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Flash Friday 13/12/2013: Finding a Phoenix

December 13, 2013

Muffles the wizard rabbit was trying to summon a phoenix.

It was no easy task, he knew that much. Pushing his wizard hat up off of his face, he started dragging his paw across the pages, turning them in a desperate search to find something amongst the spells that the tome offered him. He was flicking through the summoning spells, invented and documented by the committee of some of the finest summoners known to man. There was a spell to summon birds, cats, snakes, and even horses, but for some reason, the large and quite impressive documentation of summoning spells came to an abrupt end right after the spell for summoning full kegs of beer was discovered.

Wait, that wasn’t true. There was one afterwards, but it was written in squiggly writing, was called ‘Summon a wicked curry because I’m hankering for one right now’, and featured the phone number for a local curry house.

Muffles sighed.

“My back itches,” squeaked Faye the apprentice mouse. She jostled in her purple robe, dotted with yellow stars. Her pointed hat was the same pattern.
Alright, so maybe not a summoning spell. If he couldn’t drag the phoenix to his plane, he might as well go to the plane that a phoenix lives on. The section for portals, however, was as large as it was unorganised; portals were strange things, leading to anywhere and everywhere. Some reported a portal that put them in the adjacent building. Some crossed entire oceans. Some were crossed out because they were in oceans, these pages specifically showing water damage. It would take forever for Muffles to find anything.

“Like, really,” Faye said, reaching around to her back. “It’s like a fire ant is in my fur.”

So what was he to do? Perhaps if he had some sort of essence of phoenix on him, he could try to use that to make a phoenix. He wasn’t too keen on the whole ‘making something from almost nothing’ gig, as it felt too close to necromancy for him not to get the heeby-jeebies when he used such spells. He flicked through the section of the tome dedicated to this area, searching for something to use.

Ah, there it is.

“Hey, Muffles.”

Muffles glared into the distance. “What is it?”

“My back really itches,” Faye said. She made a demonstation of the problem she was having by futily stretching to reach the spot.

“That’s truly lovely, but I really need you to do your job and fetch me something. Can I trust you with that much?”

“I should hope so, Muffles,” Faye said. “After all, I pride myself very much in being the official fetcher, cleaner and bedtime storyteller for such a great and powerful wizard such as yourself.”

“Superb. You’ll be pleased to know then, that the great and powerful wizard you admire so much is demanding you get him the wand with the phoenix feather within it, or else he’ll turn you into a frog.”

“Ooh, will you really?” Faye said, clapping. “Because I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to be a frog. I’ve tried catching a fly with my tongue before, but it didn’t quite reach.”

“Alright then,” Muffles said, scanning the spell in the book with a paw. “If you don’t get me what I want, then I’ll keep you the same.”

The mouse hoisted her robe and scuttered off.

Muffles looked over the spell that he planned to use. It was strange, to say the least; it had the power to replicate the main catalyst within a wand. From energy crystals to demonic blood to unsettled restaurant bills from another dimension, the key to a good wand was to make its power source a piece of something powerful and destructive. Muffles so happened to have a phoenix feather wand in his collection. While the spell did cause any wand casting it to snap in two, he felt it was a worthy sacrifice for a phoenix. He never used the bloody thing, anyway. It was something the whippersnappers of this day and age invented.

“Sir,” Faye said, waving something wooden. “I hope you don’t mine me saying so, but my back itches like there’s no tomorrow.”

“I don’t care what your back feels,” Muffles said, snatching the object from Faye’s hands. “I just want my sodding phoenix and be done with it. Now, let’s see here.” He waved his want in a circular pattern. “To what this was, and what was then, bring the essence back again.” With a flick, he sent a shining bolt of magic out of the tip, striking the floor in front of him.

A loud crack was heard as the wand snapped almost in two, the top half dangling on a single stubborn splinter of wood. Muffles went to lament it, before realising something went horribly wrong.

“Faye,” he said, dangling the top half in front of her. “This is a backscratcher.”

“Aye,” she said, with a cheery smile. “For my back, see.”

“And I just casted a spell that takes the inner essence of the wand used and recreates it.”

“Oh, really?” Faye said, curiosity in her voice. “So what’s the essence of the backscratcher?”

“I don’t know,” Muffles said, turning it over in his paw. “Oak, I presume.”

“Seems that way,” Faye said, pointing. “Look what you managed to do.”

Muffles looked at the spot where he had cast the spell. Where there was nothing, now stood a miniature oak tree. He would have deemed such a spell utterly useless to everyone involved, if it wasn’t for the fact that Faye was wasting no time in using it for herself, rubbing her back up and down the rough bark with a look of relief on her face.

“I like this spell,” Faye said. “You should do it again.”

Muffles shook his head, scanning the book. At least one of them was having fun.

986 words

Book Spotlight: Moving House — a story about a boy who makes his house walk.

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