Prompt Short Story: Pride & Experimentation (Interviews with a Sorcerer #5)

CONTENT WARNING! Torture, towards the end; not explicit or detailed, affected text is under the +

Something I’m proud of, but that people don’t know about… I spent last week telling you all about the size of a sorcerer’s ego, and you want a heartwarming story I kept to myself? Getting kinda demanding, aren’t you?

Alright, if I answer this, I want something a bit lighter next time. Some of this isn’t going to be easy for you to hear, so please be prepared.

Yes, most of the time sorcerer’s are very intent on everyone (those who can, obviously) knowing how great they are. One of us helps an old lady carry a bag? Out goes a bulletin – and I mean that literally. We have something like a magical social network, that’s the best way I can describe it, anyway. Magic users all have the capability to connect in a sort of liminal space. It’s limited, difficult to access, costs a lot of energy to interact with, and we can’t talk and comment like your networks do, but it means we can share things if we want to. And anything that makes us look good? We want to share.

Except that sometimes, some things, no matter how good they might make us look, no matter how many points they might add to our reputation… Some things aren’t right to use for hyping yourself up.

I’m gonna tell you a tale nobody but those directly involved know. It was covered up so well even I can barely find the hints, so you are going to have to take my word on this because I’m not going to be giving you any info that you can use to go hunting. These people you’re going to hear about don’t need that. If I find anything coming back to me about you trying, that’s the very last you’ll hear from me.

You know what? I need wine for this. One sec.

Ah. Lovely. Much better. Brought the decanter, too. I’ll need it. And these extra couple of bottles. And yes, I pour red wine into a decanter. Trufax. Hahah! Sorry. Already questioning why I’m opening this box after so many years. I’m good. And don’t worry, I already spelled myself to not get drunk.

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Prompt Short Story: Glamour (Interviews With a Sorcerer #1)

It was late, I was dog tired, and I had to get up in 3 hours for my daily round of chores and lessons.

I had been repeatedly told, reminded, and told some more that practicing magic when overtired was a bad idea. That even the Masters would stop and get a good, non-magic-induced rest, if they reached the threshold they had very carefully discovered for themselves – always testing as their powers grew. Even they wouldn’t try even so simple a spell as this, in my state of body and brain exhaustion.

Yeah.

But I was to be tested on this spell tomorrow, and everything else left me so little time to finalise the nuances.

So I went ahead anyway.

In the stories – at least those written by the non-magically inclined – there’s often all sorts of dramatic stuff. Runes and circles and pentagrams and candles and chanting. Then everything erupts as the spell takes very obvious shape.

Now I’m not saying that nobody does all of those things. I’m just saying it’s all for show. Window dressing. Something to feed their conceit or impress clients. Some of your story writers know that. You can find the magic users amongst your storytellers, if you pay attention. But I digress, it’s not for me to divulge other people’s status.

I’m not saying that spells don’t create some visible effects at times, of course, but only specific – and dangerous – ones. You have to be pretty violently wrenching reality to make firework displays.

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Prompt Short Story: Found (Lawkeepers 11)

Justinia clenched her fists tightly behind her back, the only outward sign of her emotions. Her face calm, she continued to study the map on the wall, and the manuscript on the table, asking the occasional question of the gentleman who showed it to her so eagerly.

He wouldn’t be so eager if he knew what she was really about, but she didn’t care about that. Or him. Or most of what he was saying. What she cared about was his obsessive tracing of what he thought to be a line of powerful witches, descending down a line directly from Irving Napier.

She wondered what he’d say if she told him they were all the same person. Just Irving, under different names, pretending. Forging papers, moving around each time he needed to disappear and reappear as his younger self – constant glamours letting him age up and down at will.

But for the occasional slip-up, he had made his way smoothly through the decades. It was those slip-ups, however, that this eager young man had begun to pick up on in his studies of magical families; or rather, families supposedly magical. He hadn’t believed either, until he began to dig deeper into the Napier line.

Now, this man had an entire museum in his attic, filled with investigations and information about the Napiers.

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Prompt Short Story: Magic (Lawkeepers 9)

18 year old Annie Jenings was bored. She’d done her chores  – swept and mopped the floor, filled up the horse feed, generally tidied the three roomed building she lived in with her one remaining parent, and now she was bored. Her da was supposed to be tending to the health of the horses – walking, brushing, whatever – for the folk who paid him, but she was pretty sure he was at the inn, drinking away the money she hadn’t stolen while he slept, and squirrelled away for food.

She supposed that meant he would be gone until the money ran out or the inn kicked him out to sober up. Annie brightened a little, that meant she didn’t need to be bored at home. She could go and visit Irving! 

Irving Napier was the 28 year old son of the oldest, and richest, family in the village, and Annie was in the process of trying to seduce him. She had played the game before, on boys her own age, but never seriously (and didn’t some of them get upset about that!), but Irving was different. Not for his money, though that would do nicely. No. He was a shy man, pale from a lifetime spent in study, but beneath the surface was an intelligent, funny, gentle person, and Annie was carefully peeling back his layers. She liked what she found, but she also liked his area of study.

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Prompt Short Story: Remembering (Lawkeepers #3)

Patterson shifted in their sleep, the cot in the back of the van creaking as they sought a comfortable position. Shia looked back in concern as they gave a whimper. And then another.

With a sharp intake of breath, Patterson woke, one arm flailing to escape the blanket. They looked around, their soft brown eyes wide, taking deep breaths as they brought themselves back to the here and now.

In the apartment. Across from a large, empty, rundown building. Another stakeout, a long one this time, information gathering rather than taking action. It meant downtime, time to think, time to dream. Time to remember.

Losing the witch again had triggered a flood that Patterson had long been holding back. There had been no sign of her since, and the captive they’d taken was unable to tell them anything about her whereabouts, as he had only ever seen her as a projection. As far as Patterson was concerned, the other information he was spouting in hopes of making a deal could be dealt with by someone else. And yet, here they were, following up a lead from the guy.

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