Home > Fantasy, serial > Whistle While You Work #6

Whistle While You Work #6

Maleena was rocking back and forth. Tomas didn’t know if it was from magical overload or from needing to go to the bathroom. In his case, it was magical overload.

They had been listening to the group sing its spells for over an hour. The air above the coliseum was turning grey as the bands of color from the spell mingled together.  The closer to the ground you looked, the more distinct each color was. It reminded him of smoke above a village, the chimneys working together to fill the sky with soot and ash.

A few of the other spectators were lying in their seats. He had watched them slump, one after another, until there were almost no regular people left.

Maleena froze for a second, twitched a little bit, and then started to pitch forward. Tomas grabbed her, and was surprised to feel another arm on top of his.

When he lifted his eyes, he saw the wide, shocked expression on Hennessy’s face. The old wizard stared at him for a moment before smiling. Hennessy helped push Tomas’ wife back so that she was slumped in her seat, and then turned his attention back to the performance.

Tomas wanted to look around, but he couldn’t pull his eyes away from the ribbons of magic making their way into the air. He had just enough of his senses to realize that the only reason he had caught Maleena was because she had been beside him. Had they not been sitting so that their shoulders were touching, he would not have known she had started to fall.

The performance continued, and Tomas rocked along with the rhythm of the song. He fought, not wanting to miss any of it, and in doing so, his own energy was added to the spell.

Younger wizards began to fall. Apprentices were caught by their masters, or by the otherworldly guests, and laid back into their seats.

The performers themselves fell. The voices dropped off one by one as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Tomas nodded but did not fall. Behind him, a creature covered in red and green hair extended its hands, preparing to catch him if needed. The creature in front of him opened the eyes on the back of its head, and quirked its scalp above one eye as it watched. Two glowing yellow spots inside the frozen water spout moved to the side to watch him.

Old men, with beards and bellies still listened as the last handful of performs let out one final, harmonious note. Two of those singers dropped to the ground as Tomas leaned his head backward, his eyes fluttering.

As exhaustion claimed him, Tomas became the first uninitiated ear to hear the final note of a staff’s enchanting in this generation. The wizards had not noticed, lost in their own struggles.

But the others noticed.

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