Fiction — The MagicLand Chronicles

The Fires of Easterly

Little did we know that beneath the glow of the continuously burning Easterly fires was a city of magic.

Charles Bastille
MagicLand — The Novel
13 min readJan 27, 2021

--

Some say it’s been two hundred years since the Third Eradication.

I don’t know. How would I? I don’t keep a calendar. I don’t have a way to tell time aside from the sun’s location against the burnt trees. I can tell you the day, the month, the time of year. But I can’t tell you what year. I don’t know anybody else who knows, either. If it mattered, I suppose somebody would start keeping track.

When I see the glows in the Easterly realm, I wonder if a firestarter like me gassed up some old industrial waste and created a fire that will never end. And then I wonder whether they did it on purpose, or if it was an accident.

Original image: Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Roquanna teases me by lifting her skirt to her torso, then scampers out of our filthy abode. What a tart she is.

I want to paint my fingernails before I start my ritual. A ritual before the ritual. One I always want to initiate before I begin the incantations, but this time the urge is stronger than usual.

I can use black dye Roquanna makes from rusty metal objects like nails and clasps she finds in the Scavenged City just north of here.

Sometimes I trade an incantation with an Acquirer who gets the rusted objects for us. It’s faster. People like my incantations. I make things happen that others can’t. I’m sort of proud of that.

Roquanna makes a vinegar solution out of the nectar alcohol she also makes and drops the metal objects into it to make the dye.

She’s fiendishly good at making a good alcoholic mixture, and I believe that is why I first kissed her. But that’s another story.

This building we stay in is temporary. It keeps the rain out, but when winter sets our dwelling will become too cold. The fireplace is broken, the walls are shorn and painted with ancient ash, and the ceiling has a gash the size of a small tree.

We are nomads, fighting to stay a few weeks in one place while the armored eagles hunt us. They’re ghastly things, covered with bronze armor.

--

--

Charles Bastille
MagicLand — The Novel

Author of MagicLand & Psalm of Vampires. Follow me on BlueSky: https://bsky.app/profile/charlesbastille.bsky.social. All stories © 2020-24 by Charles Bastille