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Logan Pickup

"Mortal Magic part 4" by Logan Pickup

SciFi/Fantasy text 11 out of 22 by Logan Pickup.      ←Previous - Next→
 
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Alright... part 4 is FINALLY done! Don't know what else to say, really. I am a bit disappointed that the first chapter isn't even as long as the prologue, but that's just the way things go.
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←- Mortal Magic part 3 | Mortal Magic part 5 -→

Chapter 1

Verene slipped into the empty classroom, closing the door behind her. He wasn't here yet. She crystallised the air, forming a full-body mirror suspended in front of her, and admired her reflection. Her dress was a rich blood-red, and cut so that although it showed little of her skin it hid none of the soft curves of her body. In the years she had spent at the magic school she had grown a lot, and she had discovered that even denied the overt use of magic, there were other ways she could get what she wanted.

There was a sound at the door, and Verene's mirror vanished in a soundless shatter. Even so small a magic as that was not permitted to her, but she was always careful not to be seen, and she gave every appearance of obeying Master Heudan's order. At least they didn't watch her so closely as they used to. The door opened to admit a tall, well-built man with scarlet hair. He was handsome, but not overly so, and he obviously prided himself on his appearance.

Verene smiled sweetly at him. "Sadmear, it's so good to see you. I miss your teaching so, you know how the others hold me back."
"Verene my dear, I know well how advanced you are, and your potential, but..." Sadmear hesitated.
Verene looked worried. "Sadmear? You will teach me won't you?"
Words tumbled out of Sadmear's mouth as he confessed. "I cannot. Verene, some of the things I have taught you should not be taught to anyone. I don't know what possessed me. I..." His heart lurched as he saw the tears flowing freely down Verene's cheeks. "Verene, please," he pleaded with her. "It's for the best."

Verene stepped forward and clung to him, burying her head in his chest as she sobbed. "Sadmear," she cried, "I thought you were my friend."
"I am, Verene, I am."
She looked up at him through the tears in her eyes. "I don't believe you," she said. "You know it is all I have, and... I could not bear it if I could not learn any more. Do you know how terrible it is, in the classroom? All the other students are trying so hard to do the stupidest, simplest things, and I do them thrice over, over and over again, because that is the only time I am allowed to use magic. That is all they let me do!" Verene had stepped away as she spoke, but now she drew close to Sadmear again, the top of her head only coming to his chin as she looked up at him. "If you truly are my friend, you won't do this to me." A tear ran down her cheek. "You wouldn't be so cruel if you cared about me."

Sadmear's resolve shattered as he looked into Verene's violet eyes. So full of passion were they that he could not hold her gaze for long, and he turned his head away as he said, "I'm sorry, Verene. I didn't mean to hurt you so. Of course I'll still teach you."

***

Verene yawned. This was her last class of the day, and it was almost over. She was burning to do some real magic, not the pathetic exercises they had to do in class - they served more to tease her desire than to satisfy it. She couldn't wait until later tonight, when she could study with Sadmear again. She yawned again. She still had a few minutes of this drudgery to endure first, however.

"Verene!" She looked up, realising she had almost dozed off. The teacher was looking at her with annoyance. She wondered why he even cared if she slept; he knew perfectly well that she had nothing left to do. "Master Heudan wishes to see you. Now." Verene was surprised. Surely sleeping in class didn't warrant this? Well, at least it would take her out of this.

She wandered along the halls of the school, wondering why Master Heudan had summoned her. It had occurred to her by now that he must have some other reason; her teacher wouldn't have gone to him simply because she had dozed off. She reached the door to his rooms and waited.

The door swung open almost immediately. Master Heudan was in there alone. Verene knew she was in trouble straight away. She hadn't seen him this angry since she set a teacher on fire. That was when they had first set watchers on her, to stop her using magic when she wasn't in class. She started thinking furiously, wondering what it was she had done. She had been good, she was sure; the watchers couldn't have seen her do anything she shouldn't.

Master Heudan looked straight at her with his dark eyes. "You were told not to use your magic outside of classes."
"But I haven't!" Verene protested. Master Heudan's gaze didn't waver in the slightest.
"When you were younger, I allowed you some leeway. You made mistakes, and were punished for them. Some you are still being punished for. However, by now you should know what you are supposed to do and what you are not. I know you can tell right from wrong, or you would not have tried to hide this from me. You knew it was wrong, and did not want to get caught." Verene's thoughts tumbled over themselves. She hadn't used magic outside of class where there was even a possibility of a teacher watching, or even another student. She had been so careful! When she had almost been caught the last time, she had stopped completely, except for her sessions with Sadmear, and Master Heudan couldn't possibly know about that. He couldn't!

"Sadmear has been told to leave. His part in this is worse still than yours; he should have been more responsible than this. It is beyond comprehension that one of our teachers should behave so. He will be gone by morning." Verene couldn't contain the shock. Her mouth dropped open. How could he know? Her hands began to tremble. "Don't try to speak to him. You are in almost as much trouble as you can be already, and I shall find out if you do. However, I am at a loss when it comes to you. I have tried everything to make you understand that you cannot simply do as you wish, at the expense of everyone else. The school has lost a good teacher today." He paused for a long time, staring at Verene. She tried her best to hold her hands still. She was wrong; he was much angrier than she had ever seen him. She could see his hand clenched beside him. Master Heudan was always under such tight control of himself that the clenched hand was tantamount to a scream of rage in another person.

"I don't know yet what to do with you. If you were any other student you would have been expelled immediately, but you are too powerful to be released without training. As you well know. For now, go to your room. You are not to leave for any reason. You may no longer attend any classes. Your food, and any other necessities, will be brought to you. You will be watched at all times." Tears began to well in Verene's eyes, but Master Heudan's fierce stare didn't soften the slightest amount. "Leave." He pointed to the door.

Verene stumbled out of the room. The tears blurring her vision robbed her of all grace as she lurched down the hall. She entered her room and fell on her bed, gasping for breath as she sobbed into her blankets.

***

Interlude: The Lady of the Waters

Meria looked with sorrow at the river. This had been her home for as long as she cared to remember, this glade by the riverside. There was nowhere in the world, she was sure, where the grass was as soft, the water as pure, and the forest so perfectly pleasing as this place. Until now. The water that burbled past her house was no longer clear, but clouded and murky, and the poison in it was clear by the fish floating past, belly up.

Meria's arts had long kept her and her home hidden and safe from other people, for she cared not for company. When the foulness came from the West, she strengthened her guards to keep out the tainted creatures, and to keep those animals that still roamed free within her domain safe. She was content to allow the rest of the world to take care of their own problems; she would keep her paradise to herself.

Now that had all changed. Even Meria's magics could not keep the poison from the river; she had kept a small pool clean, but in the river the taint was too thick and strong. Every day she found another of her treasured animals dead by the riverside. Her paradise was being destroyed.

Today she had found a fox by the riverside. It was the last; not just of the foxes, but of all the animals she had kept safe. She had stared a long while at the sleek red fur before she buried the fox, and then she slipped into a deep depression, crushing her own heart with hopelessness. Grief overwhelmed her completely, and she simply sat by the river, quietly shedding tears into the filthy water.

For two days she sat by the river, unmoving. It seemed she had cried every drop of moisture out of her body. She looked then at the many graves she had dug by the riverside, and reached towards the water, cupping a mouthful of the foul liquid in her hands. Her body ached for thirst and her heart ached for all that had been lost and would never be regained, and the poison in her hands seemed as sweet as nectar to her then. Then it seemed as though the still bodies lying in those graves called out to her, beseeching her not to join them, not yet, not like this. She opened her fingers, letting the poison rejoin the river.

Meria went into her house and dyed black every piece of clothing she had. She was mourning now, and since nothing would ever bring back her lost paradise, she would remain in mourning forever. She packed a bag, and left her house; as she left, the house crumbled as though it was not made of wood, but of dust. She took a straight branch from a fallen tree to use as a walking staff, and left her home forever.

***

Verene stood on the balcony, the doors to her room thrown wide behind her. The sun had set. Clouds covered the sky, drenching the landscape in darkness. Rain streamed down her face, soaked her nightgown. It was impossible to tell if she was crying. She wasn't sure herself. Everything was a mess. Sadmear had been sent away, and they watched her all the time. There was no way anyone else would teach her now. She didn't even know what would happen to her. They might keep her in her room forever, and never let her use magic again. Maybe there was a way to drain the magic out of a person, so they couldn't use magic? That was the most terrible thing she could think of. She would rather die first.

She looked over the edge of the balcony. Her room was several stories above the ground. She had thought it wonderful and romantic at first; a room in a tall tower, just like a fairytale. Now it was just high. Just high enough.

***

Meria paused and looked in annoyance at the sky. It should not be raining. She was sure of that. Her face was wet, for she never shirked the touch of water, but her clothes were dry. Some of her tricks still worked, even on this unnatural downpour. At least it was clean. She closed her eyes and tilted her face towards the falling rain for a moment, letting it wash the dust out of her hair, before she continued on.

***

The rain came down steadily. Lithanna had sheltered under a large tree, but the leaves high above still released large drips regularly. She tried hard not to think. It was easier during the day, when there were things to do, but the nights were bad. The best she could hope for was to fall asleep quickly, but that would not be possible in this weather. There was nothing to plan ahead for, as she barely knew where her next meal would come from, so her thoughts inevitably dwelled on the past. There were precious few good thoughts there. She huddled closer to the tree, drew her legs up to her chest, and tried to just listen to the rain.

She winced as a rivulet of water ran down her finger and along the claw attached to it. Even so small a touch as that was painful. That was one thing time had not dulled. She would have to be careful to dry her claws tomorrow. She had found out a long time ago now, just how dangerous it was to let her claws rust. Two winters ago now, she had been unaware of the need to keep her claws clean and dry. They had rusted, and soon after her fingers became infected. She lay for days as the pus oozed from her fingers, compounding pain upon pain, and fever wracked her body. She had never neglected cleanliness again.

Her hair, once dark and soft, was now a tangled mess. It was impossible to comb her hair without lacerating her scalp in a dozen places. She missed her hair. It was the one thing about her she knew was beautiful. She had been teased relentlessly about her scrawny, lanky figure when she was young, but no-one had ever made fun of her hair.

Lithanna started crying softly, aware that she had once against forgotten to forget. The rain stopped, but it was a long time before Lithanna fell into a restless sleep.

***

Lithanna awoke and stretched out the cramps in her legs. Her stomach rumbled at her, reminding her that hunting had been poor yesterday. Soon she was running easily through the forest, back and forth through the trees, warming herself up while she looked for signs of game. A rabbit darted through the undergrowth, and she amused herself by chasing it for a while. It slipped into a burrow before she could catch it however, so Lithanna continued her methodical search.

Eventually she heard the trickle of a stream. She headed towards it, and was delighted to spot trout swimming in the lazy current. She thrust her claws into the river, spearing a trout with lightning-fast accuracy. She scraped the scales off, then hunkered down to eat it. She caught another and ate that too before she leaped into the river.

She spent a long time taking off her dress; it was difficult not to rip it, and clothes were hard to come by. She washed it in the stream, then allowed it to dry on the bank as she bathed herself., carefully washing her claws despite the pain. When she was done she climbed out of the stream and lay down beside her dress. A full stomach had made her drowsy, so she slept as the warm wind dried her.

She woke and carefully put her dress back on. This one was beginning to get too many rips to be useful anymore. She would have to find a farmer's house; most of her clothes were stolen from washing put out to dry. Now that she had eaten, there was little to do. She had to keep moving; if she stopped, she would have time to think. She decided to follow the river; food was easy to get there, as long as she didn't get tired of fish. She quickly shut her mind against the memories that threatened to surface and began walking.

←- Mortal Magic part 3 | Mortal Magic part 5 -→

DateNameComment 
19 Oct 2002:-) Renče Grant aka: cozzybob
*grins, content* *pushes up glasses w/ index finger* *snort* *ahem...* Nice start.... Lithanna is comming really good. Her character is getting deep. Those claws are wicked too. It gives a good edge to the story, on how even the slightest movement of them causes pain even after such a long period of time. Meria is nice character too. She sounds new. Is she? One thing I really liked is how you sort of merged everything together with the rain thing. That was an interesting effect. My fav is a fight between Lithanna and Verene. I still like that surperiour magic in a young girl routine. Nice, very nice. It's dark already, and your still on the first chapter. That's a nice touch, makes the reader attached.

Only one grammer error I found a little distracting (first paragraph on verene): "...she had grown a lot, and she had discovered that even denied the overt use of magic, there were other ways she could get what she wanted." Overt, I think something happened and you meant to say... "even though they denied the overuse of magic" (overuse is one word... right? i thought so). well anyway, it's nice. good start. don't be scared about the length though. There isn't a written rule on how long the chapter have to be compared to the prologue.

well tis cool to see an update. maybe before the next millenium I'll do the same. lol actaully, I just updated in loth... because I can't write any fantasy stuff, I'm drawing it... YAY!!!! Anyway, I'd love to hear some valuable advice from a good artist like yourself. (plllleeeaassseeee w/ sugar and candy and everything nice and nicer and nicest???? PLEAAASSEE?!?!?!) Not that I'm begging or anything. *cough*

heh heh heh... it's interesting how you keep updating this... you might actually finish it... I CAN'T WAIT! *SQUEAL* *50 thumbs up*

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "Yup, Meria is new. No, that isn't a grammar error. Overt means in the open, sort of, so "denied overt use" means she can't use it where anyone can see her. The deal is that she can only use magic in her classes, when she's being taught. Glad you like it though!"
21 Oct 200245 Stephan P. Calloway
"Just high enough". And you say **I** like cliffhangers? And you go sneakin them into the middle of chapters and they are ever so much more tantalizing than mine. Sigh - you are quite the writer. And now, that being said, when's the next update, huh? huh? huh? LOL.
Good work, friend Logan - very good. I'm eager to see more.

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "Hahahaha! *grins* I learned it all from you, my friend. I have *more* cliffhangers planned for the next bit, just to keep you on your toes. I've even started writing the next chapter! You shouldn't have to wait so long for this one."
22 Oct 2002:-) Vicky Barrett
Well...I'm very impressed, how could I not be? You focussed for a while on my favorite, Lithy. Verene needs a god slapping in my opinion, but atleast I feel some emotion which means you suceeded with your point, if you can raise an emotional response what more do you need in reality?
Sadmere (Sorry about the spelling and how poor it is in affect)was slightly weak,a lanky man who fall for a womans beauty and passion...He was a man, perfect!
I'm nt sure of Meria yet, she's a bit goodygoody, not a bad thing, but I feel no sympathy for her, and if she ended up as lunch for Lithy, or fireballed by Verene I'd nly giggle in glee. But I hardly know the char, and there is still time for me to fall for her charms.
*hints eagerly* Maybe the fighter guy and Lithy should meet, and he and her team up, her as this mean lean fighting machine, and him in love and at her whim and femine whiles? Nah it wouldn't work but hey it might be interesting, Lithy slaughtering Verene? It could work, as Verene is stuck up rotten, "ooh I'm so powerful" and then meeting poor Lithy and splash RAWR Lithy is victorious.

*coughs* Well now I've said my piece...I feel maybe that I'm slightly blood thirsty. Perhaps...

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "I couldn't help but focus on Lithy for a bit 2 She very nearly didn't make it into this chapter. Storthen already missed out as it is. Oh well, he'll turn up next time. This story is relatively planned out, at least by my disorganised standards, so I already know what happens to all the main characters. You, however, will have to wait *evil grin*. You really want Lithy to rip into Verene, don't you? I'm gonna have to disappoint you, I don't think any of the main characters are meeting up in the next chapter. We'll have to wait and see, though."
24 Oct 2002:-) Vicky Barrett
I really like Lithy *beams* I think she should definately be in the next chapter, *hinting again*
I think its mean that you wont share the next chapter, you should upload it and publish it so we can all read it, especially me *hinthinthinthinthint*
I can understand why Lithy wont slaughter Verene just yet, but it's always an option when she gets ~too~ brattish...

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "Oh, you do, do you? You're not trying to tell me how to write my story, by any chance? Can't upload the next chapter yet. It's not finished, and you must know that yourself, as you're so busily telling me what's going to be in it. I love your boundless optimism. You keep assuming that the poor girl with iron claws is going to be able to get even the slightest edge over such a powerful sorceress, even should she want to. You can't help but want your favourite character to come out on top, I guess, but so far you've been making the assumption that we share the same favourite *evil grin*."
24 Oct 200245 Just me
Lithuana got claws? I should really go back and read over the exposition again, but the length frightens me. That's the difficulty with multiple characters developing separately: long descriptive periods with little death or destruction. But I really liked the stuff about the infection from dirty claws and the spasms and the fever and everything. That makes me happy. Keep writing.

It's snowing here. The world is a dreary place. I've gotten used to sketching stuff but someone stole my art supplies. Through my resisting hands, the wall heightens and I fall back into my wretched self.

I need a glass of water.

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "I'm glad it makes you happy. I'm still writing.

Of course the world is a dreary place. That's what fantasy is for. It bites having your art supplies stolen. What on earth would anyone do that for? It's good to hear you're sketching stuff.

Walls are no barrier. They can be climbed, dug under, walked around. The wind and the rain wear at them, they fall, the forest grows back over them, and there is peace again. Walls always come down."
25 Oct 2002:-) Vicky Barrett
*chokes just chokes* Just wait! If you kill Lithy off well I'll just write a poorly written alternative ending where Lithy rules the world and Verene is stripped of her so called powers and made a latrine wench shovelling muck while Lithy parades round all mighty and brilliant. Or nasty witchy gets wed has lots of kids and loses her figure and her power, hah that'll teach her. And who couldn't love Lithy? Eh, just tell me that. *mutters and chunters queitly, the light of manical obsession gleaning, and axe hanging loosely from her little finger* Gah!

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "*grins* You're not gonna second-guess me are you? This is only the first chapter. Who knows what will happen from here?"
1 Nov 200245 Stephan P. Calloway
Now it's coming back to me - the cliff hanger within.
Sigh
forgive me, i think it's time for bed
8

:-) Logan Pickup replies: "lmao!"
12 Oct 200345 Pixiefrog
Where do you get your inspiration from? I wanna take some.
26 Sep 2005:-) Ruth 'Cookie Monster' Browne
Hehe. Verene *so* had that coming to her. And, you wrote more! I was very surprised when I clicked on the "Next" button and found there was a fourth part. *blinks* Maybe if I click it again, there'll be a fifth part...? *hopes*

*cookie_monster*
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'Mortal Magic part 4':
 • Created by: :-) Logan Pickup
 • Copyright: ©Logan Pickup. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Claws, Crying, Hunt, Hunting, Magic, Mortal, Rain, School, Sorceress
 • Categories: Magic and Sorcery, Spells, etc.
 • Views: 453

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