During the Flash Fiction Blogfest, I decided to revisit Raven's world from my short story "Eclipse" in the flash fiction piece "Between Dark and Light."
Unfortunately, doing so has given me an idea to write an adult fantasy novel. Here is another character from that world and the possible novel that keeps nudging my mind and saying, "Write me!"
The heavy knock and crackle of thunder foretold the Magician’s coming.
Sage’s mother grabbed his arm. “Quick, son, you must hide.”
“But, Mama, no.” The eleven-year-old boy dug his heels against the wooden boards.
“Please, listen to me.” She shoved him down into the hidden room under the floorboards.
“He’ll harm you. I won’t let him.” Sage started to crawl out.
“I won’t let him take you.” Fear widened her eyes at the second knock. With shaking breath, she whispered the magic spell, “Bind your mouth so you cannot talk. Bind your feet so you cannot leave this room until he leaves.”
Sage’s voice left him as his mother slammed the trapdoor upon his head. He could imagine her pulling the rug and chair over it. He was trapped and silenced. Fists formed at his sides, and he reached up to pound upon the boards when he heard a loud bang. It sounded like the door had exploded off its hinges.
“Kirken! You should be more patient.” Mama’s voice sounded like all smiles. How could she change so quickly? Perhaps she just wanted her son out of the way.
“How is my favorite witch?” Charm oozed from his dulcet tones. Footsteps clomped closer to where Sage stood under the floor.
“I’m very well, thank you. I would’ve dressed more presentably if I had known you were coming.” The chair creaked.
“Cassia, you look lovely in anything.” Kirken paused. “Where’s the boy? I would like to see my son.”
“He’s out...in the woods. I don’t know when he’ll return.”
“Perhaps I’ll wait for him.”
Sage sank to the dirt floor. A spider crawled across his arm, its hairy legs tickling his flesh. He swiped it away. Would his father wait for him? Mama had told him about his father, how the Magician lived in a castle surrounded by the fae forest. How he would take her portion of the kingdom, including him, if she let him?
“It might be a while,” she said. His mother gasped. “What are you doing?”
“I want you to join me. You and the boy can return to my castle. The Witch and the Magician’s sections could be combined. The Sorceress and the Wizard won’t be able to defeat us.” His voice lowered, and Sage couldn’t hear Kirken’s last words.
A slap filled the empty space.
“I assume you disagree.”
“Of course, I do. You’ll never have Sage, or my portion of the kingdom.” The chair clattered to the floor.
Sage held his breath.
“So be it.”
Light seeped into the darkness where Sage sat. Its brightness blinded him. A clap of thunder shook the house, and something thudded above his head.
Footsteps trailed away. Silence followed, except for the patter of rain and rumble of thunder.
Sage felt the spell release him from the hidden room. Shoving aside the trapdoor, he silently cried out.
His mother lay facing him with her eyes wide open. She was dead. Sage knew it as soon as he saw her.
And he couldn’t say a word. Even in death, her spell had binded his speech.