BBQ at the Impossible Thulukans with @MaerWilson #FourthWallFriday
Happy Va-Jay-Jay Coffee
I recently discovered this new coffee that folks have been seeing me go on and on about it. I won’t go and tell you exactly just what body parts it makes me happy but it does give me a complete body-gasm. But I am always willing to try others and I had not had a good cup of coffee in San Francisco in a while and since it was Friday I decided to take advantage of of my Fourth-Wall machine and flash on down for some delicious caffeinated goodness. I opened my eyes and saw a bright red can of Coke and a woman with one eyebrow raised looking at me as I clutched the carabinger with my dinged up travel mug swinging.
“Hey, I need coffee!” I said defensively
“So does my husband. Me? Just give me Coke, and I am happy.. or a glass of wine.” she said with a crooked smile.
I glanced over and saw a good looking man with sun streaked hair with a glow about him. Something seemed familiar about him, maybe he was on one of those new paranormal shows? I needed coffee but the line was moving to slow and I was being distracted by his odd behavior. He was writing a note out in very controlled strokes and looking like he was trying to hard.
“Thulu, she is going to have to believe it is from us, if you make it look to perfect she won’t buy it!“
Ohhhhh man I jumped right into this weeks Fourth-Wall Friday and I was getting first peek at Maer Wilson’s Private Investigating Team La Fi and Thulu… Oh gosh, I think Maer is going to need more than one glass of wine when she sees the note!
*pssssssssssssssssssssst — Just in case this is all a dream, Maer wants to make sure you guys know she created these guys and is giving away copies of the short story, Ghost Memory to two folks and to one lucky person the full novel Relics and the short Ghost Memory of The Thulukan Chronicles. Enter the Rafflecopter below, and make sure you answer the comment entry, this is a FUN one!*
The Impossible Thulukans
The invitation was impossible on all levels. Impossible to have received. Impossible to ignore. Someone’s idea of a joke? A brief note, with an address in San Francisco and a round trip plane ticket from Las Vegas.
The note said simply “You’re invited to a barbeque at the Thulukans, this Saturday, starting at noon. No need to bring anything, but yourself. We’ll send a car. Yes, we exist.”
Impossible, as I said. The Thulukans existed all right. In my imagination. In my books and stories. I checked online and the plane ticket was real. Business class.
But to pick up and go on a day trip? Sheesh…
I’d decided to mail the tickets back to the address when my phone rang. The voice was not one I recognized right away, deep and velvety, but the words clued me in pretty fast.
“You really should accept the invitation, my dear Maer. We promise no harm shall come to you.”
Jones. Tyler Jones. Who wasn’t any more real than the characters I’d dreamed up, yet here his voice was on my phone.
“Um…” I paused. “Hi?”
My answer was the chuckle I’d described many times. “Trust your instincts. We all want to meet you.”
“Oh, okay.” My dialogue muse was on vacation apparently because I honestly had no idea what to say to figments of my imagination. At least not on the phone.
But now my curiosity was starting to burn at a low simmer. If this was a joke, it was one hell of a great one. There was no way I was not going to go. Besides, it’s not like I had anything else planned for Saturday. I called a friend to come housesit and babysit the dogs for the day and went into my closet to see what I could wear to a barbeque with people who couldn’t exist.
I was met at the San Francisco Airport by a man holding a sign with my name. Of course I recognized him right off. Shock made me stop dead, causing the man behind me to grumble at me. I ignored him.
Stuart was Jones’s chauffer/assistant/friend. He was also one of my favorite characters, enigmatic because even I didn’t know a lot about him yet. I chose to ride up front with him, rather than in the back and we engaged in idle chit chat for a while.
Finally I asked the question I should have asked Jones. “Excuse me for asking this, but how is any of this possible? I mean I made all you guys up. How can you exist?”
Stuart glanced at me with a smile. “Why don’t we save that question for the others?”
I sighed and looked out my window. There were still patches of fog and Stuart slowed as we drove through a very dense patch of fog. I felt us drop as we hit a dip or something. A queasiness in my stomach that quickly cleared up, along with the fog. The sun peeked through, promising a nice day for the barbeque.
Deb and Erik Thulukan’s Victorian was a little larger than I expected. Stuart let me out in front where I was immediately greeted by Thulu, his mother, Deb and Fae Roberts, La Fi’s grandmother.
Overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe how I felt seeing them in the flesh. They smiled warmly and I got hugs from all three of them.
“Come in, Maer, we’re so excited to meet you. And we’re thrilled that you accepted our invitation.” Deb ushered me into the house. My purse was stashed in a closet and Thulukans came forward introducing themselves. There were even more of them than I’d thought there were. I nodded and smiled, feeling more like I’d stepped into a Lovecraft novel, than one of my own.
Thulu stayed by my side, and I realized what a calming effect he had on people. I felt myself relaxing, which I hadn’t expected and returned smiles and greetings. I wondered if he had a bit of Reo’s empathic abilities, but realized that the calmness came from Reo himself. We had moved into the kitchen and Reo greeted me with a big hug and a glass.
“Vodka and cranberry juice?” he asked with a smile.
“Absolutely!” I answered, to sympathetic laughter from around the room. I took a long swallow and breathed a heavy sigh. Maybe I could do this and maybe even come out sane at the end.
Reo was everything I’d imagined and I smiled at one of the people I adored writing. In fact, I had a series of short stories in mind for him. I wondered if I could get some ideas on what he’d want those to be about and decided I’d pick his brain when I had the chance.
“So how come I don’t get more face time, Maer?” asked a thirty-ish, good looking man seriously. It took me a moment to place him and I realized that Ben was teasing as he added. “I think books about a semi-rock star would be great.”
I laughed. “I’ll take that into consideration, Ben.”
He saluted me with his beer, saying dramatically, “Yeah, the return of magic to Earth as seen through the eyes of a rock star. Much sexier than detectives.” He grinned and I saw the resemblance Thulu had to his older cousin, dimples and all.
Briefly I looked around, wondering where she was. The girl whose head I’d lived in so much the last few years. Reo and Thulu exchanged a look and Thulu tilted his head toward the back door.
“You ready?” asked Reo.
I thought about the question. Was I ready to meet her? This girl I knew almost as well as I knew myself. I nodded, although I wasn’t at all sure.
Reo swept me through the back door and porch and out into the backyard. Erik and La Fi stood at the grills.
La Fi wore her “Erik’s Minion” apron. Her attention was on the meat, but I knew she was stalling and probably nervous about meeting me. Dealing with people wasn’t her favorite thing and I realized that I really could do this. After all, I knew her well, this child of my heart.
Patiently, I waited until she had finished fiddling with the burgers. I gazed out over the large backyard set up with the picnic tables in long rows. Kids ran around like crazy, pockets of adults sat in lawn chairs under tall trees. There were so many people. Damn this family was huge!
People waved as I looked around and I waved back. Fae had joined the other Nanas in one corner and Bette sipped her ever-present glass of wine, which she raised to me, with a wink. I smiled and nodded at her.
“Hi,” her voice was almost sweet, completely unexpected, since “sweet” was not a word I’d use to describe La Fi. It explained why some had not taken her as seriously as they should have.
“Hi, yourself,” I grinned at her.
“Do you want something to snack on? The meat won’t be done for a while.” She gestured to the table where veggie trays, fruit and melon trays, chips and dips had already been set out.
“Thanks, sure.” We wandered to the table and filled small plates, watched surreptitiously by the others. Thulu was close by, but gave us enough distance to give the illusion of privacy.
“So, La Fi,” I said as we settled in chairs in an empty area, “will you please explain what’s going on? How is this possible?”
“You don’t really believe in any of it do you? Magic, ghosts, portals, relics all the stuff you write about?” Her voice was a bit sad as she looked at me with bright jade green eyes.
“No, I don’t. Not really. Although, I wish it were real.”
“And yet, here you are. I’m real, that food you’re eating is real.” Her voice was serious.
“And is what I’m writing about real?” I asked.
“Most of it. You get things wrong sometimes. Other times you go off on tangents and it’s not what really happened. But we are real,” she said earnestly.
I looked at the plate in my hands and it felt real. “How?”
“We’re on a different Earth from you.”
I hadn’t been expecting that. “And how did I get here?”
“You came through a portal in the fog.”
“Wait a minute. I didn’t feel anything like I described in the books.”
She rolled her eyes. “Well, of course not. We didn’t want to scare you so we kind of eased you through.”
I remembered the dip and the queasiness in the fog. I was on a different Earth? I wasn’t sure I liked that. Was there another me here? I asked La Fi, who shook her head.
“No, the you on this planet died long ago. Do you remember that weird time you almost got hit head on? You were in college and this car of old people was in the wrong lane?”
I remembered it well as it had been creepy. I was boxed in with nowhere to go. When I didn’t crash, I immediately opened my eyes to see that the car blocking me on my right was behind me. I figured they had to have slammed their breaks to let me through.
“I remember,” I said simply.
“In this world, no one interfered and you were hit head on.”
“But I swerved,” I explained logically.
La Fi shook her head. “It wasn’t enough. You got caught between the two cars on this Earth.”
“I see.” Something she said triggered a thought. “You said no one interfered. You mean someone interfered on my Earth?” Alternate universes were not a new idea to one as steeped in fantasy and sci fi as I was.
La Fi looked entirely too smug. “Of course they did.”
I had a short list of candidates for a “who”, but “why” was another question I wanted to ask. I’d been so engrossed in my conversation with La Fi that I hadn’t noticed the arrival of several other guests, until they towered over me.
Aurelia and Belus were as golden as I’d pictured. You could feel the magic or energy or some undefinable something just pouring off them. It made the hairs on my arms stand up.
La Fi and I rose as she introduced me to the elves that I knew were two of the most powerful beings in my books. I’m sure my smile was shaky by then. Seven feet tall and magic that was so real, even my skepticism couldn’t deny it.
La Fi turned to the man coming up behind Belus and Aurelia. Jones. The eight thousand year old daemon I still wasn’t one hundred percent sure was on our side, although I suspected (and hoped) he was.
As charismatic and gorgeous as I’d described, maybe more so, because how do you capture entirely these beings who are not of any Earth, but from other worlds? I hadn’t done them justice, I realized, as Jones shook hands with me, dark eyes focused on my own.
“Shall we sit?” Jones gestured for us to sit back down. He turned to La Fi. “How far did you get?”
Aurelia answered, “She was about to ask who had saved her and why.”
I smiled weakly. She could read my mind. Great.
“And we did, of course.” Aurelia’s voice was kind.
Jones took over. “As to why? Well, your mind was open enough for us to make contact and tell our story.”
I raised one eyebrow at that. I didn’t think I was very open. In fact, cynical might be a closer description.
“But why do you want your story told?”
Jones leaned toward me. “Because we do not know what will happen here. Magic is returning to this Earth. Even we do not know what the future holds. The possible paths are too numerous and divergent for us to accurately predict exactly what will happen.”
“That sounds rather ominous, you know?” I said.
They looked at me blandly and Jones shrugged.
“So what do you want from me? Why am I here? Why not tell your story to a big name author who could really get it out there.” I asked.
“Aren’t you having fun?” Thulu asked. He and Reo had joined us.
“Well, yeah, I love writing your stories. I love all of you.” I admitted as I looked around at them
“And that is why. Because you love us. We have a bond. So, just keep writing our stories.” Jones said with a smile.
“Okay, I will,” I said, “as long as you keep telling them to me.”
“Agreed.” The others nodded.
“So, is anyone hungry?” asked La Fi. “I’m sure the food is about done.”
The rest of the day passed with good times, good food and good friends. I was happy they really did exist and vowed to do justice to them.
About the Author
After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, “MythBehaving” and writes for two gaming fansites. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. Relics is her first novel and is published by Crescent Moon Press. It’s currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can visit her website at maerwilson.com.
La Fi is not having a normal day. She broke someone’s nose, embarrassed her fiancé, Thulu, and now a dead guy is on her doorstep. Although seeing the dead is not unusual for the young medium, since she and Thulu regularly deal with the supernatural. Thulu can find anything that’s lost and the amnesiac ghost is missing money, along with his memory.
Peter Swanson used to stash money throughout his San Francisco home. Now he can’t remember his hiding places, and his aging partner needs the money. That’s not normally a problem for Thulu, but some of the money is missing from the house. Thulu and La Fi must broaden the search for cash long gone, and that could prove tricky in more ways than one.
“Ghost Memory” is a Thulukan Chronicles Story set in the Relics universe. Bonus Material includes Chapter 1 from the novel, Relics.
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Ever wonder what happens if you were to break into your world build and sit down and have a beer with your main characters? I think I would love to have tea with Jane Eyre, or discuss the best way to take care of vampires with Jane Yellowstone…maybe having Susie Shotgun take me out for some Angels Tears…
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Allow yourself as an author to open up a new avenue of sharing your AUTHOR PERSONA & WORLD BUILD in a unique and creative fashion.. Just take a chance, write fluidly and from within that “place” you hangout at with your muse. Or perhaps walk in the door, tuck into a corner & watch your characters get into trouble before you take a chance and talk to them…