Forgotten Magic, which includes our Scribe’s story, “Spell of Scales & Steel,” came out last week.
Forgotten Magic the third a multi-author anthology in the trilogy that includes Hidden Magic (# 1) and Wayward Magic (#2). So, if you haven’t yet, grab your copy on kindle. Oh and Forgotten Magic is a free read through Kindle Unlimited and so are Hidden Magic and Wayward Magic. 🙂
This weekend, our Scribe helped her elderly father break up an old couch. She tried repeatedly to pay the $75 for the town to cart it away, but her dad just busted out the sledge hammer… and handed her a razor. This was unfortunately round two of the great couch break up…
The couch in question was manufactured in the late 1970s with a hard wood and metal frame, gallons of glue, industrial strength fabric that refused to tear, springs that nearly catapulted our poor Scribe across the yard several times, a million staples (they were even in the stuffing), and lots of screws.
Unfortunately for our sore Scribe, the couch won again, and Melinda’s dad, who can barely walk after his fall at the start of when NY went on Pause, is already planning round three. Since our tough Scribe had to do all the heavy lifting and the bending and basically everything except swinging the sledge hammer (because her dad did the honors), she is exhausted and sore.
What were we characters doing while they tried to socially distance and disassemble the couch enough to get it into the trash can?
We found some nice lawn chairs and watched. All we needed was popcorn because we had all the quality entertainment were needed right there in beautiful Putnam County, NY. And what a comedy of errors that was. I (Ran, your host,) lost track of how many times they were defeated by fabric.
And now we are proud to present part two of our special preview of “Spell of Scales & Steel” by Melinda Kucsera from Forgotten Magic. So please welcome Thing, his mate, Amal, and their mind-talking family AND a younger version of my hero, Papa, back for one more look because our Scribe hurt her wrist while helping her father. 😦
by Melinda Kucsera
Crispin raised his head; his whiskers twitching. His owlish wings lay neatly folded against his back, but he raised them in preparation for flight as he rose from a crouch to stand easily on two clawed paws on the ledge above Thing.
His son was more cat-like than Thing was, except for his eyes. They were the raptorial gold of Thing’s eyes, and they focused expectantly on him. Stay here. Don’t speak aloud until I say so. Speak to me in here. Thing touched his temple.
Something was very wrong here. Magic saturated the cave and the tunnel leading to it, but it was tense and watchful. It scanned the thief as he entered, freezing the gray-robed man in place for a long moment before it relaxed its guard and let him cross the threshold. If the thief noticed that momentary delay, he didn’t show it.
Crispin pointed at the cave as he backed away. The mage is in there, isn’t he?
Yes, a stone mage by the color and feel of his magic. Thing landed on the lintel and wrapped his tail around a metal spike jutting out of the stone a foot above the cave’s entrance.
I don’t think you should do that. What if the mage senses you? Dad? Crispin asked when Thing didn’t reply.
Crispin was worrying in vain. Earth mages weren’t known for their speed at spellcasting. A fast glance should’ve been okay, and that’s all Thing needed to confirm the mage’s identity. Clinging to the spike above his perch, Thing hung upside-down and peered inside. As long as no one looked up, they wouldn’t see the top of his feathered head.
Now, if only that thief would move. His voluminous robes were blocking the other occupant of this cave from sight while he fumbled with the bag he’d been carrying. Just dump it out already. Stop making everything into a production.
Dad, are you sure you should—? Crispin asked telepathically, thank the Creator, but Thing cut him off.
Yes, stop distracting me. Thing willed the thief to move. He could’ve dived into the thief’s mind and make him, but that would’ve drawn too much attention, especially if that dark creature was only pretending to be gone. Instead, Thing fought the urge to click his claws in impatience.
Finally, glass tinkled, and stones clicked as the thief dumped the contents of his bag on to the floor. Come on, move out of the way, Thing thought at him. The thief squatted down revealing a pile of dark glass shards and crystals. One of the crystals rolled to a stop by a bare, dirty foot. It lit up the instant it passed into the green corona of power surrounding a teenage boy with eyes as bright and green as his magic.
Thing cursed mentally. Of all the mages in hiding, why did it have to be him?
Dad, who’s in there? Crispin asked, but his mind-voice sounded like it came from a long way off.
Thing rubbed his eyes. He must’ve been mistaken. That mage boy have been there. All humans looked alike, but even he recognized the two boys sitting side by side, arms around each other. Time had altered them but not for the better. The older boy was even ganglier than the last time Thing had seen him. His clothes were rattier, and his brilliant green eyes were troubled. His little brother was in a similar state, but his eyes were still as brown as bark, marking him as the non-magical one in the family.
That happened when two brothers took after different parents, especially when they didn’t have both parents in common. It was obvious just by looking at them they were half-brothers, but close ones given the way they clung to each other.
But none of that woolgathering explained what the hell they were doing in a cave under Mount Eredren, or why that thief had brought the very object that had started all Thing’s troubles to the two brothers. Unless that mage boy wasn’t alone inside his head. Thing didn’t even want to consider that, but it was the only reason that made sense.
Crispin landed beside him and wrapped his tail around Thing’s tail so he too could lean down and peer inside. “That’s Sar—” Crispin squawked before Thing could muffle him.
Thing rolled his eyes. Kits today were so impatient. Thanks to his son’s outburst, Sarn looked over at them, and hope flowered in his too-bright eyes, confirming all was not well with him. But did that matter?
Thing let go of his perch and extended his wings. For a heartbeat, he stayed framed in the doorway holding his staring son. Sarn’s eyes widened in surprise and maybe recognition too, but Thing flew away before the mage boy could do more than that.
Hopefully, our Scribe’s will be less sore by then! (Round three of the great couch break up is not supposed to take place for at least a month.)
I’m Ran, son of Sarn, wishing you a great week on behalf my Scribe, Melinda Kucsera, and the cast. Stay safe.
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