Welcome to Day 2 of A Tale of Dice and Fire – coming to you from one hot and bothered, and rather sleepy blogger today. Half of South West England and South Wales seems to have been woken up by a huge thunderstorm last night though, so at least I’m in good company.
Yesterday I was impressed that our dice appeared to be pre-empting the news, as the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital, where she later gave birth to the royal baby. So I was half expecting today’s dice to contain a thunderstorm!
Thankfully, our dice are more original than that, so today the challenge is to create a story involving treasure, a wand and a bat.
As usual, once I’ve written my story I’ll post it below. And don’t forget – if you join in the challenge – even just for one day – post the link to your story in the comments below this post so I can tell everyone else about it!
The Wizard’s Apprentice
“It’s not like the old days.” lamented Giliglad the Great, shaking his head sadly. “Back in the old days, you know, people respected us. Kings and queens alike – they’d give us the second best bed in their castle for a potion of this or a spell for that.” He sighed, taking off his thick lensed spectacles and rubbed them clean on the sleeve of a motheaten tweed jacket with trembling hands. “Now look at me – reduced to an enn-pee-dee consultant… whatever one of those is.”
“Yeah, wotever!” interrupted a young man rudely, who was at that very moment wrestling unsuccessfully to stretch his struggling and biting long-eared bat out prone on the workbench. “This better work you know,” he insisted darkly, “that tax rebate in’t gonna last forever an I wanna get my hands on some of that shale gas while it’s going cheap.
“Patience, dear boy.” Giliglad admonished him, squinting at the distressed bat which was rolling its eyes and trying to chomp off a chunk of the young man’s finger into the bargain. “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And, let me assure you, young David,” he continued, fixing his companion with a stern if watery gaze, “this is most certainly a task worth doing.” The young man tsked. “It’s Daniel, not David – I told you that twice already, wot’s the matter wiv you? Jesus, I in’t workin wiv any old codgers again after this!”
Pinning down the bat finally by its wings, Daniel poised his scalpel above the creature’s quivering chest. “No, no, no! That will never do!” fussed the old wizard crossly. “You’re taking out the poor animal’s spleen not his lungs. Here, try half an inch lower and three eighths of a farthing to the left.” Giliglad reached over Daniel’s shoulder to guide his hand with a surprisingly strong grip. “That’s the ticket, in you go then, one quick slice… that’s it. Ooh, you’ve got a stubborn one there, have you? Slimy little beggars aren’t they? Well give it a good tug and that should do the trick.”
Moments later, a very green about the gills Daniel turned to show Giliglad a small dark lump of flesh, nestling in his palm. Giliglad nodded approvingly. “Very good boy, pop it in the pot and we’ll leave it to simmer for a minute. Now, have you got your divining wand?”
“You mean this thing?” Daniel held up a forked hazel rod.
“That’s the one.” Confirmed Giliglad, “Now, we’ll just dip out a cupful of the mixture. Smear some on the end of the rod, and then down the rest. Lovely stuff, it is!” Daniel went greener still, but did as he was bid.
The moment he swallowed the potion, the blood drained from his face. After three moments, his legs went out from under him. After five minutes, he began to shake and sweat uncontrollably. Giliglad watched, smugly. “W… what’s happening? Y..ou s..s..said t..the p…p…potion would work?” Daniel managed to splutter before the foaming at his mouth overcame his speech entirely.
“It did.” Giliglad told him, smirking, gripping the wand and moving it in a winding motion. “It’s draining your life force for me most adequately.” Daniel’s breath rattled in his chest and then he lay still. Giliglad, stood up straighter and removed his glasses with unlined, steady hands. He didn’t need them anymore. “I do so love these rewarding consultancy roles.”
Princess Ironheart – Dorristheloris
Breathe Easy – Mab is Mab