Fiction: Problems (539 words)

04 May

It was a quick fluid motion. The kind that could only be performed by someone who had made the same movement over and over again.  Two twists and a pin and all her hair was back in a tight bun, completely out of her way.  “What happened? What did she do?”

“Something stupid, I’m sure.” The woman huffed, placing her fourteen-year-old daughter down on the table, “I don’t know exactly. She had just stumbled into the house when she passed out entirely.”

Morrigan was laying unconscious on Elena’s tables, not for the first time.  Her mother was right.  Something stupid indeed.  Probably over exerted herself with magic that was too powerful, even for her.  Chosen one or not, there were just some things you couldn’t do until you’d practiced long and hard.

That was the problem with young girls.  You gave them a little wiggle room to stretch their limbs, and they would take off running off the edge of the nearest cliff if you left them for a second unattended. With Morrigan, that was pretty close to a literal complaint.  Right off the edge of the cliff, convinced she could fly.  The frustrating part of Elena was that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Morrigan would fly, which made it extremely hard to teach her any kind of lesson.

But worrying about Morrigan’s bad habits and bad lessons was not a priority right now.  Figuring out what she had done was.

Morrigan’s mother stepped back, and Elena went forward, hands outstretched. Yep, there it was, over-exertion of her stores. Elena was all ready to just tell her mother that Morrigan would have to sleep it off when she felt something else. Something strange. This wasn’t a girl who had been playing alone by herself…she was defending herself. Elena could read it almost like a bruise. Someone had tried to attack her, pushed against Morrigan’s limits until she couldn’t take it anymore.  And Morrigan could handle twice what Elena could send out—so whoever had attacked her would have to be extremely strong.

“Where was she?” Elena asked quickly. When there was no answer, she whipped around to look at Morrigan’s mother. “Before she came into the house—before she fainted—where was she?”

The woman looked flustered for a second. “I don’t know. I don’t—“ She gave herself a shake and steadied her view on Elena. “She went to practice. She said she wanted to go watch some of the more advanced classes.”

“Oh god,” Elena sighed, running through the list of royal students in her head, “Who did this?”

“What’s wrong?” Morrigan’s mother finally seemed to realize this wasn’t just Morrigan doing something stupid. She rushed forward to Elena’s side, taking her daughter’s limp hand in her own. “What’s wrong with my girl?”

“She was attacked.” Elena didn’t believe in mincing words, not even for worried mothers. “She’s strong, she’ll recover. But if whoever had attacked someone else—they would be in very severe danger.”  Elena put her hand on Morrigan’s collarbone, trying to feel if she could recognize the magic that had attacked Morrigan.  “We will have to go talk to the king,” Elena continued coldly, “We may have a very big problem.”

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Stories


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