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Saturday, November 8

NaNoWriMo Update

I dozed off, exhausted from the expenditure of magical energy that Yaga had taken from me.

I was lying in the street when the two burly men who had thrown Piper out of the Wizards School found me. I hadn't moved since the incident with Piper.

The man who stood before me, or rather his feet, as that was my perspective at the time, had curled shoes. Only a wizard had curled shoes.

A man grabbed each of my arms and yanked me upright. I got the distinct impression I was in trouble.

“Where is he?”

I got a good look at the wizard. He had curled eyebrows and a curled goatee, both a reddish brown. His nose was long and narrow. His hair wafted like a flame upwards, unruly and unkempt, but that’s wizards for you. He wore an outlandish outfit that made him look a bit more like a clown than a wizard, with a flaring collar. It was all purple, of course.

“Where is who?” I asked.

“The word magician! I know he was here. I can sense him!”

“You mean Piper?”

The wizard stroked his chin. “Yes. Piper.” He looked me up and down. “Who are you?”

“Tesso,” I said. I didn’t have a last name so I didn’t provide him one.

“Tesso, hmm?” The wizard extended his hand in what can only be described as a condescending shake, as if he half-expected me to kiss his hand rather than shake it. “I am Heer Halewijn, Guild Wizard. I have been recently assigned this district. And as Guild Wizard of this district, it is my distinct responsibility to monitor all unlicensed magic. And this …” the words dripping from his lips, “… PIPER, has violated the law.”

“You already had your chance,” I said, feeling oddly brave given the circumstances. Black had long since left, leaving me to face these three men alone. I had nothing to lose. “Piper applied and you rejected him.”

“I think you’re lying,” he said. “A little magic will pry your tongue loose.” He snapped at the two guards. “Hold him.”

The men tightened their grip on me. I wasn’t going anywhere.

Halewijn chanted something. As he did so, I could feel energy drain out of me, the same rush I felt when Piper did his magic.

Halewijn blinked. He looked back at the two men, and then at me. “What in …?”

“What’s up boss?” asked one of the men.

“The spell!” Halewijn shouted, as if he were bellowing over the roar of a crowd. “It didn’t just read the boy’s thoughts. It read everyone’s thoughts.” He rubbed his temples, struggling to regain his focus.

The two men eyed each other nervously.

“You’ve been stealing from me. Corwin, Spindle, you’re dismissed. I will no longer need your services.”

The men backed away, hands on the hilts of their weapons.

“Or I could just turn you into toads … “

They turned and ran.

Halewijn rubbed his temples for another minute. Then he gave me a curious stare, as if he were burrowing into my soul.

“I see now that you were telling the truth. But that leaves me with a single question: what do with you?” He snapped his fingers. “As punishment, you will be my servant. Come along.”

And that was how I became Halewijn’s apprentice.

13,478 words so far


posted by Michael Tresca at 5:21 PM

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