July 9th, 2010

little me

Flash Fiction: Talk on the Road

Another job well done. Kyara was happy with her trophies, Rogal with the valuables, and Taer with the festivities the liberated visitors had held. Only Maya was left brooding over her tattered diary.
Rogal, sensing an opportunity, asked, Hey, what’s dragginy ou down?”
“I think I am cursed.”
She waved off worried enquiries by the other two. “Nothing new or life-threatening, just… Look. The spellbook I got from that first affair was confiscated the next day.” She ignored Rogal’s muttering about how that could have turned out better and continued, counting on her fingers. “The whole library of the necromancer in Hallen fell into the swamp along with her tower. In Jarambale the lab and library went up in flames when the guarding golem got out of control. I thought there was something to liberate from that demonologist-hideout near Mount Wing, but that giant acid-spewing blob ran us out, and certainly destroyed everything besides. The mage messing with time around Foraen Town had rigged all his books to rot within hours if he was killed.” She threw up her hands and continued in a strangled wail, “And now those— people burned down the mill with all the notes and books still in it.”
Taer looked back over his shoulder, glad that Maya had bottled up that complaint until they were well away. “They were rightfully angry, I think.”
Maya titled her head, accepting the point, but not that it changed anything.
Kyara added, “They probably think nothing good can come out of magic, now.”
“Which is wrong.” They certainly could not deny that, considering Maya’s contribution to their work. “They’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And what happened just now is not the point. It’s half a dozen, do you hear me, half a dozen incidents of the same pattern: We keep going up against mages posessing either unique new spells they developed, or ancient lost knowledge lost to the rest of the world, and something keeps arranging matters so I don’t get to learn any of it!!” A bit belatedly she added, “At least the things that are not intrinsically morally objectionable would be nice to know.”
“You really believe there are powers steering us like puppets, like in a sort of game?” Rogal was not trying to hide his sneer anymore. Since it was met with two frowns and a glare, he modulated it with a shrug and said, still amused, “I’m sure the gods have better things to do, really.”
“With most of those, magic was the problem that lead to the destruction.” Kyara meant it as explanation and consolation.
“Or it could still be coincidence,” Taer suggested. “Bad luck.”
Maya nodded and gave a noncommittal hum, not wanting to talk about it further. She was not convinced.

Originally posted at ankewehner.de. You can comment here or there.