Recalling Magic

Shadows, creeping steadily along the barren surface of the wall, intently, Quill listened. His ears stretched and strained, searching hopelessly for a ledge of sound he could hold onto, desperate in the grasp of the box. His hand ached, the pain pounding against his skin, constricting his veins, and silencing the downward flow of blood with its growing venom. He stared at his fingers, gradually becoming impartial as they singed themselves with a lingering blue. He didn’t understand, couldn’t fathom a sense of reason to how he appeared in the box. The box, steel and silent offered no answer. There was, however, a series of questions Quill had succeeded in answering: He was certainly captured, and the accessory of detainment was this box, a box of horrors.

Instinctively, he reached for his knife, an old thing, the blade washed with various scratches and dents. His hand continued to blue as he maneuvered his elbow in the hope of just grabbing the leather band of his knife. The holster was empty and now his elbow ached, having caressed the side of the box, it now turned a shade of eerie blue. Quill sighed, unsure of what to make of such and occurrence. There could however, be one explanation; magic, witches using his body to carry out their evil influence on his beloved kingdom of Melark.
Glaring at the box wall he grew increasingly worried. In all of the tales in which he had been told of witches as a boy, a box was never mentioned- the victim always graced with the chance to preach their worthiness. In turn, such victim would become the hero, somehow managing to slice off the witches’ heads cleanly with the blade of their knife and throw it into a nearby fire, relinquishing the malevolence it had once entailed. He was supposed to be the hero- a once lowly peasant, saving his kingdom and praised generously by the king. He saw that now, this would not be the case. He returned to watching the shadows as they paced slowly along the side of the box. Witches, Quill spat, his fear gradually subsiding through the supreme disgust he felt for such crinkly old women in hats. As he crouched in the gloom, Quill began to wonder about Melark. Had the King sent out Cornelius and Shroom, his toughest, fastest knights for the search? Did anyone miss him? Did they know he was gone?

Quill felt small, perhaps this being the explanation for why he suddenly felt free to stretch his legs until they collided with the familiar, cold feeling of steel. He watched, as they too, grew blue. The pain spread quickly up his legs until his ribs screamed of surrender. He felt faint, his neck releasing its hold on his skull, allowing it to drop back into the clutch of the box. With a stinging scream, the world went black.

Although unconscious, the pain from the box continued to grow and maneuver its way through Quill’s body. Quill screamed, but the sound failed to penetrate the blue as it crawled up his throat. His attempt to kick only appeared as an uneventful struggle. Soon he began to feel a timely prickling in his feet, numbing them from the pain and Quill’s limited ability to use them. The prickling spread quickly to the rest of his anatomy, making him feel as though floating on nothing but thin air. So this is how it feels to die, Quill wondered in quite the daze. He felt his mind turn completely off, and just when he thought the angels were coming to retrieve his body, someone called his name.
“Mr. … Quill Pickelow?” a voice grunted, “Excuse me sir, but you have arrived…”
Arrived? Quill pondered this, his thought immediately directed at the subject of Heaven. He smiled, the pain no longer evident, and opened his eyes.
Here is what Quill had hoped to see: God, his supreme glory shining down on Quill’s soul, welcoming him to his kingdom. This can explain why Quill was quite disgruntled with the sight of the frumpy old man in a witch’s hat standing before him. He let a yelp of pure cowardice and tired concentration slip from his throat.
The man flinched with the yell, but, collecting himself, proceeded with his assigned duties.
“Ah, yes Mr. Pickelow, the master will be meeting with you quite shortly now, yes, yes… I do so hope your trip was not nearly as unpleasant as mine,” he laughed, “Oh my, the audacity, I fear I have failed to introduce myself: I am Malistius Frock.” Malistius silently waited for a reply- any brief sense of understanding. When he got none, he managed a small bow before abruptly leaving the room.





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