12-11-2011 05:56 PM - edited 12-11-2011 06:06 PM
I’m not just talking about a problem for magicians; I’m talking about a problem for all humankind. So listen carefully.
I’m running out of time, but you need to know the truth. This world is corrupted with magicians. Evil, ruthless magicians who would do anything to take control of the universe as we know it. Their ultimate goal is to get power from an element known as Shining Stones. You guessed it – they’re shiny.
Magicians have never been very creative creatures.
But back to the Shining Stones. They can only be mined from the inside of Mount Everest. I bet they don’t tell you this in school, but Mount Everest is actually a volcano. And not just any volcano – it’s a magic volcano. When the lava hardens, it forms into an impossibly rare crystal – Shining Stones. This crystal gives you unlimited strength. You can go without sleep for years, bend in ways that should not be possible, sprint for miles without needing to take a break, hold your breath underwater for weeks. The stuff is invaluable.
Once you bind yourself to it, the Shining Stone controls your life force. If it shatters, you die.
Magicians don’t mind that.
If a magician gets hold of a Shining Stone, it gives him or her access to virtually any spell imaginable. So not only physical strength is affected, but magic, too.
Which is where I come in. I belong to an organization that has one purpose only – to keep the magicians from getting Shining Stones.
We’re not magicians. We don’t use the Shining Stones. We are just here to prevent anyone from stealing them.
Anyone like me.
* * *
There is nothing like a good thump to the head to change your life, don’t you think? Perhaps you don’t. Of course, you haven’t had a good thump to the head at all, most likely.
I suppose my thump was slightly more different than most. After all, a chunk of Shining Stone hit me on the head. But hey, that’s not too unusual.
The first time it happened, I was strolling along outside the local Walmart. It was a lovely autumn day, with a cloudless sky, a brisk breeze, melting sunlight. The kids were beating each other up and laughing, the adults were chatting pleasantly, and the sidewalks were dry, the grass long and springy with dew.
I didn’t care.
Whatever my emotions; anger, embarrassment, pride, selfishness; they are always extreme. If someone makes me mad, well, you don’t need to know that. If I notice that I am looking charmingly handsome, I cannot stop admiring myself in the wiped glass panes spanning the streets. If I get cranky…nothing can change my attitude.
As it was, I was sulking near a corner of Walmart, decidedly depressed. I had gone expectantly to the store, hoping to buy myself some stuff to make flaming green fire, but the cashier says I can’t get any because I’m not eighteen. What a wimp. I wait all the way in line to get my fireworks, and the cashier takes one look at me and shakes her head.
Get a life.
I’m not that much of an imposing figure. Good looking, of course. Cool, suave…that’s taken for granted. But I don’t look nearly as bad as some of the other teenage guys I’ve seen hanging around the place. Some have taken to wearing eyeliner. Eyeliner. As if the black rags they call clothes aren’t enough.
My taste is far superior. I wear olive black suits and dress shoes. I despise ties. I dislike combing my black hair and have a passionate hate for ironing my shirts. My collection of brooches is quite impressive, however, and I wear a distinctly unique one every lunch.
Brooches are my weakness, the intricate things, although they might appear better suited to girls. All my brooches are actually quite flattering on me.
I was fingering my current brooch, an Asian dragon with a small jade set for the eye. I was still steaming about what the cashier had said to me. She thought she was better than me. My irritation mounted the longer I considered her…nerve at refusing me. How dare she refuse and deny me that which was rightfully mine.
The longer I considered it, the harder I glared at the pavement. Families buying groceries began to notice. They glanced at me, a hint of alarm in their faces as they steered their children away from me, giving me a wide berth.
I wondered what they saw.
Abruptly I stood up. I intended to give the cashier a piece of my mind. She was going to regret having angered me and would curse the day she crossed my path and –
I certainly would have fantasized longer were it not that something large and jagged and, curiously enough, warm hit me on the back of my neck.
I twisted around to see what had hit me even as I collapsed to the ground. My senses felt like I was drowning, and the world went black.
12-11-2011 06:15 PM
Duck tape is silver.
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