Wizkit: An Adventure Overdue by Tanya J. Scott
Wizkit, a bipedal, one-eyed black cat who looks dapper in a red zipped up coat, little pointy blue hat and delightful yellow boots, is lounging on the sofa reading a book. The house is a mess. Dishes are piled in the sink, books are open everywhere and dirty plates and cups are lying all over the place with a single broom magically trying to clean in the background. After a big yawn, Wizkit magics a pink frosted doughnut, yum. At the same time, Teacher calls for Wizkit, they can sense a spell and have given strict instructions that Wizkit was to tidy up herself without magic. Oh crumbs. Wizkit chases the enchanted broom, wrestles with it and loses. Teacher calls for her to come to the study.
The study looks exactly like any magical beings' study should, shelves of books, piles of books and stacks of books with the odd basket of scrolls and magical looking ornaments dotted about. Teacher is a bespectacled long-haired gray dog with drooping eyes, sitting atop their head is a little black witch’s hat. As Teacher scolds Wizkit for being lazy, quiet sobs start coming from one of the piles of books, or possibly one of the stacks. While Wizkit tries to find the source, Teacher tells Wizkit that when she puts her mind to it, she is a good study, but she also needs experience and friends. Eventually Wizkit finds a small blue book sitting on the floor crying.
Calling the little book gross upsets it further, thanks Wizkit. Teacher approaches him and asks why he is crying and between sobs he reveals he is… OVERDUE! Oh dear, it’s been more than a month since Teacher last went to the library while Wizkit stayed home and ate so much bread. Well, Teacher sees an opportunity here, Wizkit will return Book. WHAT?! (Wizkit) YAY! (Book)
Wizkit heads to the kitchen for supplies, it’s a long journey to the library and a cat needs her bread. Book is perky and wants to hug. Wizkit is not perky and does not want to be friends because Wizkit doesn’t know Book though Book knows Wizkit… he's been watching her… creepy. Book opens his cover so Wizkit can read him and get to know him better. Blinding light emanates from his pages and suddenly Book, Wizkit and Wizkit’s bag of bread are transported to the jungle.
How did this happen? Book's pages were blank! Well, the only thing to do is find out where they are and return Book. Book once read in a book that when lost, it’s best to find water. Weird concept but sound advice. After a little time, they find what should be a river, but it’s a dried up hole with a long yellow dragon sitting in it, and they look very worried. Of course Book runs toward Dragon while Wizkit hides behind some bushes. Book is excited to learn that the library is days away so the adventure continues! Book then asks about the river. Dragon is the caretaker of the River Shrine, their siblings look after other shrines across the land, and when the water started to drop, they came to investigate but are now stuck because they can’t swim back. Book instantly volunteers their help. Wizkit is less enthusiastic until Dragon offers to take them toward the library when the water is returned.
Wizkit and Book head up stream. They find a pond with a pile of stuff stopping the water flowing down river, and inside and around the pond are colorful fish looking like they’re on a resort holiday. There is also a curmudgeon frog in a tiny bowler hat and bow tie. He demands an entrance fee to use the pool, ya got to pay to use the facilities, but Wizkit tells him that Teacher always says all things in nature like water, sunlight, moonlight and the wind should be free. Frog is a big believer in capitalism and says that none of that should be free, he even has wind trapped in a jar. Wizkit tells the Frog to break the barrier holding the water back or else she’ll use magic!
The spell ends with a fart, and though it didn’t break the barrier it did distract Frog long enough for Book to release Wind from the jar. Wind is not very happy with Frog and blows him and the barrier away which allows the water to flow and frees the fish from extortion and bad fart jokes. Jumping on a piece of driftwood, Wind blows Wizkit and Book downstream to Dragon. Now that the water has returned they can travel to the River Shrine. Book is having the time of his life riding on Dragon’s back and singing loudly which of course irritates Wizkit. Sitting on Dragon’s head, Wizkit is told that Book is just being himself and maybe Wizkit forgets just to be. Maybe it’s time for Wizkit to metaphorically take a page out of Book’s book. Soon they arrive at the River Shrine where Dragon must leave them, but in parting, Dragon gives them a rare and valuable dragon orb.
Continuing on their journey, Wizkit and Book come across two mice sitting upon two rocks in the middle of a small clearing outside a cave. Book tries to greet the mice but the mice ignore him. One of the rocks pipes up saying they’ve been like that for ages and they’ve no idea why. They came out of the cave during the night, laughing and screaming, waking the rocks up, then when the sun came up, they just sat there. At least they make stylish hats. Since the rocks can’t investigate the cave, because, you know, rocks, Wizkit sees no harm in taking a look in the spooky cave. Wizkit enters with trepidation while Book runs in excited.
Inside it’s dark. Very, very dark. Good job they have the dragon orb. Wizkit pulls it from her pocket and it offers a gentle light in the cavern, enough for them to spot a lantern. Book tells Wizkit to light it with magic, but unfortunately Wizkit doesn’t have much confidence in her magic. Book has seen Wizkit magic brooms and bread and knows she can do it! He is her friend and believes in her! With that boost, Wizkit casts LEUKOS and lights the lantern. You did it cry Book and the two baby mice. The magic lantern brings them home to their mother, who is now holding the lantern and has lots of other baby mice in her cloak. They are Tenebris Mice and the sun froze them because the lantern light is the only light they can move in. As a thank you for relighting the lantern and bringing her two wayward babies home, Mother Mouse gives them a smaller version of the lantern before disappearing with her babies. Wizkit and Book head back outside.
Outside the two rocks are pleased their stylish hats have been returned home and are impressed that Wizkit was gifted with a magic travel lamp. Book strokes one of the rocks goodbye and kisses the other ((it’s strange but so funny)) before he and Wizkit follow the travel lamp which must be guiding them to the library.
As their journey continues, Book asks Wizkit what she is thinking about, reluctantly Wizkit confesses that she couldn’t believe she managed to do magic in the cave because she always struggles under pressure. She doesn't want to be thought of badly for failing. As Wizkit is admiring that Book isn’t so bad, he runs off towards three squabbling birds in a wheat field. The green bird, Jeff, demands they do it by their drawing, the purple bird, Eztil, demands they do it by their calculations and the pink bird, Pancho, tells them to just put the bits together. Harsh name calling starts and such insults as Turnip and Brussels Sprouts are thrown around. Finally Wizkit is able to make them stop and it turns out the three birds actually share one body… they’re the famous Earhart triplets!
Uncharacteristically, Wizkit asks if they have seen Book. It turns out Wizkit is worried about her friend. It’s okay though because Book is right there and knows Wizkit cares. However Wizkit and Book's camaraderie starts the Earhart triplets squabbling again. Book had been looking at the triplets’ flying machine which the triplets loudly say is an Air Lantern. Well, it should be but they don’t listen to each other so the air lantern remains a drawing. Wizkit encourages them to believe in each other and give each other their time and space, just like Book did with her. Okay, they’ll try it!
A montage passes in the panels showing the Earhart triplets working together until nightfall when they share their camp with Wizkit and Book before continuing their work the next day. Wizkit and Book help with sewing the air lantern balloon. Eventually it is finished! Squabbling starts up again when they find they don’t have a lighter for the burner, but Wizkit steps into the basket and LEUKOS! lights the burner with magic. Now it’s time to fly. To thank Wizkit and Book for their help, the Earhart triplets offer to help them get to the library. They stick the travel lamp onto a pole and rest it out the front of the air lantern and follow its light until dark when they reach the library.
The library is a tall white tower with a roof that looks like an open book and a balcony perfect for Wizkit and Book to jump down on. The Earhart triplets float away, Wizkit gifting them the travel lamp. It’s time to get Book home.
Remember the tower is tall, so that means stairs. Lots and lots of stairs down. Eventually Wizkit and Book enter the main library chamber and it is huge and incredible! Rows of shelves filled with books line balconies running around and up the tower. The center of the library has a central stage with four crevasses encircling it. As Wizkit looks around in wonder, the Librarian climbs up from one of the crevasses. She’s a huge moth (I think it’s a moth) with colorful robes. She tells Wizkit that libraries “contain everything we can learn and share. A library is one of the wealthiest places in the universe!”
Book is excited to see Librarian and show her his pages filled with pictures of his and Wizkit’s adventures. Book declares that he is Wizkit’s story, but Book corrects the librarian and says it’s our story. Now Book is back home at the library and he will be able to share their story with others. This makes Wizkit sad as she’ll be alone now, however the Earhart triplets come running in, saying Wizkit is not alone. Hang on, hadn’t they left? No, they were looking for parking. Eztil tells Wizkit it’s time to let someone help her get home. As Wizkit and Book say their goodbyes, the librarian suggests Wizkit borrow a few more books so then she’ll have to come back for a visit, which is a great idea!
With a pile of books in hand, Wizkit flies home in the air lantern and announces her arrival by falling through the front door. Wizkit admits the journey was difficult but fun and very educational. She's even invited Eztil, Pancho and Jeff for tea. Wizkit is excited to tell Teacher about her magic filled adventure, though it could have used more bread. Teacher asks what Wizkit learned and she says she learned “friends can support our talents, and we can support theirs, even if they are different. And journeys into the unknown make our own stories more interesting and exciting.” There are more stories happening right now, and more yet to be written. Most importantly, Wizkit learned that she likes libraries very much as she was able to borrow a book with one of the most powerful spells, MAGNUM LIBUM!, which fills the table with bread, doughnuts, muffins, croissants, cake and tarts. As Wizkit tucks into the bready feast, she tells Teacher she is moving out because she needs more independence and that she has skills she wants to put to use.
Jeff has drawn up some plans, Pancho has done the calculations, and Eztil has the equipment and with Wizkit, they start to build. After a montage of panels, one containing a bread and cheese picnic, they at last finish WIZKIT’S TIDBITS. Wizkit magics the final touch, a wonderful gold sign complete with an air lantern and the triplets in the basket and EARHART DELIVERY engraved below. They’re open for business!
The Earhart triplets deliver boxes of baked delights to Dragon at the River Shrine, Mother Mouse and her babies in the cave, the rocks who are now being terrorized by Frog and some little turnip people, and Librarian and Book. From far and wide people visit Wizkit’s Tidbits for delightful treats and, far and wide, the Earhart triplets deliver them.