Authors: Gilbert L. Morris
© 2000 by
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The spell of the crystal chair / by Gilbert Morris.
p. cm. – (The lost chronicles ; #1)
Summary: The Seven Sleepers are sent to foil the Dark Lord in Whiteland where they must destroy a special chair deep inside the wizard’s palace.
ISBN 0-8024-3667-6 (pbk.)
[1. Fantasy. 2. Christian life—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.M8279 Sp 2000
1 3 5 7 9 1 0 8 6 4 2
Printed in the United States of America
laughing girl skimmed as lightly as a deer between the towering trees. She had bright blonde hair and flashing blue eyes and wore a white garment that shimmered when the sun struck it. She was all motion and grace as she evaded the grasp of her companion.
“You’re too fast for me, Reena!” The boy smiled at her as they rested beneath an enormous oak. “But it was a good race.”
“I’ve never been in this section of the woods before, Darin.” Her gaze moved over the landscape, then she exclaimed, “Oh, look—there’s a cave.”
“I believe it is—a small one.”
“Let’s go over and take a look.”
They jogged toward the cliff that rose in front of them, a sheer leap of stone into the blue sky. The cave entrance was narrow, but Reena said, “I want to see what’s inside! I can squeeze through. You wait here.”
For a few moments Darin waited impatiently, and then Reena came wriggling back through the opening. She held a metal box in her hands.
“I don’t know. Maybe some treasure from the Old Days!” The box was thickly crusted with reddish mold. “I can tell it’s very old,” she said. “And it’s heavy, for such a small box!”
“Well, let’s see what’s in it.”
Reena placed the box on the ground. There was no lock, and when she pulled sharply at the top, it
opened at once. “Why—it’s old books!” She reached into the ancient box and held up a volume bound in red leather.
“What in the world are they?”
Reena squinted at the cover. “It says
The Chronicles of the Seven Sleepers—The Spell of the Crystal Chair
“Looks like there’s a whole set,” Darin exclaimed. But then a puzzled look crossed his face. “I thought we’d heard all the stories of the Seven Sleepers—but I don’t remember that one.”
“I don’t, either.” As Reena carefully leafed through the book, a single sheet of paper came free in her hand. “What is this?” She unfolded it and began to read aloud:
I, Gandor, son of Balin, have collected these tales of the Seven Sleepers. Thinking it not good that the noble deeds done by these heroic young people should be forever lost to the world, I have written these adventures as the Sleepers told them to me.
Now the last battle is upon us. Not knowing if I shall live or die, I am placing these chronicles in a metal box. If I survive the last battle against the Dark Lord and his evil forces, I will return and share these with the world. If I do not survive, and they are forever lost, they would be properly called “The Lost Chronicles of the Seven Sleepers.”
Now, the trumpets of war are blowing. I go to meet my fate, and we will see if the forces of Goél prevail. If Goél is not the victor—I care not to live.
Thoughtfully, Reena turned back to the opening page of
The Spell of the Crystal Chair
. She read the first few lines silently, then looked at her companion
with joy. “Now we will hear of adventures of the Seven Sleepers that have never been sung!”
“And all shall know of the courage of those young people who served Goél when the powers of darkness closed in on Nuworld.”
Darin and Reena sat again beneath the oak, and she began to read aloud: “Abbey Roberts knelt beside a small creek washing her hair …”
bbey Roberts knelt beside a small creek washing her hair. She was a most attractive girl, thirteen years old. At the moment her long blonde hair was filled with white suds, and for the most part she kept her eyes closed to keep the soap out. From time to time she would open them, though, and glance over at Sarah Collingwood, who sat on the bank, reading a book.
Sarah was only one year older. Her hair was as black as Abbey’s was blonde, and her eyes, which were more than half closed with sleepiness just now, were large, brown, and wide-spaced.
The two girls had come away from the rest of the Sleepers to spend some time alone.
There were times when Sarah and Abbey did not get along. They were very different. Abbey spent a great deal of time making herself more attractive, a habit that irritated Sarah considerably.
“You’re always primping, Abbey. Don’t you ever get tired of trying to make yourself look better?” Sarah had said this more than once, and that irritated Abbey considerably. She always responded, “It’s a girl’s responsibility to look as good as she can, Sarah. It wouldn’t hurt you to take a little bit more care of your hair and to spend a little more time with makeup.”
As Abbey got on her hands and knees to let her hair fall forward into the water, she thought,
If we were
back in Oldworld, Sarah and I would never befriends at all. We’re just too different
She splashed the cold water over her hair, keeping her eyes tightly shut, and for a moment her mind went back to the time before the world as all the Sleepers had known it was destroyed by atomic war.
That time was like a dream now. She knew she would probably never see again such things as Popsicles, which she loved, or all the other little things that had filled her world. As she rinsed out the last of the soap, she thought with discontent,
It doesn’t do much good to pay attention to your looks here in Nuworld. Nobody’s going to see you except maybe some sort of weird mutants like Mat and Tam
She squeezed her hair to get the water out, then picked up a towel. It was not really a towel. It was simply a large piece of cloth. As she tried to dry her hair, she wished for a thick, fluffy white towel such as she had used every day before Oldworld disappeared. The cloth seemed a sort of sad symbol of all that she had lost.
Abbey and the other Six Sleepers had been placed in protective capsules before the bombs went off. The seven young people had “slept” for many years. She was not quite sure how many.
When they emerged, the world was different. Geography had gone crazy. Even the continents had changed, for the oceans had washed away many old lands and new ones had been formed. Strange mutant forms had arisen—giants, dragons, dinosaurs … Abbey suddenly thought,
No one ever knows what sort of monster he’ll meet in Nuworld
She longed for the old days. The lives of the Seven Sleepers had been filled with little but hard adventure
since they had been awakened. They had become the servants of a strange man called Goél, whom Abbey could never quite figure out. He would appear from time to time, give them orders, and in obedience they would throw themselves into an adventure. Often their lives were at risk, yet Goél seemed as much interested in making them into something different—
, he said—as in anything else.
“I guess Goél will be coming along soon to send us on another quest against the Dark Lord, Sarah.” She glanced in Sarah’s direction.
But Sarah apparently had not heard. The book she had been reading lay in her lap, and her arms had fallen to her side. Abbey knew their last adventure had taken every bit of Sarah’s strength. Perhaps the warm sun overhead had been too much for her. She began to slump down.
Abbey’s eyes flew wide. “Sarah! Wake up! You’re falling in!”
And Sarah Collingwood
tilting over. The bank was steep where she sat, and she simply flipped over headfirst in a rather boneless fashion and hit the cold water. The stream closed over her head, and her arms beat at the water as she attempted to come up.
Then Abbey remembered that Sarah was wearing heavy hiking boots. They would fill with water at once and drag her down.
We’ve been through all sorts of dangers, and now Sarah’s going to drown by falling into a creek!
Upstream from the two girls, Josh Adams sat with a small sapling in his hand. At the end he had tied a stout cord, and a bit of light wood served as a cork. He and the other male members of the Seven Sleepers had
decided to come to the creek to fish. They were tired of their monotonous diet.
“I wish I was back home in Arkansas,” Bob Lee Jackson said. “I bet I could show you how to catch fish then.” Bob Lee was called just Reb by the other Sleepers. He was fourteen, tall and lanky. His light blue eyes were half shaded by the cowboy-style straw hat he wore, and strands of tow-colored hair straggled out from beneath it. “I’ve been fishing there when the fish bit so good that you had to hide behind a tree to bait your hook.”
Josh grinned. “Don’t you ever get tired of telling those lies?” He was almost as tall as Reb but was rather skinny, being on the brink of young manhood but still not fully coordinated. Although he had been chosen to be the leader of the Sleepers, Josh was shy and unsure of himself and could not believe he was the leader of anything.
Dave Cooper laughed aloud. At fifteen, he was the oldest of the Sleepers. He was a handsome boy with brown hair and gray eyes and was very athletic. “Back home where I lived, we’d catch fish that weighed twenty or thirty pounds.”
“Were they catfish, or is that another one of your educated lies?” Reb sounded suspicious.
“No, we lived right on the Gulf. We’d go out on charter boats. We caught many an amberjack that weighed twenty pounds. Wish I had one now.”
The other two members of the group sat side by side, quietly fishing. Jake Garfield, a Jewish boy, was the group’s mechanical genius. He could make anything work. Now he nudged the Sleeper beside him, saying, “Hey, Wash, let’s get away from here. They’re starting to swap those lying fish tales. I don’t want to hear it.”