The Frights of Fiji
Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 1
by Sunayna Prasad
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
world of magic and adventure awaits…
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The raindrops darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer to them. She squinted to determine the shapes they formed on the kitchen window… letters.
No! That couldn’t happen. Yet, a message spelled out as more pigments plopped onto the glass. Alyssa gasped at what it said.
Your life will never be the same again, Alyssa McCarthy, as magic will interfere.
What? Magic didn’t exist—at least that’d been what others had told her when she was little. No one on Orion Street could possess enchanted abilities.
Alyssa had lived here since she’d lost her parents in that car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven then. How would she tell her uncle, Bruce, about this? He’d consider her crazy. He’d already toughened up his attitude and rules. So he might consider it an excuse to escape this house.
Although Alyssa’s parents had designated her godfather as the first priority guardian, Uncle Bruce forbade her to try and contact him. He’d hidden the phone number and other information about him.
Since Alyssa’s aunt, Laura, had died three years ago, Uncle Bruce had required fun to be earned. And that took more effort than Alyssa could often accomplish.
Turning around, she spotted her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examining the kitchen floor. Alyssa’s eleven-year-old cousin, Hailey, watched the progress. Hailey had mopped the floor. Would she earn a break now? Ever since her uncle, Bruce, had hired Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson had admired the way Hailey had done her chores more than Alyssa.
“Hailey, you can take a break until your next chore,” said Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, get back to work. You’ve been staring at the rain for too long.”
“Okay.” Alyssa turned back—only to see the message gone and the rain back to its normal transparency.
“What did I say?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.
Alyssa sighed. “Fine, I’ll finish washing the dishes.”
A Curse of Mayhem
Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 2
History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself
It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble.Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.
In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.
Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.
Lilac-colored smoke poured in through the slight opening under Alyssa’s bedroom window. Alyssa leaped back. She swore the window had been closed when she’d come in here a few minutes ago.
The gas clouded into her room, blocking her sight. It washed onto her, causing her to squint and lean back. She coughed, rubbed her eyes, and opened them. The smoke faded. Someone must’ve pulled a prank, and not just any kind—one that involved…wizardry.
Alyssa’s breathing sped up. She shut the window and gazed at the huge yard and long driveway. No one was outside—not even Alex, her godfather and legal guardian.
Perhaps the trespasser had escaped or had hidden somewhere—maybe behind the tree on the lawn or somewhere else on the property.
Alyssa hurried out, brushing ash from her muted purple shirt. She entered the ground floor and opened the front door. “Hello?!”
There was no answer.
“Whoever set that smoke off, it wasn’t funny!”
The silence continued.
Despite the freezing air this autumn evening, Alyssa stepped onto the front porch. A piece of paper appeared out of nowhere, making her jump. She picked it up, anyway.
Welcome back to magic.
Her chest tightened. She hadn’t encountered a single instance of wizardry in six months! Plus, she had two objects that were supposed to protect her from such encounters.
She dashed back up to her room and opened the closet door. Tape hung from a shoebox, and the items that she had left in there…were missing.
Heart jackhammering, Alyssa moved shoes and other boxes around. The two things might’ve fallen when she and Alex had moved here from Ohio in the spring after Alex had lost his job there. No one could have stolen them while Alex had taken her to Chicago this afternoon, right?
As Alyssa picked up the same shoebox, her palms warmed up, and light beams shot out of both hands. She screamed as the rays smashed into each other, and then faded, revealing a tiny, rainbow-colored, bouncy ball.
Alyssa’s body stiffened, as if paralyzed. Her jaw hung as she gaped at the bouncing ball.
How could I have done magic? Alyssa asked herself. I’m not a wizard.
As the object jumped onto her knee, she yelped and fell back. It had left a multi-colored stain on her leggings.
She sat up. The toy sprung onto her narrow shoulders and then to the top of her head, where it cracked like an egg.
“Ow!” Alyssa covered that area and then ran her fingers down her straight, pale-blonde hair, checking for any unusual, hard textures. She lifted the ends up from the area a few inches past her hips, where the length fell to. There were tiny plastic ball-bits stuck in her tresses, so she pulled them out.
Alex knocked on the door. “Alyssa, are you ready for the party?”
“It’s almost six o’clock, sweetie. The tent in the backyard is already set up.”
“Something’s wrong with me!”
Alex opened the door, already wearing his suit. “What’s the matter?”
Alex had tied his shoulder-length light-brown hair into a ponytail. “What’s going on?”
Alyssa whimpered. “Ma…ma…”
“Are you all right?”
She shook her head.
looked away and covered his goatee. “Your closet’s a mess.”
“I did magic!” Alyssa’s breathing quickened.
Alex opened his mouth. “No way. That doesn’t make sense.”
“I did!” Alyssa sucked in inhalations. “I’m not making this up!”
Alex tilted his head.
“I told you about magic back in March! I was kidnapped and taken to Fiji by an evil wizard! And then one of the mentors gave me a couple of little things to keep me safe!”
“The objects are gone! Somebody must’ve stolen them!”
Alex clapped both hands over his mouth.
“I looked everywhere in my closet! I can’t find them!”
Alex removed his hands from his mouth.
“How could you forget these things?!”
He remained mute.
“What the heck?!” She sat on her bed, and her breathing still hurried.
“I’m sorry.” Alex closed the door and left.
He’d wanted to hold this party over the summer. But his agricultural-engineering and country-singing jobs had kept him from setting a date.
Alyssa considered the ways in which she might remove these powers. Maybe one of her previous mentors would know a way. Like technology, magic became more advanced over time.
Alyssa picked up her phone, went onto her email, and searched for Mathias, the wizard who’d provided her with the magical objects. Nothing. The same happened when she searched for Isabelle and Simon.
Her device rang and she answered.
“Hey, Alyssa, I hope you’re all right,” Simon said in his English accent.
“Something’s wrong with me. I…I did magic, even though—”
“I was calling about that.”
Alyssa raised her eyebrows. Then, she recalled how marble figures, which resembled statues, could gather information from others at the speed of sound, even if they were unconscious.
“Why didn’t you call earlier?”
“I wanted to get more information about your new powers.”
“How can I get rid of them?”
“I’m not sure.”
Alyssa exhaled. “There’s got to be something.”
“I’ll look into it. In the meantime, try some gloves.”
“You sure that’ll work?”
The New Enchantress
Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Book 3
Alyssa played the video she’d made for the upcoming teen film festival. If she submitted it, she would earn five extra points to add to her 70 in math. That would allow her to drop the mandatory extra-help class for students with final scores less than a 75.
She watched the clip, experiencing watery eyes when she heard herself discussing losing her parents in a car crash when she was seven and other tragic events in her life. It concluded with how those times had shaped her into the person she was today, Friday, June 10th, 2011. She exported the project and would upload it to the festival’s site later. The deadline was not until Monday, 7 P.M. So, after this, she could focus on the end-of-middle-school sleepover that would happen today.
But the screen froze, and a small popup stated, “Cannot export file.”
How could a two-month-old device encounter issues already? Alyssa had had to wait until her last birthday, in April, and needed to maintain good grades at school to get her own computer. She recalled what her godfather, Alex, had told her in February after her math substitute had informed him about her scores dropping. “Alyssa, if you don’t get your grades up in math, you might not earn that laptop.” He loved and cared for her like a daughter yet shared no blood relation to her family members. She’d lived with him since turning thirteen last year.
Her breathing caught at the popup—a new model should not have a virus already. But she told herself, I’m fourteen and am going to start high school this fall. I can fix this.
The computer turned itself off, closed itself, and crushed Alyssa’s fingers.
“Ow!” she cried.
The device slid off her lap and under her bed. She looked underneath it—without warning, dust blew onto her, covering her petite body.
She coughed as the soot settled. Then she brushed the dirt off her black shirt and its straps on her narrow shoulders, followed by her short shorts and skin. She shook bits out of her straight, pale-blonde hair, which fell a few inches below her hips.
She’d dealt with enough sorcery already, once last year in March and again this past fall. However, neither she nor anybody in her life possessed magic in their blood. From age eight until two springs ago, she’d believed that magic hadn’t existed.
She had interacted with a few magicians when dealing with supernatural situations that no one as young as she should have to experience.
She planned to find that idiot who just ruined her summer by stealing her laptop. A folded piece of paper appeared on her bed and seemed to include the word, laptop, so she read it.
Your laptop is going to become a new brain-domination computer. The International Magic Control has disabled all the existing ones and has banned any magic from transforming enchanted technology into mind-managing devices. But your laptop is needed exclusively for my particular process.
Also, don’t remove your new magic powers. If you try, you might die.
The note vanished into thin air. Alyssa touched her forehead and breathed since wizardry shouldn’t work on standard technology. Possibilities advanced over time, but they still had numerous everlasting limits.
Alyssa could not risk performing sorcery anymore after ridding herself in autumn of the powers that a warlock had forced upon her. A skeleton called Errol had jinxed her with involuntary magic, landing her in lots of trouble, including near-expulsion from school. He had claimed that it’d been the only way for him to regain his old, human looks. Alyssa had needed to boost her confidence and bravery levels in order to overthrow Errol. That had taken a few weeks.
She would not allow this new hex to force her to remain home all summer. Otherwise, she’d have to miss travel camp at the end of this month and a trip to New York City with Alex in August.
Her palms heated, and beams shot out, bouncing against the ceiling and splitting in different directions. One tipped the bookshelf, and all the books tumbled out onto the wooden floor. It merged with the other shaft, smashed into the desk—knocking everything down—and disappeared in a snap.
Alyssa stared, her fist clenching and her face reddening. Without admonishment, another glimmer flew out of her hands and hit her bed, causing everything to tumble into the air. The blankets crumpled, and a few pillows were tossed onto the rug by the mattress. The ray vanished.
Alyssa gazed into her palms because that catastrophe reminded her of the enchantments she’d performed in the fall.
“Ugh!” She covered her face.
The downstairs door shut, suggesting that Alex had returned from walking Scooter, the yellow lab.
“Alyssa, is everything okay?” he asked.
“No!” She sat on her bed, not wanting to remake it, even though Alex required it when she didn’t have school. I’m never going to get through this stupid mess.
Sunayna Prasad has published a few books between her late teens and her mid-twenties. Aside from writing, Sunayna also likes to cook, do art, and watch videos online. She has graduated from college in May 2017 and is looking to continue more writing. Sunayna lives on Long Island, NY.