A Price Paid

The wizard’s fiery green eyes crackled with uncoiled energy. The spineless father before him cowered beneath the hazel lightning rupturing out of his fingertips; the wizard grimaced. Poor fool.

“Bothancada dysumi NXESTRO!!”


The searing curse of Infinite Damnation barreled off the tip of the wizard’s screeching voice, a spiraling wave of muddy shadows pinpricked with orange lights like the foamy reflection of sunset upon the ocean. The father, consumed by fear, now became gutted by pain as he literally devolved into a spineless man. Yet and still, Death denied him her galling graces, and his soul vortexed invisibly around flames from the Ninth Hell.

The man’s family suffered the same fate and the wizard’s eyes gleamed against the moonlight.

** ** **

“Master, I am not strong enough.”

The young mage bounced alarmingly along the night path, his loyal horse barely keeping pace with the flaming cloud shamelessly leading them to their destination. The boy’s master ignored him, hair flowing long and dark beyond the horse; a cape of hearth stricken fire blotting out the landscape as they rode.

“Still thy tongue Qualdred.”

The Master’s steely voice leaked none of its femininity. Qualdred’s eyes had more than once admired the smooth curves barely containing the hard lines of her lethal body when they trained together, only to nearly have them knocked out of his head as she rammed her knuckles into his skull with enough force to split a slingstone. The Master was woman, but she was not soft.

At least not in the traditional sense.

Soft is a weapon to catch firm might unawares; otherwise it has no place in the persona of the warrior.

The Master was exceedingly resilient about that last part. Persona of the warrior. She took it seriously a great deal. He had no idea why she had selected him to be her apprentice.

“Master I-“
“You have what is required and you will do what needs to be done.”

Qualdred snapped his mouth shut.
There was nothing else to say.
The silence of the stars claimed them, and they rode grimly on.

** ** **

“So I’ve finally drawn you out.”

The wizard cackled the woman and her boy.

“Your blood will be the silver coins in the bag of this spilled innocence you have done here today.”

The wizard spat at her feet.

“Who’s the boy.”

The two of them said nothing; merely shifted into their ready positions. The Master stood with her legs together, right arm curled crisply behind her back, with her left arm flexed at the elbow straight as a razor blade over the center of her face. Qualdred stood with his left leg behind him, right knee slightly flexed, both palms extended toward the howling old man buzzing with sparking energy standing before them.

“Who’s. The boy!!”

The wizard was slipping into confusing hysterics.
The Master was unfazed.

“Did you summon me here to ask for answers you already know, or to do your justice as the vile sorcerer you are?”

Lightning sprawled from the wizard’s eyes, disappearing into nothingness against the Master’s palm. The wizard howled. Fire and lightning poured from his body against the Master, but she absorbed it all. Qualdred froze in awe. A single bead of sweat rolled down The Master’s face. He blinked. Her eyes locked onto his and he felt a voice in his head.

I am sorry.
He was confused. Sorry for what?

Then the histrionic dynamo consuming her, arched out, viciously, in his direction.


The dust of Qualdred’s tepid remains blew away under the explosive frenzy of The Master. That single bead of sweat metamorphosed into a river of salty tears as her cool demeanor ceremoniously unhinged.

“YOU did this!!” The Master struck the wizard over and over with her bare hands. “YOU did this! You arranged this! You forced me into killing you!!” Blow after blow after blow. “I tried to save you- tried to save all of us!! And you forced me into becoming a monster!!” The wizard’s lightning drooped. A flurry of innocuous, unimpressive sparks dripping off the edge of his beard. “My own HUSBAND!!!”

The final blow felled the wizard to the ground. His ribs were cracked, lungs punctured- he could taste the bitter back flow of warp magic beginning their feverish mastication upon his veins. He smiled crookedly up into The Master’s devastated retinas, savoring her final words to him.

“You know who that boy was.”

“He was the one you had to kill with my power, in order to gain the power to fully kill me.”

The Master stood over him, now weeping tears of fire, her raised fist a cauldron of red and black energy.

“No,” she sniffed wetly. “He was our son.”

Then she let her fist drop, an other-worldly anvil of finality, blotting the wizard out of existence forever.

Joshua Evans is a prolific writer and sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast who believes story is central to everything and that mythology can change the world. He currently hosts two youtube shows- The Truth About Superheroes and Comic of the Week. If you would like to further be a part of his cosmic psyche, you can join him on Twitter and Instagram (@comicsinspire) or simply subscribe to this story reel… and remember- sharing is caring! Cheers!

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