Banished (extract)

A banished prince, old war general, girl raised in the wild and a battle mage set out to help a farmer rescue his lost daughter from a secret guild set at kidnapping illusionists. Extract of my movella Banished for the fantasy competition.


1. Milkstone

Granit questioned “Why are we watching this magic show?”


Talc responded, “’Cause this is the stupid type of thing that blasted mage dies for, he will be here, trust me.”


Thal was confused and asked, “Why would he come watch someone who can’t do real magic put on a magic show?”


Talc answered with his patience running low, “He told me once some silly reason that magic takes talent, but doing magic without magic takes true talent”


Sidi said, “Magic stupid! Too many people! Let’s go!”


Thal looked over to her and said, “Ohh shut it, it’s about to start”


The crowd slowly started to quiet down as the Magician stepped out onto the stage. He was an older gentleman, probably in his early seventies. He was dressed just like anyone you would see on the street with his traditional brown shoes, brown pants and brown shirt. The shirt’s sleeves had been torn off, revealing the man’s long arms that appeared to once be strong and sturdy but since overcome with age. He stood up and thanked the crowed for coming, his bald head shining in Aeschylus’ light through an open window. He showed that his hands were empty and he turned himself around showing that there was nothing on his back. When he turned to face the crowed he had a black hat in his hands.


“Where come from?” gasped Sidi.


Talc said, “It’s magic. Just be quiet and watch.”


She listened to Talc and did not make another peep during the show, being entranced as the Magician showed that the hat was empty and then put it on his head. When he took it off, there was a small bird there that flew of his head. Then somewhere in the crowed someone yelled, “Boo, we saw you do that last year.” At that the Magician pulled a handkerchief out of his hand and threw it into the air. It floated down softly to the ground. When the magician picked it up, a butterfly flew out from underneath it. Someone else from the crowd yelled, “I saw you pull the butterfly out of your shirt while the handkerchief was falling. Come on do some real magic.” The magician ignored the remarks and pulled his hat off his head and showed the audience that nothing was in it. Someone shouted, “Let me guess; now you will pull a rabbit out of your hat like the last ten years you’ve done this show.” People started to get up and leave. The magician put his hand in the hat and screamed as he dropped the hat. 


It landed with a thud and out came a rabbit that was being consumed by flames. In the last moments of its life, the screeching fire ball bolted to the back of the barn. There it fell over and died. The fire from its lifeless form began to spread to the straw that filled the barn. People started to scream and bolt for the one entrance and exit in the massive barn and then they froze in terror. Standing before them was the thing they told stories about around the campfire. What they told their children would come and get them if they did not behave. Blocking the villagers’ only exit from the fiery inferno, dressed in full battle gear with a large, broad shield and a sword that looked more like a lance was a battle mage. One young man look from the mage to the fire as if trying to decide which fate would be worse, to be burned alive or suffer death by the hand of a foreign gods’ servant. Before the man could through himself to the flames the mage stepped into the barn and spoke, “Wizard, show yourself.” The mage barley was able to raise his shield as the beam above him exploded into hundreds of tiny daggers that plunged to pierce his flesh. After narrowly escaping the borage the mage rushed into the white faced crowed. Seeing the mage advance towards them, the villagers parted and rushed for the door. They had not taken more than two steps when the front of the barn collapsed, weakened without the massive support beam that had shattered in an attempt to kill the mage.  Everyone was trapped with the ever increasing fire and the magical battle that was just beginning. In all the confusion there was a chuckle.


“You think you can face me?” said a teenage boy, “You of all people should understand what power I hold.” He took a step towards the mage and continued in his arrogant voice, “Aeschylus is sound asleep and your foolish god is still awake. I have all the power in the world and you have none. What were you hopping to accomplish except to get yourself killed.” With that the remaining three walls burst outwards in an ear piercing crack and seemed to disappear. Then walls of wind slammed into the mage, holding him trapped in an invisible prison. The wind carried upwards and shot the roof of the large barn high into the air. All that was left where the barn used to be flew towards the mage, slamming into him and then continuing upwards to the heavens. The mage knew that he was toast. Piles of straw hitting his armor was nothing, however he noticed that several of the villagers were starting to slip towards him. He normally liked it when people flocked to him, but a whole village crashing into him did not sound very appealing. Especially the one that looked like an oversized pig. By golly how did people who had so little get so fat? Well on the bright side, his fat would probably make him one of the last ones to plunge into him and who knows, maybe he will be crushed to death long before the pig man took flight. Nope, pig man slipped and started to roll towards the helpless mage. “Here it comes” thought the mage “I am going to die by suffocating on fat.”  It was not the worst death he could think of, but then again it was not the best either. Bacon fat, suffocating on bacon fat sounded so much more appealing and so in the moments before pig man enveloped the mage in his never ending blubber, the mage imagined that a giant blob of bacon was coming to complement a side of eggs and bread.  As his breakfast greeted him whole heartedly in the face everything went black. For just the slightest moment the mage thought he was completely submerged in pig man, but then he felt a familiar power grow inside him. The darkness was not caused by a bacon eclipse but from the awakening of a god.   Aeschylus rose from his slumber, plunging the world into darkness and typically when Aeschylus was awake the other gods were asleep. The thundering wind fell silent and pig man fell to the ground. The mage quickly found his prey, the now powerless wizard. He thought I will just have some harmless fun with the poor lad you know, just burn off a few limbs and the like. He began with little flames sparking up all around the defenseless wizard. Slowly the flames grew larger and were harder for the wizard to put out with his frantic stomping. Then pieces of straw began to land around the wizard which gave the mage’s fire new life and the power to finally light him on fire. The falling straw jolted the memory of the mage that what goes up, must come down. Immediately the mage caused as much wind as he could muster to shoot upwards at an angle. It was just enough to push the falling barn roof off to the side, missing the frozen villagers by a few feet. This feat drew on all of the power he could suck from his distant god and distracted him just long enough for the wizard to extinguish his clothes and make his escape. Finding the wizard gone, the mage turned back to the villagers and said, “Taadaaahh” and held out his arms, giving a bow. “The magic show is now over, please exit the building through any of the new exits that were created during the show and remember to come back next time!” With that the mage turned and walked out of the ruined mess.


With his departure the villagers started to awake from their nightmare and wander home leaving the mess to clean up later in the safety of the day.


“I told you he would be here” said Talc, “hurry up or we will lose that blasted idiot.”


Granit said, “I thought you said he knew how to be inconspicuous?”


“He does, he just prefers not to be”

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