author, musician, and organizer of
the Music Matters Showcase
Four different acts take turns playing 4 song sets each and
then going back around. Its an eclectic mix of music, all of
it wonderful. Showcases are free,but donations to Bread for
the City for the Home are accepted.
|Where/when/who is playing the Music
Matters Showcase besides Joseph Isaacs?
Mad City Coffee House, 10801 Hickory Rd Columbia MD Saturday 6:30-9:
(look for the Long and Fosters Sign)
March 15th Teri Bocklund, Daniel Gage, Bob Brill
April 19th DL Weiner, Rich Levinson, Bob Reilly
May 3rd Karter Jaymes, Jarad and George McGlaughlin, Rick Millman
May 17th Dominic LaRocca, Ronald Mariano’s Jimi Hendrix tribute
band, Kathy Stanley
June 21st Lisa & Paul Fenstermacher, Rick LaRocca, Brown-smith
Directions to all gigs and links to bands playing are at the bottom of
These gigs are all free - donations to Bread for the City for the
Homeless are graciously accepted
*each performer plays 2 4 song sets of songs, concerts end times are
approximate might be a bit earlier or later
|Mad City Coffee House
10801 Hickory Ridge Road
Columbia MD 21044
Look for the Long & Fosters- its tucked in a plaza and hard to
see from the road. Its across from HCC.
From 95 (between Baltimore and DC) take route 32 West and
then take Broken Lands Parkway North to Hickory Ridge Road.
(From route 29 you will be taking Broken Lands Parkway West).
Take Broken Lands Parkway towards Hickory Ridge RD.
Turn left on Hickory Ridge (it only goes in one direction). Take
Hickory Ridge RD past Howard Community College and right
after Sunny Spring Rd there is a Long and Fosters on your left.
That is Hickory Ridge Plaza where Mad City is tucked next to a
chinese restaurant. Let the Madness BEGIN!
Soul Hosts by Joseph Isaacs
Part One: The Early Years
Chapter 1 The Blood Rose
Wayden raced across the grand foyer of his home to his twin brother and tugged at his brother's
tunic. “Come on, Mavik! Mums upstairs. Tutor Ansa's gabbing. Let’s play!”
Mavik shook his mane of curly red hair. "The Source is calling me. I need to paint."
"Come on, Mav! Let's have a little fun, just for a quick notch."
Mavik's light sea-blue eyes pulsed black for a moment, as if swallowed by an oncoming storm. "A
vision is coming on. I can taste it."
My brother, and his stupid visions, Wayden thought. Why does he always have to be painting his
dumb watercolor prophecies?
Mavik disappeared, the oak studio door clunked shut behind him.
A buzzing sound inside Wayden's skull announced Kolram, the mage whose soul dwelled inside
Wayden. Kolram's voice echoed through Wayden's mind, "Wayden, this is a valuable opportunity you're
squandering, in which you could attend to your own studies."
Wayden ground his teeth. Why was everyone so against having a bit of fun? Kolram pestered him all
the time. Wayden couldn't deny that it was handy to have someone who could talk to dogs or horses, but
it wasn't worth the constant nagging.
If Kolram's Beast Tongue powers were a somewhat dubious advantage, his Glimpser abilities were a
downright curse. Just the other day, Wayden bumped into his tutor, and saw her, felt her, kissing the bad-
smelling-stubbly old gate guard. Wayden washed his mouth out with soap after that one. At temple
services this morning, he kept bumping into a boy who had memories of setting fire to a cat. Even after
that horrid morning, Kolram wanted him to read tedious tomes? Give a boy a break!
Wayden directed his thoughts to Kolram, "I'll study later."
“Later. Later never comes.”
“Leave me alone, Kolram!" The name resonated throughout the foyer. Wayden clapped his hand over
his mouth, cursing himself. Why did I have to go and say Kolram’s name aloud? Now the Fireguard
might arrest me.
Wayden's mother had warned him: "You must not, ever, ever talk about magic. You know unauthorized
magic is illegal! Do you want to be thrown into jail?"
His mother's way of dealing with things was pretending they didn't exist. She'd argue, "Your father
will be back someday" or "you don't have a wizard in your head" and so forth.
Her concern wasn't unfounded. A few nights ago, Wayden and Mavik watched a Glower Mage
perform in town square. She chanted and from the palm of her hand, a dot of light erupted into a glowing
flower. Wayden and Mavik were applauding, when armored guards approached. A guard clapped
manacles onto the witch, bellowing, "Unauthorized magic!”
The flower withered in her hands, leaving only the darkness of night.
Now, Wayden had blurted out Kolram's name. He glanced at the front door, expecting guards to
storm in and clap him in manacles. Luckily, no guards came. No one was around. Wayden breathed a
sigh and returned to the matter of playing.
He fished in his pockets, searching past a sticky half-chewed wad of mint, a glass marble, a ball of
lint, and a crumpled treasure map, until he found his pewter replica of the dragon Volkanus. Lifting the
dragon overhead, he dashed across the manor’s entrance hall, his footsteps echoing off the vaulted
ceiling. Wayden imagined himself as Darius Dragonking, Immortal founder of the Red Kingdom, soaring
into battle upon his crimson fire-breathing mount, blasting an enemy army of sky wolf riding raiders.
“Gar Skymaster!” Wayden said, imagining the presence of the one-eyed Beast Tongue. “You and
your Sky Raiders have been terrorizing the Red Kingdom for far too long. You will release my friend
Kelsen and surrender, or die!”
Then in Gar's voice, "Not without a fight!"
The dragon flew up the mountain (the banister) to the stone fortress known as the Nest (the upper
stairs landing). Wayden made battles sound, rescuing his father from the Skymaster’s prison and glided
down off the icy side of the mountain (slid down the banister). The dragon soared home where his family
laughed and joked, happily reunited.
"I fear you may discover that not all endings are happy. In fact, nothing truly ends at all, but twists
and turns like the secret corridors of the Weaver's World,” Kolram thought.
Kolram could drain the sweetness out of a chocolate cake. Why couldn't he have gotten a light-hearted
mage in his head who liked to tell jokes or perform dazzling feats?
Wayden resumed dashing around in circles, his tiny dragon blasting Gar Skymaster and his raiders with
the energy of an eight-year old and the fury of a dragon.
"Slow--" Kolram thought, but his warning came too late.
The fringe of the rug caught Wayden's foot, sending him flying head first onto a banquette. The plush
upholstered bench slid beneath him, thudded into a wall, and rattled a pair of mounted swords.
A guttural moan came from beneath Wayden. Wayden's mouth went as dry as parchment. Tigor, the
dragon cat glared at him with narrowed eyes of molten gold. Tigor's body, normally covered with stripes
of orange and black scales, was swollen and flaky from an unknown ailment. The dragon cat was almost
as big as Wayden and with a double row of glistening fangs, made Wayden tremble.
Wayden backed away from the beast, but the feline followed him, matching him step by step, hissing.
Spittle dripped from its dagger-like teeth. Wayden's heart froze, his breath solidifying in his lungs.
Kolram thought, "Not again! That's the third time this month. Never mind, I'll deal with him."
Kolram used his Beast Tongue ability to enter the cat's mind. He guided Wayden through triggering the
appropriate pressure points to control the cat's mind. His tonal vibrations had to match the movement of
energy within the cat's mind. The words he said could be anything really, but it worked best with a
rhyme. "Rest your claws, there is no danger here. Sleep, my friend, will quell your fears."
Tigor's snarl transformed into a yawn, and he slumped onto the rug.
Kolram harrumphed. If he had a nose, he would have sniffed at Wayden. “I should have let the beast
scratch you. You may heed a scar better than my considered advice."
Wayden's knee throbbed. He lifted up his tunic and studied his purpling skin. He considered telling
Tutor Ansa of his injury, but then she would remember to send him to his studies.
I’ve had enough flying for a day, Wayden thought. Time to bother Mavik. Annoying Mavik was always
fun. Wayden liked to see his brow wrinkle when he got mad. Wayden opened the studio door.
Mavik held his brush aloft over a sheet of parchment. A drop of watercolor dangled from the tip of the
brush, before splattering onto the paper.
He had already finished one painting. Upon a wooden rack, the splatters had dried into a detailed
painting of a one-eyed vulture in a stone nest. The nest sat atop a snow covered mountain and the
vulture's beak was a thin blue knife. Below the bird lay dozens of fingerless brown-robed prisoners
manacled to the ground. Wayden didn't like the look of that. Why was Mavik painting something so
Mavik finished the second watercolor and stepped away to wash his brush. Wayden felt foreboding
from this one as well, although he didn’t know why. It portrayed his mother clutching a red rose.
Something about her eyes staring into space sent a shiver, like a spider, racing down Wayden's spine.
Wayden whispered, "Are these prophecies?”
"No, I'm just a just unbelievably good shot with paint drops. Yes, they are prophecies, dung-beetle-
Wayden was too busy studying the one-eyed vulture to care about the insult. Something about it sent
a shiver into his tummy. “Do you think... the bird is....Gar Skymaster?"
"Hmmm, perhaps… the Skymaster does have just one eye."
"And his castle is called the Nest," Wayden said.
Mavik twisted his mouth. “True. But who are the men with the missing fingers? And why does
Mother look so still? And why is she holding a blood rose?”
Wayden's stomach still felt squishy.
Mavik cleaned his brush and placed it upon the windowsill to dry. He stored the painting in a cedar
chest and latched it. They headed to the foyer.
"What in Darius’s name did you do to the cat?" Mavik asked.
Tigor was on its back, flapping clawed feet into the air, and emitting loud snores.
Wayden's cheeks felt hot. "Er. I had a teensy-weensy accident."
Mavik rolled his eyes. "Wayden, you dung--"
Tutor Ansa's voice sounded from the scullery, “There's something odd about the young masters."
Mazy, their new maid answered, "They seem normal enough to me."
Mavik gestured with his paint-covered hand to the table in the dining room. Its tent-like draping tablecloth
made the perfect vantage point to spy into the kitchen. Through the fringe, Wayden and Mavik watched
Ansa and Mazy.
Both women perched on stools, sipping from porcelain tea cups. A silver tray bearing delicious
smelling apple crumble cakes sat on a marble counter. What Wayden wouldn't give to have one of those.
Ansa and Mazy looked a comic pair. Mazy’s servant uniform bulged around her pumpkin shaped body,
while Ansa was as tall and thin as a green bean. Mazy's hair was red as fire, and Ansa's as grey as smoke.
"Well, you're fairly new here. You might not be aware that the boys had a very unusual birth." Ansa
“Aye? Do tell."
The cup clinked as Ansa lowered it onto her saucer. She leaned into Mazy, and her voice dropped to
a whisper. "The very moment the boys were born, mists flew into their mouths."
Mavik's eyes widened and he stared at Wayden.
Mazy raised an eyebrow. “Mmmm.”
“I speak the truth, may the wraiths shred my soul if I am lying.” Ansa tweaked her nose, an act
which warded off wraiths and dark spirits. Wayden tweaked his nose too. It couldn't hurt. Well, it did
hurt a little. Mavik rolled his eyes at Wayden.
"Don't be speaking of wraiths. That be bad luck." Mazy spat on the back of her hand and then picked
up a salt shaker and threw a pinch of salt over her shoulder.
Apparently, wraiths were afraid of spittle, salt, and twisted noses. If Wayden ever ran into a wraith
he could just sweat, spit, and blow his nose at the creature. Maybe a good toot would work too.
Ansa leaned towards Mazy and said in a low voice, “While Madam was in the pains of labor, two
mists came through the window, like tiny, twin clouds."
“Interesting. Two mists,” Kolram thought. "That reminds me—"
"Quiet, Kolram!" Wayden thought. "I’m trying to find out if you’re a wraith or not."
“I’m no wraith. The wraiths were trapped by the Immortals almost two thousand--"
“What part of 'quiet' don't you understand?”
"I stand chastised,” Kolram replied. “Please, by all means, ascertain my wraith-like status. I'm dying
to find out."
Ansa continued, “Baby Wayden had already emerged and Mavik had just been birthed when the
clouds flew into them. The midwife and I screamed so loud they must have heard us in Tulkar."
“You be stretching truth."
“May the wraiths take me if I lie!” Ansa tweaked her nose again.
Wayden tweaked harder this time. Suspecting Kolram was a wraith, he needed maximum tweak.
"Shockingly, twisting your nostrils is having no affect upon me," Kolram thought.
"Fine, you're not a wraith," Wayden thought. "If you were, that tweak would have knocked you to
Raslo. But you're still annoying."
Kolram chuckled. "Now of that, I might confess."
Mazy's tiny silver fork broke off a bite of the apple crumble. It smelled delicious, Wayden's stomach
Read more by clicking here for the link to authonomy.com Harper Collin's website