“I couldn’t believe they spoke to me that way. How dare they. Where the fuck do they get off calling me a poser? What do any of them have to show for all their efforts?”

Jack kicked at a paper cup lying in his path. Between it being wet from the rain and the sounds of the storm, he didn’t get to hear the whack of his shoe as it sent the little cup out into the street.

“How in the hell do you get off telling someone they’re a noob when you haven’t got anything to show for years of practice?”

He stomped towards the train station, reliving his rejection with every step. The Ordo had declined his application. Marcus, a wide and bearded magician with a large reputation, had lost his temper when Jack had questioned his decision. “You lack any sort of results in your practice and you don’t show the discipline needed for our work.”

After a few more choice words, the group and expelled Jack.

“I need to find a way to show them how wrong they are,” Jack said the words, needing to hear himself as he declared his intentions. “I need to teach them the error of their ways.”

this time, he kicked an old metal garbage can. Even with the rain, he heard the hollow clang of his boot and then a few more as the can bounced down the sidewalk before smacking into an old car’s bumper.

When he got to it, the can’s lid was rocking back and forth. Jack kicked it again and smiled as it spun away like a child’s top. He drew back to aim at the can again, but stopped when he saw the yellow and black thing in the can.

It was a composition book, like the ones that he used for his journals, but yellow instead of red or white. The cover was creased and the book was swollen from use. On the cover, the previous owner had drawn an odd little star with extra lines popping off it.

Jack touched his arm, his mouth hanging open before darting forward to snatch up the book. He tucked it under his arm, protecting it from the rain with his coat and ignoring the chance that he was smearing something from the can on his favorite shirt. He hurried home, eager to examine his find.

He was lucky. His car was almost empty. So he took out the book, and pulled up his sleeve.

The symbols were the same. The sigil he had tattooed on his arm two years ago, the one he had invented to be his magical name, was drawn on the little notepad’s cover with a sharpie.

“What the hell.”

  1. Clay
    January 28, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    I really liked this one. It feels like an origin story for a Dresden villain turned hero.

    • January 28, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      Thank you. I really appreciate the comment.

      I was trying to decide if this should be a serial or a stand alone. I left it awfully open ended, but right now I just can’t make up my mind.

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