Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spread the Word

Post our logo on your homepage:

The image url is http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/5866/twotowrite.png if you would like to use it on your site.

Winter Contest!

We are extending the contest started at the beginning of December! There are more ways to enter and bigger and better prizes than before. So, without further ado, here are the new dates, guidelines, and prizes for the contest:

The contest will run until January 31, 2010

Ways to Enter:
You must comment on this entry that you would like to be entered into the contest. If you do not comment on this post, then we will not enter you into the contest. Please leave a method of contacting you (email, livejournal, blog, twitter, etc) for if you win.

Leave a comment on our work at Livejournal, Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger.
Each comment (current or past) earns you an entry.

Refer people to follow Two to Write on Livejournal, Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger.
Make sure they comment that you referred them!
For each person you refer, you’ll earn an entry.

Spread the word about Two to Write or this contest.
Leave a link on this post to where you spread the word.
Each place/time (from 12/1 to 1/31) you spread the word, you’ll earn an entry.

Follow us on Blogger, friend us on Livejournal, follow us on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.
For each one that you do (current or past), you will earn and entry.

Post our logo on your site.
You can find the logo here: http://twotowrite.blogspot.com/2009/12/spread-word.html
Leave a comment on this post linking us to your site.

The Prizes:
We have divided the prizes up into three packs, related to the stories you've seen on Two to Write. The top winner will get his/her choice of a prize pack. The second place winner will choose from the remaining two packs and the third place winner will get the remaining pack. Additional packs may be added throughout January.

The Wolf Pack
(in honor of Howling)

This pack includes a t-shirt, stuffed wolf, custom graphic, and feedback on 3000 words of your writing.

The Ghost Pack
(in honor of Night's Final Hour)

This pack includes a bag, snow globe, custom graphic, and feedback on 3000 words of your writing.

The Magic Pack
(in honor of Anthromagic and The Memory Keepers)

This pack includes a notepad, necklace, custom graphic, and feedback on 3000 words of your writing.

Good luck!

Feel free to ask any questions!

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 8

The next morning, Drew showed up at nine thirty with breakfast and a duffel bag. Curious, I tried to sneak a peak into the bag but Drew blocked my attempts and handed me a biscuit.

“You’ll see what’s in there in a little bit.” He told me, sliding the bag behind his feet. “Trust me, you probably aren’t going to find it fun anyway.”

“Fine. I’ll eat, but then you have to tell me what’s there.” I agreed and bit into my breakfast.

“We start training at 10:30 sharp. Be ready.” He told me and then took his cup of milk into the kitchen to put it in the sink.

“I’m ready whenever you are.” I informed him.

“Fine. We’ll start now.” He said, pulling the duffel bag out from under the couch. “This is what we’ll be using for training.”

Unzipping the bag, Drew pulled out a giant axe, a mace, and three small daggers. Twirling one of the daggers, he grinned and then set the rest of the contents onto the table.

“Worried yet?” He asked, smirking.

“Slightly. What are we going to do with those?” I inquired.

“Train. You’re going to be fighting Sikal without magic. It’s not going to be an easy task. You’ll need to be just as physically fit as you’ll need to be mentally.” Drew clarified.

“So I have to train with weapons?” I demanded. “I’m starting to think that I might not be up for this after all.”

“You’ll be fine.” Drew attempted to reassure me. “Starting out we won’t use the weapons, it’ll just be strength training with some cardio and things like that. Gradually, we’ll move up to using the weapons with some dodging and aiming practice.”

“I’m trusting you on this one.” I let him know. “If anything happens though, you’ll have to live with the guilt associated with my death.”

“I won’t have to worry about that.” Drew informed me. “Also, along the way, I’ll be introducing you to some other people who have gone up against Sikal. Are you alright with that?”

“That’s fine.” I started, curious. “How do you know so much about all of this though?”

“Just experience.” He said offhandedly. “That’s all.”

“Okay.” I said, unconvinced.

That morning, Drew and I began our first hardcore training session. We jogged, biked, ran, and boxed. It was rigorous, but Drew acted like he was just a daily routine for him. Every activity we did, Drew did with ease; both intimidating and impressing me. By the end of the day, I was completely worn out; every muscle in my body ached from the strenuous activity.

Coming into my apartment, I collapsed onto the couch and Drew offered to make some dinner. I told him that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to eat anything but to help himself to the sparse ingredients in the kitchen. It had been a little while since I’d been to the grocery store. He fixed dinner and I sat in the living room contemplating the idea that I had just begun a very eventful journey.

With seven weeks left before the duel, we started with serious cardio training for the first week and I met two other mortals that had been tested by Sikal. Andrew was a twenty-two year old who had been tested by Sikal two years ago. During his test, Sikal created an illusion that made the entire apartment building look like it was quickly engulfed in flames. Andrew, torn between which residents to save first, used his magic to relocate the apartment building to an abandon plot of land, leaving numerous mortals suddenly standing on the street completely baffled by the disappearance of their homes. Just as Andrew used his magic, the time limit wore off. His soul was safe.

Michelle had only been seventeen when she was tested by Sikal. A mirage of her mother appeared before her and appeared to be having a heart attack. Luckily, Michelle was able to identify that it wasn’t her mother. Her mother had died two years earlier in a car crash; one detail that Sikal clearly didn’t know. That was what had prevented Michelle from losing her soul that night.

Both of the people I met that first week of training had been incredible. Their stories had deeply touched me, but also made me feel like I was an even bigger failure for not having been able to outsmart Sikal. Drew told me not to focus on this; that Michelle or Andrew could’ve easily done the same thing, but it didn’t make me feel much better. I was sure I was going to lose this battle.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 7

I had two months to figure out how I was going to defeat Sikal and absolutely no plan. Drew and I had put off the inevitable; I still had my soul intact. The entire next week, I didn’t see Drew. He wasn’t at work, he didn’t pick up his phone, and he wasn’t at his apartment (which I had found using some detective work). I was starting to worry and becoming a little freaked out. I began wondering if Drew had made me stand up to the demonlord to simply abandon me, but after that first week, Drew was back at work bright and early when I stopped in to grab my coffee.

“You’ve been gone for awhile.” I stated, stepping up to the counter.

“I have.” He said, automatically handing me a Mocha Latte and refusing my money. “Use it to get a better apartment. I’ll come by this evening and we’ll talk about the plan.”

“I guess I’ll see you then.” I told him and headed on toward a tedious day at work, calling more people about more random services that I wouldn’t even waste my money on.

That afternoon when I got home from work, I tried to straighten up the apartment some. Ever since the morning when Drew showed up there, I had been a little embarrassed about the horrid conditions. My apartment was literally in shambles and I hadn’t even stopped to notice before. I did the monstrous pile of dishes in the sink and hid the dirty clothes in the closet. Leaning with all my strength against the closet, I hoped it would stay shut. As I walked away from it, one door popped off the rusty amber hinges, letting shirts, socks, bras, pants, and other remnants file out onto the floor. Muttering about wasting my time, I gathered up the discarded items and shoved them back into the cramped closet. Pulling ribbon from a drawer in my bedroom, I rigged the closet door in its proper place and tied the two doors together so that they would stay shut. The bow I tied around the door handles looked like it might pass as a decorative display.

Drew knocked on the door as he walked in and I tossed the remaining ribbon under the sofa in the living room.

“Anyone home?” I heard his voice flow through the apartment.

“In here!” I shouted and realized that I was attempting to straighten out my shirt.

“I brought Chinese.” Drew said, sliding to the ground by the coffee table and setting out a buffet of delicious Chinese food.

“Good choices.” I observed. “Lots of options.”

“I figured we’d be here a while trying to come up with a plan. We might need the leftovers to reheat later.”

With that, we both scrounged down some food, anxious to discuss methods on how I was supposed to beat Sikal without using any magic whatsoever. I was hoping that Drew had come up with some sort of plan or ideas, because I had zilch.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked, finishing off an egg roll.

“To train. To train everyday and every night until you’re ready. Sikal is going to be expecting some sort of trick or deception, but we’re going to be straight about it. You’ll quit your job tomorrow and we’ll start training. It’s as simple as that.” Drew explained nonchalantly.

“It’s as simple as that?” I stuttered. “You mean, it’s as simple as ‘you lose.’ That plan will never work.”

“It will work if you trust me, okay?” Looking straight at me, Drew waited for a reply.

“Well,” I said conceding, “If nothing else, this plan of yours got me two more months of freedom from Sikal.”

“That’s one way to look at it.” Drew told me standing up. “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.”

“You’re leaving already?” I asked confused. “But you said we would be here a while and that we might have to reheat the leftovers.”

“I thought we’d fight about it a lot longer.” He said simply.

“You don’t have to go yet.” I told him not wanting to be left alone just yet.

“I really do. I have some things I need to gather and do before we start training. I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise.” Drew headed out my apartment door just as the other closet door burst off its hinges, swung around against the other door and let the contents spill out once again.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 6

When the time came, Drew and I were standing outside in the alley beside my apartment building. We knew Sikal was going to protest and we needed somewhere half-way secluded to keep the events secret from the general population. Perched on some old broken chairs, we glanced at each other with small nervous smiles and then away again to wait. Sikal arrived in style. A huge thunderous clap exploded above our heads and a green light flashed as Sikal appeared in the darkness in front of us.

“Trying to gang up on me?” He assumed when he saw Drew sitting five feet from me. “You might as well head on home, kid. She used magic during her testing period. I’m just doing my job, coming here and collecting her soul. You know that.”

“What I know…” Drew started standing up. The inspiration hit me then. Drew couldn’t stand up to Sikal for my sake; that’s not what was supposed to happen. He would be interfering with fate if he did that and then he’d find himself in as much trouble as we hoped for Sikal to be in.

“What I know,” I echoed jumping up and silencing Drew behind me. “Is that you won’t be taking my soul. At least not tonight.”

“Well, missy, when did you get so brave while in my presence?” Sikal asked, shocked by my demeanor.

“When I realized that you’re just an old demonlord, subjected to the same laws of the universe as the rest of us.” I explained, gaining confidence with each word that left my lips and built the threat.

“What is your point?” He asked, coming closer and towering over me in an attempt to intimidate me. “Or are you just trying to further delay the inevitable?”

“My point,” I started calmly and without anger in my voice. “Is that you, in a very clever move which played on my mortal weakness of empathy, tricked me into using my magic. Neither you nor I can prove whether or not I would have used my magic if that flaming car had not materialized in this alley. With that said, you chanced altering the fate of a mortal, which goes against the order of the universe and the law that we all are bound to.”

Sikal stood there, taking in every single word that I said and probably looking for a flaw in what he thought was my logic. In reality, I had Drew to thank for my success.

“Sikal,” I said, for the first time in my life, addressing my demonlord by name. “I wonder what his majesty would think if he knew what you had done. I wonder what flaming consequences you’d have to endure.”

“What is your point?” Sikal exclaimed, displaying his fear.

“I want to make a deal.” I told him without hesitation.

“A deal? You want to make a deal with me?” He repeated.

“A bet of sorts, if that’s the terminology you prefer.” I clarified.

“I’m listening. Let’s hear this deal of yours.”

“Here’s the deal,” I said, preparing to make another deal with a devil. At least this deal was one that I had a choice in. “I want a duel. Between me and you. I bet that I can beat you without my magic. If –”

“Without your magic? You’ll automatically lose!” Sikal laughed devilishly. “You want to make a bet you’re bound to lose?”

“If,” I started again, but nervously looked at Drew. He nodded slowly in order to make sure that Sikal didn’t notice my need for encouragement. “If you win, you get my soul and no one tells the King what you’ve done. However, if you lose, I get my soul, no questions asked. Now, with my destined to lose, I see no reason why you wouldn’t agree to the deal, but, if you find yourself scared or nervous and decide not to agree with the bet or you back out at a later date, then his Majesty will find out that you chanced fate. Understood?”

“Understood and,” Sikal thought for a moment. “Agreed.”

“Good.” Drew and I said in unison and Sikal flinched with the slightest ounce of worry.

“You’ll be seeing me in two months.” Sikal said, setting the date for our duel. “And, Miss, remember that by then I’ll be stronger!”

“Oh, I’ll remember.” I reassured him as he disappeared into the darkness. He was a lot less fancy in his exit than he had been about his entrance. I took that as a good sign.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Among Monsters

Among Monsters

Life used to be simple for me. I used to be able to walk with freedom, void of fear. And then he came into my life. He was the one who opened the door to all things scary. He was the one that showed me there were monsters in the night. He was the one I fell in love with.

He told me life would be simpler without him in it. I didn’t understand at the time what he meant by this. I understand now. And I wish that I could go back to the day I met him. I wish I could do it all over again and tell him no. But regrets solve nothing and time travel has yet to be invented.

* * * * *

“Have you ever thought about starring in your own fairy tale?” He asked me from across the table. I just stared at the newcomer, wondering how to respond.

“You mean like a movie?” I asked, stirring my drink.

“No, I mean like a real-life genuine love story.” His smile was perfect in the crowded room.

“I don’t think those exist,” I said, looking around for my friends. They seemed to have disappeared, leaving us all alone in the crowded restaurant.

“They can if you allow them to.” He picked up the menu in front of him, shielding his face.

“Right.” My voice dripped with hesitation, but I had no escape plan for this situation.

“So, what’s good here?” He dropped the menu and smiled at me. He didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

“I don’t know. Depends on who’s paying.” I watched as his eyes lit up.

“I think you should,” he replied, laying the menu down on the table in front of him.

“I should?” I asked, surprised by his response.

“Yes,” he replied. “And I’ll cover the next check. I promise it’ll be a nicer restaurant.”

“The next check?” I asked, regretting bringing up the topic of the check.

“Yes, the next check.”

“Are you asking me out?”

“Are you accepting?” His smile was getting wider by the second.

“Depends on when and where.”

“Tomorrow night,” he replied, looking around. “Meet me here and we’ll venture forth from there.”

“And you’re paying?”

“And picking the location.” He stood to leave. “I’ll see you then.” He was gone before I could give him a straight answer.

* * * * *

This mysterious guy was the first thing I discussed with my friends when I returned home. They were the ones that encouraged me to meet him the following night. I wish I hadn’t listened to them.

* * * * *

He was standing outside of the restaurant when I arrived ten minutes early. I had been hoping to use those ten minutes to gather my thoughts and prepare myself for the night. Instead, I seemed to have gained ten minutes of a date.

“You’re early,” was the first thing he said when I walked up.

“So are you,” was my reply.

“You ruined the surprise.”

“What surprise?” I was curious to know what this stranger could have possibly planned for a surprise.

“I was going to be romantic and leave you a trail of something. It was going to lead you to the restaurant,” he replied, gesturing to a pile of cards in his hand.

“Where did you get the idea to do that?” I asked, wondering why this guy was so strange.

“The movies. And books. It’s really been used in quite a few places,” he replied, smiling.

“But rarely ever is it used on a first date,” I replied, thinking of the few instances I could recall from favorite books and movies.

“True. Which would have made it an even bigger surprise.” His smile was wide again and glowing white in the night.

“I suppose so,” I replied, stepping closer to him to avoid being in the walkway of the sidewalk. “Why would you want to waste so much effort on a girl you don’t even know?”

“Because you’re perfect.” His smile softened. “I can already tell that you’re right for me.”

“That’s just a tad bit creepy,” I replied, stepping away.

“I’m sorry,” he replied, his voice even and smooth. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“You didn’t,” I replied, looking around. “Let’s just get to dinner, okay?”

“Okay,” he replied. I watched as his hand reached for mine. I shoved mine into my pocket and hoped the night would become smoother as it progressed.

* * * * *

The night did become smoother. But, the weeks to follow only became more complex.

That was the beginning of a rocky road that led me to the world of monsters. It led me to the moment when he told me the truth.

* * * * *

“I’m a vampire.” He said it plain and simple under the glow of a full moon. I looked at him and accused him of joking. He insisted that I believe the truth.

“You can’t be a vampire. They don’t exist,” I told him, looking up at his dark eyes. “They are just a myth told to children to keep them in at night. They’re not real.”

“They are real.” His voice was even and extremely calm.

“Prove it,” I retorted, with my hands positioned carefully on my hips.

“Okay,” he said, curling his lips into a smile. His smile widened, revealing his teeth. Among them were pointy incisors, extended beyond the rest of the teeth. He looked like the perfect vampire, with his teeth gleaming in the moonlight.

“You really are a…?” I let my voice trail off as I took in the sight before me. Andrew was wearing a dark tux from our formal date that night. Add a cape to his ensemble and he would have been the poster boy for Dracula. It was an eerie sight.

“I really am,” he replied, his voice huskier than before.

“I have to go.” I ran and stumbled until I found my way home. He didn’t follow me.

* * * * *

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 5

The next morning I woke to the smell of blueberry waffles and the sound of a hammer. Startled, I jumped up and tumbled out of bed, tangled in my blanket. With three short dashes down my miniscule hallway, I swung into the kitchen and saw Drew hammer a nail sticking up from the floorboards.

“What are you doing?” I shouted over the thud of the hammer. Clearly, I startled Drew who brought the hammer straight down on the hand he was using to balance himself.

“Trying,” He started, clutching his hand and grimacing. “To fix your floor.”

“Oh. Sorry.” I apologized and scurried over to the kitchen to fix a cold compress for his swelling hand.

“Thanks.” He said, taking the towel and gesturing toward the apartment door. “You really ought to lock that.”

“I know.” Smelling the waffles again, I turned to the stove and found nothing.

“Other way,” Drew instructed, taking my shoulders and turning me toward the two-seater kitchen table.

I had been wrong. It wasn’t just the smell of blueberry waffles that woke me. It was the smell of waffles, muffins, French toast, eggs, and bacon all spread out in a beautiful display on my rickety little table. It looked like a juxtaposition painting done by some cynical artist. I felt like crying. Again.

“I’m going to lose, aren’t I?” I guessed.

“What?” Drew asked baffled.

“With Sikal, I’m going to lose. Why else would you fix me such a nice breakfast and try to fix my pathetic little hovel?” The tears were already flowing from my eyes and I couldn’t even try to stop them. I sank down in one of the kitchen chairs and slumped over its back. I took a large bite out of one of the muffins, causing the tears to gush out even more rapidly from the sheer delicacy of a simple muffin.

“If you were going to lose, I wouldn’t bother trying to fix your apartment because you wouldn’t be coming back to it.” Drew explained rationally.

“Oh.” I said and realized that I must look like a complete wreck, sitting there eating a muffin in my oversized shirt, crying with my disheveled hair. I swallowed hard and stood up. “I’m going to go get dressed and brush my hair and, maybe, shower and…”

“Don’t.” Drew said, pointing toward the chair with the hammer. “Sit and eat. You look adorable. Except for the tears. I could do without those seeing how they’re unnecessary, but if you insist on crying, then go ahead. Just make sure you eat too.”

“But…” I started and Drew shook his head, informing me that I had no excuse that he would accept. “Okay.” I sat down and started eating.

Drew poured us each a glass of orange juice and sat down across from me, carefully balancing himself on the broken chair.

“Sorry about that.” I apologized. “I don’t get company often.”

“I noticed.” He observed. “Why do you live like this?”

“I don’t know.” I told him, honestly. I really didn’t know. I made enough money that I could’ve afforded a better place; I had just never put in the effort to find somewhere nicer.

“You should move.” He pointed out the obvious while I munched on some French toast. “I should.” I agreed.

“But you won’t?”

“I didn’t say that.” I corrected.

“Looks like it’s something I’ll have to get you to work on.” He proposed.

“Maybe.” I grinned.

For the next few hours, Drew and I just hung out, relaxed and talked about how I was going to approach Sikal and how I would lay out the plan. Each minute brought me closer to my task at hand and made me feel that much sicker. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started using magic three years ago.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Memory Keepers: Prologue


I was nine when my grandmother first told me I was special, eleven when I started to believe in magic and thirteen when I became a memory keeper. But, I didn’t realize what a special gift this was until I was sixteen and the memories and cares of another rested on my shoulders.

My grandmother was my only connection to the world of memory keepers growing up. As a child, I watched her every move to learn more about my destiny. I was by her side as often as I could be, watching and learning. She never spoke about what she was doing. Instead, she would say that experience is the greatest teacher. I wouldn’t understand this until I was much older.

Oddly enough, it wasn’t my grandmother who made me see that magic was real. It was my mother who made me believe. We were sitting on the living room floor, watching one of those movies based on fairy tales. I commented that those things don’t happen in real life. She was quick to come back that fairy tales do come true – you just have to know where to find the magic. I giggled at the mention of magic and she raised an eyebrow. Within seconds, she was sharing several different stories of her past. At the center of each story was my grandmother, portrayed as the heroine of the tale. I was in awe.

I knew I would come into my abilities at age thirteen, but I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my life. A memory keeper is able to experience the memories of any given individual with simply a touch of her hand. With enough practice, this power can also be extended to inanimate objects, which hold more memories than any human. After years of watching my grandmother in action, I was well aware of the abilities I would be gaining. However, I wasn’t aware of the sacrifices I would have to make. My grandmother had made it look so easy.

The first person I touched was my best friend at the time. We were in middle school and things were rough. Girls were catty and boys were suddenly interested in the girls. Rumors flew on a daily basis and people were betrayed weekly. I was sitting in the cafeteria beside Anna, my best friend. We were in the midst of our lunch and I asked if she had a spare napkin and she passed one my way. Our fingers grazed for only a second, but that was all it took for every one of her memories to come flooding into my mind. It was a painful experience as my brain went into overdrive.

My body shook with the emotions of each memory and the people around me seemed to jump away. I don’t remember much after that because I passed out and woke up in the nurse’s office. The school called my mother, worried that I suffered from panic attacks or something. My grandmother was the one who met me in the office. She drove me home and we didn’t speak a word. My mind was reeling with something I had discovered in my best friend’s memories: betrayal and backstabbing that had been going on for months. Needless to say, that ended our friendship.

I isolated myself for months, avoiding everyone. I would immediately jump back if someone got too near and I refused to do any contact sports in gym. As a result, I ended up failing my first class that year. My separation increased when my grandmother passed away and I withdrew further into myself. My mother tried her best to pull me from my self-imposed isolation but nothing seemed to work.

I did eventually pull through and began to find new ways of avoiding people that were not as jumpy. However, I continued to avoid contact with others as much as possible. Burdens lie hidden in the memories of others. People can suppress these burdens and bury them deep within themselves. I experience all of a person’s memories when I touch them, even the ones that have been suppressed and forgotten. Nothing is kept from me and that is something that I must live with everyday.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Creative Commons License
The Memory Keepers by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Anthromagic ~ Chapter 4

“Honestly?” I told myself not to get my hopes up or I’d only be disappointed.

“Yes.” I heard Drew say. My mind was wondering about what the possible loopholes could be. Did this mean that I wouldn’t be losing my soul after all? After five minutes of mindless explanations, I heard Drew calling my name.

“Hey! Hey! Are you still there? What happened?”

“Nothing.” I said glumly into the receiver. “Just getting my hopes up so that I’ll be good and disappointed as usual.

“Why don’t you try listening to me first and then see how you take the news before making any judgment calls in advance?” Drew questioned my logic.

“Fine. Let me have it.” I prepared myself for his explanations. Maybe I’ll only have to lose half my soul, I mused to myself.

“Sikal tricked you into using your magic, right?”

“Yeah, so?” I asked him. Was it possible that demonlords had rules too?

“Okay. So technically, he might have altered the course of fate….” Drew trailed off.

“True.” I agreed.

“You might not have ever used your magic if he hadn’t created an illusion where you felt the need to save someone.”

“Yes, Drew. I know all of this already. Can you just make your point? I’m tired and depressed and would like to spend some time enjoying my soul before he gets here to collect it.”

“Listen to me. No one is allowed to alter the course of fate. No one. No mortal who practices magic, no demonlord, not even the King of Magic. It goes against the order of the universe. No one is even supposed to chance altering it. So, because Sikal took the chance, he could be in huge trouble with the King of Magic. The kind of trouble that ends with Sikal burning for eternity. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“No.” I said straight. “I see what you’re saying, but I don’t know where that leaves me. It’s not like I can set up a meeting with the King of Magic and complain about how the demonlords are being mean to their mortal charges. The King of Magic doesn’t have time for stuff like that and you know it, Drew.”

Disappointed and angry with myself, I hung up the phone. I instantly regretted it. I shouldn’t have been taking my emotions out on Drew who was just trying to help me. His plan seemed like complete bogus to me though and my narrow mind was only focused on me at the moment. Five minutes later the phone rang again.

“What!” I bit into the receiver. “I know I shouldn’t have hung up on you but I just can’t handle this right now, okay?”

“Not okay.” Drew snapped at me. I’d never heard Drew mad before and it frightened me a little.

“You need to shut up and listen to me for a couple of more minutes.”

“Fine.” I resolved. “My life is over in a few hours, what’s a couple more minutes on the phone with you?”

“You can challenge him. Make a bet with Sikal. As a demonlord, he’s prone to being arrogant and chauvinistic. Play on those qualities. Make a bet with him that you can beat him without your magic. If he wins, he gets your soul and you won’t tell the King. If you win, you get to keep your soul. If he won’t agree to the bet, then you’ll tell the King. It will work.” Drew explained his plan while I listened and tried to find flaws in it.

“You think that will really work? Who’s to say that Sikal won’t just kill me on the spot? He has that kind of power.” I pointed out what seemed obvious to me.

“He can’t. You really know nothing about demonlords, do you?” Drew asked surprised.

“Demonlords can’t kill their mortal charges; they spontaneously combust if they do. Sikal wouldn’t risk his own life over one soul.”

“How do you know so much about demonlords?” I asked Drew. When I first found out that a demonlord would have to test me in order to see whether or not I could keep magic a secret, I tried to do all the research I could on them. I wanted to know their strengths, their weaknesses. Heck, I wanted to know where they lived and what they ate for dinner. But I only found one book on demonlords and it was less than helpful. Drew, on the other hand, seemed to know more about the demonlords than Sikal probably did. It intrigued me and made me wonder what else I didn’t know about him.

“I’ve just picked stuff up over time. Small Freudian slips from Sikal and little tidbits from other mortals about their demonlords.” Drew explained carefully. I got the feeling that he wasn’t telling me everything but decided that now was not the time to push the issue.

“So I should challenge Sikal to a bet?” I asked, returning to the issue at hand.

“You should.” Drew confirmed.

“It sounds easier and safer just to let him take my soul.” I complained.

“It would be.” Drew admitted. “If you don’t value your soul at all.”

“I guess I do. Some.”

“Do you realize what you’d be without your soul?” Drew wanted to know.

“Um,” I hesitated. In reality, I had no clue what I would become when I lost my soul. Vampire don’t have souls, but I’m pretty sure that’s a whole different story. I realized that I didn’t know if a demonlord has a soul or not. What would I become without a soul? “A vampire?”


“I know. It was a silly answer, but I don’t know what I become.” I admitted.

“You would become a hollow shell. A demon. Servant to the demonlord who took your soul. Sikal would forever hold your soul in a vault and you would forever serve him. Is that what you want? To be stuck saying ‘yes, Sir’ to Sikal?” Drew’s speech was not raising my spirits any.

“No. I don’t want anything to do with Sikal.” I told him angrily. “Do you honestly think I want to lose my soul?”

“I don’t think you do. Which is why you need to make this bet with him. When he comes to take your soul, that’s when you throw the plan on him, got it?” He asked me.

“But what if he doesn’t listen to me and automatically steals my soul anyway?” I pointed out to Drew.

“I’ll be there with you.” He clarified and I found that I was actually reassured by the mere thought of Drew’s presence.

“Oh. Okay, I guess I’ll do it then.” I told Drew with a flicker of determination.

“Good. Now get some sleep. I’ll see you in a couple hours.” Drew said through the phone.

I hung up the phone and headed to bed. I was emotionally worn. A mixture of fear, rage, and depression was surging through my body making it hard for me to fall off to sleep despite the late hour of the night. I had a big day ahead of me and I was scared. Silently, I cursed the day I had started using magic and the tears that were starting to fall from my eyes. I hated crying and, that day, I seemed to keep finding my face soaked in the salt water from my own eyes.

Creative Commons License
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.