Prose Header

The Trouble with Magicians

by Clyde Andrews

Table of Contents
Part 1 and part 2
appear in this issue.

“Boy, you guys certainly have cornered the market for megalomaniacs, haven’t you?” L.J.P. said shaking his head.

“Silence, magician. Let the god work.”

Shane slowly looked down at the blade within his grasp once more. He then looked at Joel, laying helpless on the floor.

“I will finish him. Then, L.J.P., I will finish you,” he droned.

L.J.P. seizing the opportunity to act, barged his way through the lounge, avoiding the sofa, the coffee table, and the chairs scattered about haphazardly. He placed himself between Shane and the pentacle, for Shane’s hesitation had given him that chance. L.J.P. quickly changed the pentacle to one of protection with a few added formula here and there. For now, L.J.P. and Joel were safe; L.J.P. sighed with relief and wiped his brow.

The One, stunned by how quickly L.J.P. could move considering the hindrance of his age, could do little to stop him. In fact he was taken by surprise, for he was using all of his available magical energy to maintain his control over Shane: The One did not have the rest of the Coven to help him, and the full burden was now his.

Shane was not easy to control, and L.J.P. could sense the cracks beginning to appear in The One’s magical hold over the boy. He smiled; it was only a matter of time before Shane could be placed back on the correct path.

“I will never let you have him, he is mine,” The One said.

“I’m sure you don’t intend to, dear fellow. Unfortunately for you, it will soon be a fact. I still have your mommet at my disposal.”

“You do not scare me with your cheap parlour tricks, magician. I have a power far greater, a power that does not need mere objects to create magic. I have Shane.”

“You mean you think you have Shane.”

The One, from the corner of his eye noticed Shane had now collapsed onto the floor, holding his head. He sounded like he was in pain. “What is the matter, my god?” The One said kneeling beside his human weapon.

“I-I don’t k-know.”

“It is just a bit of a side-effect of the hemlock, my friend -nothing to be too concerned about,” The One lied.

“My eye it’s nothing to be concerned about; you are a scoundrel, dark magician, and you would do well to tell him the truth,” L.J.P. said from within the protective circle, unable to assist Shane at this point in time.

“Silence!” The One barked. “Shane, another pill will help you for now. I promise that you will be all right.”

Shane looked feverish, the sweat seeped profusely from every pore on his body. “I need another... pill,” he said almost in desperation.

The One smiled, obeying Shane. He knew that Shane, inebriated by the drug, would be far easier to control.

“No, Shane, don’t,” L.J.P. cried.

It was too late. Shane swallowed the little white pill. Instantly he showed signs of recovery. Raising up to full height he concentrated his efforts, his mind reaching out, trying to penetrate the magical shield L.J.P. had constructed around himself.

“Good, my friend, good,” The One said. “Try to see clearly. Try to see yourself collapsing the circle. You can do it, you are a god.”

Shane tried again and again until eventually the shield around L.J.P. and Joel weakened just enough for Shane to project his magic; he did so without hesitation.

L.J.P. was the first to feel the brunt of Shane’s power. At first it was like a mosquito bite on his skin, causing a prickling sensation. Then, as Shane broke down the barrier, it became worse.

L.J.P., had little time to think of a way to distract Shane from his new found determination. He placed his hand into his pocket. The mosquito-bite sensation quickly turning into something that felt far more powerful, like a screwdriver being driven into his flesh. He winced but continued. He had to. Joel for one was still unconscious and defenceless, and besides, L.J.P. was not leaving without Shane one way or another. He had promised Valerie that much.

With his hand in his pocket he found his chalk. L.J.P. shook his head; he was going to need something a bit more potent than his trusty piece of chalk. He then felt the mommet. He managed a smile despite the magical bombardment he was feeling. And none too soon, Shane’s power was awesome.

Then it stopped. He could see that Shane was in conflict with himself. L.J.P. hoped common sense would prevail. L.J.P. sighed as he looked again at Shane, for The One’s power over Shane was not giving up so easily.

Shane closed his eyes, projecting his powers through the ever-deteriorating protection circle once more. It would not be long, L.J.P. thought, before Shane had destroyed the circle and exposed him to the full extent of his power.

L.J.P., in excruciating pain, managed to draw a formula on the mommet. The One, too busy revelling in Shane’s ability, did not suspect that L.J.P., a mere white magician, would ever be able to affect him. He was wrong.

L.J.P., even though rushed and in pain, had gained control of The One’s hands. A small feat, but enough for what L.J.P. had planned. He chuckled, despite Shane’s mental magic now burning him.

“What are you laughing at, magician?” The One said. “Do you not realise that soon you will be just a memory, mourned by no one.”

“You... are... wrong,” L.J.P. said in-between yelps, for Shane had weakened the circle so much now that it was virtually useless as protection. He was exposed to what Shane could deliver, and Shane could now deliver his power without hindrance. L.J.P. audibly swallowed. It was now or never for him to make his final move.

Again Shane hesitated for a split second. L.J.P. seized this opportunity, for he knew there would be no other. L.J.P., with control of The One’s hands, used that power to make him strangle Shane. That broke Shane’s concentration completely.

In the confusion that followed, The One screamed something unintelligible as his hands wrapped themselves tightly around Shane’s throat. Shane, also caught by surprise, reacted by releasing a massive amount of mental magic out into the lounge. That magical power, however, was not directed or focused on a goal; as a result there was a great explosion. A massive fireball filled the lounge, concentrated where Shane and The One stood.

L.J.P. and Joel were blasted into the garage below the lounge. The floor boards disintegrated under their feet from the force of the magical explosion. They fell well over two metres and landed with a sickening thud. Fire, smoke, and debris thick in the air.

Whatever the outcome, L.J.P. knew the dark magician could not have possibly withstood such a force, nothing could. Luckily the protection circle had regained its power once Shane’s concentration had been broken. L.J.P. and Joel had been saved from the release of the energy by being pushed through the floor.

* * *

L.J.P. looked up. The hole above was bright in comparison to the darkness he had fallen into. He could not move; he knew he had broken something. Wincing from the pain, L.J.P. tried to remove a splinter of wood from behind his back. He could not.

Looking around the garage he noticed that Joel, even though streaked with blood from multiple cuts, was still unconscious, which was probably just as well, for no doubt he had broken something, too.

“Better to not be aware of this, dear fellow,” L.J.P whispered to Joel. He knew the boy could not hear him, but it made him feel better to say it anyway.

After what seemed an eternity L.J.P. heard movement in the lounge above. He just hoped with all his heart that the dark magician had not survived the explosion. L.J.P. was not in any condition to tackle anyone at the moment, especially another magician.

“Hello, is there anybody in here?” Valerie called.

“Valerie... Ahh!” L.J.P. yelped again as he tried to move. “Darn it, I can’t move, my dear. I suggest you call an ambulance for Joel... I think we’re going to need one for him. He’s down here with me, Valerie and he’s rather worse for wear, the poor fellow... Actually, he’s not wearing anything, so some clothes would be a nice idea, also.”

Valerie peered down from above, then added: “I think we’ll need two. Shane is up here, he looks like he had just been hit by a bomb or something. Oh, L.J.P. my baby, he’s hurt bad.”

“So is Joel... by the look of it. Ouch! I think you’d better get three... I don’t think I’m in any condition to walk.”

“It looks like a bomb went off or something.”

“That’s exactly what happened,” L.J.P. said with a discernible amount of strain through his voice.

“I think I’m going to need a large drink before you explain all this to me,” Valerie said, already dialling for an ambulance from her mobile.

“I think I need to understand it myself first, my dear.”

* * *

L.J.P. and Joel were rushed to the nearest hospital. L.J.P. kept on telling the doctors to see to the boys first. He was worried about them, especially Joel. The Doctors at the hospital reassured L.J.P. that because Joel was unconscious it probably saved him a lot of trouble; he was like a rag-doll that just went with the flow instead of against it.

L.J.P. ended up in plaster. He laughed when Valerie came to see him.

“What with my arthritis and all, I now have this to contend with, my dear,” he joked.

Shane, however, was the last to recover from the ordeal. He had to also go through extensive detox and rehabilitation before he could even stand up straight.

“You must hate me,” Shane said, seeing his Mum and L.J.P. approach. He was finally able to sit upright in his bed.

“No, we don’t hate you, dear fellow. I understand that being a part of something, especially at your age, is very important,” L.J.P. smiled down at him.

“You have been like my father, L.J.P. and this is how I thank you. I can’t believe it,” he said, genuinely looking embarrassed.

“Realising your mistake has already made you a better person. Just learn from that, dear fellow.”

Shane then looked at his mother. She was standing next to L.J.P. her hand in his arm. “I am part of something. I have a family... I’m so sorry, Mum... I-I don’t know what else to say.”

“Shh, it’s all right, Shane,” she then pecked him gently on the forehead. “It’s just good to have my boy back, finally.”

“What happened?” Shane said.

“Once you released the unfocused energy into the room, The One was vaporised, and with that so was his hold over you. Just do me a favour please,” L.J.P. said raising an eyebrow and removing his spectacles.

“What?... anything.”

“From now on you are to be known as, S.U.,” L.J.P. chuckled. “I don’t think I can last if another dark magician’s Coven seduces you to their side.”

“Deal. Now, where’s Joel? I owe him an apology, too. I... remember how... Oh God, I remember how I tried to kill him.”

“I’m just so glad things did not turn out much worse,” L.J.P. smiled.

“He’s coming, he’s just a little weary. You did try to kill him you know,” Valerie added.

Shane looked down at his hands, again embarrassed. “I really can’t remember much. I shudder to think of what I did or even what I could have done.”

Copyright © 2006 by Clyde Andrews

Home Page