In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do you Believe in Magic?.”
The caravan was small, moving down the southern roads from Hareth towards the open planes of the Burnt Desert. I joined them mostly by mistake, a misunderstanding in some backwards tavern far off the road to nowhere and very decidedly unhappy to see me traipsing through their doorway.
What actually happened in that tavern was something of a blur.
Next thing I knew my horse is tied to the back of a cart, my hands are bound to the saddle and a Hedge Witch is trying to poke my eyes out with her glare.
‘Don’t even try it,’ she hissed. ‘I know a warlock when I smell one.’
A friend of mine once said that ‘magic is just science we haven’t quite worked out yet’. I thought it was a fantastic way of looking at the world and I sort of clung onto the idea from there on out. It made sense to me.
As a writer magic can be an important tool.
Don’t know how a character escapes from an almost certain, horrible fate?
The world is ending and no one can possibly save it?
The dog won’t stop hiccuping and the baboon has learned to plan the harp but doesn’t understand Mozart’s way of composing music?
Magic does have its limits however and if you want to write it convincingly then you need to work out some ground rules for it. Magic is after all energy and energy is neither made or destroyed only changed. [Don’t quote me on that in a science exam. I repeat! I am a writer of fiction! Distrust most things I say that don’t pertain specifically to historical events and even then it’s always good to fact check.]
“You want me to build what?” Edwin spluttered, his voice bouncing off the open bonnet above him. Leaving his wrench on the engine he pulled himself upright and glared at the woman currently standing in his workshop. “I am not getting started with that crap again.”
“Come on Eddie” pleaded Melissa, “Just one.”
“No,” said Edwin. “Last time I charmed something for you Rome burned, and I mean literally.”
“So I was a rebel teenager,” shrugged Melissa.
“For five-hundred years?”
“I mature slowly, but I swear I’ll behave myself this time!”
“No Mel, it’s over. I’m not your witch anymore.”
She wasn’t supposed to save him, she was supposed to strike the final blow and end his suffering. That was the task dealt to her by the Valkyries and that was the task she had every intention of carrying out.
Until she saw his face.
Unmarried and without family, Eveline’s mother was labelled a whore when the village learnt of the pregnancy. Considered witches by many, Eveline and her mother keep to their woodland cottage, selling tinctures and salves to those who dare to venture close enough.
That is until the autumn of 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy lands of English shores to take the Crown.
When Eveline sleeps she sees the battle to come. She knows that the English King will fall and the Norman army will march on towards London where William will take his throne. The death of another King is not what wakes her screaming though.
The remains of the Battle of Hastings will bring about Eveline’s greatest folly, a folly that she will spend lifetimes trying to fix.
Do tell me what you think. As the title suggests, I’m still trying to work out the kinks in this story and a change of title looks like it may be needed since Henry Granger is no longer the main character. Oh well. We will see where this leads us. I’m hoping it will be in the direction of a finished draft.
Cracked wall (Photo credit: árticotropical)
There are cracks in the yellow plaster where the heat from our radiator swelled too thick against the walls. On mornings when the city wears its age, supporting the same white eyebrows that danced in laughter beneath your grandfather’s furrowed forehead, we count countries. Making up names for the yellow lands within the lines that don’t fit onto the maps we know, and assuming stories to account for the slight changes to the U.K’s shape.
‘Rising Sea Levels Swamp Isle Of Man’ informs the weather man off CNN; his voice broadcast from your tongue to every country we can see. ‘Giant Squid Consumes The Heel Of Italy And Part Of Alaska Melted By Newly Discovered Tectonic Fracture.’
Some days I will remind you that we are too old for make-believe. Too old to put stock in imagination and waste time on delusions of magic.
You’ve never believed me on that.
To you I must be magic to be true.
Inspired by: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/poetry%20prompts