Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
 
Editorial    
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Poetry
Features
Series
Archives
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Forum
Flash Writing Challenge
Forum
Dan's Promo Page
   

Rubican's Crystal

by Gust Dimoulias


A figure walked the remote forest paths. It wore a heavy cloak that covered its face. It was short, taller than a dwarf but definitely not man sized.

Clouds covered the full moon that made this night's meeting perfect. The figure soon approached a tall elf who appeared to be standing guard. He had shoulder length silver hair and when the clouds momentarily parted the moonlight sparkled in it. The moonlight also revealed the stranger’s violet eyes twinkling like little stars from under the cowl of its cloak.

"Khari, you cannot pass without giving the proper password." He said.

Khari drew back her cowl shaking out her long golden blonde hair that cascaded down her back. Her almost pale skin, large oval shaped violet eyes and dark red lips betrayed her eastern heritage. She peered up at the tall elf.

"The password is wolf, Khain." Khari said.

Khain noted her sarcasm but let her through. The war had taken its toll on the land. Lord Malkhus had been hemmed in and it was only a matter of time before the Alliance emerged victorious.

Khari continued from the checkpoint. The rendezvous point was a wide clearing near the feet of the Shai’lin Mountains. She sent her thoughts out over the wind to connect with her familiar, a raven by the name of Sin-dar. Sin-dar had been following from high up in the air and at Khari’s call he came down in ever decreasing circles until he settled on her shoulder.

Khari connected with Sin-dar’s mind to explore his memory. No one had followed her nor were their any enemies in the area. Khari was still uneasy; she did not like having to leave her army while battle still loomed in the air. She walked faster and with more purpose, her boots crunching the leaves on the floor of the forest path.

Khari found the clearing just as the clouds shifted out of the way bathing the area in silvery moonlight. She bade Sin-dar to find a high perch and wait there for her call. Her violet orbs scanned the meeting place. There were four others all of whom were members of the Alliance. Prince Duhon who led the human tribes greeted Khari as she approached.

"Well met, Khari," Duhon said. "I have yet to thank you in person for bringing your troops to my rescue."

Prince Duhon had raven black hair that he wore loosely about his shoulders. His intense emerald eyes and neatly-trimmed chin beard made him seem almost demonic. He clasped forearms with Khari and gave her a short curt bow.

"Enough!"

Khari turned to see a man bent by the weight of years and holding a black cane. His long white beard touched the ground and his wrinkled hands beckoned Khari and Duhon closer.

"You will have time to catch up on old battles later," he said. "Right now we have much to discuss."

"Yes, Master Rubican," Khari said.

Rubican indicated the two newer, seemingly young people at this meeting. One was a tall and slender elf whose silver eyes shone in the moonlight and his white hair, that he kept bound behind his pointed ears, gleamed. The other was the contrary of the elf. He was short and squat; all you could see of him from under his blue hooded cloak was the beard that hung to his toes.

"This is Dri’and, he represents the elves of the northern woods," Rubican said. "This is Uri’el, a dwarf who lives in the roots of these mountains."

Khari and Duhon introduced themselves and grasped forearms. All then turned to Master Rubican.

"When this war started, magic was strong across this land," Rubican said. "I, as are all of you here, am tied into the magical energies of every thing in this world. For some time now I have felt that magic is slowly dying and will soon be no more."

Worry creased the faces of all assembled as Master Rubican’s words sank in.

"This cannot be Master," Dri’and said. "Our ability to access the magical spheres has not diminished."

"Aye Master Rubican I must concur, I was able to cast a spell this very morning that sent four of Lord Malkhus’s ogres to fiery graves," Khari said.

"It is a subtle change," Rubican said. "I have been attuned to the magical realm for many centuries so perhaps I am more sensitive to the changes than you youngsters."

This drew a wry smile from the usually grim elf.

"Does this mean that our powers will diminish and cease to exist?" Prince Duhon said.

"Yes, but I am not sure when that would happen," Rubican said. "I do, however, have a plan."

All looked on as Uri’el walked over to Master Rubican and gave him the satchel that had been under his hooded cloak.

"You all have been my students," Rubican said. "In fact I have had many students over the centuries and you four represent the most powerful. Lord Malkhus will soon be defeated and the negative magical energies that he commands will be dispelled. I fear that as magic dies away his evil will find a hold and that he will make good on his threat to come back."

Rubican took a large crystalline object from the satchel. It was as large as a blacksmith's fist and it caught the evening light in its many facets projecting them out on the faces of all present. He looked on the astonished faces of his former students.

"What do you think?" He asked. "Uri’el found it in the mines of his home. He showed it to me many weeks ago. I’ve performed many tests and have found that it can sustain magical energy.

"My plan is simple. All of you shall take a large portion of your power and send it into this crystal. The other part of the plan will be carried out by Uri’el, once he’s recovered. Upon your deaths your heirs will be made aware of our pact and will know what to do should the need arise. This I must ask, you all must voluntarily agree to this."

Khari, Prince Duhon, Dri’and and Uri’el looked at each other uneasily. First Dri’and assented and soon the others acquiesced and agreed to the plan. They all went to different parts of the clearing to gather the components needed for casting spells of this magnitude. Once they were ready they gathered again around their aged Master Rubican.

Prince Duhon was first. Khari and Dri’and drew out long swords to keep watch on the perimeter while Duhon began to spell cast. Duhon chanted and waved his hands before him in precise movements occasionally adding another component to the spell. After almost an hour Duhon uttered the triggering phrase to release the spell.

A beam of directed energy flowed from Duhon’s fingers to the crystal. It pulsed and glowed as brightly as the stars in the sky. Duhon sank to his knees as the power drained from him. When the spell was finally complete Prince Duhon fell to his hands and knees completely spent.

Dri’and helped Duhon to his feet and guided him to a spot near him where he could rest and recuperate. One by one each of them cast their spells releasing a portion of their energy into the crystal. Uri’el being the last went to lie down to get his strength back while Master Rubican spoke.

"You all may now go," Rubican said. "Uri’el and I will take care of the rest of this plan. I will caution you all to be very careful as your powers will be greatly diminished. Your powers should return to some sense of normalcy after a week. Be well."

Khari called to Sin-dar and they left the forest clearing. Prince Duhon and Dri’and also left the clearing. None of them saw each other again after that. Master Rubican was never seen nor heard from after that night.

The Alliance gathered all of their armies together and made one final attack against Lord Malkhus. The ogres were scattered and for years were being hunted down and destroyed. Lord Malkhus himself was stripped of power, all of the symbols of the negative energies he commanded were taken and scattered. He ceased to exist and plagued mankind no more.

####

In the years, decades and centuries that followed magic did in fact die away from the world. Elves and dwarves were not seen in the world and men soon multiplied and took over the land. Humans took over the land and progressed in their skill and invention. Cities and civilizations grew and prospered and some even fell and were eventually extinct.

A modern age was given birth and grew in the land. Magic was wholly forgotten; elves and dwarves were relegated to fantasy stories and evil was seen as normal...

####

In the northwestern United States near the Canadian border, scientists began digging near a Native American burial site. Two months into the dig Dr. Mortimer Slaird discovered a stone box with intricate runes carved into it. Any artifacts found were to be turned over to the Native American tribes but Dr. Slaird stowed it away amongst his personal effects. He took it back with him to Chicago for his daughter Carrie.

Carrie had a collection of strange things in her room. She was sixteen and believed she might be from a different world. Carrie once entertained the idea that she was part elf because her ears almost tapered to a point.

Dr. Slaird spent six months at the dig in Washington State. When he came back to Loyola, where he taught Archaeology, he brought back the box so he could study it.

The box was eleven inches long; five inches wide and it appeared to be six inches deep. The carvings along the sides depicted what seemed like a war. Dr. Slaird made charcoal rubbings of the carvings along the sides. On top there were images of what Dr. Slaird thought were words but the language was something he’d never seen before. He was going to take the charcoal rubbings and research them but the box was going home.

Dr. Slaird brought the box home and took it up to his daughter’s room. She was lying on her stomach across her bed talking on her phone.

"My dad is home, I’ll call ya later," Carrie said.

Carrie pushed the end button on her cell phone and sat on the edge of her bed. Dr. Slaird marveled at how beautiful she’d become. She looked just like her mother, who died of cancer when Carrie was eleven. Carrie had the same golden hair flowing to her hips. Her eyes were what took your breath away. Carrie had been blessed with almond-shaped eyes that were violet in color.

Those same violet orbs looked up at him from her sweet young face.

"Hey daddy," Carrie said. "What’s up?"

"Well, my little Elven princess," Dr. Slaird said. "I’ve brought something back for you from my trip."

Carrie squealed and bounced excitedly on the bed. She loved when her father called her his Elven princess and she equally loved when he’d bring home things he’d found on his digs. Dr. Slaird brought the box out from behind his back and presented it to his little girl.

Her eyes got big and a look of surprise crossed her delicate features. Then they softened as she became more intrigued with the box. She held it in her lap and ran her fingers over the intricate carvings.

"Either an elf made this or possibly a dwarf," Carrie said.

"Honey, I think you’re old enough to know better," Dr. Slaird said. "There are no such creatures."

"Daddy, how else do you explain this box, or my eyes, or the points on my ears?" Carrie said.

"Carrie, while I agree the color of your eyes is very rare it doesn’t mean you’re not human," Dr. Slaird said. "And furthermore those are not points on your ears; your ears are simply unique, like you."

Carrie rolled her eyes and continued studying the box. Her father got up and left to go start dinner. Carrie didn’t tell her father but she could feel something pulsing from within the box. Something was calling to her from the box and this was sparking her curiosity.

Carrie placed the box in front of her on the bed. She started tracing the runes on top with her fingers and a strange sensation washed over her. Her vision blurred and the scene changed. She found herself standing in a clearing surrounded by tall trees.

An old man materialized wearing long flowing green robes and long shoulder-length white hair and beard. He seemed to be studying her and spoke to her as if he knew her.

"I am Master Rubican," Rubican said. "What you see before you now has not been seen in many millennia. I sense that you have many questions; I will try to explain them to you.

"When the world was young it was populated by three races, elves, dwarves and men. The magical energies that bound the universe were active and alive. I was created from those energies to act as a guide to those creatures who were more attuned to these energies.

"As with all things in nature there must be an opposite. Evil crept into our world. Lord Malkhus became attuned and soon learned to access the magical energies. But where I taught that one must be in harmony with the magic he corrupted it. His dark powers brought orcs, ogres and goblins into being and unleashed them upon us.

"This evil threatened to take over and destroy all that was good. So, an alliance was formed between humans, elves and dwarves. We gathered a huge army from all non-evil races on earth and attacked Lord Malkhus.

"The war lasted for many years neither side truly gaining a victory. Soon the tide of war changed in our favor and we drove the evil hordes back to the Shai’lin Mountains. Through my powers of divination I surmised that while we would defeat Lord Malkhus he would return.

"I took four of my most powerful students and devised a plan. They each took a portion of their power and transferred it into a large crystal. In the end I transferred my essence and the crystal into the box that your conscious self is still holding."

"Why am I here?" Carrie asked. "What do you want from me?"

"You are not really here in any real sense of the word." Rubican said. "You are still in your room, holding the box, in a trance. A spell was cast over the box that allowed me to create this illusion in your mind. The spell is triggered by your particular magical energies."

"But, what about what you want from me?" Carrie asked. "I’m just a young girl. There isn’t anything special about me."

"This is where you are wrong." Rubican said. "You are a descendant of one of my students. She was very powerful and her bond with the magical energies has passed to you. The signs are clear; Lord Malkhus is going to return and try to take this world over.

"In three days I will renew our magical bond. Think about all that I have told you. You are the only hope this world has."

Carrie opened her eyes. Her room looked exactly as it did. A feeling of safety washed over her as she realized she was home. She quickly put the box down and ran into the kitchen.

"I just started dinner honey." Dr. Slaird said. "It won’t be ready for another five minutes. I left you less than a minute ago you miss me already?"

Her father was facing away from Carrie so he didn’t notice the perplexed look that came over her angelic face. Carrie could have sworn she spent longer than a minute entranced by Rubican. The spell must have had an effect on time also so that hours seemed like minutes.

"So daddy, where did you find that box?" Carrie asked.

"It was during the dig," Dr. Slaird said. "I found it in a maze of caves at the foot of a mountain range in Eastern Washington State. I should have turned it in to the Tribal Council because we were still near the sacred burial ground. But when I saw this it just seemed to speak to me ‘take me home.’"

Carrie now began to believe that fate intervened and that she was meant to have the box. She left her father in the kitchen and ran back up to her room. She closed the door; locked it and sat on her bed regarding the box.

"I wonder what’s inside." Carrie thought.

She reached out, and with the fingertips of her right hand caressed the top of the box. A wave of energy washed over her but it was different from the earlier trance. All of her senses were heightened.

She acutely felt each and every line and carving on the box as well as the air within her room. Carrie could clearly see the energy that bound every fiber of matter in the room. Carrie could hear her father cooking downstairs and the smells were vivid.

Carrie entered deeper into her connection with the magical energies all around her. In her heart she felt residual energies of those that passed away. The magical energies thrummed in her ears like a strange sort of music. She allowed the music to flow over and carry her through time and space. A presence pulled her from the flow and she found herself standing before Khari and Dri’and. Khari reached out and held Carrie’s face in her hands smiled a motherly smile.

"She has your beautiful features." Dri’and said.

"But the shape of her face and those ears are yours." Khari said.

Khari ran her long thin fingers through Carrie’s hair and continued to smile as though her face were frozen like that.

"Master Rubican has told you the story of Malkhus’s fall." Dri’and said. "Many millennia have passed since magic existed in the world. That which came easily when Khari and I were alive will now seem impossible to you."

"Wait, wait." Carrie said. "Who are you? Where am I?"

Khari and Dri’and looked at each other and seemed to nod in silent agreement.

"It is because of us that you are here." Khari said. "My name is Khari and this is Dri’and. We were part of the alliance that brought down Lord Malkhus. We met in the clearing that Master Rubican showed you. When the last battle was fought as we returned to our own lands we struck up a conversation. As the months and years passed we grew closer and actually married."

"Over my parents objections I might add." Dri’and said.

Khari took Carrie’s hands into her own. For the first time Carrie actually got a good look at her ancestors. Dri’and was tall with an almost triangular shape to his face and very pronounced points to his ears. Khari was very beautiful, the epitome of a strong woman, with her long golden blonde hair and large almond shaped emerald eyes and full lips.

"The elves objected to any unions outside of their race." Dri’and said. "I lived longer than my wife but the brief time she and I spent together were the happiest of my life. When I finally passed with the rest of my people I rejoined Khari in this magical flow and we waited."

"Waited for what?" Carrie asked.

"We waited for the fulfillment of Master Rubican’s prediction." Khari said. "He said that Lord Malkhus would return and we sense that he will. All he needs is to find a willing vessel and recover the magical components that made him powerful."

"What’s stopping him from coming back fully?" Carrie asked.

"The magical components are in a museum in a country called, Canada." Khari said. "I believe the city is Toronto."

"Master Rubican will guide you and your companions in this quest so don’t despair." Dri’and said.

"Trust in the magical flow Carrie Slaird." Khari said. "We know you are young but you have a strong bond with the magic all around you. Use that bond child, it will save you and help you defeat the evil that is coming."

Another voice seemed to be calling Carrie’s name; a familiar voice that came from somewhere outside of her.

"Good luck Carrie." Dri’and said.

The scene changed yet again and Carrie found herself back in her room. The voice that called her back to reality was her father calling her to dinner. A twinge of sadness twisted Carrie’s heart bringing tears to her violet orbs.

"I finally feel like I understand what I am." Carrie said.

Her father called again from downstairs.

"I’ll be down in a minute daddy." Carrie said.

Carrie ran into her bathroom and washed her hands. She splashed water on her face and took a few deep breaths to calm herself. She went downstairs to have dinner with her father with a clearer understanding of who she is.

After dinner, which consisted of spaghetti in meat sauce, Carrie went back up to her room. She wanted to contact Master Rubican and begin. Begin what though; she wasn’t exactly sure what she was supposed to do.

"Master Rubican said he would re-establish the connection himself." Carrie said. "Tomorrow is what I think he said. This should give me the time to digest all of this."

Carrie did her homework in her room while her daddy was in his study searching the internet. Dr. Slaird had the rubbings he took from the box and was trying to see what he could find. The engravings on the box didn’t match any of the tribes in North America. He resolved to talk to his friend in the anthropology department tomorrow; if anyone would know he would.

Carrie placed her box on the nightstand next to her bed. She got ready for bed and waited for Dr. Slaird to come up to say good night. She felt a deepening connection with everything around her.

Carrie sensed her father coming up the stairs. She heard the steady thumping of her father’s heart and the rhythmic inhale exhale of his breathing. The sounds got louder as he approached Carrie’s bedroom door.

"Come on in daddy." Carrie said.

Dr. Slaird entered with a very quizzical look on his face.

"Princess, how did you know I was there?" Dr. Slaird asked.

Carrie wanted to scream that she could hear him coming; hear every heartbeat; every breath. She knew that she couldn’t tell him about anything that she’d learned.

"Little girls have a sixth sense about their daddy’s." Carrie said.

"Uh-huh, you know your mother used to say the same thing." Dr. Slaird said.

"See, it runs in the family." Carrie said.

Dr. Slaird smirked and kissed Carrie on her forehead.

"Good night princess."

"Good night daddy."

Carrie went to sleep that night her dreams were invaded by a terrifying nightmare. She heard someone calling out her name. The voice had a deep and melodious quality to it that made Carrie’s heart flutter. But as she drew near to the source of that beautiful voice fear gripped her heart and froze her in place.

Carrie could make out a man; a large man sitting on a large throne. His right leg was crossed at an angle to his left. Carrie could just make out thin lips surrounded by a neatly trimmed goatee.

"Carrie, your connection to the dormant magical energies is a strong one." He said. "Let me help you grow stronger than any in your family. Let me in to your mind my dear."

To Carrie’s ears the voice was smooth and soothing to listen to and allowing him to enter her didn’t seem wrong. She could feel him invade her conscious mind. An icy cold fear gripped Carrie’s heart. As he went deeper into her mind Carrie began to sense an awakening evil, something that had lain dormant for a very long time.

As this evil presence continued making his way toward her subconscious Carrie felt something happening. Coming from deep within her soul Carrie connected with the magical flow. It pushed against the evil presence arresting his further encroachments.

Carrie could sense that Khari was helping her push this evil out of her mind. Once he was gone Carrie sank into a deep sleep; but before blacking out she heard that smooth soothing voice.

"I will have you Carrie Slaird. I will have you."

Carrie awoke the next day to the buzzing of her alarm clock. Her muscles felt as though she’d been in a fight and her head ached. Carrie could still feel the connection to the magical flow and it comforted her. She had no idea who that evil and smooth sounding presence was or what he was trying to do with her mind.

She went to school but her mind wasn’t on her classes or her school work. Carrie could hear Master Rubican call to her throughout her day. On the bus going home Carrie made her decision. She was going to help Master Rubican stop Malkhus’s return.

When Carrie came home she ran up to her room, taking the steps two at a time. She locked the door and pulled down all the blinds and for good measure closed the curtains as well. Carrie took the box off her nightstand and sat cross-legged on her bed.

Carrie took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She traced the runes at the top of the box that triggered the spell. Her spirit left her body and materialized with Master Rubican at a crossroad.

"Are you ready to begin?" Rubican asked.

"Yes, Master, I am ready." Carrie said.

Carrie related what happened to her last night and a grave look crossed Rubican’s face.

"Malkhus is hoping to use you and your emerging power." Rubican said. "We must move quickly if we are to counter him."

"Where are we?" Carrie asked.

"We are at the astral crossroads." Rubican said. "We are between several plains and dimensions of existence. With my guidance we shall enter the astral plane and connect with the others."

"What others?" Carrie asked.

"Others like you." Rubican said. "Using this box we will be able to detect other people who have the same unique connection."

Carrie held the box in her hand and Rubican told her to concentrate. She established her connection to the magical flow and allowed herself to become awash in it. Rubican showed her how to follow the flow into the astral plane.

Within the astral plane Carrie saw people whizzing by, the box pulling them along sending out its call. Soon they materialized back at the crossroads along with four others. All four were men, tall and ranged in age from seventeen to twenty. One had short brown hair and a neatly trimmed goatee; two had shoulder length blonde hair and their faces were cleanly shaven and the last had no hair at all.

"The one with no hair is Timothy." Rubican said. "The two blonde boys are Ari and Reuben and the one with the goatee is David."

Rubican told the boys the story of the ancient past. When magic was easily accessible and how Lord Malkhus perverted the sacred energies. He explained about the crystal and how each of them was connected to the magic around them.

Rubican bade Carrie to set the box down and open it. Carrie ran her fingers over the front of the box and a latch appeared. She released the latch and the top of the box flew open. Everyone peered inside the box to see the crystal inside.

"So, this is Rubican’s crystal." Ari said.

The crystal pulsed and glowed with incredible power.

"Carrie, lift the crystal out of the box." Rubican said. "Now, all of you hold on to it."

Carrie felt the pulsing, thrumming energy within the crystal build into a mighty crescendo. Soon Carrie and the others were awash in light; the energy being drawn from the crystal went directly into the five young people.

"You five are to be sent into battle." Rubican said. "This battle is for the very soul of mankind. The elves have faded away and the dwarves are no more. Only men have withstood the test of time and Malkhus must not be allowed to snuff out their young lives."

Rubican began to fade from view.

"Master Rubican, please don’t go." Carrie said.

"My time is over." Rubican said. "You children are now powerful enough to take care of yourselves."

As he said these last words Rubican faded from view never to be seen in this life again. Carrie wept silently feeling suddenly quite alone. She wiped the tears away and turned to the four boys who all had confused looks on their faces.

"What are we to do now?" Reuben said.

They all looked to Carrie as though she’d been tacitly elected leader.

"We must attack Lord Malkhus now and crush him while he has no true form to take." Carrie said.

"We don’t know where he is." David said. "How do we find him? Better yet, how do we stop him?"

Carrie pondered the questions, stroking her chin with her long delicate fingers.

"To answer your first question he’s in the nether world." Carrie said. "If you boys will follow me we’ll go to the netherworld. Ari, Tim, Reuben wait for me."

Carrie and David took a few steps out of earshot of the others.

"I need for you to go back to the conscious world." Carrie said. "Go to Canada and find the elements of Lord Malkhus’s power and destroy them."

"How will I find them?" David asked.

"Those objects carry his negative energies." Carrie said. "You will be able to sense it deep within your bones."

David nodded and walked away towards the conscious world. Carrie turned and walked back to the boys.

"Isn’t David coming with us?" Timothy asked.

"David is going on an important errand." Carrie said. "Let’s all concentrate on going to the nether world."

They all held hands and quickly established their individual connections to the magical flow. They followed the flowing music towards the nether world. This world is an astral plane where the magical energies take the dead to exist outside of normal reality.

David materialized just outside of Toronto, Canada. A faint tremor vibrated within David’s soul. The scene faded and David followed the thrumming cord toward Toronto.

In the nether world Carrie and the boys senses were assaulted by the negative and inverted energies that comprised this plane. They were soon able to quiet their minds and focus on Lord Malkhus’s particular vibrations.

David rematerialized outside of the Toronto Museum of Natural History. The negative vibrations were strongest from within the modest glass and steel structure. David cast a spell upon himself that inverted his magical essence.

"We’re going to have to distract Malkhus." Carrie said. "David is going to need the time."

"The rest of us are going to fan out." Timothy said. "Attack him from all sides so he won’t be able to focus."

"How will we know that David succeeded?" Reuben asked.

"Malkhus’s evil energies will dissipate." Carrie said.

"We’re getting closer." Ari said.

"Oh really, and to whom are you getting close?"

They turned and saw a tall man with long brown hair arranged about his shoulders. His goatee was neatly trimmed and a long black cloak was wrapped about him.

"Lord Malkhus I presume?" Carrie asked.

"You know the answer to that Carrie." Malkhus said. "I told you I would have you and once I dispense with these children I will posses you."

Malkhus drew back his cloak and sent out a burst of energy that sent everyone flying. Timothy and Ari got up and hurled magical balls of energy at Malkhus. The energy was dissipated around a force field that Malkhus had enacted to protect him. The battle was now joined.

####

David walked unseen through the museum. His only guide was his magically enhanced senses and he could feel that he was getting close. David hoped the others were taking care of Malkhus and that he could complete his mission.

####

The battle wasn’t going their way. Carrie unleashed a powerful bolt of lightning that arced toward Malkhus only to dissipate over the force field.

‘We’ve all got to attack at one time.’ Reuben said. ‘I don’t think he can withstand an all out assault.’

The four companions spoke to each other telepathically and came up with a daring plan.

"Give up the fight Carrie." Malkhus said. "You know you cannot win."

"What about the boys?" Carrie asked. "You know how stubborn boys can be."

"I’ll make sure the boys die quickly." Malkhus said.

Timothy, Ari, Reuben and Carrie uttered their triggering runes at the same instant. Lightning blasts hit Malkhus’s force field simultaneously that made it glow an eerie green. Their combined attack had the effect that they wanted; Malkhus’s force field shrunk into nothingness.

####

David found the artifacts in a room off the main floor. They were in a large display case and David was able to place his hands through the glass. David connected to the ancient magic allowing him access to the spell he needed to cast.

####

Malkhus flew through the air and thudded against a stone wall. Carrie and the boys followed up their attack by unleashing another battery of lightning against Malkhus. He screamed as the electricity arced through the air and into his body.

####

David uttered the triggering phrase that unleashed the spell within the enclosed space. One by one the artifacts were destroyed.

####

"What have you done to me?" Malkhus said.

Reuben unleashed the final spell sending Malkhus’s evil spirit to the four winds never to bother mankind again. Carrie was drawn back to her own body. The spell that brought them there came to its conclusion.

Carrie found herself back in her own room. She knew she wasn’t really in a fight but her aching muscles suggested otherwise. None of that really mattered though as Carrie knew the world was safer because of her intervention.

THE END


© 2007 Gust Dimoulias

Bio: Gust Dimoulias is a Chicago resident (who amazingly enough does know there's another country north of the Great Lakes!) who has been writing since he was 20, but hasn't been published -- until now.

E-mail: Gust Dimoulias

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.