First Draft of Aging Magic

Christopher Vollick [2015-06-03 01:20]
First Draft of Aging Magic

I've wanted to write this for a while.
It turned out ok.
Filename
aging_magic.mime
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+Title: Aging Magic
+Content-Type: text/creole
+Tag: main
+Tag: story
+
+I wake up flat on my back, my head still spinning.
+The air is so dry it stings my eyes just to open them, but I have to keep them open. He's still coming.
+
+The bodies all around me were destroyed in the last blast and the ones that came before.
+I'm thankful that they died quickly. I don't know why he's after me, but besides the fear they felt in their last moments, they didn't suffer.
+Black soot marks where each life ended, and there's a lot of soot around.
+A gentle breeze moves through the library, lazily clearing away the tops of the tables; casually erasing the only memory of these people I have.
+
+Wait, where is he?
+
+"I see perhaps I've underestimated your development", he sneers coming into the room from the hole in the wall, "I took too long to find you."
+
+Raising his hand to his side, he cups his palm upwards as it begins to fill with the fire streaming from his fingertips.
+I can feel the hair on my body stand upright, and I pry my eyes away from his smirk as I look for somewhere to hide.
+
+His power seems pretty great, but his form is sloppy. He takes a full few beats to wind up his maneuver and I see it coming from a mile away.
+I sprint towards the nearest bookshelf, timing in my mind how long I have before he finally releases this blast.
+I run out of time and have to clumsily dive behind the bookshelf just before a gout of smokeless flames consumes the place I'd been standing.
+It's directed up and over my head, like a flamethrower laser or something, obliterating books as it goes, leaving the shelf untouched.
+I don't really know how this stuff works.
+
+I guess he figured I'd roll out and keep running.
+If I hadn't landed so weird I may have, and I may be dead right now.
+Maybe he overestimated me.
+
+Shit shit shit, he's coming and I'm stuck in this stupid... what is it in a library. An aisle? Row?
+I feel like there's a better word than that.
+Focus! I can hear him coming.
+
+I scramble to my feet amongst the piles of scattered books, and do a hunched kinda run thing out and into another... aisle, I guess.
+As I'm passing the shelves and looking back it seems really quiet.
+I dip down another row and I'm starting to get ner--
+
+Woah holy shit! A huge stroke of fire comes way too close to my face, and even though I pull back the split-second of exposure was enough to hurt like crazy.
+I check my nose to make sure it's still there, while I hear an sound like someone exerting a great effort from somewhere beyond the shelves.
+Maybe he's getting tired?
+
+Nope.
+A floor-to-ceiling wall of flames pours down the row behind me and starts sweeping my way, while he sounds like he's lifting a truck.
+I have no choice but to run out of the aisle and back into the wide open common area, almost making it before I get a tinging sensation on my back and the force of the fire propels me forwards, slamming me onto and over a desk.
+
+I'm trying to catch my breath, and only sorta wondering why I'm not vaporized, and I can hear that he's also a little winded.
+And, if I'm judging his breath right, he's also a little frustrated that I didn't die already. That makes me a little happy.
+Bastard.
+
+I try to get to my feet, but my hip's hurting really badly, and something seems weird with my ankle.
+I lean on the table trying to act casually, but I don't think it's working. He knows he's got me.
+He takes one step towards me before a new voice calls out "Richard, don't" from the other side of the room.
+
+We both turn towards this voice and see a man standing in the door to the room.
+He's got shoulder length raven hair with a bit of a curl to it.
+He's wearing a vest thing over his muscle shirt, and from the looks of his arms, that didn't just happen to look good on him.
+In his hand is a cane, which would have made him seem more frail if he weren't holding it half-way up the shaft like a weapon.
+
+Wait, is the first guy Richard?
+That seems weird. From the magic, and the billowy clothing, I would have expected his name to be "Angnoth" or something. Richard.
+Ok.
+
+Richard speaks up.
+"Don't try and stop me Travis. If we don't kill this one it'll get stronger and may one day challenge the likes of us. It's surprisingly strong already. You know I'm right!"
+
+Travis? Ok.
+Also, I think I'm "it".
+
+"This isn't the way Richard. We shouldn't try to kill them, we just need to train them."
+
+"That isn't a sure thing. An apprentice can kill their master."
+
+"Like you did, Richard? Most of us don't do that. You've just always been a little twisted."
+
+I feel a little awkward for sitting in on this.
+I can't really run, because my leg's all screwed up -- not to mention that I'm glued to the floor out of fear -- but it just feels like I'm listening in on a personal disagreement.
+
+The library is in ruins around us, and we're surrounded by the dead, but they're having a heated but relatively casual chat.
+About me, I think. The "it".
+
+Richard seems like he's caught his breath, and is getting frustrated at this argument.
+My hair stands up again.
+
+Half way through Travis' sentence Richard lets loose with an impromptu blast right in my direction.
+I don't have time to move this time, but I'm saved when a wall of air springs up and deflects the fire to my right.
+I look to see Travis holding the cane in my direction, wind blowing gently by him.
+
+Richard turns his attention on Travis, and fires 3 balls one after another out of alternating hands towards him.
+Travis uses his cane to easily deflect them before following up with a bolt of lightening straight up the middle towards Richard.
+
+I barely have time to see it, but Richard's already thrown up his hand infront of him and appears to have absorbed the hit, sliding back a little as he does.
+
+"I don't want to fight you Travis", he spits through gritted teeth.
+
+"That's not true, you just don't want to lose to me", Travis counters, throwing another blast towards Richard.
+
+Richard rolls to the side and hurls another huge blast of fire my way.
+
+I brace for impact, but I'm done for.
+
+I feel a little warmer, but not so warm as to be dead. Or even injured.
+I still hear fire.
+I open my eyes.
+
+Travis is standing up on a desk in front of me, fire breaking against him as it redirects away from me.
+Lightning flickers out from him in all directions, and I can see the sweat beading off his skin and sizzling like it were on a skillet.
+
+Time moves slowly as I watch awestruck while he stands against a glowing molten backdrop of fire; his clothing and hair billowing out like he were floating.
+He exhales slowly and adjusts his stance to better resist the fire. He turns his gaze back to me briefly and gives a small smile out one side of his mouth and a nod.
+
+He pushes his hands forward like he were moving a box, and the sound of the room shifts from a gentle roar to the sound of a rocket taking off.
+He continues to bring his hands out and together and the fire follows along, closing back towards Richard like a huge beach umbrella.
+
+As the stream gets towards its tightest, the fire takes on a high-pitched tone like a jet engine, and just maybe the sound of a human scream.
+Then it instantly goes quiet.
+
+I clear my throat to make sure I haven't gone deaf, and Travis looks back at me.
+He smiles a big smile and jumps down off the table.
+
+"Come with me," he says, "I have much to teach you"
+
+
+---
+
+I hate this place.
+It doesn't seem right for him to be here.
+When I think about him, I always see him wandering through some cave, or in his lab; a rich wooden room with deep warm colours and just the right amount of clutter.
+He'd be draped over the edge of some chair smiling widely and discussing a strange topic.
+This place, with its sterile walls and bright white floors and sensitive pastel accents just doesn't feel right.
+
+A voice comes over the intercom telling one of the staff that they're wanted on some extension or another.
+He's propped up in bed, like always. His thinning hair, always more grey than I think, seems damp just from the effort of living.
+He's rambling on about the same story he tells every time I'm here.
+He's already told it 3 times this visit.
+
+He stops talking mid-sentence and I turn to see why and find him just staring at the wall blankly, as though he forgot that he was talking while he was talking.
+A fire starts in the pit of my stomach and I have to fight to keep my cool. I hate this thing that's sitting in front of me.
+It barely even looks like him anymore, it doesn't sound like him, it doesn't smell like him.
+This disgusting frail creature I keep visiting doesn't even know who I am half the time!
+If I never came again, what would change? Would he even know?
+He used to be powerful, controlling the raw elements themselves with a casual wave and a smile.
+This thing has trouble getting up for a piss.
+
+I stand up and pace the room a bit to keep from strangling him to death.
+I'm not sure it wouldn't be the best thing for him.
+
+I'm leaning by the wall when he notices I've moved and looks towards me.
+
+"Where's Natalie got to? Is she coming back soon?"
+
+Oh God, this doesn't get any easier.
+I can feel my throat start to clench and my lips start to purse.
+He was there when she died, and the first time he asked me this it shocked me.
+Now it just makes me sad.
+I've tried reminding him of the truth before, but he just gets really confused and hurt every time, like it was the first time he's heard of it.
+
+"Yeah, she's just in the other room getting some materials. She'll be back in a bit", I barely manage to push out.
+
+"Oh good. You two really make a great team."
+
+It's too much. I have to turn away and cover my eyes for a minute or two while I try to keep quiet.
+He doesn't seem to have noticed, and is looking calmly out the window.
+Good.
+
+"Did I ever tell you about the time when I defended Rio from a powerful sorcerer, who was trying to use blood magic to infect the population?"
+
+"Yes" I say, but it doesn't matter. He starts in anyway.
+The strange thing in, this isn't even his story. This is something I did during one of the periods where we were apart, and only told him about later.
+He's mixed up a few other stories we took part in together, and parts of my story, and constructed this rambling nonsense version.
+
+I'm getting frustrated again just listening to it, and I get up and get my coat to leave.
+I don't even know why I come here. There's nothing left for me here.
+
+As I'm walking to the door I hear him say, in a voice more like the one I remember, "Do you remember the time we fought Richard in the library"
+
+"Yes, I do", I reply heading out the door.
+
+"That was the day we met. I think that was the best day of my life."
+
+I pause, turning back.
+
+"Mine too"
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