Thanks to everyone for going a full story and staying with us! Next up is going to be a piece of flash fiction as we get ready for our next serial, A Family Far Beneath the Stars. Hope you enjoy Cheating Spells


Cheating Spells

By Jack Holder

He didn’t mean to upset his Spell. He just wanted a piece of pie.

No, he thought, not just a piece of pie. This was a magnificent pie, a pie that bards would not dare to sing of. How could their mere voices compare to the taste, the smell, the sensation of that concoction gliding down the throat in jubilation? There would be no songs of this pie, they would not be enough. No, instead, there would be pie.

The Spell. Think of your poor Spell. He brushed the thoughts from his mind.

He really, really wanted pie.

It was a new Charm. A conjuring that he had found in a gastro-alchemical cookbook. Chance encounter, something he hadn’t even considered. It was not his, but after he had read the words he didn’t care, he was going to make it his.

Just the text, just mere words on the page made his mouth salivate. This pie was flamed with magma conjured down from the finest heavens, brought to bear that he could experience such sweet succulence.

And the delectable ingredients, he could barely consider the tastes laid before him. Apples, he thought, apples and red currant. The apples were brought forth from his own imagination, the currants not. No one truly remembered or imagined a best way for currants to be, chance it had to be plucked out of the ether of currant ideal. Spiced with a dash of alchemy, the fruits melding to cinnamon and liquid life. What did liquid life taste like? He asked this of himself, but the Charm just assured him it would be delicious. She was calm, reassuring, he thought. She understood.

That was it. He had to have this pie. He gripped his wand carefully, and spoke the words. Spoke them trippingly, with just the right lilt to barely contain his excitement.

The wind tore his clothes open. He was revealed, exposed, and the Charm fled him. Back into the book where she belonged, and it slammed shut and locked the cover. It understood the bonds, broken and violated. It understood fear.

His Spell had arrived. In fury she rose out of nothing to appear before him. Cheater, she whispered.

He was soon being force fed these words by the Spell. A quaint thing, a memory really, not more than that. It was a cake recipe for an old flame of his, he wasn’t seeing other spells. The pie had nothing to do with how he felt about the cake. Her cake.

Cake was amazing, it had its place, and cheesecake truly was a marvel in dairy confection, she protested.

Both he and the Spell knew he was lying. How could he go back to bone-dry powder when this succulent Charm lay on the tongue? One simply was better, and she just couldn’t measure up to this new Charm’s pie.

He spoke the words of his Spell again, pleading with it. The diction flowed from his tongue, and he felt ashamed. There was a better way to approach breaking up with a piece of magic.

The Spell, for its part, tried its best not to tear him apart across ethereal winds. It wasn’t usually so close to being alive, but magic was a tricky thing. It chose when it would be alive, or was it that it was chosen to be alive? Magic is a confection that does not know its own recipe.

But the Spell did know it was angry.  How could he?  Had this Spell not given him everything he had ever asked for?  There had never been a cake that was not provided.  Even those rum-soaked things that left him crawling on the floor for the next two days.  The Spell was betrayed.

No, that was not true.  There had been fault both ways.  That last carrot cake had had a rabbit attached, armed with buck teeth and buckshot.  And the pound cake had almost flattened him, the poor thing.  It was time for a break.

The Spell and her caster looked at each other with lost longing.  He had always liked the way the Spell had tasted on the tongue, when it sailed through the winds.  And he wasn’t so bad, just needed to floss before he tried the hard consonants.  The sorrow was true and shared.

Still, he cheated on the Spell.  If she just let this stand, where would she be? What would I be?

So the mage was bound in a pie tin for one hundred years.  Maybe less if the spell was feeling generous.  He was cute, and often nice. Maybe sooner, if he wanted a piece of cake.

copyright 2016, Jack Holder

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