A Sense of Magic

Chapter 1 – A Taste of Power

Authors Note: I haven't written a single story in several years. I lost all motivation during highschool and beyond, and only recently have I started to find that old spark that made me want to write again. Thankfully, over the years I've grown and this story, if it continues, will be less angsty and hopefully more welcoming to people. Now I hope you enjoy the first chapter of - A Sense of Magic

Magnus hadn't intended to sneak away, really. He just wanted to see the flashing lights. They were so pretty, and everyone acted as if they weren't there! What if it was the ice-cream truck! He had some money saved up; surely, he could afford a cone? Either way he was going to see what the pretty lights were about. It wasn't even that late! The sun was still out, they wouldn't even notice he was gone. Really, he was already 8! It wasn't like he was 6!

Magnus made his way quietly from his bedroom window to the door, trying to listen for the sound of footsteps. His bedroom was somewhat typical of a child his age, blue wallpaper, game posters, a bed and a desk facing the window the pretty lights could still be seen from. The only atypical aspect was the bookshelf filled with many works of fiction and his "quiet corner". Magnus, despite being full of energy most times, sometimes enjoyed sitting on a comfortable bean bag with his legs crossed, his posture relaxed, and his eyes closed. He'd often fall into a trance during those times, feeling as if he was on a boat amidst an immense storm and yet never finding himself scared or intimidated by the feeling. Shaking his head, Magnus continued through the door and heard the loud exclamations of a football announcer on the downstairs television as well as his adopted dad's noises of frustration as his favourite team lost… again. Assured his adopted parents were currently busy, Magnus slowly tip-toed down the hallway to the stairs and out the front door without making a noise. His time at the orphanage hadn't been as rough as some shows made it out to be, but he'd still learnt some valuable lessons there. As Magnus looked towards the sky, trying to catch another light to know where to go, he walked out of the front lawn. There! Just past the weird neighbours with the flamingos in their lawn Magnus could make out the pretty lights. He raced towards them, not wanting to miss whatever was going on.

It wasn't long before Magnus reached the source of the pretty lights, crossing through a nearby alley to where the lights came from, a small park. The source of the lights… wasn't what he expected. An ice-cream truck? Sure. A firework show? Unlikely this time of year. A magical duel between two grown men firing bolts of power that sent tingles up his skin? He'd say impossible… but it was right in front of him.

Between a small copse of trees and the kids playpark stood two men, dancing around bolts of light coming out of fancy sticks in their hands. Vile, twisting bolts of magic came from the strangely dressed man beside the copse of trees. Wearing an old-fashioned purple robe with scaled leather boots, he fired forth bolts of power that to Magnus radiated death and decay, and yet while his bolts felt dense and left sizeable impacts wherever they hit, none of them reached the other man.

The other man, who dressed more like a midwestern cowboy than either the weird fantastical opponent or the more modern dressed Magnus, with a leather duster and a cross-chest bandolier with small glass bottles within, stood still as a bastion of calm within a pulsing transparent bubble of orange energy. Around the cowboy was a scene of devastation straight from an apocalyptic movie, with liquid magma flowing between rocky crags that had once been neatly trimmed grass. The playpark, once a fun gathering place for children, had been twisted and corrupted into a metallic monstrosity, half-melted.

As Magnus watched incredulously, in the shadow of a large dumpster within the alley, he wondered if perhaps he was asleep. Or maybe he was hallucinating. Mum always said he shouldn't watch so much TV. And yet, he could feel each bolt of power as if they were an open flame right under his palm, knowing instinctively, intrinsically, that what he was witnessing was real.

As the duel continued Magnus slowly left the shadow of the dumpster behind, trying to inch closer to the fantastical battle before him, the power the men were exhibiting calling to a part of himself he had never known existed. With each bolt of power that erupted from the sticks of the duelling men, Magnus' heart beat faster.

"How DARE YOU! Do you really your pathetic ICW will protect you from my families wrath?! Do you even know who I am!" Exclaimed the weirdly dressed man, thrusting his arm towards the cowboy causing a blast of purple light exuding a sense of rot and causing whatever grass remained to shrivel and die, and yet splashed agains the cowboys shield as if it was a drop of water hitting a pond. The mans eyes were wild and bloodshot, his mouth open in a gasping breath, spittle flying everywhere as he yelled. His clothing looked pristine and yet his skin and hair was obviously suffering from the battle, singes and cuts covering any part of his body that wasn't covered.

"Percival Montclair, of the Montclair family. Third son, some talent in dark magics but little motivation to make your way in the world. Wanted for multiple counts of murder, endangering the statue of secrecy, and practicing forbidden magical practices. Of course I know who you are, Percival. You may still surrender, should you wish to. I will bring you in, the only question remains is how much of you is left when we're done. Either way, I get paid." The cowboy calmly stated with his voice level.

Whereas Percival seemed out of breath, with his posture showing clear signs of exhaustion, the cowboy whos' name Magnus still didn't know looked content, possibly even cocky. With a slight smirk tugging at his scarred lips, his blue eyes shining brightly in a well-sculpted face, he swished his arm that held the stick, yet nothing visible happened.

Percival let out of bark of laughter at the cowboys' perceived failure, seeming more assured of his victory. With a smug smile and hatred in his eyes, he swished the stick in a fancy pattern. It was the cowboys turn to look alarmed, his stance shifting to one of preparedness rather than the lackadaisical posture he once held. The cowboy faced Percival full-on, with one hand holding the magical stick facing the mad man and the other open-palmed in the same direction.

By this point, Magnus had fully left his cover without considering the danger inherent in his position, completely transfixed by the powerful magic on display. He could feel his heart beating rapidly, his breath came in short, excited bursts, and goosebumps had erupted all across his arms. The power he was witness to, the power he could feel in the deepest parts of himself, was that same ocean he called to everyday. The ocean of infinite, chaotic energy that he stood on whenever he truly focused. It had always felt so far out of his reach… and yet here was evidence to the contrary.

As Magnus was having his revelation, the two men continued to perform an intricate shape with their wands, the mad glint within Percival's eyes slowly draining as blood dripped from his nose.

All of a sudden, both men stopped all motion. They stared into each other eyes, one with determination and the other with desperation. And then they cast in unison, and the world went white.