Remember, if you'd like to participate with us, just shoot me an email at email@example.com. I'd be happy to provide you with any information you need. Our word count this week was still 2K and the picture prompt this week was:
Oh the many directions this could go... But instead of what I normally would've done, I did this... Enjoy.
When you're done here make sure to visit my FF partner in crime Elaina M. Roberts.
THE GREAT MAGE
Harvey adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. He wiped his nostrils with a tissue, then squirted sanitizer into his palm. Damn allergies.
“Are you all right over there?”
Harvey startled, almost forgetting he was connected with Seth, his online friend from a local LARPing group. LARP stood for live action role-playing game, where players could create a character and act out their gaming fantasies in the real world. LARPing was the only area of Harvey’s life where he felt powerful. It wasn’t like the real world was begging for his presence, being kind of a geek and an outcast at school. So, he immersed himself in the game. To his fellow nerds and the LARPing community, he was Aneris, the Great Mage of the White Kingdom.
He and Seth had met in a local Dungeons and Dragons chat room last summer, found out they were both part of the local LARP group, then progressed to chatting privately on Skype. They’d agreed to keep things microphone only, in case recognizing each other’s face would give away their character on the field.
Out there it was either stick with your guild or gun it alone, depending on the scenario chosen for the game each week. Outside friendships didn’t matter. Alliances did. If Seth happened to be from an opposing guild, or worse, sided with the Black King, Harvey didn’t want to know.
“Did you get that thing you ordered?” Seth’s voice hinted at a smile.
Harvey petted his new cloak. “Sure did. It’s perfect.”
“What color is it?”
Harvey tittered. “Nice try, like I would actually tell you.”
“Is it…red?” Seth’s tone lowered, blazing heat to Harvey’s groin.
Harvey crossed his legs. Although Seth would never know, when Harvey heard his voice go all deep, it did things to his cock he was too embarrassed to admit. They were online friends. Even if Seth was someone he knew on the field, it could never happen. They’d been playing this game for far too long to change things now. And what if Seth wasn’t into guys? They’d never brought up personal relationships or sexual tastes before. Coming onto Seth could lose Harvey the closest friend he’d ever had. He had to proceed with caution and interpret Seth’s sexy voice as nothing more than teasing
“Are you insinuating I’m the Red Knight?” Harvey snorted. “I’m good, Seth, but not that good. He’s a beast with a kill count no one can touch. Not only that, but he’s a bad guy.”
“Ah. And you’re not?”
“Shit. Forget I said that.” Harvey put his head to his desk, cursing under his breath. He gripped the green, velvet cloak in his lap, wishing like hell he hadn’t fallen into that one.
“Harvey, it’s cool. There are over a hundred players in the game. I’ll never know which one you are. I just like to tease you.” Harvey heard Seth’s breathing louden over the microphone. He sat up straight, staring at his Skype window with the blank video player that hid Seth’s identity. “And what’s so wrong about being a bad guy? I thought you liked bad boys,” Seth finished.
Whoa. Harvey gulped. That was new. He’d fantasized many times about Seth taking things to another level. His dick was raw half the time from the fantasies he’d created late at night. But to hear that dangerous edge in Seth’s voice, to cling to the word bad like he’d said “I want you” instead…
Harvey hardened until his sweatpants became unbearable.
He slipped them down to his ankles, and swallowed hard. His bony fingers dipped into his tighty whities, seeking out his dick. “Are…are you a bad boy, Seth?”
Silence greeted him, an excruciatingly long minute of silence. Oh no. He’d fucked up. He’d laid it out there with one fucking question that had squicked out his friend, his only friend. Not only would Harvey never get laid, he’d never find someone who he could talk to like this again. He was hopeless.
“Check your email. The Game Master just sent out the storyline for Saturday.” Then a notification popped up at the bottom of his screen, one that devastated Harvey to the core. Seth has logged offline.
“Fuck!” Harvey slammed a fist on his computer desk, knocking a few action figures to the floor. He yanked up his sweats and sported a boner for the rest of the afternoon like a badge of shame.
Determined not to let Seth’s heartbreaking exit the other night deter him from giving it his all today, Seth pulled the hood of his cloak over his unruly dark hair and locked his car with a beep. People from all around the tri-county area journeyed from the parking field to the gates of the Great Oaks Gaming Park. A few years back an anonymous, local investor had funded the purchase of fifty acres of prized, untouched woodland for the LARPing community.
Now a giant brick fence kept out the real world. On the inside of those gates were two kingdoms on either side of the property. Kingdoms with castles made of two makeshift houses that stood for good and evil. Once Harvey passed through the gates, walking by two knights in full armored gear holding a crest for each kingdom, the feeling of home washed over him.
Normally he’d go straight to his guild that always met over by the table of Gatorade dispensers, but this week’s storyline left each kingdom united. Each side was to work together, not just in separate groups on separate quests. This week each kingdom was to kidnap the king of the opposing team. Whoever succeeded first would have their kingdom’s flag raised in the middle of the entrance square, declaring them the victor.
This was Harvey’s time to shine. Although a mage, or magician slash wizard, was an overlooked character by most in the game, when faced with large groups of his or her enemy, a mage could take out more than one player from afar with a powerful spell. Of course, LARPing required a mage to recite their spells aloud, unlike a video game. But Harvey had many memorized. He’d written several this week alone. It would be the timing and skill of others that left his execution to chance. He vowed silently he would win this game for his kingdom.
Maybe the victory would help to distract him from Seth.
He searched the large crowd, wondering who Seth was and what he looked like. Harvey wondered if they’d ever talk again. No. They probably wouldn’t. Once again his hope puddled to the ground to be drank by the grass under his feet. Who was he kidding? Seth didn’t want him like that. He’d made that very clear.
A man dressed as a bard with a scruffy beard and red and yellow tights blew into a horn. He raised his hands, jostling the lute instrument hanging from his shoulders. This was the Game Master.
“Your majesties, lords and ladies, and brave knights of these two kingdoms, I wish you a fair game and good luck this beauteous morrow. Should either kingdom reach their enemy’s king first, and secure him within their clutches, they shall be victorious.” The Game Master stood on a wooden platform with a megaphone to his mouth, hushing the cheers around him. “To keep things fair, there are a few conditions and mayhap a twist…”
The crowd whispered to each other. Curiosity lit the field aglow. Harvey nervously rubbed his nose, missing his glasses. But in a game of running through the woods, contacts were always a better option. He had three pairs of frames with cracks in them to prove it.
Seated on a makeshift throne to the left, the White King stood. He muted the crowd with his hands and his loyal followers went to their knees out of respect. Harvey took to the ground, splaying his cloak around him, and adjusted his heavy pack between his legs.
“Today it is up to you, my people, to protect our kingdom and my life from the enemy. Even those who have been overlooked in the past must play their part, however small that might be. And today, some of those few will shine. Come forth, Aneris, the Great Mage.”
Harvey looked up in shock. Only once in his career at Great Oaks had he been asked to take council with the king. It'd been after a troll attack on the castle over a year ago. He’d defeated them with one of his spells, taking out all three in one attack. But he’d also had the help of a mage in training and an arcane archer, both of who no longer lived in the area. Ever since that day, he’d been referred to as the Great Mage, but they’d kind of forgotten about him after that.
He was old news.
Harvey got to his feet and walked to the White Kingdom’s throne platform. He kneeled before the King and Queen. “Tis an honor, your majesties.”
“Rise, Aneris, and listen to the terms of the game, for they will affect you the most.”
Nervously, Harvey rose and nodded.
“The Red Knight has broken ties with the Black Kingdom.”
Gasps and murmurs filled the air. On the opposite side of the field, the Black King slammed his staff against the platform, quieting their voices in anger. The White King smirked. “You and the Black Kingdom's Mage, Sylivius, will set out on a quest to capture him for your kings, for he seeks vengeance upon both our kingdoms. He has no alliances. He is rogue and a danger to us both. The first mage to capture the Red King will be granted an extra life in the game, to use when he so chooses.”
Harvey was a little worried. The Red Knight was the only player immune to his spells. But he wasn’t immune to all of Harvey’s tricks. Tricks he’d never tried before, but knew would work if he did them correctly.
“And,” the Game Master interjected with a finger in the air, “both mages will forfeit their right to cast verbal spells against the enemy on their quest, be they knight or otherwise.”
“What?” Harvey blurted along with the others.
“That’s not fair!” Shouting ensued among the crowd. “They can take out enemies in mass!”
“War isn’t fair,” the Black King drawled, relaxed on his throne. He extended his hand to his queen, smiling cruelly. “Is your little mage scared now? Is that his only talent, trivial poems made magic?”
“No,” Harvey shouted. “I will defeat your mage for my kingdom. I will see the Red Knight captured before sunset.”
“We shall see.” The Black King stood. His dark leathers looked like a dragon’s scales in the unrelenting light of morning. He took his queen to the stairs. “Take him out, Sylvius, or I’ll take your head.”
Sylvius nodded. His bare chest was covered in painted on tribal tattoos and his eyes were rimmed in black paint fanning out to melt into his skin. His legs were encased in deep purple leathers. A large pack fit across his back, deeply set into his bulging shoulders. Sylvius was hot, but he was also the enemy.
Harvey had to take him down, whether Sylvius gave him a boner or not.
The eight inch rings hiding behind Harvey’s pack scraped against his leg. Knowing the advantage they gave him, Harvey knew he was going to win this quest. He turned to his king and nodded. “For you, I will bring home the Red Knight.”
“I know you will you do just that. Fare the well, Aneris.”
“And you, my lord.” Harvey bowed, and waited for his king and queen to exit the platform. They were taken by the king’s knights to the castle acres away.
Harvey looked to Sylvius. The game began with the toll of the bell.
TO BE CONTINUED…