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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 420 (August 2-8) Stories Topic: Forgotten

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message 1: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (last edited Aug 02, 2018 09:19AM) (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments You have until the 8th of August to post a story and from the 9th to around the 13th of August, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Forgotten

Thanks goes to Joy for suggesting the topic!

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

Most of all have fun!

message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Incelbordination, Chapter 8
GENRE: College Drama
RATING: PG-13 for swearing and suggestive dialogue

“Every Sunday, when America goes to church, Incelbordination goes to war!” Oswald was pretty sure Antero stole that line from an NFL videogame commercial, but it was effective word porn nonetheless. Oswald dragged his ass out of bed and signed onto the Incelbordination chat room where that church slogan came from. Upon receiving the URL to that chat room, Antero told him that they never had physical meeting places because of Mia Barry’s investigation against him. They also didn’t use the same URL every time, also for the same purpose. The clandestine nature of these Sunday meetings made Oswald feel like a rebel, like he actually could bring a shock to the system.

When he signed in under the username LittleFury21, he whistled in awe of how many people were part of this chat room. So many young men on campus like him who felt betrayed by their peers. So much potential crushed by the world around them. So many dreams turned into permanent nightmares. This was definitely Oswald’s true territory, not a classroom of judgmental eyes or a home he couldn’t go to anymore.

BLACK_PILL_KING (Antero’s Username): Good morning, everyone! Welcome to our weekly Incelbordination meeting. You all know who I am by now. But I’m sure none of you know who LittleFury21 is. He’s our newest acquisition and quite possibly our saving grace in this wretched life. Everyone say hello!

Sure enough, the entire chat room did so and that alone made Oswald feel welcome, unlike any other school environment he was in.

BLACK_PILL_KING: The floor is yours, little guy. Introduce yourself to our Supreme Gentlemen!

LITTLEFURY21: Hello, everyone. I was told not to use real names prior to this meeting, so I won’t give away mine. But as many of you guessed by now, Little Fury isn’t just some catchy title. I really am three feet tall and south of a hundred pounds. Men and women alike go out of their way to avoid me and those who do pay attention only want to disparage me before getting the chance to know who I am.

RAGE_GOD31: Ever thought about punching them in the dick?

LITTLEFURY21: All the time, Rage God. I actually did have to learn how to box when I was young. If I didn’t throw those heavy punches, I’d probably be deader than a doornail right now. Hell, I’m probably going to be dead in a few years anyways. Dying of a lonely heart isn’t at all unheard of.

DEATH_MASTER2000: You know, you can do something about this. Ever thought about going out in a blaze of glory? That’s probably the only way any of us will ever be noticed. Look at what happened to Eliot Rodger.

LITTLEFURY21: I think about it more often than you think, Death Master. The problem is…I just don’t have it in me to go through with it.

MCDONALDS_PIMP69: If you ever need coaxing along, just remember that there are no innocent victims. The whole world is guilty for pushing you aside. If nobody else will be the judge, jury, and executioner, then you take those roles yourself. Don’t puss out on us now!

LITTLEFURY21: That’s all well and good, but I don’t exactly have a warehouse full of bazookas and machetes readily available. My legs are also too short to operate the pedals on a German tank. LOL!

BLACK_PILL_KING: Heavy artillery is overrated, Little Fury. It’s expensive, it’s hard to smuggle, and it’s more obvious than the hard-on those tank cannons look like. If you need the tools to get the job done and can’t rely on your boxing skills alone…we can help you with that!

LITTLEFURY21: Wait a minute…you guys actually have…guns?!

BLACK_PILL_KING: Not just guns, my friend. Chainsaws, knives, baseball bats covered in razor wire, and even a few vans to turn Chads and Stacys into pretty little pancakes. Then after we flatten them, we can put our special whipped cream all over them while they bleed out strawberries. It’ll be like having breakfast at IHOP.

The constant barrage of LOL’s and LMAO’s from the other incels sent chills up Oswald’s spine and made his fingers go numb. Thank god there was a waste bucket next to his computer desk in case he needed something to barf into. The thought of speaking up put nervous energy in his stomach, but he knew he had to do it.

LITTLEFURY21: Guys, this shit isn’t funny.

BIG_DADDY_G: Are you kidding me? This is fucking hilarious! Besides, if your legs were long enough to drive a van, you’d want to splatter everything in sight too!

BLACK_PILL_KING: I agree 100%. Seriously, why the change of heart?

LITTLEFURY21: Look, I can appreciate the fact that you guys hate the world and want to watch it burn and all, but this is ridiculous. You’re making jokes about murdering people and I’m actually afraid you guys might do it someday.

SUPER_FREAK72: Dude, take your skirt off and be a man for once. You know the only chance you’d get laid is if you killed the chick yourself. Even then, I think it’s a long shot since your legs aren’t the only short thing about you.

LITTLEFURY21: How about instead of hiding behind a computer screen, you say that shit to my face? Yeah, and I’M the one walking around in a skirt.

SUPER_FREAK72: If you and I were to fight, I’d win every single time. Now fall in line before I make you eat your meals through a straw!

BLACK_PILL_KING: Okay, children, that’s enough. We’re supposed to be unified by this shit, not tearing each other apart. We’ve got big plans and I will not have them scrapped by a bunch of infighting!

LITTLEFURY21: What do you mean “big plans”? You’re not actually talking about…you know…

BLACK_PILL_KING: I don’t know, maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Maybe I’ll have to rethink my whole strategy if you’re not fully committed to Incelbordination. I understand you’re new to this group, but everybody has to pay their dues.

LITTLEFURY21: And by “paying my dues”, you mean going out and committing murder and necrophilia. If that’s the case, then your Uncle Tuomas won’t have to worry about not getting laid anymore.

The swear words, epithets, and death threats from the other members flooded the chat room to where the system almost crashed. Antero tried to restore order, but the messages of hate came so frequently that he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Oswald did what most immature computer users did and argued back against Incelbordination’s finest. The slurs came more frequently and nearly send him spiraling into insanity. The dwarf even held his head and rocked back and forth before leaving the chat room and taking deep breaths.

Oswald had enough venom for the world to fill two chemical factories and a biological weapons carrier. Yet even he was disgusted by what he saw in that chat room. His heart raced, his stomach ached, and his mind swirled with words like “faggot”, “pussy”, and “prison bitch”. Images of him being stabbed, shot, stomped, or even raped in the asshole made him wish he had forgotten Incelbordination even existed. No woman was worth this much poison. In fact, he would even welcome hugs from Valerie Sand, Nikita Johnson, and Mia Barry of they were offered.

Tomorrow was Monday, which meant another round of criticism from his English teacher. Oswald held his pain-wracked stomach at the thought of having to choose between being criticized by Valerie and being cyber-bullied by a bunch of virgin terrorists. It was the classic case of Death or Unga-Bunga all over again. If he was going to be laughed at for the thousandth time, he might as well have put his best foot forward.

“Okay, Oswald, you can do this. Just breathe…just concentrate…” He pulled the C- covered paper out of his backpack and tried to focus on correcting his many mistakes. He had a whole Sunday to get the job done and he had completed his homework assignments from his other classes. If there was ever time to puff the magic dragon…

message 3: by Ryan (last edited Aug 03, 2018 12:51AM) (new)

Ryan | 5334 comments Forgotten Smile

I look up from my cappuccino into sparkling green eyes. The woman they belong to seems familiar. She sashays towards me, dressed in layers that make me think of spring sunshine and daisies. Her look says she knows me, yet I can't place her. Middle-aged like me, she wears her years with grace. Her walk is fluid and confident. It's not until her pink-painted lips curve to a grin that I recognise her.

Harlee! That lopsided smile strips away years, and I am beside her in our school bus once again.


“Meet me back here at midnight,” she says as she stands to exit.

“The bus?”

“Unless you’re chicken.” She grins, walks off down the aisle with an exaggerated sway in her hips.

At five before midnight, I rise quietly and sneak out through the dorm room, doing my best not to step on any of my fellow school-campers. They litter the floor in sleeping bags and blankets, snores rising from more than one open mouth.

Now I am back by the bus, rubbing my hands and watching small clouds escape my mouth in the fresh night air. After ten minutes of waiting I realise the truth—I’ve been set up. I suspected as much, but had to try anyway. What else do you do when the prettiest girl in school dares you to sneak out with her? I walk a circuit of the bus, peering into bushes, expecting laughter and catcalls at any minute. The usual crowd will be gathered to make fun of me once more.

“Miles the stud! How did your midnight hookup with Harlee go, Romeo?” Why do I always put myself in the same situations?

Instead of the imagined teasing, I hear a soft, “Boo!” as I round the front of the bus. I turn quickly and, rather than the expected gang of leering jocks, see Harlee. She stands by the bus, wrapped in a blanket and moonlight.


“Ssh, not so loud. Miss Smythe will kill us if she finds us out of bed.”

“Sorry. Why are we out of bed, anyway?”

“You’ll see,” she says and offers her trademark grin.

Harlee bends down, reaches under the step of the bus. I catch a glimpse beneath her blanket and see a hint of black lace as her long t-shirt creeps up. The bus door hisses open, and Harlee skips up into darkness. With a quick glance around, I follow.

I find her on the back seat. As I approach, she opens her blanket and beckons me in. I pause, still half-expecting the joke to be revealed.

“Come on, Miles, don’t be shy.”

I sit, dumbfounded. She wraps us both in her blanket.

“Wha-“ I begin, and stop as Harlee presses her lips against mine.

After what seems an hour, she moves back slightly and gives a small laugh. “Have you kissed a girl before?”

“No. Does it show?”

“A little.” Another laugh. “Go slower, softer. Like this.”

The windows near us fog over, adding to the night’s otherworldly feeling. Rain pelts the bus as a storm breaks outside. I imagine the back of the school bus is a cave, warm and far away from the cold world outside. In the darkness I discover I can kiss for two hours straight — surely some kind of record. My hands explore Harlee’s hair and her face. I find a place where neck becomes shoulder that causes her to shiver each time I brush it. Her breath quickens to gasps as my hand strokes her thigh, yet she deftly parries when I wander too high. But she follows up with a smile and a laugh. I hate the dawn when it arrives.

“We have to go now,” she says.

“Five more minutes?”

“No, they’ll be up soon.”

I know she’s right but I don’t care. Let them find us here, wrapped together. Let the whole world see. But Harlee stands, and the spell is broken.

“Come on.”

“Harlee. I—”

“Ssh.” She reaches out and takes my hand, pulling me up.

We step off the bus and Harlee closes the door. She turns, places her hands on each side of my face. The most beautiful girl I know stares into my eyes. “You’re special, Miles. Never doubt it. Never forget it.” Harlee brushes my lips with hers, then turns and runs into the dawn.

That was the last time we spoke. No matter how I try to get time alone with Harlee on the last day of camp, she’s always surrounded and won’t meet my eyes. Camp ends, holidays begin. When I return to school, Harlee’s gone—a military family who never settle anywhere long.


And now here she is, walking towards me as I sit in the mall with my wife beside me. I open my mouth to say something, but Harlee lifts a finger to her lips and mimes, “Ssh.” She continues past and I half turn to watch.

“Perv,” says my wife, following my gaze.

“I know her.”

“Sure you do.” A laugh. “Come on, we need to get the kids from school.”

As I pick up my wallet and phone from the table, I glance back. Once again, Harlee’s gone. I turn back to my wife and take her hand.

message 4: by Aysar (new)

Aysar Ibrahim CJ wrote: "You have until the 8th of August to post a story and from the 9th to around the 13th of August, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Pl..."

thank you, how much lines did the competition allow??

message 5: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Aysar wrote: "thank you, how much lines did the competition allow??.."

Hello Aysar!

The limit is between 300 and around 3,500 words. We say "to 3,500" only because if it's a very long story it might not get read by fellow members.

message 6: by Mark (new)

Mark Barrett | 296 comments Title: THE SPELL
Word Count: 3093

Iuvis was confused. True, this was a state of being in which he frequently found himself since being apprenticed to Sophicus, the mage. However, Sophicus tended to confuse him in such a deep and daunting way that Iuvis rarely even knew what he was confused about. In this case he knew exactly what he was confused about. He decided to do the unthinkable, and talk during Reading Time.

“Sophicus,” he said softly. Sophicus did not reply. He was sat with eyes closed, cross-legged atop the huge stump of oak that served as his chair here in his unadorned room of stone which was the Reading Room. It was quite disconcerting watching Sophicus read with his eyes closed, but that surely was what he was doing. He would sit, as he was now, with a great tome upon his knees and face turned towards the narrow window some four feet above him in the opposite wall. His eyes never opened, yet every minute or so he would turn a page. At the end of a period of hours he would then discuss what he had learnt, or not, from the book.

Iuvis decided to try again. “Sophicus.” Slightly louder.

Sophicus sighed. He closed the book then turned to face Iuvis. It appeared to be only an afterthought which made him open his eyes. His eyes, as blue as the brightest midday sky with barely a ripple of tone change across the whole iris. His expression did not change as he looked at Iuvis, but Iuvis was very sure that he had just been instructed to speak.

He indicated the book before him, a spell book. “This book concerns me.” He waited for Sophicus to question him as to why. Sophicus did not. Iuvis continued anyway, “It concerns me as it does not appear to have the right amount of spells in it for the number of pages it has.” Iuvis had always been good with numbers. His mind just seemed to automatically count and add, total and tally often without conscious thought.

Sophicus’s eyes flickered every so quickly to the book in question and back again. With no change of expression, not even a blink, he said, “It is a spell book,” and turned his face back up towards the small window.

Iuvis would not leave it there. “I know, Sophicus. It is a spell book. But it is a spell book with a spell less than the number of pages which are in the book.”

Sophicus looked at him once more. “The question you should ask yourself is: is there one spell missing, or am I missing one spell?”

Iuvis shrugged, “It means the same thing.” But Sophicus had already turned his face upwards and back to his closed eyes reading.

Iuvis had been apprenticed to Sophicus for one full winter and most of the summer. It was a surprise to him to be apprenticed to the great mage who lived a solitary and mysterious life in the old keep of the now crumbling fort three miles from town. It had been a surprise to everyone. Iuvis and all of the boys from the town and the surrounding villages had gathered in the town square that fateful autumn morning. It was Choosing Day. Not a very auspicious name for what was the most important day in many a young man’s life, but the hardy villagers and townsfolk this far up the valley were practical and unimaginative - proud to be so. Everyone knew that Iuvis would be chosen by the blacksmith. He was bright and strong, tall and popular. Whenever it became available, the blacksmith’s apprenticeship was always the most sought-after apprenticeship and Iuvis was sure to get it. He did. That Choosing Day the blacksmith chose two apprentices: Iuvis and a much broader and more witless boy called Llata. Both boys were happy to have been chosen and waved equally to proud family members and swooning potential future sweethearts.

Then Sophicus had arrived.

Sophicus was known to everyone from the Lizard-Back Mountains to Stillwater Lake – on both sides of the valley. He was legendary, though no one could quite agree on what those legends entailed. He was a mage, that was beyond question. But had he once battled the great fire dragon of Andorro, having stolen from its hoard? Had he traversed the Eastern seas to the fabled Crouching Isles, and returned? Had he been present at the battle of Mohanu, and served as the battle wizard under the flag of Troica? All, and more, if the local legends were to be trusted. But when one looked upon Sophicus, it was hard to believe any of this.

Yes, his eyes had a depth to which no mere human could ever hope to dive. However, other than this, he did not cut an impressive figure. He was average height, possibly slightly shorter, and slender. His shimmering robe hung indifferently on his sloping shoulders and the fine, pale fingers which wrapped around his stout staff were not obviously filled with strength. His hair was light, but not unusually so, and his skin was smooth and pale. He was clean-shaven, with some stating that he did not yet need to shave. Sophicus looked incredibly young, barely a couple of years older than Iuvis, although everybody knew that he could not be so; Iuvis’s own father recalled tales about the wizard who had moved in to the old keep of the now crumbling fort at the top of the valley, and how his parents had used them as a means to frighten him into silence when, as a small child, he was refusing to go to sleep.

Yes, Sophicus’s outward appearance was not daunting or impressive, and this would lead to more than the occasional joke at his expense when safely behind closed doors. However, when he walked out there was something in his presence which commanded respect. Fear and respect. So much so, that when he told the blacksmith that he would be taking Iuvis for his apprentice, even though The Choosing had ended, nobody expected it to be questioned, even though a blacksmith has high social standing also. The blacksmith, though, did more than question Sophicus. He refused. The town square had been filled with the silence of six dozen people holding their breath, wondering what a powerful mage’s reaction would be to such defiance. Sophicus’s reaction was to open negotiations. Everybody had breathed again - negotiation was something they understood and expected in a town square, especially on Choosing Day.

Iuvis never did find out what payment Sophicus had made to the blacksmith for him. He guessed it was high, and was still being paid even now based on the regular covered carts that Sophicus continued to send into town for the attention of the blacksmith. Iuvis had frequently asked why he was so special and why Sophicus had gone out of his way for him. The answer was always something along the lines of, “everyone is as special as each other,” or, “I did not go out of my way, my way took me to you.” None of these responses ever truly answered his questions. Sophicus’s responses rarely did.

After Reading Time Iuvis moved outside and used a small pebble to practise one of his skills. He would show the pebble, move the pebble between hands, reshow the pebble, then hide the pebble. Sophicus had to guess in which hand the pebble was hidden. Iuvis would randomly choose whether to use sleight of hand to hide the pebble, or whether to silently cast a teleport spell to move the stone from one clenched fist to another. Sophicus would invariably stare into Iuvis's eyes, rather than look to his hands, and guess correctly every time, even when Iuvis teleported the pebble into his own mouth as a bit of light-hearted relief. Sophicus had not smiled nor reacted other than to say, “It is on your tongue.”

Iuvis was bored. He was adept at small scale teleportation now, he was sure of that. Yet Sophicus insisted that he practise and practise, repeat and repeat. He stifled a yawn, and turned his thoughts to the spell book he had been reading earlier. Sophicus gave his old spell books to Iuvis to read during Reading Time and, only after at least twenty reads, would he suggest Iuvis was ready to attempt one of the lesser spells contained within. Then Iuvis would be made to practise that spell until he could do it, then until he had mastered it, then until he was sick of it, then some more.

But that missing spell was bothering him. There was definitely one more page in the book than there were spells, but there was no blank page to account for this. What was that spell? Where was it? Why could he not read it? The missing spell in that book intrigued him and interested him more than endlessly repeating this minor teleportation spell which he could easily do without even thinking.

“You have lost the stone.” Sophicus's voice pierced his thoughts.

Iuvis looked to his hands and saw that the pebble was missing. The question fired involuntarily from his mouth, “Where is it?”

Sophicus shrugged. “You could have sent it anywhere. For all we know it is at the bottom of the ocean, falling from the sky or even lodged in the skull of a great warrior which will turn the tide of a war and change the future of the world forever.” There was a long pause. “That is the power you wield, Iuvis, even in such an apparently minor spell as this. You cannot lose concentration.” Iuvis nodded an apology before Sophicus continued. “Rest now. We shall eat then tidy then sleep.”

As Iuvis headed back inside, Sophicus’s right hand opened and the pebble he had palmed fell to the ground.

That night Iuvis could not sleep. He did not like puzzles he could not solve. They felt like an unreachable itch in the centre of his head. Luckily, it rarely happened, because he was naturally good at solving problems. He was methodical and tenacious and would not rest until he had worked his way through whatever conundrum presented itself. This was why the blacksmith had wanted him - a mind that could work out how to meet customers’ diverse needs, coupled with the body able to complete hot, hard and heavy work. Perhaps that was why Sophicus had wanted him, too.

Iuvis climbed quietly out of bed and headed downstairs to the Reading Room to once again tackle that old spell book.

message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Barrett | 296 comments Title: THE SPELL (part 2)

Nine days later. In that time Iuvis had been allowed to move on to creating a small flame in the palm of his hand. That, and to almost continuously practice small-object levitation, animal control and, of course, minor teleportation. Additionally, in his own time, he had also solved the problem of the spell book.

“The spell is there,” he excitedly told Sophicus as they sat outside of the old keep having completed their daily Reading Time, “it is just that you instantly forget you have read it the moment that you do so.”

“Hmmm.” Sophicus appeared indifferent, focusing instead on the apparently random flight of a Fairywing butterfly which was dancing in the gentle breeze before him.

“Don't you see?” Asked Iuvis. “There is an extra spell cast on the page which must activate as soon as the reader sees it. This spell causes instant loss of memory of the past few second, thus rendering the reader unaware...”

Sophicus jumped in on Iuvis’s utterance. “...rendering the reader unaware of anything that she or he has read on that given page. Very clever, Iuvis. Well done.” Whilst congratulatory, Sophicus’s voice was as monotone as ever.

Iuvis would not let his excitement subside. “But this means that there is a spell upon that page which someone, a powerful mage, does not want anybody to see.”

Sophicus nodded. “Yes. A powerful mage, and perhaps a far wiser mage than you or I.”

“But how can we know that without knowing the spell?” Iuvis pressed.

“How indeed. Yet the butterfly knows which way the coming wind will buffet it even before the first breath touches its wing, as surely as the soldier instinctively knows who he can trust to lead him into battle long before the first arrows hail down and the first pair of swords clash.”

Iuvis could not leave the discussion at these vague allegories. He tempered his excitement and lowered his voice. “I can counter the memory spell.”

At this Sophicus raised an eyebrow.

Iuvis continued. “In one of your books, I read within my first two weeks here, I remember there was a spell to harden the mind against magical intrusion. I know that I can learn that spell and cast it before reading this spell book. Then I will know what the hidden spell is on that page. Or you could do it more easily and quickly”

Sophicus considered, then said, “I could easily do that but I will not attempt it. I will trust that the mage who cast that spell was wiser than I am now. I will not stop you if it is what you desire. Although, I would ask you what you would do with that knowledge if you were able to retrieve it?”

Iuvis shrugged. “I do not know until I know what the spell is.”

Sophicus breathed in long and loudly through his narrow nostrils. He looked deeply into Iuvis's eyes as he spoke again. “Remember the little accident you had with the pebble, and the potential ramifications of that mishap. And that such a minor, little spell. Any spell that a great mage has chosen to hide from other mages will not be so little nor so minor. Consider that you could be unleashing something for which the repercussions for the world may well be far greater than anything you could imagine.” With that, Sophicus rose and left, walking slowly back to the old keep.

It took a further eighteen days for Iuvis to find and practise the hardening mind spell. It was complicated, requiring a level of concentration and lengthy combination of actions that even Iuvis struggled to recall. After hours of repetition and practise in his own time, though, he now felt ready to perform it. The rain outside forced him to remain in the keep, so he was stood in his own large, sparsely adorned chamber with two spell books open in the bright circle of lamplight he had set up in the centre of his room.

The door creaked open and Sophicus entered. He quietly closed the door behind him and stood silently, watching his young apprentice go through his preparations.

Iuvis did not look up. “Have you come to stop me?”


“Good.” Referring to the first spell book, Iuvis practised the final two actions of the hardening mind spell. He was confident that he had them all exactly right. In his mind, the rhythm with which he must think the words and perform those actions was drumming out a mental tattoo. He began the spell.

It was every bit as difficult as he had anticipated, and his head throbbed with the incessant chant that he had to repeat in the silence of his own mind. Meanwhile, small finger twirls, minuscule hand movements and almost imperceptible head jerks channelled the chant into the spell he was casting. Twice he almost panicked, thinking that he had already missed a preceding action, but quickly suppressed the feeling, knowing that it was a usual mental reaction to such potent magic. Finally, he was done. He felt the spell climax and roll out on its own, no longer attached to his thoughts and his movements. It spread out, seemed to fizz in the air, then turned back and formed itself into an unfelt, invisible yet somehow palpable shield around Iuvis’s mind. He turned to Sophicus, smiling.

Sophicus smiled back, then raised his hands together in a quick, silent applause. “Marvellous. I am impressed,” he said. “For one so young and as yet so little tutored to be able to cast a spell to work against the magic of other mages. That is a marvellous feat indeed. Finally, you see the value of practise.”

Iuvis turned now to the second, the offending, spell book. He put his hand upon the cover and started to open it. He stopped, his thumb having pulled open the cover no more than a handspan. He thought. Then asked, “This is your spell book, is it not?”

Sophicus nodded. “It is.”

“Then the hidden spell in here is yours?”

Sophicus’s eyebrows raised as to two fishhooks drawing in his forehead. “Quite possibly. Though sometimes mages will take and complete the books of others, or write spells in one another’s books to...”

Iuvis interrupted him. “But this spell is yours.”

Sophicus nodded. “Almost certainly, yes.”

“So it was also you who cast the spell which stops anyone from remembering what they have just read.” It was not a question and Sophicus, respectfully, did not respond. Iuvis continued, “But if it was you who cast that spell, what was all that you were saying about a mage who was wiser than you?”

Sophicus had not ceased to smile at his young charge. “That mage was much wiser than me, because that mage was me but with the knowledge of what that spell is and the wisdom to hide it. Even from the future, and less wise, me.”

Iuvis shook his head. “But you said that you could easily cast the hardening mind spell and read it.”

“Yes. But the extra time and effort in doing that has always given me pause, so that I do not.”

Iuvis looked up from the book, straight into Sophicus’s unnaturally uniform blue eyes. “Do you think you will never read it?”

Sophicus breathed in deeply and his smile left his face. “I do not know. I have not yet, and I do not plan to do so. That is enough for me, for now.”

Iuvis closed the book. “It is enough for me also.”

Sophicus's smile returned. “Is it?”

Iuvis threw his head back and laughed. “I do not know, Sophicus, I do not know.”

Sophicus began to lead his apprentice out of the room and downstairs towards supper. He said, “I think perhaps you do know, but you do not know that you know it yet.”

Iuvis shook his head. “And once again, I am confused.”

message 8: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Co-Operative Operative (Helen Singer, Chapter 22, Part Two)
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 924
Rating : PG13

My mum did have a point. Now she mentioned it I was pretty tired. Maybe a decent night’s sleep would do me some good, and Hamelin wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon…

When we got home I took off my jacket for what felt like the first time in an age and hung it up in the hall.

“Well,” I said to my mum and dad, “I’m off to bed.”

“Sleep well, honey,” my dad said, taking up his position in front of the television in the living room once again, “you’ll be busy tomorrow helping me out at the library. And don’t worry, we’ll get Ladon back once this curse comes to an end.”

I’d almost forgotten all about my missing brother; hell, I thought my parents had forgotten about him myself, but clearly now. They were putting on a brave front, I’m sure of it. Any parent would be frantic about a missing child, but they seemed very sure that when the curse was lifted from Officer Hamelin they’d get all the missing children back.

Assuming that wherever they were was somewhere magical, and not just in a basement somewhere. Still, we had the lead on that abandoned storefront Fran and I had discovered, and if the kids didn’t show up when the curse was lifted, then we could always start there. I know we hadn’t seen any children kept inside, but we had to start somewhere.

I yawned. It had been a long day; a long couple of days in fact, and I was more than ready to get some rest. I headed to the stairs and began to climb up them to my bedroom.

“Helen,” my mum called out, just as I began my ascent. I lowered my head, dreading what fresh hell she was going to confront me with.

“Yes, mum,” I replied, looking over my shoulder at her without moving my feet out of their climbing position.

“I’m proud of you,” she smiled.

I smiled, “Thanks mum,” I said, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

Once I was in my room, I changed into my night clothes and climbed into bed, turning off my bedside light and just lying there, staring at the ceiling. Some things were hard to take in, like the fact that I’d helped stop a child abductor, or that I had magical powers. I hadn’t mentioned that fact to my parents, but they didn’t need to know. As it was, I wasn’t sure which powers were going to stick; would I be a vampire hunter, like Abraham Van Helsing, or a seductress like the Sirens? Or would everyone love me, like Helen of Troy? I didn’t much like that option. I’d never be sure if somebody loved me for me or because my powers had forced them to love me. I sighed. Life wasn’t easy for any teenager, but I had to admit I had it a little more rough than most.

As I tried to doze off, I heard my phone buzz, the unmistakeable sound of a text message coming through. I picked it up from where I’d placed it on my bedside table and unlocked the screen.

The message was from Fran, and it read as follows:-


I read the text, then quickly composed a reply:-


I smiled as I sent the text. It was all good, knowing that we had helped in getting a cursed individual off the streets and protected any other children from the ordeal that Ladon and the others may have had to endure.

I pulled the covers up to my chin, wondering what the future might bring. I’d be starting back at school before I knew it, and I’d gone and chopped off all my hair. I really hoped that people wouldn’t judge me b my new appearance, although from my experiences so far in Grave’s Hollow, nobody had so much as bat an eyelid at my streaky blue hair.

Maybe I could go back to being a red head. I could go to the chemist in the morning and buy some hair colour, spend the afternoon rinsing the red back in. I missed my hair being long, but it would grow back, and changing the colour back was the first step in going back to looking like my old self. If only I hadn’t been so selfish, trying to make my parents pay attention to my needs by rebelling. I’d never rebelled before, and it really didn’t feel good. In hindsight moving had been a good idea for both of them, and for me and Ladon – well, maybe not Ladon, he’d been kidnapped after all. They’d both gotten far better jobs paying much more, and their new jobs seemed to be designed to help people in a way many people just didn’t get the opportunity to do so. They were helping to stop a curse, and that can’t be a bad thing.

I pulled my bed covers up to my chin, still staring at the ceiling. My eyelids were getting heavy, and I could feel myself slipping into a dream state, but even so I could hear the television in the living room just as clearly as if I’d been in the room. What on Earth was dad watching this time” I wondered to myself as my eyelids finally closed, and my ears slowly tuned out the sound of panpipes as I drifted off to sleep…

message 9: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (last edited Aug 09, 2018 09:34PM) (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments I hope to put the polls and contest up later (6 West Coast time)!

Edit: Sorry I nearly forgot. I apologize it's up so late!

message 10: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Just want to say I am happy about the amount of stories this week. Great job, everyone!!

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