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Writing Prompt: Magic

Last week I posted an excerpt from my fantasy novel, so this week I’m posting a writing prompt. This is a one word prompt. The only rules were that the passage had to start with the word ‘magic.’ Surprisingly, this idea came to me really quickly. Enjoy!

Magic courses through me, drawing air from my lungs, wrapping fire around every centimeter of skin, and carrying with it a siren’s song.

“Lara!”

Devon’s voice is distant, like he’s yelling across a canyon rather than standing beside me. His hands slide past me as he tries to grasp my shoulders, tries to stop me.

“You can’t do this!”

He’s wrong. As long as I can endure this pain, I can do anything I want.

“You aren’t yourself,” he says, a sob breaking his steady plead. “Lara, my Lara.”

The spell breaks. Magic shoots out of me like needles in a too-small glass. The world capsizes. Fire roars across my vision, and my fingertips turn cold.

Blinking, I take in Devon leaning over me, his hands on mine, but I don’t feel him.

“Now you’ve gone and done it,” he says in a tone that confirms my worst fears.

I try to hold up my hands, to look at my fingers, but they’re too heavy. Devon pushes me up, drapes me across his shoulder, and holds up my burdened hands.

Stone caps my fingers.

“Impossible,” I breathe. “Stone-casing only happens after years of sorcery, right?”

He is silent.

The more I stare at my hands, the more I think that we might be wrong. We based that theory on the fact that all gargoyles look like hunched-over old men, wracked with inexplicable pain, but they weren’t old at all. Spell casting is painful as I’ve just experienced, and the call to power has rendered me forever useless. What can I do without my hands?

“Maybe there’s a cure,” Devon says, lighting a shred of hope. “If we could find another sorcerer, someone more experienced, maybe they could help us.”

“Us?”

“Yes, we’re in this together.”

“But I tried to destroy your farm with magic. I lit your cow on fire. You loved Patty.”

“I love you more,” Devon says earnestly. His blue eyes hold a deep sincerity, and a smile plays at the corners of his lips, which are twitching. A telltale sign that Devon isn’t to be trusted. He’s hungry for revenge.

Smiling sweetly, I utter a thanks and swing my stone-cased hands across his face, sending him lurching into the mud like the snake he is. The crack of his nose and fountain of blood provide a small sense of satisfaction, but I can’t stay to revel in it.

Somehow I thought running away from my slave master would be fun, an adventure. In my dreams, I’d always whipped him good with the belt he used to use on me. I’d never pictured my hands covered in stone, myself ten percent gargoyle, having just smashed the handsome nose that distracted me from his cruelty. I hope I took out a few teeth too. Devon is a viper, able to manipulate me and convince me he loves me in the same breath.

I wish I’d kept performing the spell, even if it had turned me half gargoyle. I should never have let him kiss me in the barn. That momentary attraction, that flicker of doubt shattered my concentration, my chance for my vendetta.

He’d burned my home, along with the rest of the northern village. Hero of the Bayon Conquest turned greedy landowner. His sweet kisses turned into most vile poison. His grip on my heart, first tender and sweet, now painful, wrenching, like an unending spell.

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