Teresa Schulz would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Chameleon Shop

By Teresa Schulz All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Children

Blurb

This book is for lovers of fairy tales ... Kaylee Browne discovers a magic key in a new bookstore in town. The key takes her to the faraway lands of The Five Realms, where she begins a quest to find the maker of the key so she can learn how to get home... then to her surprise, a completely new quest to save someone very dear to her. Along the way, she encounters fairies, giant cats, flying horses, a castle, a witch and many other magical creatures including a dragon. The shop is called the Chameleon Shop for a good reason ... would you care to find out?

Chapter 1: Unexpected Message

Once upon a time ... in a little town called Feilding, there was a twelve-year-old girl called Kaylee Browne.

Kaylee hung upside down from her swing, her mousey-brown hair hung, dangling in the grass. Her head throbbed from all the blood rushing to it. The thick tree trunk beside her flowed down into a maze of branches, with the sky a sea of pale blue with white fluffy clouds peeking between them.

As she gazed vacantly, a strange piece of paper fluttered down between the branches to the grass at her nose. Eagerness and curiosity made her let go of the ropes she’d been holding and she slid ungracefully to the grass, bumping her head quite hard on the ground. She sat up rubbing it, annoyed and crossed her long gangly legs, only to have the wooden swing meet the back of her head rudely with a hard ‘thunk’. She scowled and grabbed it, letting go once it was still.

Tuning out on the sounds of grown-ups shouting from inside her house, she began to read the old pale-brown looking paper.

NEW BOOKSHOP OPENING IN THE SQUARE TODAY. IF YOU FEEL LIKE GETTING LOST IN A STORY AND VISITING STRANGE LANDS, JOIN US.

FIRST BOOK FREE TO THE FIRST THREE VISITORS. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE.

‘Hmmm...’ she said.

Kaylee listened to her mother’s boyfriend, Paul, shouting at her mother, Trish, about the tea-set Kaylee had accidently smashed. It was a gift from him and he suspected she had done it on purpose.

Kaylee wished her father was still around. She still hadn’t accepted he was dead after the explosion in the mine six months ago. They had never found the body after all.

She loved her mother dearly but felt so lost and alone sometimes.

With the old piece of paper still in her hand, she grabbed her backpack from where it lay on the lawn and began walking to town. It was only a small town, so fifteen minutes of pounding the pavements with her red Chucks and she would be there.

She had worked up quite a sweat by the time the quaint little shop came within sight. In a dark, narrow street it stood. It had an old stone exterior and looked squashed in there, like a skinny man wedged between two Sumo Wrestlers on a bus. She’d never noticed it before even though she’d lived in this little town since further back than she could remember.

A little bell somewhere out the back of the shop tinkled as she came through the door and that glorious smell of old books ─ organic compounds breaking down and releasing that intoxicating scent of ancient wisdom, paper, ink, glue and sometimes smoke ─ wafted over her, bathing her in its almond, vanilla and floral deliciousness.

As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, she saw ahead of her tall shelves standing in three lines down the centre of the narrow shop, chock full with row upon row of books. She wandered in and gazed around the various spines of the books there. Many books were leather bound, mostly very old and intriguing.

Heaven!

There was no obvious order to separate subjects. Well this is going to be interesting, she mused.

Eventually, she reached up and grabbed the oldest book she could see. She loved ancient books, the ones where you could smell the old leather and the covers were a little cracked and rumpled round the edges, the writing usually in gold lettering and a fancy font.

The title on the cover said Journey to the Five Realms. The book was not overly large but was quite weighty. A musty smell wafted off the pages as she opened it. The first page said:

To find your heart’s desire,

trust in the key of fire...

‘Well, that’s just weird,’ Kaylee muttered to herself. She heard slow shuffling footsteps and looked up to see a hunched old man appear from somewhere out back of the shop. He had sparse wisps of grey hair, which seemed to float on top of his balding crown. Kaylee noticed he walked with a bit of a limp as he made his way towards the front counter ─ a thick dark brown slab, tucked away in the corner to her left.

He gave her the strangest of looks. A smile, but not just a friendly, how are you sort of smile. It was kind of an, I know you from some place, sort of smile.

That is just ridiculous she thought. She was about to say something to him, ‘Ah, excuse m...’, when a small breeze from somewhere out back blew open a few more pages in her book ... revealing a large ancient-looking key.

The key was a little rusty and made from a dark-brown metal, like her mother’s cast-iron pans at home. It sat nestled in a groove cut into the pages of the book, made precisely to fit. The top of it was a beautiful intricate Celtic-knot pattern. No wonder the book had felt so heavy.

‘Can I be helpin’ you at all there, dear?’ the hunched owner asked, causing Kaylee to start as though caught doing something bad. She slapped the book shut and looked up guiltily.

‘Ah, no thank you. I’m quite alright.’ She wanted that book. She couldn’t precisely say why it was so urgent, but she wanted that book, badly. However, she had no pocket-money left to pay for one.

She approached the counter, raised the book above her head and said, ‘First three people get their books free, the flyer said?’

He nodded, ‘Yes, that’s correct. And before you ask me, yes, you are the lucky third person in today. If that’s the book you’ve chosen, there is no charge my dear.’

She smiled, ‘Thank you.’ Now that he had said she could have it, she was burning with unanswered questions about the key within those old pages. ‘You don’t by any chance happen to know what the key opens.’

‘A key you say? No, sorry, can’t really say that I do. But if you get your parents,’ he paused and looked at her a little strangely when he said this, as though he knew she had no father now, ‘to take you along to Mitchell’s cottage on the weekend; the tour guide Fred is an old friend of mine. He’s a blacksmith, familiar with old keys and such. He might be able to help you with it.’

Kaylee thanked the strange man once again, tucked the new, old book in her backpack and hurried home to ask her mother if they could go to Michell’s cottage this weekend. She was sure her mother would take her. After all, the original owners of the cottage had apparently been some ancestor-or-other of theirs, way back in the 1800’s.

She was in such a good mood now, she doubted even Paul could dampen her spirits when she got home.

How wrong she was.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc.As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain secti...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

colt: i love your books! all of them! i am so happy for you! when i first read your book i thought "this seems really interesting" and i just got hooked had to have more, i wondered if you had a sequel to the first one, and you did, i was so excited that i had to start reading it. your series left me t...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

izzymerchant: This book is truly special. The plot, the characters and the way the story flows is so engrossing and magical that I found it virtually impossible to put down. The character relationships were particularly fascinating and Melenthia's character was fascinating. Cannot wait to see what happens next!

More Recommendations

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Jessica Esa: With a tantalising end to the first chapter, the authour has given us a treat and a welcome addition to the fantasy adventure genre. To limit it to just such would be an injustice however, as this novel clearly draws on elements of historical fiction, fairy tale and horror. Simply, there's someth...

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :DThe character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

daphneywilliams999: This book is great it is full of Adventure and romance you never know what's coming next. wow Emily is in trouble Libera a half human half Goblin helps her escape from the seven while she is possessed by a baby angel she slowly falls in love with this gentleman and human creature exploring kids ...

Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.