The Young Wizard’s Folly
Those rats are back. Two or three at a time they come sniffing around. Looking here and there, trying to find it. He’s a wise wizard. I’ll give him that much. Sending his familiars to search for the book, but they’ll never discover its hiding place. I didn’t just fall off the turnip cart yesterday. The only way he’s getting his hands on my father’s spell tome is to face me like a man.
Burnt hair smell, sparks, and smoke, a single magic arc takes care of the rodents. Now, how to go about finding my bothersome foe? A pinch of ash from his little fury friends should suffice. Where’s my mortar and pestle?
“Livingston? You filthy scoundrel, what have you done with my equipment? Livingston?,” I scream. Here he comes now. That’s what feeling sorry for someone does. When I took the hunchback, the gimp, the hideous creature in and fed and clothed it, and gave it room and board, I had no idea what a commitment I was making.
“Yes, master?” he says.
“Where-is-my-mortar-and-pestle? Where? Do I need to speak slower?”
He points to my implements, sitting to the left of me, in plain sight.
“Very well, go catch a cat, or do whatever it is that you do. Leave me now.” Giggling, I can hear him as he limps off.
Back to the spell: a shard of blood-quartz, the ashes of a foe’s pet, three troll eyeballs (for flavor of course), and a little magic. You best be ready old man, because I’m coming for you. The potion goes down smooth-ish. When the coughing starts I’m ready for it. Great clouds of ashen smoke seep from my lungs into the room. Before long I’m unable to see. A flash of blue energy and the incantation is complete. The smoke clears, and my laboratory is gone.
Teleportation is tricky magic. My head is on backwards, and the old wizard is standing here smirking. He keeps looking at my butt and then up at my face, which at the moment seem to be in the same orientation.
“Looks like you got that spell bass-ackwards,” says the old man.
Before I can react his fireball catches me in the back. Sizzling flesh and the smell of burnt facial hair, the first signs that things are not going well, and then the pain hits and confirms it. Somehow, I’m on the floor. On my stomach, but still looking up at the ceiling. Stalagmites hang down like giant teeth. Of course he’d live in a cave, reclusive old coot. Standing over me the old wizard cracks his knuckles, and smiles.
“Now lets see if we can get that head of yours straightened out,” he says.
Of all the ways I’ve imagined dying this was never one of them. At least he’ll never get my father’s spell book.