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Two Crain Publishing, LLC presents: The Adventures of Austin Girl and the Legend of Diablo Written by: Carrie Crain Story by: Carrie Crain Cover Illustration by: Nap Warden Proofing & Editing Services by: June Heinze and Garry D. Crain Back Author Photo by: Andrew Shapter

A Two Crain Publishing, LLC Book This novel is a work of fiction, names, characters, places and incidents either are the produce of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Copyright © 2004 by Carrie Crain Cover design by Carrie Crain Illustration by © 2004 by Nap Warden All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher. Two Crain Publishing, LLC Oklahoma, OK 73025 The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Crain, Carrie, 2004 – The Adventures of Austin Girl and The Legend of Diablo Summary: Austin Girl, a dispirited teenager, discovers a magic Samurai sword, leading her on a journey to Planet Disco to save her kidnapped Grandpa from the nefarious Diablo, and return to Earth before she becomes a permanent guest. ISBN-13: 9780615635309 (Paperback) ISBN-10: 06156350X (eBook) Printed in the United States of America First published in 2012

Dedicated to my husband, Garry, without your tireless encouragement, this story might still be a figment of my imagination. And, for my parents, who allowed me to play in the sandbox, create magic, and live a creative childhood.


An enormous thank-you to the following people who helped me: Keith Giglio – professor of screenwriting at Newhouse School at Syracuse. If it weren’t for your UCLA screenwriting treatment class, the conception of Austin Girl may not have occurred. Scott Myers – screenwriter (K-9, Alaska, Trojan War), screenwriting teacher, consultant, and mentor. Host of Go Into The Story, the screenwriting blog of the Black List. His teachings were simple truths, yet powerful lessons and from those lessons I learned. Gabrielle Birchak – Project Breakout’s award-winning comedic pundit. Thanks for motivating me and being my friend.

This novel comes with a warning label: I LISTEN TO DISCO


“Everything is for sale.”

The Kidnapping The sound of a backfire rattled store windows on the downtown street as Lucky Stevens parked his piece of hippy junk on the East side of Lucky’s Antiques located at 13 Concho Avenue. He drove a flower power Volkswagen bus. The bus was one of those rare 23 windowed jobs with curtains—a residence on wheels. Straightening his suspenders, he stepped out into the dusty landscape, newspaper in hand. He moseyed past a 1960 black Chevy Pie Wagon parked up ahead, admiring the car. The hot rod was decked out custom style with red and orange flames painted horizontally across the sides and hood. He tipped his beaver Stetson hat to the female driver and grinned handsomely. The pinkhaired woman was preoccupied with talking to a Magic 8 Ball and didn’t notice the fiftyyear-old cowboy. Scratching his chin, he leisurely strolled up to a period oak and stained glass door. He reached in his Wrangler jeans front pocket and extracted a set of keys. He put the key in the lock and opened the door to a familiar sight. His antique store was housed in a red brick building in Checkered Past, Texas. He could sniff out valuable antiques just by employing his sixth sense. Lucky adjusted his string tie that matched his belt that matched his ostrich quill boots. He was in love with ‘vintage everything’ including his clothes and gentleman accouterments. Ambling through the door, he removed his Panama Jack sunglasses. His gait was deliberate, like a sore racehorse. Bells jingled like rowels on a spur letting out the sounds of commerce. Lucky may have been a little deaf, but he wasn’t so deaf that he couldn’t hear money jingle in the pockets of those who entered into his world. Lucky flipped on the lights and made a silly face at the store’s security camera. Lucky laid his morning Austin American-Statesman newspaper down on the

cracked countertop beside the turn of the century cash register, and looked at the time on his 40 year-old Rolex he’d won in a bidding war at an estate sale of one of Lyndon Johnson’s cousins so many years ago. It was still early for shoppers, just a little half past seven a.m. on Friday. A set of white pine plank stairs off to the side began to creak. They led to the attic. Lucky housed antiques there that were part of his private collection, including one secret item in particular that oddly wasn't for sale. He ditched his attention to the paper and walked over to the bottom of the stairs, looking up into the darkness. “Skinny, you up there?” Lucky hollered sharply. His young stock boy didn’t answer. Shrugging, he turned around to walk off. A thump on his noggin sent Lucky crashing to the hardwood floor. His Stetson flew off of his gray haired head and skidded across the floor like ice on marble. Staggering to his feet, he rubbed the back of his head. “What the—?” “Where’s the sword?” the female driver of the Pie Wagon asked. Her voice was sharp. She waved a Magic 8 Ball in his face. Lucky glimpsed the black ball in his foggy state and thought, “Did this crazy lady just hit me with a nostalgic toy?” Lucky came to enough to savvy what the woman said, and a certain but profound panic triggered internally. He staggered, his back facing the stairs. Lucky’s speech slurred as his lips struggled to form words, “What sword? Ah -- I don’t stock swords,” he answered in a semi-unconvincingly manner. Sweat poured from his brow and ran into his keen steely colored eyes. A thin stream of blood dripped from his temple and onto his shirt. He anxiously scanned the room for his hat. He always wore his hat, except in church. The only time he wasn’t going to wear his hat was when he was dead and buried, which wasn’t going to be today if he had a say in the matter.

The shapely woman swung her closed palm and clobbered Lucky upside his jaw, knocking him back into the stair railing. The fall smarted his back. He didn’t know what hurt worse: his back or jaw. “Hey, who do you think you are? What is going on here?” he asked, risking a stare at the intruder’s black leather outfit and purple thigh-high boots. He pretended to be interested in her attire. “Going to a costume party?” he joked, rubbing his jaw. “If so, you’ll need a cat mask. Then you can go as Puss and Boots,” he said, to deliberately stall for time. He needed to reach the phone, which was across the room beside the cash register to call 9-1-1. He looked over in the direction of his Colt single-action revolver with a history dating back to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. If the revolver had been loaded, he would have snatched it in a heartbeat. But, for safety reasons and because it was for sale, there were no bullets. He was beginning to think he was up the Concho River without a paddle. Her thick lips pursed, and her nostrils widened. She grabbed him by his shirt collar, yanking him close. His right suspender strap popped loose. “I need that sword old man!” she screamed. Spit misted his face. She released her grip, giving him a hard stare up and down. Lucky wiped his brow and clipped the suspender back to the jeans, “Dagnab it lady, no one decks Lucky Stevens,” he said, gasping for air. He shook his head at her shock of pink hair. It looked like she was wearing the wool from a sheared sheep. “Tabby. Name’s Tabby,” she corrected him. “Like the cat?” he snickered, “I reckon you don’t need the mask. So, I can put you a costume together on the cheap. Does that sound better?” Lucky said, as he hoped his

first customer would arrive, so he could holler for help. In his younger days, he could have had this woman licking dust off the floor. Lucky fixed his tie and turned serious, “Now listen here Tabby. I don’t have any swords for sale,” he replied, rubbing his left eye. It was twitching out of nervousness. He then inched a few steps to retrieve his hat. He hated not being well put together. He took pride in his appearance. She spun on her heel and walked around the store, breathing in a taxidermy skunk and tugging at a stuffed rattlesnake that were both displayed on the wall like trophies. “It’s a rare Samurai sword with an inscription, sapphire-encrusted handle, two rubies on the gold blade – ring a bell?” she asked. Lucky patted his wounded head with his handkerchief while holding his hat in his left hand. Tucking the handkerchief in his shirt pocket, he caught a glimpse of a wooden sign on the wall that read, Good Cowboys Never Run; They Just Ride Away. The cowboy proverb filled him with temporary bravado. “All you’re doin’ is rachetjawin. I can’t understand all this hogwash,” he replied, craning his neck behind him. His eyes fixed on his nylon rope hanging on a coatrack outside the closed bathroom door. He slowly shuffled backwards in an attempt to grab it without drawing any attention. Back in his younger ropin’ days, that nylon rope would have bounced and followed him home. He thought maybe he could lasso Tabby like a runaway heifer on a cattle drive. The idea amused him. But then, something tragic happened. The chime on a wall clock rang eight o’clock. The bong obviously didn’t have the same urgency to him as it did to Tabby. “My meter’s up,” Tabby snarled. Lucky gave her a puzzled look. He wasn’t sure what that meant, but the look in

her eyes when she announced it sent a wave of horror through his paunchy belly. The pain could have been heartburn, he quickly surmised. He turned and darted for the rope. Apparently, he had hung it up there good and tight because now the cotton pickin’ thing was stuck. She yanked the stuffed snake off of the wall and tackled him with a burst of inhuman speed. Before he knew it, she had tied his wrists with the snake. “I killed that varmint with my bare hands,” he gasped. Even though his hands were tied in front of him, he still showed her the two-inch scar, a callous reminder. His knuckles were thick and beat up. She ignored him and remained focused. “Who’s going to be looking for you, Lucky?” she asked. She walked over to the cash register, spying around. She picked up a whiteboard marker. “Looking for me? Well – uh – my granddaughter,” he fumbled for an answer. He hobbled towards the front door, struggling to remove his hand restraints. With lightning speed, Tabby took the marker and scribbled something on Lucky’s newspaper that was spread out across the counter. Flying in front of the door in an attempt to block Lucky, she banged her head accidentally and slid down to the floor. She was a mess and a half. “I’m probably going to get heck for this, but you leave me no alternative -- it’s you or the sword. So, it looks like I have to take you as my hostage,” she threatened. Lucky had a hunch that Tabby possessed some kind of supernatural power and that he was no match. “Kidnap? I’m too old for this bull malarkey. Where are you taking me?” he demanded, his voice shaking. Lucky felt dizzy. He really could have used a jolt of Folgers coffee right about then.

Tabby stuffed Lucky’s mouth with his blood splattered handkerchief. With her super strength, she pushed him outside the store and threw him in the trunk of the Chevy Pie Wagon, leaving his Stetson behind.


Austin Girl, a dispirited teenager, discovers a magic Samurai sword, leading her on a journey to Planet Disco to save her kidnapped Grandpa...

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