Hey everyone and welcome back to FFF after our
nice long holiday break. The big feast was good, even though I ended up
having to cook most of it. But all in all it was worth every minute of
fussing and a great time was had by all. Now our Christmas tree is up and
the puppies are already in the process of destroying the tree skirt, pawing at
ornaments, and breaking into presents which had to be relocated to the linen
closet until Christmas day. Snow is covering the ground, the temperature
averages about 24, but tomorrow it’s supposed to drop to 13 degrees. And
I have to admit it’s rather picturesque when I'm not driving in it. :)
But the one thing I love about this time of year
is curling up in my warm house with a good story to read or writing my
little heart out. I've been doing both lately. And I have finally
decided what my next FFF story is going to be after The Great Mage ends
soon. I'm going to keep it a surprise for now, so I'll let you
guess. Hint: No paranormal and it will be something I've already teased
you with. Happy guessing!
Until then, let's get to the prompt and let you
read this week's blog creations:
Our prompt was: Picture Perfect –
Utilize the picture in any way that’s appropriate to your chapter/story.
Be sure to visit our other wonderful bloggers and
check out their take on the prompt!Much
From the spelled portal in the courtyard emerged
Sylvius in all his mystic glory.His
eyes scorched red and shadows danced across his face like he was to attend a
wicked masquerade ball.His naked upper
body was covered in thick bands of dark magic with leather straps adorning his
upper arms.In his hand was his weapon
of choice, his staff made of twisted black wood.
Time and space could not hold the power filling
Aneris’s body.Everything around Aneris
and Sylvius appeared to quiet and shift until the war on the edges of their
magical walls was lost.This was a fight
to the death, a fight for this realm and the people who lived within it.To their people they were the mightiest warriors,
their king’s savior and the body that would deliver his command.
Black and white flames came together, encasing
them in a circle that would serve as their dueling stage.Aneris was eager, overflowing with runes and
golden light.Even so, he knew to wait,
not to rush into battle like Sylvius would.And the Black Mage did.He came
rushing at Aneris with his staff pointed forward.Onyx flames shot from the wooden tip.Aneris raised his rings and sliced through
them, twisting his body out of the attack.
“I see you’ve learned a thing or two, Aneris,”
Sylvius shouted over the roaring flames surrounding them. “But a thing or two
will not save you this time.”The Dark
Mage brought his arms down, his staff pounding the ground where flames shot out
in a wide circle, coming for Aneris.
With the power of all four elements inside of him,
Aneris closed his eyes and welcomed the flames.They burned, not physically, as a trick of the mind.They slithered up his legs, engulfing his
lower body.And once he was nearly
covered, he opened his eyes and smiled.“There
is no need to learn what I already am.Everything I need to know I was born with.”He gathered runes in his hands where the
metal rings met his palms, and let the water out.
“All magic is born of the same fire.What fire you create from there is entirely
up to your heart.”Aneris cleansed the flames
attacking his body.His runes
infiltrated the evil at hand, and when that malevolent force dissipated under
the strength of his purity, they were blessed a shimmering gold.The gold mass grew in size until a mighty
wave of golden water curled then released upon Sylvius.
The Great Mage lifted his hands to the domed
ceiling of fire and brought them down.Water followed his command, showering Sylvius and his magic.The Dark Mage screamed, rendered helpless for
more than a minute while the water worked to cleanse what it could of Sylvius’s
magic.He fought back, of course,
breaking through the golden wave until nothing but a shimmering puddle
“You’ll pay for that, you fool!This kingdom shall be my King’s land and all
who dwell here shall serve him.There
will only be room for one Mage then.And
it won’t be you.”Sylvius narrowed his
eyes and began to murmur in a dead language, one Aneris’s magic
recognized.He braced himself, throwing
up every protective wall he could muster.Fire came to his aid, licking at the metal rings, urging him to surround
himself with the element’s power.As
Sylvius’s spell became louder, overpowering the fire’s hiss and crackle, Aneris
spun in a circle.
Fire obeyed, spiraling around his body until a
sphere of flames caged him within its protective fold.From the darkness emerged the ghostly embodiment
of a snake larger than life.Red eyes
shimmered like rubies.And although
Aneris could see through the creature’s black and red scales made of magic, he
knew it was still deadly.
“That all you got, Sylvius?A snake?Ha!”
Sylvius’s cold smile didn’t falter.He dipped his staff at Aneris and the snake
struck Aneris’s protective sphere of fire.A tongue of black flames darted through the holes in Aneris’s
protection, seeking to touch his bare skin with death magic.The creature’s fangs dripped red rivulets and
snapped at the fire until it began to crack.If Aneris’s protection failed, the snake would surely kill him or at the
very least drain his magic.
It dawned on him that he’d seen this magic before,
in fact performed it himself not too long ago.“Fight fire with fire,” he whispered and smiled.He crossed his rings over his chest and
closed his eyes.The one thing he loved
more than anything, the man who he’d promised a future to, became his
inspiration.Magic from the heart was
the strongest kind of magic available.It was what had taken Aneris this far in his journey, when he could have
died many times.His courage, Seth’s
courage and their bond was pure.So he
conjured the one creature that embodied everything they stood for.
Fire heard his call, taking shape in the form of
wings where the snake sought to reach through, and wrapped Aneris in the safety
of its large body.Scales tickled his
bare back.A huff of smoke breezed over Aneris’s
head.And when Aneris opened his eyes,
translucent gold wings opened and his dragon took action.Sylvius commanded his snake with his staff,
making the slithering mass strike for the dragon’s midsection before it could
take flight.But Aneris and his magic
were one, a natural force that didn’t need to be controlled with hands and
weapons.They were one.
His eyes were the dragon’s eyes.His hands were the dragon’s claws.And together, with all the strength Aneris
had to give and with almost the last of the power the elements had given him, Aneris
roared.The dragon huffed and fire
escaped his mouth, scorching along the snake’s body.The earth bound creature dimmed until barely
an outline remained.
Nevertheless, Sylvius wasn’t giving up the fight
that easily.He fell to his knees,
clutching his staff in both hands.He
screamed and the snake coiled and jumped, fangs bared for the dragon’s
neck.It struck into Aneris’s magic and
he too felt the brunt of another’s Mage’s magic.
A physical kind of pain, as he and his dragon were
one, he went to one knee. Aneris gritted his teeth, sweat pouring down his face,
and poured the stored magic in his rings into the fight. The dragon shook off Sylvius’s snake, and took
to the air once more.He flew one circle
before diving right at the snake.The
snake had no time to react because Sylvius had barely any magic left to give,
having already reduced his power with the use of such high magic.
The dragon’s fire burned the snake into
oblivion.Sylvius screamed again,
pointing his staff at Aneris.The Great
Mage wiped his eyes of sweat, barely able to breathe as he kneeled on the
molten hot stone floor.He was almost
depleted under Sylvius’s attacks, coupled with the use of his own
defenses.What little magic he did
possess was barely a blip.His rings
were drained.His dragon still hovered above
his head, victorious, but even the fire breathing creature was starting to
“I bet you regret being a natural now.Your body and your magic are connected like
all of us.But not all of us rely on our
inner magic to fight.Some of us are
smarter than that.”Sylvius pushed to
his feet, an noticeably strenuous task as he shook and hunched over.When he stood, Sylvius brought his knee up
and snapped his staff in two.“Never use
your backup first.That is why it is a
Black flames poured from the broken ends of Sylvius’s
wooden staff, pure magic stored within the twisted stick that now filled
Sylvius with power.Dark runes scattered
throughout the air, and Aneris knew this was quite possibly his end.He sought solace in his dragon, a thin
outline of a mighty creature that had done his best.If Aneris’s powers were fading with use, then
the Keep’s magic had to be gone.
He braced for the attack that came swiftly from
Sylvius’s hands.Black fire took Aneris
to his back, smothering his body until he choked on smoke and magic.He couldn’t breathe, could barely see, and
what he could see was Sylvius’s dark form standing over him.
“What say you now, stupid Mage?How do you like the fire I’ve created?”Sylvius bent down and smiled.“I think it’s the finest this kingdom will
“No,” Aneris whispered, slowly drowning in
flames.He sputtered for air for which
there was none.
This couldn’t be the end.Aneris had too much to live for.He had to get back to Seth, to see his face
and hear his voice and know this war was over.He had to see his King wave the kingdom’s flag, to stand high atop the
castle wall and shout their victory.These lands couldn’t die, nor could the people who lived within them; too
many splendid races that made this realm what it was to give up.Aneris closed his eyes and stilled his
Deep inside was the last flicker of his magic, the
very last drop to work with.Not enough
to transport himself, but enough to breath.He called upon air and was given the gift of space between him and the
fire, just a fraction of an inch.That
was enough.Aneris gripped the stone
underneath him and begged for earth.The
stone gave way, opening up a giant rectangle in the ground in which he fell
through in slow motion.Sylvius stood on
the edge of the pit as he fell, his eyes wide and his mouth screaming something
Aneris didn’t hear.
“I love you, Seth,” Aneris whispered to the air
Like his soul was being ripped from his body, his
magic separated into tiny golden flecks, dispersing into the air around
him.A bright golden wash filled the
stone room, and then collected into a mighty mass with beating wings.Aneris’s back hit the cold earth just in time
to see the dragon wrap Sylvius in the strongest magic of all and take his
life.Sylvius’s form burst into golden
particles, taking Aneris’s dragon with him.
heart wants what the heart wants.Aneris
smiled, his vision fading as the black and white flames cleared away for the
night sky miles above him.He blinked
once, focusing on the stars.Then his
body gave out and darkness took him away.