CHAPTER 1 - The Brewery Beast

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Spirit beings have appeared in the tales of all cultures since the dawn of time. I suppose actual Angels and Faeries are far more wonderful than we are capable of imagining them. But, distill them down like reducing natural stream water down to solid minerals, and then maybe...just maybe, they will begin to resemble our quaint faerie tales.

Tumbling across the grass and dirt is the blur of a young woman in a snowy square-dance dress, accented with pink and lime green. Hidden young voices murmur and gasp in the distance. Dry, gray-cinnamon, powdered earth fills the air. Pink, collared, boots stop the tumble in a brief slide backward. A warm breeze wisps away the dust cloud. The young lady shakes the dry dirt from her twin chestnut ponytails; nearly dislodging her star-flowered diadem. A dusty crystal shield is still in the tight grip of her long thin fingers of her left hand. In her right hand is a barkless tree limb. Her name is Crystal. She's a faerie. Or at least she was. Behind her snowy mask, her maple-syrup eyes blink and stare. The large grotesque creature that struck her is several yards away. She sighs and stiffens her lips. She moves as if to rush the monster again but this dainty amazon is in for a nasty surprise. Just above the ground, the hefty fiend's red, many-fingered nose wriggles and twitches. It rises; the mouth agape as if to roar. FWIP! A long, wet, crimson, tongue from the giant mole's toothy mouth lashes out and wraps around her, pinning her arms. In one heartbeat she's tied. The next, she's jerked inside the stomach of the freaky beast. Her make-shift wooden club thumps to the ground raising a puff of dust. Her daisy-chain diadem falls beside it. Crystal is swallowed alive inside the furry toupe colored hide.

Crystal's seven super sisters had witnessed her being swallowed. Their tactics will change after that fateful battle. It occurred miles away from the port city. But before I finish telling you what happened that day, let me tell you a bit more about Crystal and her sisters. Let us begin with the first appearance of these monsters and the first battle these girls had with these unnatural creatures they will come to call gobkai. The first of these monsters to appear in its spine-chilling way did so in the downtown port city itself.

Unearthly things are starting to happen in this ancient town inhabited by modern people. The brick & mortar port city was known for a few ghost stories, but not too many faerie stories...until now. Allow me to introduce myself, clever reader. I've taken the delicious trinket of a pseudonym, Chocolaty Locket, as I research and relate, to you, the peculiar, the sad, and the magical events of a group of eight lovely young princesses-in-disguise, new residence of the port city, who prove to be not quite human. Glancing into those naturally charming eyes one could swear they were human. But look a little deeper and you may get a glimpse of celestial fae magic. Their memory of their once multi-dimensional existence is elusive to them now. As one of them, Crystal, once said--it is like flesh & blood cannot hold the memories. Among the strange occurrences that involved our lovely faes-turned-humans, is the singular occurrence of the Joe's Brewery Beast. And it is one of the early moments that drove these shy ladies into the light of day, like tender, imago newly hatched into our mere three-dimensional world.

Just before the first hideous predator attacked, A middle-aged antique shop owner by the name of Mr. Schnoz is minding the counter in his quiet store. Though it is open for business, he's the only soul in the showroom. The old man is crazy or so the young folks in town say. Why even his niece thinks he's off his rocker. They've taken this impression because he's been saying that he has several new helpers around the shop. But no one has seen them.

A grandfather clock chimes an ancient tune on the quiet sales floor. Ticks and tocks and whirrs from mechanical gadgets fill the room with a low play of sound. The shop window reads, 'Antiques and Automatons.' Inside, golden dappled sunlight shines through the backward logo of the window onto the many man-made devices in the room. The antiques around this place Schnoz had bought, or in some cases was given. But the automatons (most of them) he had made. He sells them here too. This owner (of questionable sanity) is the wavy-haired man currently looking at an ancient pocket watch's inner workings with a jeweler's loop. He is sort of camouflaged there, at least in tone if not in color. He is wearing a navy Polo shirt and dark blue jeans in the dark corner of the showcase counter. A tiny L.E.D. light illuminates the gears of the watch with its cold light. The shop door bells jingle; antiques themselves. Elizabeth, his niece is checking in. Like a preening bird, she tosses her dark brown braid over the shoulder of her lavender t-shirt and then brushes lint off of her beige shorts. Like a scratching hen, she habitually wipes her yellow flip-flops on the welcome mat. Her face wears a confused expression. Something is pleasantly amiss. She looks back at the windows of the shop. He, Looking up for a moment from the counter, greets her.

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