Randomized Title: Mage of Eternity
*Note: I almost re-randomized past this name–which I rarely do–because looking at it hurt my eyes, but the girl next to me at the coffee shop went through the trouble of looking up the pronunciation and I’d feel changing it so here it is.
NEW Randomized Songs:
Riptide – Vance Joy, Needed Me – Rihanna, Daydreaming – Radiohead, Pompeii – Bastille, Don’t Let Me Down – Chainsmokers, and Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Fantasy/Suspense (whoops, forgot to crop the pic)
Time: 45 min
The bones in Aoide’s fingers were frozen together, making it hard to turn the pages of the library’s last tome. A small candle flickered before her dark eyes, caressing the long black strands framing her face as well as washing her skin of any color. It threatened to go out every five minutes or so, but a lazy flick of her wrist sent it ablaze once more. The only warmth provided to her was her passionate desire to find him. The man who could give her the power she needed.
Aiode stiffened, eyes scrambling throughout the darkness to find the source. She was in the library of a castle buried beneath the surface of the earth–so deep that only a proper spell can get you in. Her white fingers tucked the dusty book into the silky satchel at her hip.
Lifting the candle high, she placed her hand directly over the flame. With a sharp hiss, “Augeo!”
Removing her hand, the fire expanded wide, illuminating the entire room. Her black eyes, alive with the red of the flames, scanned every inch of the library with precision. Broken shelves and askew books were seemingly her own company.
A furry creature scurried forward. It scratched at the stone, dark fur tipped with gold. It’s tiny ears pricked upwards as it got closer, revealing itself to be– a rat. Aoide’s eyes narrowed. One hand stilled the metal base of the candle, the other pulled forth a dagger from her bag.
“What are you doing here?” She demanded through clenched teeth, words falling like clouds from her lips. The little rodent cocked its head to the side, but didn’t appear to comprehend her words. It scurried about the floor, sniffing and scratching.
“I am no fool,” Aoide stepped forward, chest held high, “I have read hundreds of books on magic. Transmutation is not unheard of to me.”
The helpless creature fell over and rolled into a little furry ball. Aoide looked from side to side, wondering if perhaps this was a distraction. Bright light and dancing shadows. Her eyes returned to the furry creature, now hugging its own tail. It couldn’t be a simple animal, it just couldn’t be. Logically, nothing could survive here. Then again, she never heard of many other modern-day magic users that it could be. One in Transylvania, one in Canada, and her grandmother were all she knew. None of which ever believed the Mage of Eternity was real.
Kneeling down, Aoide replaced her dagger with a chunk of stone. If it really was a person…they wouldn’t let themselves get hurt simply to trick someone. She raised her fist above her head, hesitant at the possibility of harming the adorable creature that was currently on its back and kicking playfully in the air. She took a breath laden with ice in an attempt to strengthen her. It was her that would find the eternal mage, no one else. With a quick flick of her arm, the stone went sailing into the rodent’s skull. It let out one sharp scream, then collapsed. Aoide dropped the candle, hands covering her mouth in horror. The bewitched light dimly lit the unmoving creature. She ran to it, falling to her knees. Her hands gently rested on the soft fur.
It wasn’t moving.
“Oh god, oh god, i’m so sorry,” she whispered, lifting the animal in her arms. Think, think, think–Can I save it? She couldn’t breathe through the welling in her chest. Though she considered herself a jaded magic user, she couldn’t bear to see anything innocent hurt–even if its circumstances for existing made not the least bit of sense.
She carried it to the seat she had been reading on, placing the candle close to it (even though the heat it provided was minimal). Its fur was matted, stained with black goo. Her fingers pet between its ears–crack. Her finger sunk in a little, and she immediately pulled away. Oh god. She was never good at healing spells. It’s rib cage expanded, just the smallest bit. She had to try. Her palm pressed against its stomach “Deo cura est…” Light bloomed over the creature, starting at its center, reaching for–
Laughter echoed throughout the room, causing Aoide to bring her hands to her chest. The sound was high, mocking. The young mage locked her jaw.
“Who’s there?” Her ascent was slow, controlled, fingers facing upwards–ready for either a defensive or aggressive spell to guide them.
“Where have you been hiding?” It was a woman’s voice, deep, with the sharp characteristic of a villain. More laughter, “I thought there were only three others.”
Aoide forced her face to remain passive, “Clearly you were wrong,” She crinkled up her nose, “Are you going to remain hiding the rest of the conversation?”
“Sassy…” The light change color. Aoide looked to the candle behind her, seeing the icy blue flame replacing orange. It made the furry animal look like a cold corpse. She went to move it out of the way, but–the ceiling exploded, forcing her backwards. Or rather, something was spawned from the air in such an abrupt fashion that it pushed aside anything nearby.
Sitting on the cold stone, Aoide was forced to look up to the young woman before her. They looked to be the same age, with similar dark hair, only this girl had hers pulled back in a tight ponytail. Her clothes were fairly unassuming–red pants, a long black trench coat, and dark leather satchel.
“Oh sorry,” said the girl, puckering her lips, “I hope I didn’t scare you.”
“Trust me, you didn’t,” Aoide bluffed through her light blue lips. She stood on frozen knees, flexing her toes. “If anything, I’m baffled by your lack of manners.”
“How rude of me,” the girl exclaimed with a sigh, “Well let me introduce myself, at least. My name is Krishna. And you?”
Aoide looked her up and down with a frown. “Leofflæd,” she said casually. There was a book she read once that talked of spells you can cast if you learn a person’s first name. But, just in case “Krishna” was casting a detect lie, it wouldn’t be caught, since Leofflæd was, technically, her name–albeit her middle.
“Leofflæd?” The girl cackled, “Your parents must have hated you.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Aoide sneered. “Now, what do you want?”
She saw the hitch in Krishna’s breath, re-examining Aoide’s response, but she quickly pushed past it, “Same as you, I’m sure. The Mage…” Krishna stepped forward, causing Aoide to step back. “Who takes one pupil every few centuries.”
They both stared each other down, eyes narrowed. The air around them was suspended in motion, holding its breath.
Aoide shattered the silence, “What do you need him for?”
Krishna looked genuinely perplexed by the question. A half-smile spread across her lips, “A promise I made to someone. And, unfortunately, I don’t break my word.” There, for the first time since her grand arrival, the other girl’s face softened. She was trapped in a memory–
“Memoria illius laqueo!” A white frost erupted from Aoide’s fingers, spraying Krishna’s face. The white mist splattered in the air, just before reaching Krishna’s skin. The girl’s eyes widened, taking a step back.
Dammit, Aoide’s lips pulled into a deep frown. She should have anticipated a shield. Krishna’s recovered, lips in a scowl, “So I guess we aren’t rock-paper-scissoring it?” Her pale hands wove together, a ball of green rolling within her palm. Aoide watched, half curious at the spell that she had yet to read about.
“I guess the question is…” Krishna’s ball got bigger, illuminating her face with sickly green, “How bad do you want it?”
Aoide bared her teeth, “You have no idea.”
The green ball went sailing towards her. Aoide flicked her wrist, causing the ball to stop mid-air, spinning uselessly. After three seconds, it spun backwards, returning to the user. Krishna growled, ‘grabbing’ the ball from the air. She pressed her palms together, but before it was completely smothered it exploded in her hands. She yelped, but it didn’t seem like the damage was too extreme.
“Igniculus!” A flurry of sparks shot towards Krishna.
The other woman hissed, palms held outwards,“Pulsus!“
A loud screech punched through the air, making the sparks explode between them. The sound sharpened, digging in Aoide’s ears, carving into her brain. She pressed her hands to the sides of her head, screaming to counteract the noise. While her hands were busy, Krishna shot an icy shard through the air. The coldness of the room slowed Aoide’s reflexes, and she felt a shot of ice rip through the outside of her ribs. She fell to her knees, still suffering from the screech. Surely it would end soon–spells can’t last too long. Another icy shard, headed for Aoide’s stomach. She jumped to her feet, but it tore through the outside of her thigh.
Blood was dripping down her right side, freezing as it touched the air. Shit, shit, shit! She was about as dead as the rat on the other side of the room.
The screeching stopped.
Aoide unclasped her head, immediately shooting ropes of fire to the other girl. Krishna jumped to the side, effectively dodging four of them–but the fifth wrapped around her elbow. Her jacket burst into flame. Krishna screamed, waving her arm frantically. Seeing her attempt at extinguishing the flame useless, she tossed both her satchel and her jacket to the floor, revealing a cropped black long-sleeve shirt. She immediately bent down to her satchel, set aflame by the jacket. “No, no, no–” Her hands were digging through the bag, wincing each time her hand made contact with the fire. Her arm reeled back, something in hand. Aoide paused, brows knit. It was a little stuffed cat–stained and missing an ear. Krishna held it close to her chest, panting. There was a love there that Aoide hadn’t seen before.
“Krishna!” Aoide screamed with a jarring abruptness. Krishna looked up, her hazel eyes alarmed.
The toy was ripped from her arms, and pulled into Aoide’s. It took a minute for her to process it–but Krishna’s face immediately darkened. “Give. It. Back.”
“If you agree to leave,” she was sure to add, “In a Promise.“
“You’re sick,” Krishna spat. There was a heavy silence between them. Aoide squeezed the limp cat between her fingers. The other girl winced, taking a deep breath, “Fine.” She thrust her arm outwards, ready for the handshake. Holding the cat tight, Aoide stepped forward.
“No tricks,” Aoide said calmly.
“No tricks,” Krishna agreed. Their hands touched.
The power of both of their spells sent them flying backwards. The impact of the wall nearly knocked Aoide out. The world was distorted, and her ears were ringing. Something… there was some noise….something like… When her ears regained their function, she realized it was a scream. She looked to Krishna on the other side. Her arm was held up–what was left of it. Blood and bone was all that remained of her forearm. Aoide looked down to her own hand. All but her thumb was gone, obliterated to the bone. She stared at it, unable to process that it belonged to her. She flexed her hand, and watched as only her thumb pulled inwards.
Crimson pooled around both of them, the magic exciting the blood to keep pumping. No… No I… Her body was paralyzed.
An orange light burst from the other side of the room, drawing both girls’ gazes. The chair was glowing, the ball of light getting larger and larger. Aoide watched with a dumb expression, her face numb. The light disappeared, replaced by a man in tattered robes. Blood glistened through his dark hair, dripping down an aged face. His expression was empty, cold. The girls stared at him with such disbelief that their arms were forgotten. He shifted only slightly, before falling completely still.
Krishna’s head turned slowly towards Aoide. “Did you…kill… the Mage of Eternity?“
The flame in the room dwindled into a tiny spark. Aoide closed her eyes, head falling back,
The light went out.