Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 28 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for 16th July is ‘Magic’:
Magic is everywhere in fantasy…
In Tales from Dragonspire, there is an entire kingdom ruled by mages. This little piece of back story deals with what happens to Maria’s sister when she develops magical abilities.
This is my 100th blog post! I’m so excited!
‘I can’t believe we have to feed the chickens,’ Karina grimaced as she traipsed through the mud behind Maria.
‘Don’t get your skirt in a twist,’ Maria grinned. ‘It’s just mud.’
‘But it’s ruined!’ Karina complained. She tucked her basket under her arm and hitched up her skirt as she eyed the fence in front of her.
Maria powered forward with a smile, regardless of the mud, and threw her leg over the fence. Her skirt tore, but she paid it no mind.
‘Stop smiling!’ Karina insisted with a glare. ‘It’s almost as if you’re happy father was hurt!’
Maria paused on top of the fence and frowned as she offered a hand to her sister. ‘What makes you say that?’
Karina counted off the reasons on her fingers. ‘Our brothers had to leave, and you enjoy doing their jobs, father can’t tell you want to do, because he never leaves his room, and you get to act like a boy.’ Karina wrinkled her nose in distaste.
‘Why shouldn’t I be able to tend the farm?’ Maria retorted. ‘All the poor girls do.’
‘It’s inappropriate, Maria. You’re a lady,’ Karina protested as she grasped her sisters hand.
After a brief scuffle, where Karina nearly lost her footing, they were on the other side of the fence. Karina brushed herself down.
‘Act proper. Be a lady. Don’t shoot that thing in the house,’ Maria mocked Karina and gestured at her bow. ‘You sound like mother.’
‘You should act proper!’ Karina insisted. When she rounded on her sister, her eyes were fiery. ‘You give the rest of us a bad name!’
Karina flung her hand out. Maria opened her mouth to retort, but closed it when a large fireball flew from her sisters hand. ‘Kar…’
‘What! What is it now!’ Karina yelled.
Maria pointed a shaky finger towards the chicken coop. Karina spun on heel. Her shoes caught in the mud and she slipped to the ground.
‘Oh my stars…’ Karina murmured, eyes wide. ‘I thought I could control it.’
‘You knew about this?’ Maria threw over her shoulder, as she rushed forward to yank open the door.
Black smoke cascaded out. With it, frightened feathers flew as chickens spewed from the coop. Spread their wings. Started to fly.
‘No!’ Maria yelled. She grabbed a hold of the nearest one and pulled it close. Winced as it began to peck at her chest.
Karina winced and stumbled to her feet as their mother flew towards the fence. ‘I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to mother…’
‘One chicken left!’ her mother squawked. ‘All because you can’t control that… that curse!’
Karina whimpered. Maria stepped closer with the captured chicken. ‘It’s not her fault…’
‘Never, in the history of our family, has there been magic!’ their mother spat. ‘So tell me, Maria, whose fault is it?’
Maria glanced towards the coop, which continued to burn. ‘I’ll get some water.’
The air began to swirl around them, and within the swirls, a woman’s face appeared.
‘No need,’ she murmured enigmatically. With a wave of her hand, water gushed towards the flames. Extinguished them.
‘Wow!’ Karina gasped in awe. ‘Can you teach me how to do that!’
Maria took a step back. Wary eyes darted from the newcomer to her sister. ‘I don’t think it’s safe, Kar.’
‘Nonsense,’ the newcomer shook her head. She approached Karina and held out a hand. ‘Lily,’ she introduced. ‘At my school of magic, you will learn to control your weaknesses and not let your anger consume you.’
‘She’s not going anywhere!’ Maria protested, as she pulled her bow from her back.
‘I think you’ll find that’s up to her,’ Lily laughed. It was musical. ‘I cannot ignore this much raw talent.’
‘You can teach me to control it?’ Karina asked. A smile twitched at the corners of her lips. ‘I won’t have to feed chickens or traipse through muddy fields?’
‘Of course not,’ Lily’s face twitched in disgust. ‘That sort of manual labour is beneath us. Why work hard when the magic can do it for us?’
‘Mother, can I go?’ Karina begged, eyes bright.
Her mother’s response was abrupt. ‘No.’
‘But mother…’ Karina protested.
The only response Karina got was her mothers turned back as she went back inside. Maria grabbed Karina’s arm and tried to drag her away. Karina shook her head. Maria gulped and hastened after her mother.
‘I’ll leave you to convince them.’ Lily pressed an amulet into Karina’s hand. ‘But you can always leave without permission.’
Karina’s hand closed around the amulet. When she glanced up, Lily had vanished.
‘But how will I contact you?’ Karina murmured to the empty field.
‘I’ll know when you’re ready,’ Lily’s voice echoed as the wind swirled around Karina.
Karina gulped and turned to look back at her family home. With a determined nod, she stalked towards the door.
‘Absolutely not, Karina,’ her mother protested, when Karina stalked in and slammed the door behind her. ‘I won’t have it.’
‘But mother, the archmage says I have talent,’ Karina wheedled. ‘That talent would be wasted on marriage!’
‘Who said anything about marriage?’ Maria interrupted from the doorway. Keen eyes flitted between Karina and her mother.
‘Isn’t it obvious?’ Karina scoffed. ‘With father the way he is, our family has no income. Marriage is the only option. For all of us.’
‘No…’ Maria murmured softly. Her fists clenched by her side. ‘Issac and Dominic will get jobs! They’ll support us!’
‘On guardsmen’s wages? Get your head out of the clouds, Maria.’
‘That’s enough, all of you,’ their father called from his room. He began to cough violently, and Maria rushed to his side to hold out a glass of water. Her father smiled and accepted it gratefully. When he was done, he turned to his wife. ‘If Karina wants to go with the mages, she can go with the mages.’
‘But…’ Karina’s mother began to protest.
Her husband cut her off. ‘We can no longer afford to keep so many children, and I’d rather not force my daughters to marry.’
Maria frowned down at her father. ‘So it is true.’
‘One less mouth to feed will give you longer to adjust, lower our expenses,’ her father sighed.
Karina grinned. ‘Thank you, father.’
And that was the end of the discussion. Karina packed up her things, and her goodbyes were cold. When the Archmage came to pick her up, Karina smiled and took her hand. Together they disappeared, bound for somewhere she would belong.
Maria watched with watery eyes as her sister faded from view, then turned to head back inside. Now the eldest remaining child at home, the responsibility of looking after her family fell to her.
Thanks for reading! Maria’s eldest sister, Karina, is sent to live with the mages. The mages feature heavily in book two, but the characters here make a brief appearance in book one too!
Authors note: I don’t intentionally mean to torture chickens, I swear. But this is the second time it’s happened! Liked it? Leave a like below 🙂
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 23rd July is ‘Mythical Creatures.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 23rd July, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂