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Keepers of the Quantum (chapter one) (standard:drama, 7695 words)
Author: Sue Simpson (Sooz)Added: Feb 13 2003Views/Reads: 3167/2115Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This is the first chapter of my second novel in the Lizard's Leap series. It's an adventure/fansasy story bridging the gap between adult and child fiction.

Chapter one: Re-growth and Mal-de-Mer 

“Bloody liver,” screeched Emma, “it's back.” 

And then she clamped her hand to her mouth and looked towards the
bedroom door guiltily in case the adults had heard her, they weren't 
too happy about some of her expressions lately. 

In her haste to scramble over to the other bed and wake Kerry, she stood
heavily on Mark who woke up with a loud “Aaagghhhh gerroff.” He sat up 
and squinted through morning eyes that made him look both cute and 
Chinese. In the early hours before daybreak when they'd snuck back into 
the house, Mark and Vicki both fell asleep in their cousin's room as 
they talked about everything that had happened. Kez cried herself to 
sleep and the other's weren't far from tears. It had been a horrible 

Mark was scratching his head, still squinting. His mousy brown hair
stuck up at unscientific angles and he had the perfect impression of a 
zip indented into his left cheek.  He was fully clothed and had slept 
with his arm under his face for support hence the zip imprint.  Emma 
was still trying to wake the other's and Mark was the first one to 
comment on the heavy aroma of wild blossom. “Ugh what's that smell?” 

“Look, Look!” said Emma as Vicki and Kerry came awake. “It's the frame.”
They all looked towards the windowsill that held the lizard frame. The 
night's events had caused the magic in the frame to die and they went 
to bed thinking they had lost the magic forever. When the cousin's 
finally fell asleep, its vines were dry and withered, all the precious 
berries had dropped and the two carved sand lizard's were lying with 
their heads hanging. They had lost their life to the wood and the 
picture frame became just that, a frame like any other. 

This morning though the lizard's redwood eyes were shiny bright, they
held their heads up and they looked as though they were smiling. The 
frame was almost lost beneath a blanket of fresh blossom, Only the 
lizard's faces peeked out.  White, yellow and the most delicate peach 
coloured flowers opened their heads to the sun, and as they sang their 
silent song the melody that couldn't be heard floated around the room 
on a thick, sweet, heady perfume.  As they watched, the petals began to 
drop to the windowsill one at a time, each one hung in the air and then 
drifted lazily down to the sill. 

“Nooo,” said Kerry and the other's stared aghast. This is how the
berries had fallen the night before and then the frame died. 

“Don't die again,” pleaded Vicki. 

“What do you think it is?” said Emma, “Lazarus?” But she looked just as
worried as the rest of them. 

Mark ran up to the frame and tried to press the falling flowers back
into place, it was then that he noticed the fruit. In the place of each 
five petals, one juicy berry hung. Soon there was a whole bunch of 
them. And within seconds two bunches of bright wooden berries drooped 
from the vine, one beside each of the two lizards.  The frame was back 
with them. 

It was alive. 

The cousin's whooped and danced and swung each other round. They
couldn't wait to try out the frame to see if it still worked, but it 
was too risky to try it until after breakfast.  All the noise had 
brought Nanna storming up the stairs. “Oi you lot, what's going on? The 
ceiling was nearly falling in on me down there. I'm telling you now if 
you wake your granddad up there'll be trouble, you know how he likes 
his lie in of a weekend and we've got the twins coming home after 
lunch. Come on then, hurry up, breakfast's ready.  What's that smell? 
Vicki have you been spraying perfume all over the place again? It's 
bloomin`  horrible.” 

Vicki shot a guilty look towards the frame. “Yeah, Mark's feet stink so
I sprayed some perfume. Sorry Nanna.” 

Mark glared at her as Nanna started on him. “Have you had a wash Mark? I

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