Necro Romancer (11-21-17)

You are the hero the kingdom needs, just not the one it wants. You are The Necromancer. [Link to post.]

“I’ll be back, wait here,” I said to my wife. Her bottom jaw clapped against her upper jaw while she nodded. She still had not learned to talk yet, but she was getting better. I kissed her smooth, ivory forehead and left the house. We lived on the outskirts of town, preferring our space. We’d had one neighbor about a year ago, but he angered the wrong person. Now his house sat empty, I doubt anyone knew he was dead.

I walked into town for my monthly supply run and noticed more commotion than usual. I passed a kid putting flyers up, and grabbed one from him to read. It turns out the king sought a hero to defeat a new threat. A powerful sorcerer calling himself the Demon King threatened the land, and the last guy to save the world had not presented himself yet. The king grew desperate advertising for any adventurers to take on the powerful evil. I didn’t think much of it until I glanced at the drawing of the Demon King at the bottom of the flyer. He looked like a standard powerful, mad sorcerer. The picture showed him in flowing robes and a pair of ram horns curling out of the sides of his head. Then, I saw the number “2” tattooed on his hand. I knew my wife would want to take him on. I decided to visit the weapon shop instead of the general store.

I turned a corner and noticed a line coming out of the tiny shop, about a dozen adventurers lined up to gear up. I joined the back of the line, behind a man in fighting monk robes. He turned when he heard me approach and gave me a nod of acknowledgement. I smiled.

“Going after the Demon King?” I asked. Before he could answer, a heavily armored knight clanked by and stopped to glare at me.

“Beat it, skullfucker, no one’s as desperate as you. No one wants help from your dark arts. My party can handle the Demon King no problem.” His group laughed. Their magician pulled a chicken bone from his robes and winked at me.

“Here’s a little something for your wife. I know how much she likes cock,” the man in orange robes tossed it at me. It was a simple underhand toss and I did not intend to flinch, but I did anyway. The monk’s hand flew up in front of me and caught the bone. His sudden movement startled me, and the group laughed. Without a word the monk twirled the chicken bone in his fingers and flicked it at the knight. It went through his armor and into his arm. Their healer rushed to his side while he yelled and cursed.  The rest of his group got the idea pretty fast and they ushered him away.

“So, you’re the necromancer?” The monk asked, with a pleasant smile. “I’ve heard *things* about you.”

“Thanks for that,” I said. I gestured at the empty road where the group stood moments before. “The rumors are technically true, but you know how life is. It’s not as cut and dry as all that,” I said sheepishly. He seemed like a fair guy and I didn’t want to misrepresent myself. The line moved forward.

“Yes,” the monk nodded. “Life is rarely cut and dry. To answer your question, yes. My friend and I are going to try for the Demon King. I’m just here holding a place in line, she’ll be back when I get into the shop. What about you?” He asked. I shrugged.

“I didn’t know about him until today. But there’s a good chance my wife will want to.” He cocked an eyebrow at me, and smirk tugged the corners of his mouth upwards.

“Your *wife*? The one from the rumors?”  I nodded again. The line moved forward. I took a step forward before he realized it, because he was facing me. He took a step backward without turning around.

“It’s complicated.”

“Complicated is fun sometimes. I’ve trained for over 20 years as a monk.The most important lesson I learned is, numbers matter. I’m actually a healer, my partner is the fighter. She’s fantastic. Vicious, but fantastic. A pair of sorcerers would help round out the group nicely. Think your wife would welcome a couple more?” He asked. The monk gave me a genuine smile, and I hoped my wife would say yes. She had her pride as a sorcerer, but desperate circumstances required desperate actions. I nodded at him.

“We can certainly try to talk her into it. After this why don’t you and your partner come by my house to meet her?” I stuck out my hand. “My name is Allister.” The monk grabbed my hand. I felt 20 plus years of callouses in his hand.

“I gave up my name, I am just *Monk*.” He bowed. The line moved forward. We were almost in. The most beautiful woman I’d ever seen walked up behind Monk. I love my wife, and we have the deepest connection possible. But I still knew how to appreciate beauty. This woman had long, straight red hair that reached her waist, and fiery red eyes to match. She stood taller and broader than me. I measured 6’5”, and guessed myself to be a foot shorter than her. Standing behind Monk she appeared twice as broad as him. She clapped him hard on the back.

“Hey Monk, who’s our new friend?” Without turning to her, he introduced us.

“Allister this is my partner, Flutter. Flutter, meet Allister. We might be teaming up for this adventure.”

“Okay. I’m going inside,” Flutter said. Our spot in line reached the door. Monk stepped out of line and nodded at me. I entered the store behind Flutter to browse around.

After we finished shopping I led Monk and Flutter to my home. I sent my wife a telepathic message that I was bringing company, but it was okay. She wasn’t happy, but I explained about the Demon King and his tattoo. She changed her mind quickly. Flutter bought a couple of swords. On the way home I asked her about armor. She wore only a simple sundress.

“Don’t need it. I’ve got Monk,” she said. I wondered how good his healing skills were, for her to have that attitude. My wife probably didn’t need their help, but it’s always handy to have. We reached my house, and I opened the door to show them in.

“Monk, Flutter, this is my wife. Ballisea.” I gestured at a skeleton sitting on a chair next to the bed. The skeleton stood up and walked over to greet them.

Getting the band back together. (10-23-17)

It’s been a long time, old friend. [Link to post]

Jenny explored Regal’s cabin. Her cabin now. She buried Regal five days ago, when she came back to life. She spent her days going through his notes and trying to sort her memories. Regal’s pantry was completely stocked when she woke up. She would need supplies soon, but she did not know where town was. Nor did she have any idea about what she might use for money. If worse came to worse she could hunt using her magic. She quickly grew used to using the world’s magic. She practiced after sunset, because she enjoyed the colors. Before the sun went down she heard a knock at Regal’s door. It opened before she could answer it.

“Regal! Supplies.” A young voice said. A boy walked in the door carrying two large burlap sacks. One hitched over his back, the other in his arms. He stopped when he saw Jenny. He dropped the single bag from his arms. “You’re alive?” He stared at her. He set the other bag down from his back and went to hug Jenny.

“That’s great!” The boy jumped up and down around her. “Where’s Regal?”  Jenny lowered her head.

“He’s dead. Who are you?”

“I’m Aury.” Jenny sighed. This boy definitely knew Regal. “Of course you are. But who are you? What are you doing here?” Aury picked up the bags from the floor and began putting things on shelves in the pantry. “I’m Sarah’s son. When my mom died I took over helping Regal while he worked his magic on you.” Aury finished in the pantry and joined Jenny in the main room. Jenny had seen Sarah’s name several times going through Regal’s notes. “My mom spoke about you a lot. Regal told her how powerful you used to be. Do you know magic?” Jenny smiled and flashed blue glowing eyes at Aury.

“Can you teach me? My mom tried teaching me, but she killed herself before we made it very far.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Jenny said. Aury shrugged.

“It’s been years, I’m fine. But can you teach me?” He looked eager.

“I’m not going to say no,” Jenny placed a hand on his shoulder. “But, I’m not going to say yes either. Not yet. I’ve still got some things to figure out. Once I know what my next step is, then I’ll see if I can fit you in there.” Aury nodded, looking slightly defeated.

“He brought you back to defeat the Demon Queen. She hasn’t visited this world herself, yet. But she does have forces here.” Aury said.

“I can’t do it alone, I need help. Did your mom tell you any stories about SoundCrowd?” His eyes flashed excitement for a second, then dimmed again with disappointment.

“Tons! But you probably want to know where to find them. I’m sorry, I don’t know any of that.” Aury stuck his hands in his pocket. “I do have this though. My mom said it was a good luck charm, but I had to give it to you when you woke up. Aury gave Jenny a small, single red cube. Like a die, but with no dots on it. Jenny recognized it instantly. She smiled and hugged Aury.

“THANKS! This is perfect!” She grabbed the die and tossed it at the wall of the cabin. A black portal appeared. Jenny wondered if she should step through, or wait for someone to come through. Her answer came in the form of a question from the empty portal.

“Hello? Regal?” Jenny heard a familiar drawl. She grew excited, and shouted out.

“VEGAS! It’s me! Jenny!”

“No kidding?” A white cowboy boot stepped out of the portal, followed by a short man with a long blue pony tail. Vegas had gambling related tattoos up and down his arms. A golden beer bottle with the number ’25’ was tattooed on his right hand. A pair of red dice tattooed on his left. Vegas looked as young as he did the last time Jenny saw him. Over 30 years ago, going by Regal’s journals.

“You haven’t aged at all!” Jenny shouted and hugged Vegas, he returned the hug with vigor, shaking her in his arms.

“You sure have. No offense though, you look better than you did in two pieces. I accidentally stumbled across the fountain of youth. Want some?” Jenny almost took him up on the offer, but hesitated.

“No thank you. I kind of like these crow’s feet.” She smiled at Vegas.

“Well, you’re awake. I guess that means Regal is…” Vegas asked. Jenny nodded at him. “He was a great man. So, what’s the plan? How are we going to take out the Demon Queen?”

“Do you know where anyone is? I can’t do it alone. You’re a great help, but we need more.”

“Yeah. Dirge and Dread are actually on my world. I know where Bailey and Foley are too, but no one’s seen Aurelio since you died.”

“Can you round everyone up for me, please? Bring them here.” Vegas bowed.

“D.D. is easy. Bailey and Foley are going to take a bit. Time moves differently where they’re hiding out. You’re probably looking at about five years,” Vegas said. Jenny sighed.

“Can’t be helped. We’ll get everything ready that we can.” Vegas nodded and went back through the black portal. It disappeared. Jenny looked at Aury. “I guess you’re going to have time to learn magic after all.”`

Vegas destroys a city (10-20-17)

There is no time left for explanations. You must destroy your city using one penny and you only have 24 hours left. [link to post]

“Hurry, Vegas!” Regal yelled at me. “24 hour limit, but I know you can do it faster.” He held Jenny’s corpse in two pieces. Her body over his shoulder and her head in his hand. His hand glowed red to keep Jenny’s head alive. I trusted Regal. He asked me to destroy the city, so I did. I pulled a penny from my pocket and tossed it casually at a cat. The cat bolted off the trashcan lid, toppling it over. The trashcan rolled out into the street causing a car to swerve.

“Alright, it’s done. Wanna tell me why?” The power went out. Regal opened a black portal and stepped through it. I joined him on a hill overlooking the city. Regal was wise, powerful, and easily entertained. He liked watching my work in action. A water tower toppled over.

“The Demon Queen survived. Jenny weakened her immensely, but we couldn’t finish the job,” Regal’s head fell a bit, likely heavy with disappointment. “Burying the city will give us time to escape without being followed.”

“Where’s Lauren?” I asked. She was the only reason I was here.

“She did her job, and she got out safely. After we confirm the city’s destruction you can go join her. I’m going to take Jenny somewhere I can heal her.” An explosion rocked the city.

“What’s the plan? Regroup at Toku-high?” I asked. The school’s official name was Nexus Academy, but one of the teachers started calling it Toku-high, and the nickname stuck. Despite Regal’s insistence that it not.

“No. You’re done, Vegas. You’ve done all that I asked of you, and more. Nexus Academy is just rubble now. You’re free of obligation. Go be with Lauren. I don’t know if my plan to heal Jenny will work or not, it would be unfair of me to leave you waiting.” A skyscraper toppled over into another one, pushing it into a third. The dust and smoke made the city hard to see. My power was fickle, but I learned how to control it pretty well thanks to Regal. I thought the Demon Queen was teaching me how to use my power, but she only taught me glorified party tricks. Regal taught me how to tap into my essence, my Unique Soul. The city was almost buried. The third sky scraper would fall on the natural gas plant.

I pulled a single red die out of the tattoo on my left hand and slipped it into Jenny’s pocket. Regal noticed. I shrugged.

“Lauren’s met the Demon Queen. She won’t ever feel safe until we defeat her. I can help,” I explained.

“Thank you, Vegas,” Regal said. He nodded at me. A chain of explosions rushed through the city as the the gas lines exploded. The city was no longer visible behind the cloud of ash and dust. “You’ll be a great help.” He said. He opened two portals.

“That one will take you to Lauren,” He pointed at a portal and I jumped through it.

Vegas joins the Resistance(10-19-17)

A criminal sits in solitary, reflecting on the path that brought them there. [Link to post]

“I wonder what Lauren’s doing,” Vegas said aloud to himself. Talking aloud was his only company in the box. Lauren was his only friend in any universe. He stared at the tattoo on his hands, and remembered the night he met Lauren. The tattoo was of a golden beer bottle. The first tattoo he got at 15. When he turned 25 he decided he liked the number and tattooed “25” onto the beer bottle, like a label. After he got the tattoo, an old woman he looked up to told him he needed to be in Las Vegas the next day. He spent all his money on the tattoo and tried to rob Lauren. She talked him out of it. They were Inseparable for years, then one night an older man, in his early 40s maybe, called Vegas a “drunk”.

“You’re him! You’re El Borracho!” The man said, while excitedly sizing him up and down.

“Sorry pal, you’re mistaken. I don’t drink,” Vegas said. He wrapped his arm around Lauren and turned to walk off.

“No, I’m sorry. You’re misunderstanding me. You’re not drunk, you’re THE drunk. El Borracho.” The man pulled out a small card that showed a disheveled man enjoying a bottle. The number 25 was on the top left corner.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Vegas pushed the man’s hand out of his face. Lauren squeezed his hand. He squeezed her back to calm her down. She wanted to get this guy out of the way permanently, but Vegas did not consider him much of a bother.

“Please, at least just take my card and think about it. If you haven’t realized it yet, you will soon. I can help. You’re like a super drunk, your power is dumb luck. But that can only get you so far unless you learn how to control it.” Regal said. He pulled out a golden card, but instead of handing it to Vegas, he pushed it into the 25 tattooed on Vegas’ hand.

“WHAT!?” Vegas freaked and yanked his hand back. Lauren pressed a knife against Regal’s throat. Regal remained calm.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about yourself. Whenever you want to summon me, just pull my card out.” Vegas pretended like he was reaching for the card.

“Oh right, and I’m just going to…,” He pulled the card out. Then pushed it back in. “Neat.” Regal bowed and walked away from Vegas and Lauren.

Vegas repositioned himself in the small box. He was lucky that he was short, otherwise the box would be unbearable. He reached into the back of his left hand and pulled out his favorite pair of lucky dice. Two small, solid red cubes. When it was just him alone he did not bother putting dots on the dice. He rolled them for something to do, and thought about the last time he saw Lauren.

They met Regal many times after the first time. Vegas did not seem concerned with his own powers, but Lauren was interested. He went along for her sake. Regal was from another universe, and he took them there. The portal was a black hole that they stepped through as easily as going from one room to the next.

Regal was the principal of a high school called Nexus Academy. He gave Vegas and Lauren a tour and introduced some of his favorite teachers at the school.

“Nexus Academy is where we train heroes for different universes. Some universes don’t have heroes, some universes have too many. We try to fill that need. I’d like you to be an assistant coach here. You’ll have a job, and you can learn about your powers,” Regal said. Lauren was eager. Something still held me back. It was a hard goodbye, but Vegas understood. He wanted Lauren happy, and she wanted to stay at Nexus Academy. Vegas picked a new world to start from. He could not go back to the one where he met Lauren without constantly being reminded of her. Vegas stopped rolling the blank dice. He never realized it before, but now he knew what happened. Without Lauren’s intelligence, without her guidance, his power took him over.

In his new world he got noticed by a powerful woman who named herself the Demon Queen. She was beautiful, sometimes, when she changed her shape to look like Lauren. She called him El Borracho too, and she taught him about his power. Despite the Demon Queen being evil, Vegas’ dumb luck protected him. She did care for him in her own way. She imprisoned him instead of killing him.

Vegas had been imprisoned for months, but he figured out the secret during the first week. He knew he was the only prisoner. The Demon Queen built that prison just for him. All the inmates were the Demon Queen’s armed forces. Looking back of the months it only became more obvious. The prison was too well run, the inmates were too well behaved.

Vegas spent months thinking about Lauren, and his life. And how he wanted Lauren in his life. The Demon Queen taught him enough about his power to get out of the prison easily. He could do it with one of his dice and minimal effort. It was not until today that he knew where he wanted to go.

He reached into the 25 on his hand and pulled out Regal’s golden card. A black portal opened up in front of him and Vegas jumped in.

Golden Mistake (10-18-17)

A pandemic “illness” sweeps across the world in which its victims all have superpowers. You don’t know what yours is. [link to post

I met a strange, amazing, and wonderful man when I was 15. I changed the world at 17. I was stupid at 16. He came from another world, but knew more about my world than I did. He taught me how to speak my own words. I said “portal” without having to catch the word. He knew so many words, and he put them together in the most amazing stories about the things he’d seen and done. I loved him like a father and he talked about Jenny like a daughter. She was not his actual daughter, but he felt a deep connection to her. He told me about how proud he was of her.

“Words are power here.” Regal told me while we walked through the forest. “Those words that you hunt are magic words. Somehow your people started to believe that they could not speak unless they caught the right words, and no one tries anymore. When children try to speak parents shush them and teach them sign language. They convinced you that you can’t speak.”

He had been right, of course. All the words I caught were magical. I learned to summon roses, tulips, or irises with ease. I introduced him to my parents as a tutor, and he demonstrated just enough knowledge to sell the ruse. This gave me the excuse of spending more and more time away from home. My vocabulary had grown harder to keep hidden.

My favorite word was, “nano”. He explained to me that the magical words were clusters of nanos that organized themselves naturally. Nanos, tiny machines. He proved it to me, he had his own nanos in different colors. Jenny’s corpse was placed in a horse trough filled with golden nanos. It flowed like liquid gold as he poured the nanos in over her naked body.

His cabin took him a year to build. He picked out a hill and flattened all the land around it. That was done in a day. While he poured gold on Jenny I asked him why it took him a year to build his house.

“I needed to seal every piece of wood to keep the nanos in here trapped. These gold nanos are too powerful for your world. Nanos train each other, if these got out they’d train the rest of the wild nanos in the blink of an eye. Everyone would have magic,” He explained.

My inexperience translated that into, “these can give people magic.” It only made me realize how often he sprinkled me with golden powder while I trained. Shortly after that, I met a boy.

I lay on my back at the side of the stream. I stared up at the blue sky while I kicked my feet in the flowing water. I heard footsteps in the grass, they sounded lighter than Regal’s. I rolled over and spotted an older boy sneaking up on me. His posture changed when I saw him. He relaxed and laughed.

“Hey. Name?” he asked.

“Sarah. You?”

“Roberto. Bob.” He offered me his hand and I shook it with a smile.

“Like a flower.” He smiled and pointed at me. I nodded, fighting the “thank you” Regal taught me. It was an unknown word.

My year was amazing. I learned so much from Regal and Bob. Bob’s vocabulary grew as we spent time together, I took him hunting in all my special places. I loved him and I revealed my magical nature. Not everything. I didn’t explain nanos, or where Regal came from. But I showed him magic. He loved it. I loved him.

The boy I loved wanted magic, and I knew how to give him magic. If I gave him a drink of golden nanos while we were in Regal’s cabin, he would learn magic. I planned it perfectly, down to the last detail. Regal made monthly trips to another world for supplies. I did not plan on Bob pocketing some nanos for his friends. The second we left the cabin the sky exploded with golden light. It looked like a new sun formed in the night sky. Magic affected everyone differently, and some people not at all. Regal felt the change the second he returned.

“FUCK!” he said, as soon as he stepped foot back into my world. Only the second time I’d ever heard him use any curse word. He looked at me and sighed.

“Are you ready to make things right?” he asked me. This was his favorite phrase whenever I messed up. I nodded at him.

“Because these nanos were so much more powerful than the nanos of your world, they were enough to heal Jenny. Now the magic of your world has been rebalanced, and I need to do it the old fashioned way,” He began to explain how I could help fix the situation. “I’m going to spend the next few years readying myself, and you’re going to have to help me. When I begin, I’ll need you to help keep me alive, because I won’t be able to stop talking.”

Bob insisted on helping to fix the mistake, Regal accepted his help. Once Regal began his incantation Bob and I visited weekly to maintain his house, and make sure his nutritional needs were met. Bob discovered he had the power to control wind. I never learned my power. Regal was never able to finish training me. Bob and I had a son when I was 36. I sacrificed myself when our son was two years old.

Regal Arrival (10-17-17)

Words are like animals. In order to speak a certain word you need to hunt it first. Most people have only a small vocabulary but one day you meet an old man who knows more words than you have ever heard of. [link to post]

“Sarah!” My mom yelled my name to get my attention. I had one foot out the door, anxious to go play. I looked at her she gestured for me to “be careful”. I nodded at her and ran off to play by the stream. Stream was my first word. My parents took me on a picnic by the side of the stream when I was five years old. My parent’s house was deep within the heart of our city, and wild words were never found around people. There were plenty for sale, but my parents could not afford any of the good ones. My mother refused to let me use any of the cheap curse words, even though my dad made a case about their flexibility in conversation.

That day I sat on the side of the stream with my feet dipped in the cool running water, and something shining and sparkling with silver light caught my eye. I grabbed it before it moved and the word just popped out of my mouth.

“Stream!” I yelled. My parents were so happy. We spent a lot of time outdoors after that, but the stream was still my favorite place even 10 years later.

I ran out of town in a hurry, but slowed my pace once I left the city walls. I enjoyed walking in nature. Nature had the best words. Trees and plants were easy. They did not move once they bloomed. I saw dozens of sparkling flowers in all colors. Red, white, purple. But I knew all those already.

“Roses, tulips, and irises,” I said aloud to myself, while pointing at each sparkling color. After a short time I reached my secret hideaway. Over the years my dad helped me build a fort of sorts in a dense cluster of trees near the edge of the stream. We painted it with greens and browns to keep it hidden. No one liked wandering in nature these days anyway. People did not hunt words like they used to. Poor people made do with small vocabularies and lots of gesturing, rich people loved showing off their vocabulary, thinking they sounded very smart. They sounded like fools. I learned tons of words in nature, even my parents did not know how many words I knew.  

I sat in my chair and just stared at the stream, this was my favorite past time. Suddenly I noticed a black dot. It floated in the air above the stream, it looked like it was a black dot just hovering in reality. Then it grew. I moved closer to it, thinking it might be a new kind of word.

I reached the edge of the bank, but the blackness hovered over the center of the stream. The dot grew to a circle as big as my father, then a foot stepped out of it into the stream.

“FUCK!” I heard as the black leather boot sunk into the water. I giggled, and repeated it.

“Fuck,” I continued to giggle. Despite my mother’s best efforts to keep curse words from coming out of my mouth, she did give me a regular allowance. I told the vendor it was “for my aching mother”.

The full form of a man came out of the blackness. He stood tall. His salt and pepper hair was a mess, blood ran down the side of his face. On his shoulder he carried a girl’s corpse on his shoulder. I knew it was a corpse because the body stopped at the neck, and the old man held a girl’s head in his hand.
He held the head upside down, holding it by the neck bone. His hand glowed red. The eyes on the head were open and glowed with brilliant golden light. I screamed and ran. He noticed me.

“STOP!” he yelled. A wall of mud rose up in front of me. I stopped. I turned around to face him. He walked out of the stream toward me, carrying the body. He placed it down, gently, lovingly, then looked at me.

“Hello little girl. Please don’t be afraid, I don’t mean you any harm,” The man said. He nodded at me and sat down next to the body. I moved closer, his actions convinced me.

“Black?” I asked. The man tended to the body, he seemed to be trying to affix the head to the body. He was mumbling to himself and his lips glowed red to match his hands. He stopped when I asked and looked at me. His eyes softened, and he smiled.

“That was a portal. I’m from another world,” he said, with unbelievable casualness. “Portal” and “World” were new words to me. Not only could I not say them, I’d never heard them.

“Last word?” I asked. Something about this man told me I could trust him. His actions, his movements, his eyes appeared very sincere. I sat down next to him and watched him start to dress wounds on the body. The girl’s shirt was lifted up to reveal a large gash in her stomach. The man held a red glowing hand over the gash. He nodded as if he understood my question.

“This,” he said. He gestured all around us, and then he touched his hand to the ground. “ALL of this, everywhere is your world. I’m from a different one.”

“Fourth word?” I asked, now that I thought I understood “world”.  He nodded at me.

“Portal. Think of it like a door. I walked through the door to get from one world to another.” I nodded.

“What’s your name?” He asked.

“Sarah!” I said, proudly.

“Sarah, my name is Regal. My friend here is really hurt,” he started to say.

“She’s dead.” I said. He chuckled.

“Yes, she is dead, but not permanently. I’ve been keeping her head alive, it was all I could do until I got here. Now that I’m in this world, I can bring her back to life.”

“How?” I asked. I’d never heard of such a thing.

“Magic,” Regal said. Another word I’d never heard.

Rebirth (10-16-17)

Magic is real, but casting spells requires reciting the whole word. The longer the word, the more powerful the spell is. The strongest spells can take hours (or even decades) to cast, and the strongest wizards are either really fast speakers or have great foresight.  [link to post]

Jenny’s eyes fluttered open. While her mind got its bearings she heard a groan and thud. She looked around and saw a head of neatly combed, silver hair laying on the top of a desk. She was on a bed. She moved to get out of the bed, but struggled. Her body felt stiff. She needed deliberate effort to move her arms and legs.

“Hello?” She asked the silver head of hair while she moved one limb at a time. She hoped she could stand. The head did not move or indicate it heard her. She managed to swing her legs over the side and placed both feet on the floor. She looked around for some support and discovered a cane near her bed. Intricate geometric patterns were carved into the wood around the handle.  

Jenny reached for the sturdy wooden crook and paused at the sight of her own hand. It appeared to be made of solid gold, but moved easily. She wiggled her fingers, and then looked at her other hand. It was also golden, and she wiggled all 10 fingers easily. Her strength was returning quickly, but she still reached for the cane.  

She stood and walked to the desk. She prodded at the person’s body with the cane and it did not move. She stared at the face of the old man. His eyes were closed and she now knew he was dead. He looked familiar, but her memories felt like they were all bundled together, tossed into a chest and hidden in an attic. Everything was there, but digging it out and untangling her memories would take time. More time than she wanted to spend at the moment. She looked at the desk under the old man’s head and found an open book. It looked like a handwritten journal. Jenny gently moved the man’s head out of the way and took the book. She did not know who he was, but she felt a great respect for him. She flipped to the front of the book.

“My Dearest Jenny,” the first line began. Jenny did not think of her name until that point, but upon reading it she knew it was for her.

“I have no idea if this will work, but you are too important to not try. I will bring you back to life, and/or die trying. If I fail, you will never know. If I succeed, my life is a minor trade for yours. After your death, we thought we defeated the Demon Queen. She survived, and is gaining strength again. You are the only one that can defeat her. We failed because you were not there the first time. Gain your strength, master the magic here.” Jenny reached the end of the first page and sat back down on the bed to rest. She continued reading on the next page.

“Words are power here. Focus on the language, I know you’ll pick it up easily. I am writing this letter to you before I begin to transfer my lifeforce into you. I’m sorry I’m not as young as you were when you died. I will use the rest of this journal to keep track of how much time it takes. ~ Regal.” Jenny’s heart sunk when she read his name. It registered on an emotional level. Whomever he was, she respected and idolized him greatly.

Jenny flipped the page and found a legend with different variations of tally marks for different time periods, hours, days, weeks, years, decades. Three decades.

“He spent 30 years trying to bring me back to life?” Jenny said to herself. She looked around the room and found a mirror. She rushed to it and found an older, beautiful woman with purple eyes staring back at her. Her long, straight, dark black hair reached her waist. She looked at her golden hands and pulled the sleeves of her shirt up. More gold. She kept moving it up until she found the change from gold to flesh at her elbow.

“Words are power,” Jenny repeated to herself. That phrase sounded familiar. She stared at herself in the mirror and tried to settle on a focus. Water was the first thing that came to mind. She held her palm out and focused on the center of it.

“Water.” she said simply and quickly. Nothing happened.

“WATER!” she yelled at her hand. A single drop of water formed in the air above her hand and dripped on her palm. Jenny closed her eyes and pictured raging rivers and powerful waterfalls. She felt a powerful calmness in the back of her head while she concentrated. She opened her eyes. The small room appeared brighter to her. In the mirror her eyes, and the top part of her dark hair shined with blue glowing light. The blue of her hair faded to black partway down her head.

“Water.” she said again, focusing. A ball of water, like a water balloon without the water, plopped on her hand. It only wiggled slightly, but held its shape. She brought it to her mouth and bit the glob of water like an apple. Water flowed into her mouth and the ball of water shrunk. The water tasted cool and delicious, she finished it quickly.

Jenny still felt her strength returning to her, and she decided to check on the outside world. She walked out of the house and looked around. The sun was setting, scorching the sky with orange on the way down. The small brick cottage was the only house within view, and it was a great view. Regal’s home was on top of a hill surrounded by flat plains in all directions. Fields of green were dotted with brilliant and varied colors of wildflowers.

Jenny buried Regal without using magic. Her strength had returned, and enjoyed being active, even if it was gravedigging. A light blue crescent moon hung high in the sky when she finished covering his grave, she sat down nearby and a song started somewhere in her memories. She sung for him. Her emotions came out in the words of the song. She did not feel sad. It was not a sense of lost. She was alive now. She could not remember the details, but everything inside her convinced her that Regal made the right decision.  It was a new beginning.

A sense of hope and life filled her words. Golden flowers bloomed out of Regal’s grave, and Jenny smiled. Emotion was the key to her. She now knew how to defeat the Demon Queen. She looked forward to using song to save the world.