Friday, March 11, 2011

#FridayFlash: Accidental Sorcerers 2

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the first episode — thanks to everyone who has commented here or on Twitter. The story continues about a week after Mik sent the ice dragon into battle…

Part 1



Accidental Sorcerers #2
a Quest


Mik and Piet flanked Robi, walking to school on the snowy street.

“Can you believe it?” Robi asked them, her hand in Piet’s. “Spring’s only a month away. No more school, forever!”

“If you don’t count being ’prenticed as school,” Piet laughed.

“I hope Mattu takes me on,” said Mik. “At least a merchant gets to travel —”

A gust of wind whipped Mik’s hood back, and he pulled it up. “And maybe I’ll have my own place somewhere warmer.” He laughed, then stopped and turned. “Hey, what —”

Piet looked terrified, trying to pull Robi out of the street. She stood her ground, but pointed. “Mik! It’s back!” He had mistook the ice dragon for a huge snowdrift, but now it stood watching them in silent regard.

“Is something wrong?” Mik asked it at last.

The enemy has departed your lands, it said in its frigid voice.

“Good.”

I have done your bidding. Dispel me.

“Dispel?”

“I told you!” Robi gave Piet a playful punch.

You awakened me and yet you are so ignorant? The dragon seemed surprised. I will melt with the coming of spring, like a human burned alive.

Mik shuddered. “I’ll find out how to dispel you. I promise.”


The whole town was in an uproar, everyone asking Mik questions as he asked his. It was the school librarian who told him of a sorcerer — a hundred miles away, but the dragon assured him that he could fly that far before sunset. His parents were dubious, but saw no other way. His mother gave him a thick cloak and filled his pack with cakes: “Even a wizard has to eat, and it isn’t right to seek aid empty-handed.” She had more to say, but her lecture was tempered knowing he had saved the town. All was ready in an hour, and Mik shouldered his pack.

Everyone turned out, gawping at the dragon or getting a new glimpse of Mik. Girls, who hadn’t noticed him yesterday, waved to him and wished him a speedy return — reminding him of what Robi had said a week ago.

You are ready. Mik nodded and the dragon allowed him to mount, seating himself in a sheltered spot where neck and body met. Below his left leg were large faint pink spots, but Mik barely noticed. The dragon leaped skyward to cheers and shrieks, and they were aloft.

Which way?

“East to the Wide River, then follow it north.” Mik was frightened and excited to be airborne. He found his perch surprisingly comfortable; only stray gusts of wind touched him. Land, sky, dragon — all were white, and they might be skimming the snow for all he knew. He closed his eyes —

Is that it?

High above the river, Mik saw a toylike town and fought back nausea. “Maybe. Let me down outside of town so you don’t panic everyone. I’ll ask.”


Mik stopped a townsman. “Is this Exidy Town?”

“Of course, boy,” he sneered.

“Thank you, sir. I seek the sorcerer, Bailar the Blue.”

The man looked puzzled, then looked beyond Mik, perhaps seeking companions. “Across the river, on the bluff overlooking,” he said at last, pointing.

Mik and the dragon circled the sorcerer’s keep. It was unimposing: a house against a low tower, about three stories high. A steep but walkable drop led to the river below. The dragon alit near the front door of the house. This door opened, revealing a girl about Mik’s age, wearing a blue robe and carrying a staff. She gave them a wary look, then struck the stone with her staff.

“The Sorcerer of Exidy, Bailar the Blue!” Smoke billowed from the threshold, then dissipated, revealing the sorcerer. He looked a little older than Mik’s parents, and wore a robe similar to his apprentice’s.

Mik sketched a bow from atop the dragon. “Sir,” he said, “I am honored, but a personal greeting is above my station.”

The sorcerer looked amused. “A dragonrider always merits a personal greeting. Come in, warm yourself, then we can talk.” He turned carefully and went inside.

The dragon curled up in the snow as Mik dismounted. The apprentice ushered him inside. They followed the sorcerer through a mud room and into a hallway beyond.

“You’re no older than me,” the apprentice whispered. “I don’t see many people our age here. Are you already a sorcerer?”

Mik shook his head as his host turned and entered a cozy parlor. A warm fire and benches awaited. “Please, seat yourself. Would you like some tea? Yes? Sura, bring the pot and cups for the three of us.” Mik was given the bench closest to the fire; he soon shed his outerwear.

“Oh, I brought cakes,” said Mik, removing them from his pack. “Maybe they’ll go well with the tea.”

“Indeed. And here’s Sura with the tea.”

With a cup warming his hands, Mik and his hosts faced each other around a low table, Mik’s back to the fire. Sura unwrapped and tasted a cake, then smiled. “Very good!”

“Excellent. Now, young dragonrider, why don’t you tell us your story?”

Mik told them everything, and found the reactions interesting: the sorcerer looked solemn, while the apprentice openly grinned. She had a pretty smile though.

“Very fortunate,” said Bailar at last. “Awakening an ice dragon, and living to tell about it. One wrong word, and it would have crushed you before wreaking havoc on both armies.

“But know this: you brought it awake, and thus you can dispel it. I may be able to help.” He stood. “I will consult my grimories. Sura can show you your guest room and the more important part of the house: the kitchen!”

Mik and Sura looked at each other. “Come on,” she said, “I’ll show you around.” She led him first to the guest room, then the kitchen, where she constructed a plate of bread, meats, and cheeses with easy familiarity.

“Got in over your head?” she said at last, carrying the tray and another pot of tea.

“I’m glad someone finds it amusing.”

“I’m sorry, Mik. It’s just that… you’re not the only one that’s happened to.” She gave him a serious look. “Let me tell you my story.”

continued…

19 comments:

  1. Love the idea of the ice dragon. I think I'm really going to like Sura's character!

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  2. Fantastic! Just read both instalments and really enjoying the tale.
    Loved the rhyme last week too.
    Looking forward to more.

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  3. The concept of a melting dragon is great.

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  4. Hello and Happy Friday…

    Mazzz, Sura has been kicking around for a very long time. She finally gets to tell the world her story next week.

    Flyingscribbler, glad you're liking it so far!

    Raven, it's logical, no? A creature made of ice won't like above-freezing temps very much. :-o

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  5. This is awesome. Finally got to read last weeks, too. More! More!

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  6. This is a wonderful story, FAR! You could make a book out of this. Seriously.

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  7. You have created a great world to inhabit. The characters and magic go so well together. Great storytelling.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  8. Morning!

    Maria, good to hear you like it — two more coming!

    Ramsey, I've got a couple ideas but I'm not sure if they'll turn into a book just yet.

    Adam, thanks much. I always thought magic should be governed by something, because everything else in the universe is…

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  9. How much... FARther are you intending to take this?

    Actually curious, but I had to ask. Curious about the exact fate of a dragon dispelled, as opposed to melted/burned.

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  10. John, right now it's just a short story. There may be other stories to follow, depending on the Muse.

    I see a dispelled dragon going back to wherever it was summoned from. "It's magic!"

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  11. I fear for the dragon. Being melted down must not be a good feeling...

    On the other hand, it seems that Mik has found some very good friends there, eh?

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  12. Wait to leave us with a cliffhanger! I agree w/Mazzz. I kinda like Sura already.

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  13. Ooh! I can't wait to see what happens next. Hopefully he can dispel the dragon before it melts.

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  14. You delivered. And a cliffhanger to boot. I'm interested in Sura's story.

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  15. Great continuation. It twists the accidental sorcerers bit from the first one with more unintended consequences. As I briefly commented on the first one, this has a great epic feel to it with a interesting world.

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  16. Hi all!

    Mari, the dragon itself said it would be like being burned alive. And there's always that implicit threat of not dying alone, if you know what I mean. 8-o

    Danni, Sura has been waiting patiently — it has to be 15 years or more — to be heard. You have to admire that, no?

    Icy, it's all down. The next two Fridays will tell the tale!

    Thanks, Peggy. Sura tells her story next week.

    Aidan, thanks & I hope it satisfies all the way through… I don't know if I'll have more after this mini-series or not. We'll just see what comes to mind.

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  17. I am freaking over the dragon melting to death! I hope that Mik is able to dispel the dragon soon! Great story!

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  18. I like Bailar, he makes a nice change from the stereotypical elderly, pretentious, judgemental loremaster.

    Looking forward to seeing more of him and Sura.

    Very interesting world you're weaving here. =)

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  19. Morning!

    Xanto, the ice dragon isn't too happy about it either. :-) Thanks much…

    John, there's a lot about Bailar I can't fit into 4000 words. That's one more call to expand the story. Just need those little details like plot, conflict, etc.

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Comments are welcome, and they don't have to be complimentary. I delete spam on sight, but that's pretty much it for moderation. Long off-topic rants or unconstructive flamage are also candidates for deletion but I haven’t seen any of that so far.

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