were either shattered or barred and those that weren’t were so full of dirt that they were opaque by now. The canopy was missing tiles and even the two steps leading up to the main entrance were not intact anymore: The wooden plank that was supposed to be the second one was broken in half.
They approached the door and their guide took the door knocker.
Knock… Knock, knock… Knock, knock…Knock…Knock
Lucas watched him carefully. The door was as old as the house itself, but it seemed intact. The lock seemed to have been changed recently; it was a state of the art magnetic codec lock. The door knocker, on the other hand, still looked old, some kind of a lion that supposedly was shining gold a long time ago. Right now it was shimmering green.
The door swung open and someone in a black robe and a hood was standing before them.
“I bring the new ones,” the boy who brought them here said.
Lucas tried hard to identify the one that had opened the door for them, but he had the hood pulled that deeply over his face that it was impossible to even tell if it was a boy or girl.
The hooded person stepped aside to let them pass. Right after they had entered the room, Lucas heard the door close behind them. Then the two guys wandered off into the house, indicating that they should follow them.
Lucas took a quick look around. The room was nearly empty, no furniture except for a chair, and even that chair did not look promising. A staircase led to the first floor and three hallways without doors led left, right, and straight ahead. The room was only lit by the little light that was coming through the opaque windows, just enough to see the spider webs all around the room.
The two others had walked off to the corridor straight ahead. As Lucas and Jasmin followed them, a glimmer of light became visible from one of the back rooms. The door to that room was only slightly open, so they couldn’t see much of it so far, but it was kind of spooky. Lucas noticed that Jasmin was shivering a little, so he walked close to her and took her hand for a few seconds to reassure her.
As the door to the room swung open a strange picture emerged for the two. In the middle of the room was a table, topped with a piece of black cloth. From the looks of it, the table seemed to be just a cheap camping table, but the cloth was hanging down so long that one couldn’t tell for sure. On the table were some black candles set on silver chandeliers. Standing behind the table, they could see someone wearing a black robe with a dark red hood. Lucas was quite certain that this would be Wolfman. On the other side of the table, six other persons were standing, all with black robes and hoods. A pentagram was drawn on the floor with chalk, and wooden torches were placed all over the room.
The two guys walking in front of Lucas and Jasmin joined the others. Jasmin and Lucas entered the room as well, Jasmin closing the door behind her.
“Right on time,” the man behind the table said. It was clearly Wolfman who was talking. “This is your first time, so just take a place among the others and follow their lead.”
Lucas and Jasmin joined the crowd, staying close together at all times. It was right now that Lucas recognized the smell in the air: the same sweet smell that they had found in the clearing.
Tomorrow stop off at Beyond the Books with Get to Know My Book: Lucas Trent: Guardians in Magic by Richard Blunt – Part III!