(set in the same world as the Curse Breaker Saga)

“Take it!”

“But I don’t want it.” He withdrew his hand leaving the flaming pendant to wave in the wind tearing at the rooftop.

“You have to take it. You have to keep it safe for me,” she said, eyes watering from the light cascading out of the crystal dangling from the cord in her hand.

“No I don’t.” He crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head. No way was he accepting strange trinkets that could illuminate his world. No thank you, not happening, he wasn’t that stupid.

“You know what this is?”

“Yeah it’s something made by the Magic Kind, which means it’s not for mortal hands.” He took a step back but his heel struck the edge, knocking scrap metal off the roof. It clattered down onto the heaps of broken bits that comprised his junkyard.

Plus there were runes etched onto each of the crystal’s faces. Runic magic was the oldest and most dangerous kind of magic according to the old tales. And he believed them because they were written by those who had survived the magic wars long ago.

Black tears ran down her cheeks as the kohl lining her eyes melted in the salty flood. “But… you have to…” her voice snapped like chalk and she crumbled, landing on her knees. “I won’t see eight days if you don’t…”

“Look I’d like to help you but we don’t accept magical items–not for safekeeping, sale, recycling or disposal.” He pointed to the crooked sign over the entrance to his junkyard.

Especially if that thing was what he thought it was–a wish stone. Wish magic filled in the gray area between black and white magic. He shuddered at the very idea of having that thing on his person. Who knew what trouble it would bring.

Her anxious eyes scoured him seeking a crack in his resolve but she found none. She wiped  her dripping nose on her sleeve and pushed to her feet. Fear had hollowed her out. Someone was after her or that bauble swinging in her hand. Another reason why she had to go and take that thing with her.

She laughed suddenly as a manic light lit her eyes. Spinning on her heel, she flung the pendant. It flashed  as it bounced down a pile of discarded furniture and vanished from sight.

“Why’d you do that! You take that thing back!” He shouted in horror.

She laughed but there was a maniacal edge to it, as if her sanity had been stretched to the breaking point. Rocking, her eyes rolled back in her head and her voice dropped down into the spine-tingling register reserved for soothsayers. “Ready your alibi for when they come and they will come. Boundless is their search. Insatiable is their desire to rid the world of magic.”

‘They’ could only mean one group of fanatics–the Seekers of Truth. They couldn’t come here. Oh God no, anything but that–what the hell was he going to do? He wrenched his eyes away from the winking wish stone that beckoned from the pile where it now nestled. But he turned too late.

Prophecy given, she toppled backwards off the roof. Her skirts flared like scarlet wings as she plummeted, her dead stare fixed on him. She landed like a broken bird leaving him to face the worst fate imaginable.

to be continued…?

Thanks to Maria of Doodles and Scribbles and Rosema of A Reading Writer for Word High July #FilipinoWords #Prompt.

17 thoughts on “Habilin/Safekeeping

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