Authors: Joe Prendergast
This book is dedicated to my Mom who has always been there for me.
The Great Fragola Brothers: The Twisted 2013
Published by Emu Ink Ltd
Â© Joe Prendergast (C/O Ita Mac Conville)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means â graphic, electronic or mechanical, including printing, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems â without prior written permission of the author.
Cover Design by Gwen Taylour
ISBN: 978 - 1 - 909684 - 03 - 4
27 Renaissance Road
With or Without You
played loudly on the stereo as Giuseppe Fragola relaxed, in the company of his brother Paolo, after another successful magic show in Venice. The pair, who had perfected a selection of new tricks since returning from New York, just three months previous, were confident that the sell-out tour of Europe would be the making of them and all dreams of cracking the US were a distant memory.
The last time the brothers packed their bags and journeyed to the states their plans to increase their fame there were scuppered by an unexpected adventure involving a kidnapped actress and two secret societies. Exciting and all as it was Giuseppe and Paolo were exhausted by the time Dawn Hughes was rescued and decided that rather than stay the planned in the city there they would get a flight home and rethink their futures.
Both men were relaxing, Paolo on his favourite armchair reading a book called “Magicky Magic” and Giuseppe on the couch with a newspaper over his face â snoozing.
Suddenly the phone rang and Giuseppe jumped up with the fright.
As it was right beside him on the table, though, he picked up the receiver.
“Hello?” he said, a little cautiously.
“Hi, Giuseppe. It's Dave.” Giuseppe had to think for a moment. Daveâ¦.Dave?
“Oh Dave! What's up?” He should have known from the American accent â it was Dave Brackett. The Chief Assistant to the head of The Three Circles Society, which rescued Dawn Hughes.
Suddenly he had a sinking feeling â what did Dave want. He hadn't exactly called for a chat since they got back.
“Well, we kinda need you back in New York.”
“What?” Giuseppe wasn't sure he liked the sound of this. He glanced over at his brother who was gesturing with his hands and mouthing âwhat?' as though Giuseppe could just ignore Dave and start explaining to him what he had just said.
“We have learned of the Grand Sorcerer â Richard Blake's plan to rid the world of humans with a group of monsters known as The Twisted.”
“What?” Destroying the human race, monstersâ¦.he just couldn't get his head around it.
“We need you to catch the next plane here. Book a flight now! Please!”
Giuseppe wasn't sure what role he and Paolo could play in this, and there was the European tour and the uncertainty as to how long they would be away.
Dave could sense his hesitation.
“Please Giuseppe. We need you both. If there are enough of us with a varied range of skills then we can take them on and we hear you have been perfecting a new set of magic tricks.”
Giuseppe could feel a swell of pride within himself.
“Well actuallyâ¦you are right. We have but we also have a European tour coming up so we aren't really availableâ¦” His voice was trailing off.
“Pleeeease,” begged Dave.
“Fine. We'll come but if this ends in a disaster â you're paying for our health bills.”
Dave laughed down the phone. “Ok. Get a flight as soon as possible though and a cab straight to Mahogany Castle.”
“Ok. Bye Dave.”
Giuseppe put down the phone and whirled around to Paolo. “Paolo! They want us back in New York! Richard Blake is starting an army of evil monsters! We need to get the next flight.”
“Well get on the computer then, you idiot!”
“Don't you âidiot' me Paolo. I've got work to do.”
Giuseppe rushed to the laptop and started typing. He clicked on a button and
Venice Airport Flights
came up in blue writing.
About 20 minutes later he came back with their boarding passes and passports. “The plane leaves at 9am in the morning and we have to be there at 7am so we have to leave at a quarter to 7.”
The men were very lucky to live so close to the airport as neither liked getting up too early in the morning.
“OK Giuseppe. What time is it?”
Paolo yawned. “I think I'll go to bed.”
“I'll stay up and make arrangements for when we are away.”
Paolo exited the room. He brushed his teeth quickly and washed his hands. Soon after, he flopped down on his bed and fell asleep.
Giuseppe turned on the television. There was nothing really on â just Saturday night reality TV rubbish. Too much for Giuseppe's liking so he sent a few emails deferring tour dates and supplying contact details, should anyone need to reach them while they were away. Then got ready and went to bed himself.
Angeline Brackett was a hazel-haired, green-eyed, soft-skinned beauty who walked with a quiet elegance through arrivals at LaGuardia airport.
A small automatic door appeared in front of her, between the white walls. This opened and she stepped through. There were 36 people with signs. She didn't see her name on any one of them.
“Angeline!” a familiar voice shouted and she whirled around to find Dave and Vivian smiling brightly. She laughed. She was giggly kind of person. Her long hair was slick and smooth and she had a smile like heaven, was what Dave said.
“Hello Dave,” she said and went to hug him but Vivian got in between them and Angeline picked her daughter up with a hug. Then all three of them hugged and the whole airport gave a sigh.
“Let's get going then. When you're in a secret agency, there isn't much time to waste.”
And then Dave clicked his fingers and they were gone.
The morning came quickly for Giuseppe. Paolo was asleep until 6:30am. They packed a few things then took their bags to the bus stop.
The bus driver was a red-haired lady with a toothy grin. The bus went off at top speed â and they were there in 15 minutes approximately.
Angeline's stomach lurched and she went tumbling forward. The breath was taken out of her. All she could see were strands of black and white, moving around her, too quick for her.
She made out a figure with long hair like her own. It was Vivian. Angeline tried to push herself forward. It worked, and she came up beside her. “What's happening?” she shouted.
Vivian moved her lips â but nothing came out. Suddenly they were both falling down a hole. Along the tunnel they were falling into, it was covered with memories.
Angeline's favourite china tea set when she was a girl, Dave's favourite food â the apple pie his mother baked and Nino, the teddy bear that was Vivian's best friend.
Then they hit the ground.
They had arrived in some sort of car park, overlooking a large castle. Angeline stood up and dusted herself off.
When she looked up, she saw Vivian and Dave, smiling. They had landed on their feet while she had tumbled over.
“What did we just do?” she asked.
“We just teleported here,” said Dave confidently.
“No! We couldn't have!”
“Yes! We did. I'm magic, remember?”
Dave waited for a reply. He didn't get one. Angeline was still getting over her first teleportation. Her head hurt and her mind spun and she was sure that her heart was not beating at the correct pace.
But when Vivian and Dave walked towards the old castle's doors Angeline had no choice but to follow.
The airport was busy enough. A few people had fallen asleep in chairs, so Paolo and Giuseppe made it to check-in first.
In security, something very strange happened. A man, who was just walking along with his young son suddenly, disappeared. A hand â a very pale, white hand had reached out and grabbed him. It was a strange occurrence and it bothered the brothers but not as much as if they knew the truth, which was that, this was the hand of a monster and the same thing was happening in cities all over the world thanks to Richard Blake.
The plane wasn't full. It was one of those calm flights. Giuseppe slept through the whole thing. So did Paolo. It was a comfortable flight â but worrying. Everyone had seen the man being taken.
There was a tense feeling in the air but Paolo and Giuseppe would soon realise that tense isn't the worst feeling you could have.
The plane arrived in New York but it was still morning with the time difference. When they exited LaGuardia Airport the brothers caught a cab to Mahogany Castle.
The cab was quick and when they arrived at their destination a smiling Dave with his wife, Vivian, whom the brothers had not met before, greeted them.
The rain poured down and Paolo and Giuseppe went inside. “Cook will get you something to eat and then we will get down to business,” said Dave.
Richard Blake did not like the sun. It damaged his skin and, being a sorcerer and the Grand one at that, he was particularly sensitive. To make things worse on this particular day he was annoyed. Very, very annoyed. He had recruited his, now ex-wife to become the first of his Twisted Army by giving her the âTwisted Touch' but she had done a terrible job. She had snatched some random man instead of those wretched Fragola Brothers. He knew whom they were and why they were going to New York and he needed to get rid of them.
He walked out into the morning breeze and took a few deep breaths while he contemplated his next move.