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  “Holy fuck,” I sputtered, gripping the suddenly ice cold spear even harder, “No fucking way he could have lived through that.” The crater was molten, the sides steaming and slipping down deeper into the earth. I conjured water, spraying everything around me and then conjuring dirt and clay to fill in the hole. Time and magic would fix my yard, but the street, that would just be ugly. Asphalt is not a naturally occurring element in nature, meaning I couldn’t conjure it, so I filled in the scar with smooth grey stone. The entire time I was working, I was listening intently for signs of life, stopping every twenty seconds to look around. Just so weird to not see street lights, or lights on in the neighbors’ houses, or even people for that matter. I live next to a college. I expected a bunch of rowdy college students to have some epic wishes. My staff finally started to return to a normal temperature. After collecting the surviving light stones from my clumsy battle, I turned towards the house to get some much needed rest.

  “Greetings mortal.”

  Ok, I know for a fucking fact that I had been checking my surroundings like a paranoid schizo for the past five minutes, AND my magic senses were maxed out. Who, how the fuck did something get past me? Commanding my frozen muscles to obey, I slowly finished the turn, looking at my porch. An eight foot tall slim golden statue of a man in a well-cut Italian suit was chilling on my rocking chair. “Hello?” I eked out, “So, I take it this means that you are immortal?” My joking a response to my overwhelming shock. The man’s laugh was musical, off putting in a holier than thou kind of way. I assessed my magical stores of energy with my senses, more than halfway full and going up all the time with the pocket generator. The stranger didn’t even resonate to my senses, a contained void that defied my infantile attempts of unmasking.

  “I was never a fan honorifics or ridiculous abasement from the younger races, but they certainly do excel at brewing fantastic drinks. Is this yours? I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of purloining it from your stores.” His smirk ticked me off, and the easy way he downed my liquor hinted at a power beyond my meager scraps. Setting the drink down, he pulled a pack of cigarettes out, offering out the open carton. I didn’t move. I was watching every sinuous twitch he made, all the while gathering as much energy as I could and concentrating it, molding it into a formless mass, ready to react at the slightest hint of a threat.

  “Come come, I mean no harm, scouts honor,” he chuckled, playing with a lighter that shifted back and forth from formless light to embossed silver. Carved on its face was a set of beautiful angel wings attached to a Nike shoe. Fuck me. He laughed again, lighting his cigarette, “Ah, the rusty wheels begin to turn. Let me illuminate this fine twilight you find yourself missing.”

  I didn’t stop stop gathering enough magical energy to flatten a mountain, but I did stop pointing my spear at him. “What twilight exactly did I miss? I mean, I got the fucking message from the first time, kinda how I am what I am now. That second one though, that one was messed up, almost killed me.”

  His eyes narrowed. “You weren’t actually supposed to be here still. Most of humanity is gone, some picked up by the elder races to be brought to the light, others for their fantastic potential. More still, the children, were saved by the distant strains of man.” His calm demeanour as he dragged on that cigarette made my heart plummet.

  “How about you tell me that story in the comfort of my house,” I said, furiously trying to work an angle, anything to grasp more knowledge, “I’ll make you another drink, several in fact.”

  “Are you inviting me in as a guest mortal? No one has done so since the Great Rending.”

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