The Forbidden Instrument
MG & YA Fantasy
Published: December 7, 2021
Only $.99 June 9th – 12th!!
It’s hard to tell when someone’s soul changes, especially when
dark energy has a price.
An unexpected adventure of two brothers who accidentally travel to another
world. Henry and Moris—just a few short months after their father
mysteriously goes missing—are playing their favorite make-believe game
when suddenly they are transported to a different universe, leaving behind
their mother and sister. When each brother is captured by warring wizarding
houses, the Veneficums and the Milaculums, they stand the chance of losing
each other forever.
The boys have too many unanswered questions, and they don’t know who
to trust, but in their attempt to find each other and return home, the
brothers discover truths about themselves––and their
father––they never could have imagined.
In a strange world where wizards fight each other and are not what they
seem, who can the brothers trust? More importantly, will they get home
Blue energy sparked through the black circle in the sky as a body fell,
smashing the ground with a thud. The portal vanished.
The brother rapidly stood up. “No, no, no, — Why? What the hell
have you done?” he howled to himself, searching for the portal. He
paced side to side, hands wringing. This can’t be happening. This
can’t be happening, he kept thinking. A lump formed in his gut, and
his breath quickened. The more he thought about it, the more his heart
raced. The tension moved through his chest, up his throat, until he
unleashed a scream of fury.
It was partly his fault. He could’ve pulled his brother inside the
He hesitated. To his left, a swirl of dust. To his right, a rolling bush.
“Where am I?” he asked out loud. He was standing on a road,
alone in a desert, clutching a small, strange animal horn.
“Damn it,” he yowled, staring at the horn. He raised his arm to
toss it away; then, a thought struck him. He ground his teeth in frustration
because he couldn’t get rid of it—it was the only way to get
back to the portal.
He clenched the horn, face reddened in anger, and yelled, “Itenelum,
Dantus.” He repeated, “Itenelum, Dantus.”
Nothing. The horn wasn’t activating.
He headed down the road. The radiant sun beat down. He hoped to return to
where he had suffered the strangest experience he’d ever had.
In the distance, metal clattered. He raised his burned face, eyes squinting
at the smudge on the horizon, and eyed a billboard. The advertisement
promised Coffee Cheer, Morning Cheers.
He gasped, widening his eyes. “The sign.”
He hastened to the billboard, looking for the dirt road. He stopped, and
his face dropped again. No dirt road, only bushes. He sprinted to the bushes
and yanked several from the ground. “Where is the road?”
Could he get back to the cabin? There was no dirt road to lead him.
He walked a few paces away from the bushes, his hands dirty and bleeding.
Now he thought of getting home. But had his family survived? He walked
toward his house, his weary feet dragging on the ground.
He recalled his experience and sensed ominous times ahead. As if the ones
he’d already lived through weren’t enough.
Soon, the hum of a motor approached as an old pickup drove towards him.
Finally. Covered in dust, he waved the vehicle down as he tucked the horn in
The driver squinted at him, then shrugged and slowed to a halt. He backed
up and addressed the brother. The driver was bald, with wrinkles on his
forehead and a long white beard.
At the obvious question he wanted to answer, I just waved my hand for no
reason. Instead, he said, “Yes, please. I have been walking for hours
and have no cell phone.”
“Where’re you headed?”
Anywhere out of here, the brother thought. “Near Austin,” he
said with a forced smile.
“Hop in. I’m going that way.”
“Thank you very much, sir.”
The clock on the dashboard flashed a useless twelve o’clock, and the
radio was off. The brother hesitated to ask about the date; a scruffy guy on
the side of the road asking that sounded normal, right? He remained
The driver held a one-sided conversation that the brother mostly ignored.
He stared out the window, his hand on the horn in his pocket and his mind on
the experience before the black hole. The driver kept chattering.
When they finally arrived at the outskirts of Austin, he asked the driver
to drop him off near his house. He stepped out and, embarrassedly, offered
only a thank-you. He had no money.
He hesitated a second in trepidation after the pickup left him, then rushed
There were no cars in the house.
“Oh, no,” he wailed. He feared death had visited his
The brother approached the door and rang the bell. No one answered. He
searched for the hidden key below the flowerpot—it was still
there—and went inside.
“Mom? Maya? Are you here?”
No one answered. He glanced around and sighed, smiling. He saw a picture of
them. They still lived in the house.
He needed to figure out the date. He hurried to a laptop, opened it, and
waited for it to boot up.
About the Author
Hector Cantu Kalifa (it’s weird talking about myself in the 3rd person) was
born in 1986 in Monterrey, Mexico. He lived with his family and…
Ok, I’m done talking in 3rd person.
I try to meditate every day; I also enjoy sports, so I exercise at least
four times a week.
The book The Horn’s Hoax: The Forbidden Instrument is my debut novel, and
it has a special meaning because the idea came from how I play with my
The writing of this book has been an unexpected pleasure for me, as I would
never imagine myself writing a book. It all began in September 2019. It was
intended to be a ten-page brief story. But as I wrote, my imagination and my
taste for writing kept me working. I realized on a blank page I can create
amazing things and let my imagination fly.
Words kept coming, and I discovered the hard work of building a story. With
the help of many people, I gave my heart to create my first