The Adventures of Phippen Abercrombie, Book I: The Dragon Egg Curse

Synopsis: 

     Phippen Abercrombie is a collector of adventures and he keeps his collection in sealed jars in his pantry. The timeless and mysterious Professor Abercrombie stores countless jars in his enchanted pantry each containing the unique past, present or future adventure of thousands of children.

     Fourteen year old Cameron Tate is preparing to make the most of the last couple days of summer holidays before returning to school. A bookish, imaginative loner, Cameron is dreading returning to school where he struggles to fit in. When he reluctantly goes on an errand for his mother he is surprised to find himself following a talking weasel through the woods near his home to a mysterious mansion.

     The mansion's sole human inhabitant, Professor Phippen Abercrombie, presents Cameron with the opportunity to enter the pantry and seek out the jar with a label bearing his name and age, containing his adventure. Cameron retrieves his jar and twists the top off releasing a magical journey beyond anything he could ever have dreamed.

     In an instant he is transported to the cursed kingdom of Krotan. Accompanied by the King Aodhan, his brave knight Brogan, the knight's warrior daughter Phaelan, and three young farmers, Cameron must confront the evil witch Dagma and the vengeful dragon Tiarnach. If Cameron is to defeat the Witch, save the Princess, and bring to an end the curse that has plagued Krotan, he must trust in his new friends and find the courage in himself to stand up for what he believes is right.

     Filled with monsters, magic, acts of great heroism and sacrifice; The Dragon Egg Curse is a fantasy adventure for the young and the young at heart.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Prologue

Abercrombie’s Pantry 

          Phippen Abercrombie is a collector of adventures, and he keeps his collection in sealed jars in his pantry. Very few people have ever seen the inside of Phippen’s pantry, for that matter very few have ever seen the outside. Even if you were one of the lucky few, it is unlikely you would see anything other than a common pantry door. If you were to open the door you would probably see nothing more than a small room filled with what appears to be jars of preserves. There would be many jars, hundreds, maybe thousands but nothing more unusual than that.

          If, however, you were a very special sort of person, the sort of person who was certain there were dragons and unicorns still to be found in the unexplored wilds of the world; or, perhaps you were the sort who could hear Santa Claus walking on the roof at Christmas; or maybe you were the most clever type of person who understood that you never, ever, ever left your closet door open, even a tiny crack, after dark. If you were the type of person who always hoped for adventures and expected one to start at any moment, around any corner, you might begin to see something different in the very special pantry of Professor Phippen Abercrombie.

          You see, if you looked in the pantry with the right frame of mind you might become aware of some things changing before your eyes.  Subtle changes at first, but growing more dramatic by the second. Where at first you saw three walls with shelves from floor to ceiling you would begin to see many shelves stretching high out of sight; row upon row like a vast library of preserves. The small room, which started out like any pantry, now looked like an enormous, never-ending storeroom cluttered with millions upon millions of jars.

          Perhaps, now,  you might look closer at the jars and you would find what only seconds before looked like canned peaches or pickled carrots, would begin to metamorphose into something wonderful. Inside were no longer fruits or vegetables but colors and images, swirling and changing before your eyes. You might see a beautiful girl on horseback wearing silver armor or a school of mermaids playing in the sunshine. However, you could hardly be sure you had seen these things before they would disappear and transform into something else. Every jar you looked at would contain glimpses more amazing than the jar before. Yet they would remain utterly elusive, teasing you with the secrets each jar contained.

          The labels, which had moments before read things like Marmalade Aug ’02 or Cherries Sept. 03, ‘01, soon became illegible. The words swimming out of focus as if you had let your eyes cross. Then new words would swim into view and they would almost make sense before you would lose them just as the images had done in the jars. However, your curiosity would keep you reading the labels, walking farther and farther into the pantry, certain that you could almost make them out and equally certain that the next would become clear. 

          If you were normally a sensible person perhaps at this point a voice in your head would tell you to be careful, that too much time was passing, and you were walking too far into the pantry. You might feel the urge to look back and see if the door was still within sight. Yet somehow you knew that to look back would break the spell and you would never find what you were looking for. Few had ever turned back once they had entered the pantry, for if they were the type to lose their nerve before such a grand adventure they likely would never have found their way into the pantry in the first place. 

          However, there were a few who had looked back to get their bearings only to find the door a short step behind them. Sadly, when they turned back into the pantry, reassured by what they saw, the room had returned to its original form, three walls covered in shelves of common preserves.

When these sad souls left the pantry they would never tell anyone what had happened in the room. In part because they weren't sure what had happened and in part because they were ashamed at having been frightened by the unknown. Most of these individuals would always wonder in vain, what would have happened if they had not looked back.

          Yet, most adventurous souls would continue reading the labels looking for the one that would mean something to them. Looking for the label whose words would suddenly swim into focus. This would simply state your name and your current age - Bobby Smith, 13 yrs or Katie Grayson, 14 yrs.

          For that is what you sought in Phippen’s pantry; your jar, which contained your personal adventure. It may have been sitting there, waiting for you since your birth, or maybe much, much longer.  Or it may have been sitting there since the last adventurer brought it back to Professor Abercrombie. You would have no way of knowing and it would not matter anyhow. It was yours and if you were looking at it now was your time.

          You would pick the jar up staring at it in disbelief.  “How can this be here? How did my name and age get on this? How could he know I was coming now, that I would be this old when I found my jar?” But most of all, “what is in this jar in my hand?”

          Well, those answers would have to wait, for first; the Professor would like to have a word with you…

 

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