Friday, March 09, 2012

#FridayFlash: Rescue (Accidental Sorcerers, Season 2 pt 5)

The final installment. Hope you enjoyed it!



Accidental Sorcerers, Season 2
Part 5: Rescue (Conclusion)

Season 1

Season 2: Part 1Part 2Part 3 • Part 4

Image source: Webweavers
“Your master had my dragon all along,” said Ahm Kereb, pointing his dagger at Mik’s heart. “I may not be able to make him pay for his theft, but I will teach him that stealing from Ahm Kereb has a high price regardless.”

Mik tried to push Sura behind him. “I took the dragon. Leave her alone.” His voice shook only a little. Reason over emotion, he thought.

“We both took him!” Sura pushed Mik’s arm up and stood with him. She was already thinking, just a little time. Focus.

“Oh, you will die for that, boy. But not right away. Soul for soul. You shall come with me, and stand in for the dragon as the sacrifice.” He nodded at Sura. “And she will come too. Her safety will guarantee your cooperation —”

Something darted through the trees and struck Ahm Kereb’s ear, hissing and biting. Kereb yowled, dropping his dagger and slapping at his head.

Sura clutched Mik’s hand. “Don’t let go!” she rasped, and everything took on a second edge as she pulled him into the shade of a large tree. By the strangeness of his sight, Mik knew she had concealed them. They would be nearly invisible unless they strayed into the patchy sunlight, or if he let go. “Do something!” she hissed. “I can only hold one spell!”

“Where are you?” Kereb hissed, snapping his head back and forth, flinging blood from his torn ear. “Your simple spells… I will find you!” He took up his dagger and swung it around him in wide arcs, moving ever closer.

Something I won’t have to hold, Mik thought. He closed his eyes and reached out, finding Ahm Kereb’s mind. A simple adjustment.

Kereb stopped and gave a mighty yawn. “No,” he said, swinging his dagger in a slow loop. “No. I cannot…” he stumbled on the uneven ground and went to one knee. “Ah. No.” He yawned again, tried to stand, then fell snoring to the cold leaves.

“What did you do?” Sura whispered.

“I adjusted his clock. His body suddenly thought he’d had no sleep for a week.” Mik glared at their sleeping assailant. “The mentor taught me the spell he used to put the dragon to sleep —”

“Mik! The dragon! It attacked him! Where did it go?”

“See if you can find him.” Mik picked up the rope. “I’ll see to Kereb. Look,” he said, showing Sura the broken rope. “He cut it partway, next to a knot, so we wouldn’t see it.” He took Kereb’s dagger, cut off a length, and got to work.

As Mik finished tying Ahm Kereb — elbows, wrists, ankles, then all three together — Sura shrieked. “Mik! He — he —” Mik rushed to her side, finding what he feared: the crumpled and twisted body of their dragon. “Oh, Mik.” Sura buried her head in his shoulder, as he lifted the lifeless heap. “He gave himself to save us.” She wept, and Mik wept with her.


Reeve Tanber and five guardsmen answered Bailar’s distress signal, rowing a skiff straight across the river as if the current were nothing. They debarked to find the sorcerer with his two apprentices, standing over a canoe containing a bound and sleeping man.

Bailar looked as angry as any of them had ever seen. “An attempt on my own life, I could forgive,” he growled. “But this coward wished to avenge himself on two children instead. I will tell you what I know, but you will want Aborsa to confirm.” Aborsa was the town soothsayer, an honest man who had the power to discern truth. “I charge him with plotting to murder my apprentices, and with rogue enchantments.” Bailar told their story as Tanber took down the particulars.

“And theft,” said the reeve. “We had a complaint this morning about a stolen skiff. We’ll likely find it upriver. Rogue magic is your purview, sorcerer, but he’ll hang for the rest.”

“Eh, he tangled wit’ the wrong sprouts, he did,” said one of the guardsmen in a Low Speech accent, and laughed. “Well, he won’t be a bother, snoozin’ the day away, he is.”

“Oh,” said Mik. “I need to close the spell.” He waved his hands, as Bailar had taught him to do in front of folk, as he reversed his adjustment. Ahm Kereb’s eyes snapped open; he cursed and strained against his bonds.

The guardsman put his short spear to Kereb’s chest. “‘Ere now, they’s no sort of words to use in front of sprouts,” he growled. Kereb stared at the spear point and hissed something in his own language.

To their surprise, the guardsman reversed his spear and jabbed Ahm Kereb in the belly with the butt end, making him gasp and wheeze. “Yar. An ill-mannered brute are ya, sayin’ such things about a girl-sprout. Now you stay quiet. Curse the hangman all ya like, ya can.” Two other guardsmen lifted Kereb from the canoe and deposited him in the skiff.

“You know the Eastern tongue?” Bailar asked.

The guardsman grinned and tapped his ear. “Have an ear for languages, I do,” he said. “A fine skill for when foreigners grace our jail!”

“The three of you must tell your side to Aborsa,” said Tanber. “The prisoner will tell his side, and the magistrate will do the rest. We’ll be off now, no need to keep you from your work.” Tanber waved the guardsmen to the skiff, and they rowed away.


“Here,” said Sura, pointing at a patch of ground in front of their home. “The sun always shines here. It’ll be warm for him.”

“As good a choice as any,” said Bailar. Mik nodded, and began digging. They buried their little friend with tears and gratitude.

And Heaven welcomed home a long-lost soul: a warrior, fallen in battle at last.

THE END (but wait, there’s more… Season 3!)

15 comments:

  1. At least they sort of talk things out. With all the dialogue, how long did it take you to write each of these entries, Larry?

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  2. What? No magic to save the little dragon?

    This spell usually works:

    "Itsy, bitsy tiny dragon flier
    awaken from your slumber
    here you can't expire

    magic follows your rescue
    heartbeat and blood flow
    life shall continue
    breath now, GO!"

    :-)

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  3. Teamwork shall prevail. I like the way they stood up for each other and although the Dragon had to sacrifice, it felt organic and part of the story.

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  4. Hey all!

    John, it took about a day for each part. Of course, I went back and did some cleaning-up as I went. Some of this actually echoed back in time to the "Season 1" episodes and prompted some minor additions to the local copy.

    Rachel, you have to be careful when you use that spell — on a new moon night, you could end up with a zombie dragon! :-D

    Thanks, Aidan. Mik has this gallant streak, but Sura felt compelled to let me know she's no shrinking violet like that girl back in Lacota!

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  5. This has been a heart warming series. Your characters are the key, even the dragon has a great personality. I enjoyed the guardsman's comic turn at the end too.

    @flyingscribbler

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  6. A fine conclusion to the season. The bad guy got what he deserved, the characters grew closer and a soul finally got the rest it deserved. I hope it's not the last we will see of Mik and Sura.

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  7. Aw, that's no fair - the little dragon needs to be with them forever!!

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  8. Enjoyed this Larry. But this only the end of a season and not the whole story, right? I'd feel it was a bit abrupt leaving the apprentices stories at this point.

    Also, I don't trust 'honest' truth diviners. Just sayin.

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  9. Ah Larry, you naughty naughty writer you, you killed the poor little thing.

    I've really enjoyed watching this series unfold, it's been a really "easy to get on with" story, and didn't really expect you to have the poor mite killed, but ya DID, DINCHA? (Sniffle)

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  10. Hi all!
    Thanks Flyingscribber — the guard kind of elbowed his way into the story when I was writing it, and thought "Why not?"

    Craig, Peter, this definitely not the last of them. "The End" was for this second chapter. A little later on, we'll get a two-part interlude before Chapter 3 and 4 kick in.

    Julie, Steve, I was bummed about the dragon too. But he likely wouldn't have survived the trip back… maybe he could have made it if in the summer.

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  11. This has been a fabulous series. Light hearted, but tackling big ideas, but sad to see the dragon die.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  12. Nice ending to a great little story - although I kinda wish the dragon hadn't of died. :(

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  13. I'm glad that in the end the warrior's soul was released, but saddened that the little fella died. Made a nice change that the magic wasn't big flashy 'battle magic' too, but a simple sleep spell. A nice little serial, Larry. =)

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  14. Adam, Helen, I had a couple tears in my eyes as I wrote the ending too.

    Thanks Jim!

    JohnX, there's not a whole lot of flashy battle magic coming. Maybe a *little* though! Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete

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