The Quest to Save Landon

anime girl wand

Anime version of Hermione Granger holding a wand

Nine-year-old Landon and his classmate and friend Ana were in school, which was strange, because school was out for the summer. What was even stranger was that Landon was at the head of the class and Ana was the only student.

“Now today class, I want to introduce you to magic wands.” He was wearing a white shirt and tie, dark slacks, and was wearing something that looked like a cross between a jacket and a robe while Ana was dressed similarly.

“Stop being silly. I’m the only one here.”

“Just trying to get into the mood, Ana.”

“Fine, you teach me how to use a wand, and I’ll teach you moose healing magic.”

“Are you sure we should be keeping this from Buddy?”

“You said you knew enough to begin my training yourself. Besides, we’re ready to start the fourth grade. I think we’re old enough to handle the basic stuff ourselves.”

“Okay. Anyway, this is a magic wand.”

“It looks like a long, thin stick. What makes it magic?”

“We do. Wands help us focus our spells, especially ones that normally would affect a wide area.”

“Like my light spell.”

“Exactly. The elemental light spell explodes like a bomb or a flash bulb on an old-fashioned camera. If you focus it through a wand, you can create anything from a flashlight beam to a laser.”

“Cool. Can I try?” She stood up at her desk and held out her hand.

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The Battle for the Holy Grail Moose Milk

moosemilk

Image from the Moosecraft YouTube channel.

Stop! Don’t read this unless you’ve first read The Runaway Stuffed Rabbit!

Alfred the Rainbow Rabbit sitting on the back of Merlyn the Dragon shot up into the air over Ana’s backyard like a bullet.

The nine-year-old girl’s Mom witnessing the astonishing sight nearly fainted, and the Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon followed the pair a scant second later. As Ana ran outside after all of them, a sudden whirlwind picked her up, and she flew into the air after all three of the supernatural beings.

Her Mom screamed, terrifying Ana’s little brother as he stared at these amazing events from the family’s back patio.

“Buddy! What are you doing? What’s going on?”

The dragon didn’t seem to hear the girl as all four of them continued to soar skyward toward a strange, black cloud.

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The Fallen

fallen

© Sue Vincent

Jake saw Dani standing in a gorge between two cliffs holding Witherbrand in her hand. Her blade was covered with blood and she was surrounded by bodies.

“Dani, what happened?”

The seven-year-old looked around but couldn’t see his brother or sisters, that is, until he looked closer at the dead people on the ground.

“Dani?”

She turned and stared at him, but her eyes were so different. Pale, blue orbs gazed at him with malevolence, and she grinned like a predator who had just spied fresh meat.

“What are you doing?”

She wasn’t in a hurry. The teenager strolled almost casually in his direction. Her armor wasn’t what he had given her after his dream. It was red and black, like the demon’s armor, like Sahkr’s.

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Ana Gets a New Friend

alfred

© James Pyles

“Well, I, Greigen the Shadow Dragon have found you. Not sure yet whether I shall tell the others. I rather fancy having this little hunting ground all to myself. Besides, you’re well off the proverbial beaten path, so it’s not like there’s a freeway leading to your door.”

“Yeah, well put up your dukes and let’s see who’s tough!” The bunny in the bow tie stood on his hind legs and raised his paws in his best boxer stance, but even Ana could tell he was quaking with fear.

“Oh, come now, bunny. You want to be eaten first, is that it? Fine, you shall be an appetizer, and your child friend will be a slightly larger appetizer.”

“You’ll have to get through me to get to her.”

Even though Ana was terrified almost senseless, some part of her felt amazed that the rabbit, who couldn’t wait to get rid of her, was now defending her to the death.

“Easily done.” The Shadow Dragon flicked a claw and sent the hare flying out of sight.

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The Princess and the Bear

girl and bear

Photo credit: Google images – found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Catherine and Vincent were in love, but cursed by the evil Bishop of Aquila to forever be apart. She had spurned his blasphemous advances, and though thought to be the faithful servant of the Holy Pope, he in fact was in league with dark and sinister forces.

He discovered her affair with Vincent, Captain of the King’s Guard, a relationship forbade her due to her royal blood, and so with His Majesty’s blessings, a powerful spell born in Hell forever changed the man Vincent was into a huge, ferocious beast.

“Oh, sure. You want it now. Can’t you wait until we get to the cabin? In case you haven’t noticed, its freezing.”

Come on, Baby. Don’t be like that. You’re just mad because I was hibernating with those other bears.”

“I noticed how you had your eye on the large female.”

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Dark Mirror

shack and mirror

© Yinglan Z.

When Chance Bailey returned to his deceased father’s estate, he found nothing but refuse and rubble. The woman he had a “chance” encounter with in that dive bar on the wharf had been his long-lost sister, and she had taken the bulk of the old man’s wealth, which should have been their shared inheritance. Now all he had was a single 18th century gold coin and his father’s ruined land.

There was an old shed and a strange black mirror, which he had never seen before. Yet when he presented his coin to father’s solicitor, he was told vast riches could be found here.

It didn’t look like glass. More like iron filings swirled by magnetism. Chance reached out with recently washed fingers and touched.

Then he was in a cave on an island hundreds of years and thousands of miles away. There were chests full of gold doubloons, all the wealth he would ever need. This was the secret of the old man’s fortune. The mirror was the greatest treasure of them all.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of April 10, 2018 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 175.

Yesterday, in response to a different challenge, I wrote The Pit Fiend Promise in which a man who had lived a wasted life after being rejected by his wealthy father, finds out via a mysterious messenger (his long lost sister, though he didn’t recognize her), that “the old man” had died, and his inheritance was there for the taking (half actually, since sister had gotten there first).

In today’s story, though it seems at first that Chance has inherited nothing but ashes, he discovers the secret to how his father built wealth in the first place. Now how will he use it?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

An Unlikely Seagull

seagull

© Alastair Forbes

Sixteen year old Jeff would do anything, even go to the zoo with his parents and brothers, rather than deal with Suzanna’s jealousy. He had to turn off the ringtone and vibrate features on his iPhone and block the SMS service so she couldn’t call or text him.

At first, he thought he was going to be bored, but all of the different animal exhibits were interesting and even fun.

He still couldn’t get his mind off of Suzanna, though. When they started dating, she seemed nice, if a bit strange, but now she was totally possessive. Lucky he had Jan to talk to, but if Suzanna ever found out…

There was a big crowd in front of him at the Seal exhibit, but he wanted a photo, so he held his phone over his head to get a picture.

“Hey!” Jeff felt a sudden jerk and looked up to see a large seagull flying away with his iPhone. Mom and Dad were going to kill him.

Suzanne landed behind the public restrooms at Ocean Beach near Sloat and then transformed back into a teenage girl. “Now we’ll see what you’ve been texting to that little slut Jan.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of April 8th, 2018. The idea is to use the image above to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

I must confess that I read Joy Pixley’s story Secret Salvos before crafting my tale, so I was probably influenced by it.

The object in the gull’s mouth looks kind of like a cell phone, though I doubt the bird could hold something so (relatively) heavy in its beak for very long. That means it couldn’t be an ordinary seagull, could it?

Way, way back in the day, like the late 1970s, I remember visiting the San Francisco Zoo (where my story is set) and I was about to feed a seal a piece of fish, holding it (the fish, not the seal) above my head, when I felt a sudden jerk and the fish was gone. A seagull had flown down and plucked it out of my hand. I let Suzanna do the same thing with Jeff’s phone.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Oh, I understand the host of this challenge has to let it go at the end of the month due to health problems. My schedule prevents me from having sufficient discretionary time to pick it up, but I hope someone else will.

The New Apprentice

falcon

A peregrine falcon flies near the Throgs Neck Bridge. Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

Landon stood majestically on top of the wind-swept plateau dressed in archaic and stereotypical magician’s apparel. The robe draped over his slight nine-year-old frame from neck to ankle was colored a deep violet with bright yellow crescent moons and five-pointed stars dappled generously across the fabric. His head was adorned with a tall, conical hat made of the same material, displaying identical hue and decoration.

In his right hand, he held a long, slender wand made of a dark wood with no name, and on his left hand and wrist, he bore a thick, heavy glove of leather. High above in the deep azure sky, he saw a mere speck of darkness contrast against the pink and yellow clouds, spread thin as paper by the light of the setting sun to his back.

The wind rushed past his ears, but he could still hear the distinct cry of the falcon circling over his head. The bird of prey was too high for him to hear the boy, but he projected his thoughts into the heavens and the avian would be compelled to respond.

“You must choose now, Perry. Is she to join us or not?”

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The Dragon’s Legerdemain

stuffed toys

Produced by DollyAndPaws and found at Etsy

The dragon was about the size of a small St Bernard and covered with golden scales. He had two hind legs but his forearms ended with what could have been hands complete with opposable thumbs. His eyes where the most human thing about him, a crystal clear blue, like water in a mountain stream. When he opened his mouth, the first thing you saw were hundreds of needle-thin, razor-sharp teeth, and then a long, tapered tongue the color of raspberries.

His long, thin wings fluttered but not as fast as a hummingbird’s and his tail wagged back and forth with annoyance like a common house cat, and yet he was far more fierce than even the greatest feline predator in any jungle.

The source of his annoyance, actually it was more like trepidation, was the vision that had manifested before him. It was late on a Sunday morning. Landon had been helping Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon test the boy’s young friend Ana for potentially possessing a latent magical ability. To that end, they were using a story book that allowed the user to bring into reality any tale the book contained. The story they’d chosen was that of a cloud city.

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Trapped Between Dark and Darker

black dragon

Found at wallpapersafari.com

In a mysterious floating cloud city, eight-year-old Landon and his friend Ana were trapped in a roomful of inter-dimensional portals by a smoke dragon. When the dragon’s snout broke open a door from the outside, it bumped into the boy, knocking both he and the girl through a gateway into the unknown.

“Landon!” Ana cried out as she fell into nothingness.

The boy reached out and grabbed her by the waist and then used his levitation spell. “No, not this time. We’re not going to fall into another world.” He used the spell to stop and then reverse their motion. He didn’t take the time to look around but concentrated on getting the both of them back up and through the opening to cloud city.

“We’re almost there, Ana.” Landon could see the other side. Some of the mist from the sky city was drifting toward them, but was it mist or smoke? Then an intensely hot stream of flame shot through as the dragon tried to incinerate them from the other world.

Reflexively, Landon, still holding onto Ana, dove beneath the flames and further into…what?

Then the light vanished. Landon and Ana looked up and the doorway back to the cloud city was gone. In fact everything was gone.

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