This is an extract of a fantasy story I wrote many years ago, in 1999/2000.
The time was nearly midnight; she was alone in the woods and very scared.
The time and place of the meeting had not been her idea and she had been reluctant to agree. In the end she’d had to concede that it would guarantee they would not be overheard. What she had come here to say and with whom she was to meet she did not want her father to find out about.
Her friend, David, had planned and organised this meeting for her, though he didn’t know exactly why she had wanted it. Luckily David wasn’t the curious or prying type.
She had deliberately arrived a little bit early to think about her situation. She had been thinking about one particular occurrence for a while now, but the problem had started many years ago. Ever since the age of seven she had been aware of a particularly tingling sensation, often when she was frustrated or annoyed. She asked her nurse at the time, Mistress Grey, about the tingling and she had blushed bright red and started talking about nature and urges. She laughed now she had grown up looking back at it. She was now a fully grown young lady of seventeen. Many at court were married off at her age. What Mistress Grey had taken for the onset of puberty she since discovered was actually called, among wizard circles, as ‘the gift’. Gradually she had tried to practice doing things with this gift but she lacked control and recently had been responsible for a grave accident. She, as the Governor’s daughter, always had admirers pursuing her, mostly unwelcome ones. Recently the Baron Hawksworth had been particularly tiresome in his pursuit and she had wished for something to happen to him so she could escape his clutches. No one could understand how the Baron had been knocked unconscious by a stone gargoyle in the middle of the park, surrounded only by a few small shrubs. She of course knew how and that was why she had wanted this meeting.
At that moment there came a faint rustling from a rhododendron bush and out walked the man she was here to meet, the High Mage Angstrom. The High Mage was a tall thin man. His long white hair and beard made him look very old to her and also just a bit silly. Very conscious of his high office he always seemed to be wearing his red robes that marked him as a high mage in the Red Magehood. He was also wearing a gold amulet and carried his heavy staff. She had always thought he was a bit of a pompous ass but in this particular matter he was the best man to turn to.
“GOOD EVENING LARA” announced the High Mage
‘Typical’ thought Lara, ‘he would be the kind of person who talked in capitals.’
“Please be quieter High Mage, I do not wish everyone to know what I am about to tell you.”
“Well why have you asked to meet me?”
“I have found out that I have the gift.”
“You have had the gift for a long time, why bother me about it now?”
“You knew? If you knew I had the gift why didn’t you tell me?”
“If you had the gift, then you would know. I knew when the time was right, you would approach me, and I was right, wasn’t I?”
‘Oh how smug’ though Lara to herself. She was fast developing a dislike for this overconfident old man who seems to model his attire on garden gnomes. Always tactful, what she actually said was,
“Yes, how clever you are. Well, will you teach me the basics of magic so I can control it better?”
“Well let me give you your fist lesson in magic. Different Mage’s have different talents. The reason I am always present when your father meets with foreign diplomats is that one of my talents is I can hear what people are thinking. Also, I would be proud to own a garden gnome that looked like me.” The glint in his eye belied the stern tone of his voice.
Lara was, probably for the first time in her over pampered life, bereft of words. The Old man spoke again.
“If you are serious and you truly want to learn, then be in my study at seven o’clock tomorrow morning. I see no reason to prolong this meeting any further. Good night Mistress Boadrah.”
The colourfully dressed High Mage vanished before her eyes. Lara thought ‘Show Off’, then wished she hadn’t in case he hadn’t really gone and was just invisible. Feeling like there were a hundred eyes peering at her from the darkness, Lara picked up her skirts and ran for the Palace. Very unladylike she thought to herself, but she wanted to much to be out of those woods.
End of Part One
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/May/2018
I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you liked and what didn’t work so well.
Would you like to hear more?