by Lovina 🐕🦺
Short Shots Contest Entry October 2020
|The Wizard grabbed his staff, stormed out the door, and headed for the graveyard. The unrest has been brewing for a while, now it was time to put a stop to it before it truly got out of hand. It seemed every other full moon or so the spirits got restless.
First it was the overturned headstones. Every one of them, upside down. It had to have taken some powerful magic to do that.
Then it was the fog, so thick you couldn’t move through it. Again, powerful magic.
And now, his caretaker informed him the souls have been freed from their coffins. Not just one or two, all of them, and the caretaker says he won't step foot back in that graveyard until they are all put back. The coffins were specially made, the entire inside lined with salt, to keep the souls from wandering. Powerful magic indeed.
There is only one he can think of that would have been able to retain that much magic after death. Shaara. Once his wife, then his nemesis, now his subject – she is probably a little upset. The Wizard smiled. Shaara is now his most prized possession.
The graveyard held all the witches and wizards that he defeated. Not all of them lost their power upon their demise and all of them were quite angry at being defeated, justly or not.
The Wizard slammed through the gate, the hinges rattling at his passing. He went straight to Shaara’s grave, and stopped, mouth agape at what he saw there.
A girl, just a strip of a thing, the witches cloak she wore lay in piles around her feet, and clustered about her shoulders leaving her skinny upraised arms bare. Her deep red hair blew around her small face. Shaara, in the days of her youth, impossible!
"Hello Maddox," her high pitched young girl voice in stark contrast to the power emanating from her.
One of the souls, a vision of a skull, came straight for his face, screaming - the sound sending shivers through him. The specter veered off at the last second.
The girl giggled, "no, not Shaara, but Mother is here."
"Mother?" Maddox stared in disbelief, "Shaara is your mother?"
"Yes," the girl calmly replied as the dead swirled around her. “If Mother hadn’t been shielding me, hiding me from you, you never would have defeated her. After she died you were too involved in your false glory to notice me as I melted into the forest, biding my mother’s last wish and hiding from you.”
“If she told you to slither away and hide then why are you here now.”
“She never told me I couldn’t return.”
Maddox the Wizard quickly assessed the situation. There's no way that waif, Shaara's offspring, could be powerful enough to free the dead from their prisons. Could her Mother be helping her? Even then the child would have to have great power of her own. Maybe all of the dead were helping her? Could she be channeling them all somehow?
Maddox may have been infused with great power from a distinguished lineage and chock full of street sense, but, unfortunately, he was not very bright. His battles were won by treachery and even some luck. Today, though, it would appear his luck has run out. He was so distracted with the puzzle of the child's power source he did not notice what was accumulating behind him.
"And what might your name be," Maddox inquired, "who is your father?"
"Now Maddox," the girl replied, "you know better than to ask such questions."
Yes, Maddox did indeed know better, he had been hoping the child did not. Great power can be had over a witch or wizard if you knew their given name. He now knew that he was at a slight disadvantage since Shaara had shared his name with her offspring.
The girl closed her eyes and started speaking so softly Maddox could not make out the words. With each whispered word power accumulated around them, first a soft glow and a hum in the air making his arms break out in gooseflesh. With each word the power grew. The soft glow solidified, deepened, a force all its own. The hum deafened in its vibrations.
Feeling the magic surrounding him, Maddox could only think of one thing to do. The one thing that always worked to momentarily stun his opponents, his most powerful bit of magic. He took his staff and slammed it into the ground. A sonic boom threatened, then died, barely a muffled thunder clap.
Maddox stood in stunned silence for the briefest of moments before the dead, much more solid than before, set upon him.
A short time later the soul of Maddox sat upon a stone, trapped, defeated. He looked at the child that was his undoing, "how?"
"The trap was Mother's idea, the power came from the dead cheated of life, I was the conduit directing the magic, you were the final piece to the puzzle. We needed more power, you had it, we just needed you to use it so that we could steal it. We used your own power to destroy you."
"You have a lot of power for a mere child." Maddox's voice was small, dejected.
"I was born with it. I come from a long line of powerful Wizards and Witches."
"Your mother?! Preposterous!"
"No, actually it comes from my father's side." The child started toward the exit, "Goodbye father."
Word count = 925