Abracadabra Abacus

Hai looked at the mess in the attic and sighed. Where was he supposed to start? How had his father accumulated so much junk in only fifty years of life? Hai grabbed a box at random, but it was heavier than anticipated. The whole stack of boxes came crashing down around him, their contents spilling across the dusty floor.

Groaning, Hai pushed aside some old shoes and sat up. As he looked around wondering what to do next, his hand brushed against something wooden and familiar. His old abacus. He remembered his father explaining that it was a family heirloom while teaching him to use it. He’d hated those lessons, but now? What he wouldn’t give to have just one more. As he clacked the beads absentmindedly, he suddenly realized he wasn’t in the attic anymore.

He was underwater in a diving suit. All around him as far as he could see were elaborate ruins. He reached out his hand to touch some nearby pottery. Suddenly, five octopuses that he hadn’t noticed before surrounded him, squirting him with their ink. He panicked. How to get back? He desperately moved the beads on the abacus he was still holding.

Back in the attic and in his old clothes, his pulse and breathing slowly returned to normal. Another long forgotten memory surfaced. His father was telling him a bedtime story about an ancestor who’d been saved from the fall of Atlantis by a passing octopus. Hai smiled. He’d surely find his way back to explore his heritage. But for now there was work to do.


Went a little over 250 and it turned out weird! Oh well. I wrote today and that’s what matters. (Also I added a couple of social media links! Yay!)

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18 Replies to “Abracadabra Abacus”

  1. Nice story. I enjoyed it. I have one daughter who’s a visual artist and another who’s a writer. Creating worlds is a great pursuit.

    • Thanks! 🙂 Amazingly I didn’t discover I liked either until I was an adult, but I’m struggling along trying to improve.

  2. I really like the little twist in this story. Will your other April posts continue this story or will they all be separate stories?

    • Thanks. 🙂 They will all be separate. It’s an exercise in keeping myself writing every day more than anything, and they all have titles already that wouldn’t necessarily be suited to this story. I’m open to expansions in the future though, for any ideas I come up with that I like.

  3. “Back in the attic and in his old clothes, his pulse and breathing slowly returned to normal. Another long forgotten memory surfaced. ”
    A few quick surprises and twists.
    Thanks, Alex!
    Absolutely the best thing to do–write every day.

    • Absolutely! By setting a low max word count and not worrying too much about perfection I’m trying to get into the habit.

    • Thanks. 🙂 Glad to have a breather for the day though. I’ll be writing a bunch of long overdue posts for my travel blog and some sort of visual art post for this one, but it’s easier than fiction for me.

    • Thanks! I got my abacus from a flea market in Japan. I checked the price of all the abacuses I saw and luckily found one that was affordable as I’d spent most of my money already. Mine never teleported me anywhere either. 🙁