Suddenly, a piercing scream erupted through the night. I dashed over and threw up my window. Sticking my head out, I could see a massive ball of fire just as it exploded on a car in the alley below.
“What the hell just happened?” I mused aloud.
“Looks like a tragedy.” I heard a cynical voice behind me.
“You!” I felt my eyes widen as I spun around to face him. “You did this?”
“Things happen.” He replied shortly.
“That’s not, you can’t just, innocent people are not –” I was trying to reason with a madman; not even a madman. I was trying to reason with pure, untainted evil. “I will not let this happen.”
Throwing open my apartment door, I made a mad-dash down ten flights of stairs and then jumped over the banister for the last flight. I tore open the door to the building and ran out into the alley, prepared for the worse.
Inside the flaming car, a young boy was screaming and pulling on the door handle. Stupid child locks, I muttered to myself, recalling other horror stories I’d heard about those things when I was younger.
Raising both of my hands into the air, I drew on the forces of wind and water. I intended to use the wind to create a vortex which would suck the oxygen out of the area, thus killing the flame. Just as humans require oxygen to survive, so do some types of fire. The water would put the fire out where the vortex failed. Just as a giant vortex formed around the car, the vehicle disappeared into the night sky without leaving a single trace behind. I was mystified.
And then I was pissed. The whole thing had been an illusion; a mirage of sorts created by him. Created by the demonlord that was probably laughing as I recalled the magic I’d used to create the vortex and annihilated the approaching storm. Looking up, I saw a figure standing in the window against the white light. Contrasting with the fluorescent glow, the demonlord was a menacing blackness, but none of that mattered anymore. He had won and now he would be coming to claim my soul. I felt cheated, but what was worse, I felt disappointed in myself. I had let the enemy win.
Meeting me in the front lobby, Sikal said, “Game. Set. Match. I win. Checkmate. Whatever it is you pathetic mortals say when you defeat someone.”
“You cheated.” I protested.
“And?” He inquired.
“Nevermind.” I told him seething and headed for my apartment.
“You’ve got twelve hours and then I’ll come for your soul.” He smiled in his own sickening way like he was laughing at a private joke. “Just so you know.”
“I look forward to it.” I spit and he actually recoiled slightly, in surprise.
With that he disappeared and I was left alone with my thoughts. If only I had held out two more hours, if only I had called for help instead of trying to deal with that problem by myself, if only I had never started magic in the first place, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Of course, all of the ‘if onlys’ in the world were not going to get me out of this situation, but I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. With only twelve hours left, what was I supposed to do? My soul had a timer on it that would go off like a bomb when he came to pick up his collections.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.