Home > Fantasy, serial > Whistle While You Work #5

Whistle While You Work #5

Tomas and Maleena’s feet touched the ground before the world stopped spinning underneath them. Tomas dropped to a knee on the floor and placed his palms on the ground. His wife turned in a slow spiral before making a retching noise.

“Bucket! Bucket! Bucket!”

A wooden pail was slammed onto the floor beneath his head. Tomas managed to glance up and see two men holding Maleena’s shoulders while a third held another pail, before he squeezed his eyes shut and vomited.

“Sorry about that,” Hennessy said. “I forget how bad spell travel is the first time.”

“Why didn’t you warn them not to eat?” A high pitched voice half yelled, half whined the words. Tomas tried to open his eyes and look around, but couldn’t. Instead he vomited again.

#

“I am sorry about that,” Hennessy said.

“No harm done,” Malenna said. She rested her hand on her husband’s arm, squeezing it to remind him of his manners in dealing with the old man.

Hennessy continued to speak to Malenna, but Tomas tuned them out. They were sitting a large stadium. Bleachers surrounded a smooth round floor that he thought was polished stone. Their seats were the eleventh row, which put them just above the half way point. He tried not to stare at the other audience members, figuring that most were magic users like Hennessy, but Tomas found it difficult not to.

Many of the others were accompanied by fantastic creatures. Fairies and demons walked among the men of power wearing guises that resembled humans, but a few didn’t bother. One creature, made of water, was no more than a swirling column of blues and greens that stood on top of a platform at the top.

Tomas nudged his wife when people started to walk out onto the floor. Hennessy talked on for a moment or two before he noticed what his guests were staring at.

“Finally,” he said. “The ritual is about to begin.”

Rows of wizards, all wearing hooded green robes, formed into squares. They faced the inside of each square, and therefore their counterparts and folded their hands behind their backs.

The squares had three people on each side and once they were in place, none of them were touching each other. Tomas strained to hear the singers, but so many of the spectators were talking, that he couldn’t hear over them.

Hennessy smiled and held his hand up, fingers spread wide. The old man looked at the sun for a moment before dropping one finger. A few seconds later, he did it again.

The moment his thumb flexed to finish forming a fist, someone struck a chime. All other noise ceased and Tomas could hear the wind as it rustled through the bleachers.

The first note was deep. It was a rumbling base made the sharp edges of the stairs beside them waver. Tomas watched to stage as wisps of dark blue smoke began to curl out from the middle of each the squares.

Maleena gripped his arm, and when he glanced at her, Tomas saw that she was holding Hennessy’s hand as well. She squeezed him with such force that the wizard’s knuckles were turning purple.

Then the next note floated into the air.

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