A Certain Type of Decisive

United States

Just your unfriendly neighborhood disaster, bringing you bi-weekly updates from the bottom of my own shoe!

Message to Readers

Originally, the first line had NyQuil instead of Pixie Sticks, but apparently, a magician claiming it makes you pass out and convulse uncontrollably is "promoting recreation drug use" and I got an email that "wasn't angry, just disappointed" from our editors who are endlessly concerned about the habits of teens who think that writing is cool. Don't do drugs, y'all.
(part three of Chillax)

Snazzy | Chapter 3

September 16, 2020

FREE WRITING

9
    A medium sized magician with a PhD once told me that if you mix a Monster Energy drink and 14 pixie sticks over a Bunsen burner in the science lab, you'll enter the astral plane and be stuck in a coma for three weeks. I trusted him because, honestly? I haven't tried that one yet. He also said spells can only be undone by the caster. Professor Gall was merciless when it came to rounding up grades, but as introductory magic courses go, he got the job done.
    
    "Dr. Stone," she sighed, sitting behind a high piled desk. She looked exhausted-- hair in every direction, with pens and quills sticking out at odd ends, dark shadows beneath her eyes, long ears hanging low-- but I wasn't surprised. Even as a young woman, back when I knew her, Karaoke had always looked like this-- plus or minus a couple wrinkles and grey hairs.
    "Well, well, well--" I said, walking into the office. Most convicts only see the throne room, but there was no use trying to impress me. Her eyes flickered to the dagger in my chest, knowing it was the only thing standing between her and every curse known to wizards-- and a couple I was planning on improvising. 
    "Karaoke Jones, we meet again."
    "You know, Jajka," she said, "they give that kind of line to villains."
    She seemed disappointed-- unimpressed by me and my theatrics. It was an odd power dynamic. I might've been powerless, but she was the one who needed my help. Sure, she was the only one who could remove the dagger, but even if she never did, she would eventually die and a couple years without magic was nothing.
    She needed this spell so badly, it was like a clickbait article-- "Lord of the Dragon Riders Takes an Entire Grocery Store Hostage for A Single Spell-- You Won't Believe Which One!" And I was the dumb Face-Tome user who mis-clicked and ended up reading the whole article. 
    "Hey now," I said, "you're the one who kidnapped me. I was getting groceries-- runestones were on sale today, Karrie. 50% off! Do you know how long I've waited to get new runestones?"
    I wasn't being sarcastic and that seemed to surprise her. She looked at me for a long moment, then shook her head, muttering something about looking wrong as she reached under her desk. For the second time that day, I wondered if it was for a gun, to shoot me on the spot. And for the second time, I was wrong. She was holding a crumpled piece of yellow fabric, that sprung into shape as she tossed it at me.
    "Oh, thank god," I said, placing it back on my head. "I missed this-- you didn't do anything to it, did you?" 
    She didn't say anything, eyes fixed on the tall hat-- it was uselessly floppy, always falling in my face or getting caught on doors, but I loved that hat more than anyone I ever met with the dragon riders. I'm a selfish and materialistic woman-- I've lived to long to care otherwise. I'd lost the hat the day I got away from them. I'd though about going back for it or trying to summon it, but I always assumed she burned it. 
    The dragon Riders hated me-- with good reason. I had my reasons to hate them, too. Ruby-- I tried not to think about her, but there wasn't much use. My wife, my latest adventuring party, their killers walked the halls, stood in the office-- and they walked free.  Well, before they died 70 years ago, but at this point, I was in too deep to give up.
    "I signed a contract," she began, and I could already tell it was the opener of a long monologue. I started adjusting the sequins on the hat, hoping it would be entertaining enough to distract myself from the drone of her voice.
    "I had to, the minute they sat me in this chair. Among other things, I was bound to protect the order of the West Dragon Riders, to prolong and maintain it's order."
    I still was not paying attention-- I crossed the room to the small mirror on the side, trying to fix my hair to fit underneath the hat.
    "At the time, I was certain I could. I swore I would do anything, give my life before I let this thing die. I was passionate, ambitious-- I was naive. And I was so young. I suppose you still think I'm young, but I inherited my great-grandmother's genes-- 45 years is ancient for an orc. The West dragon riders have been here for two thousand years-- and will I be the one to see their end? Will history name it as my failure? They are dying and I want them to end with grace, but I can't make any plans--"
    She was distressed, but so was I when she threw me out a window ten years ago, so I didn't really feel like comforting her. Ten years might've been long enough for her to forget what the two of us had done to each other, but not for me. I burned every record I got my hands on, blinded half the dragons, brought the gargoyles to life and had them terrorize the . agents for weeks. I got people killed, injured, and erased from existence. I hated the dragon riders and I worked hard to make sure they knew that keeping my contract would be worse than letting me leave. 
    They didn't, of course-- not for 50 years, anyway. Instead they just put on band-aid solutions-- like encasing my feet in cement and dropping me in the courtyard lake. Or, in Karaoke's case, throwing me out of 15 story window.
    "Tragic--" I said.
    "I need your help--" she started, but I cut her off. I recognized the mirror on the wall-- it was a Amazon mirror. They were made by the Amazon warriors and infused with artificial spirits. I had a roommate with one while I was living on campus. I grinned, rubbing a bit of ash off my face.
    "Okay Mirror--" the edges lit up with a subtle blue color-- "How do I look? Pretty snazzy, right?" 
    "Alarm set for 8:30 pm."
    "I think that's code for--"
    "Jajka!" she shouted, holding her face. I wasn't sure if she was crying, but I didn't care. You might think that makes me a bad person-- but I still don't care. Maybe I would've, even a couple thousand year ago. Walking around on this bitch of an Earth for 7,000 years makes a lot of enemies. You're going to be the villain more often than you're the hero-- I've learned to accept that. 
    Karaoke was the head of the West Dragon Riders-- there was blood on her hands. There's more on mine, but I wouldn't forgive me either, so there's no way I would help her. Even if it meant killing the dragon riders. They were going to ride this train all the way to the end of the line-- they deserved the misery they had, who was I to put them out of it?
    "You infused the ink I used to sign the contract. I need you to remove the curse," she said, defeated. She was so close to me-- her hand was resting on the dagger in my chest, inches from her own destruction. I could feel her breath, burning, like the dragons she had gotten so close to. It felt like slow motion as her pale-green fingers tightened around the handle and pulled.
    "Please?" she asked. I met her eyes, for the first time since I entered the room, I saw that she wanted to save lives. She only wanted to do what she thought was best. This was her penance, her price to pay. She was sacrificing her name and legacy, just to put an end to it all 
    I brushed my hand over the already healing wound in my chest, summoning my wand from whichever agent had pocketed it. I took a step back, too far to reach with the knife, and smiled.
    "You should've let me get my runestones when you had the chance."

    And the entire fortress went up in flames. 
My 99th piece!
Keep an eye out for #100 (a modified dust jacket! If you have questions, put them in the comments)

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6 Comments
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thanks so much!! (That's not really weird btw)


    about 2 months ago
  • poetri

    Re: I get that 100%, i actually agree and I'm so glad you pointed that out. That pie e was actually a response to a bunch of people who messaged me privately asking me to retaliate to a piece. The piece was awful and very wrong and I pointed that out in its comments but I wanted to kinda...idk. But anyway, yeah, I agree with what you're saying completely :) All the best.


    about 2 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Haha thanks


    about 2 months ago
  • AbiJoy

    Miz Dr. Karaoke Jones having the nickname "Karrie" is what art is all about for me, personally


    2 months ago
  • journal.scribbles

    Great piece! It was really fun to read. I love the writing style and narrator - it kinda reminded me of Rick Riordian's books. You're an amazingly talented writer, and I would read a whole novel like this.


    2 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    replying: haha thank you for your comment :) also love this piece!


    2 months ago