Short stories, Flash fiction, and Novel Excerpts

Wizards

In Writing on December 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Thar moved quickly but carefully around his smoky lab.  He grabbed jars seemingly at random from the shelves that surrounded the room.  The thin old man shook out handfuls of this and sprinkled pinches of that into the smoking cauldron set in the middle of the floor.  Tossing the last jar onto the heap of other discarded containers, Thar glanced worriedly out the west window.  The sun, half below the horizon, still gilded the rose-colored clouds with gold.

Thar breathed deeply, expanding his thin chest, and rubbed a hand across his forehead; leaving an ugly brown-green smear.  Squaring his shoulders, he laced his bony fingers together and stretched his arms out before him.  Pops and creaks ensued and Thar shook out his hands.  He looked about, one last glance before he began his incantations, and smiled.  This just might work.

Wizened fingers wove spell-forms with the ease of long practice.  Syllables of a long dead language flowed from his tongue.  Thar worked his art with confidence, head high, his voice commanding, and power radiated from his aging body.  Still, he knew that the slightest mistake would mean his death.  Despite the risks, Thar loved his chosen profession.  For moments like this, when the sheer joy of accomplishment was his alone.  Years of practice and learning, decades of toil and discipline, all coalesced into one beatific moment.  Thar’s voice, trilling and throbbing with power, reached a crescendo and with a decisive gesture—arms flung out—finished the spell as the last light of the sun dipped below the horizon.  Thad stood waiting, triumphant, for the effects of his spell to manifest.  Between one rapt breath and another, Thar disappeared in a puff of gray smoke.

*******************************************************

At the edge of a small wood, by a burbling stream, sat a modest tower.  Wisps of smoke climbed lazily from the open windows at the top.  Quillan watched and waited.  The sun would set soon.  He had waited centuries, a few moments more wouldn’t hinder his plans.  The night and with it, revenge, were but mere breaths away.  He flexed his wings in anticipation.  His claws tore gouges into the loamy soil as muscles bunched eagerly.  His tail lashed in unconscious fury as he thought of his imprisonment.  Three-hundred years of waiting, three-hundred years of pain, and now all to collect the debt owed him.  What were a dozen heartbeats compared to that?

Quillan hunched in the wooded shadows of twilight, the sunlight still painful after his century’s long captivity.  That hateful golden orb finally slunk its way below the horizon and Quillan bounded out of the wood.  Blessed starlight bathed his scales—soothing the raw agony suffered of the sun—red with the rage that pounded through his mind, Quillan did not notice the smoke that suddenly billowed from the top of the tower.  The beast, not slowing, rammed the building with his huge shoulder.  He felt the satisfying crunch of stone against his armored body.  His momentum carried him a short distance beyond the crumbling tower and he turned, forcing his rage from his belly to his throat.

Quillan had put his time in confinement to good use.  He learned—on his own—to use his birthright, the loss of his race made the experience horrendous.  He faltered through grief and shame but he painfully perfecting the fires of his rage, with Thar as his target.  And as the tower collapsed Quillan breathed his rage, shame, and despair upon the object of his hate.  Burning the stone, watching as it glowed orange and slumped in a pile of luminescent slag.  Quillan sat watching gleefully as the molten stone burned into the earth, never realizing that his quarry had gone.

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  1. […] (Ariège)AscouAudeAude (département) Liens connexes : WizardsQuillan watched and waited. The sun would set soon. He had waited centuries, a few moments more […]

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