Flash Friday 06/03/2015: Wanding Session
The bell above the door to Terrance’s Wand Shop gave a cheerful tinkle as the mother and her son walked in. The shop was quite humble, wooden stands showing off all different kinds of wand, contrasting heavily with the grinning store owner who looked as if a lion was about to sell a gazelle special neck piercings.
“Ah,” Terrance said, clapping his large hands together. His black, oiled-back hair and teenage-level moustache did no favours for his somewhat slug-like face. “Celeste and Billy, what a pleasure it is to see you two again. What brings you here, hm?”
Celeste displayed a wand in her hand. “I bought a wand here no longer than six months ago, and it has already burnt out its core. I’m here for a replacement.”
Terrance frowned, taking the wand and flicking it. It made a sound like a broken garden sprinkler, with copper-coloured sparks puffing out the top. “Hm. Nothing I can do about it.”
“The receipt I got said that it had a one-year warranty.” Celeste displayed it.
Terrance frowned. “Are you sure it says you get a warranty?”
“Right there.” Celeste pointed at the very fine print at the bottom.
“Bring it closer.”
Celeste held the receipt closer to Terrance’s squinting eyes. “Is this better?”
Without warning, Terrance snatched the receipt, scrunched it up into a ball, and threw it over his shoulder. “Right,” he said, looking pleased with himself. “Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to choosing you a brand new wand for you to purchase, hm?”
Celeste glared as Terrance practically floated down the aisles, passing all different kinds of wands. He stopped by a particularly basic-looking wand, presenting it with a flourish fit for a diamond. “What about this latest model?” he said. “Cheap. Lightweight. Very powerful for its price. Perfectly fit for a schoolboy such as Billy, here.”
Billy blinked. “I’m an apprentice to the wizard in town. I’m one of his best students.”
“Ah.” Terrance’s gleeful demeanour crumpled. “Well…you see, this wand is so terrific, it can handle even the demands of the most studious student!”
Celeste folded her arms. “What’s its output like?”
“Oh…” Terrance looked to the floor. “Oh, you know. Two-point-four mana per second.”
“Is that with a dual core? Or quad?”
“Oh, uhm…” Terrance took in a deep breath. “It just has the one core. But! You can bet your last gold coin that it’s one of the top cores of this century. Why, all this nonsense about sticking two or four cores in a wand, it’s all nonsense, I tell you.”
“Can it play games?” Billy said.
“Games? Oh, yes, yes, most certainly. It can easily handle, uh…floating feathers. And, uh…making small colourful sparks, and turning eggs into slightly smaller eggs. Why, it’s a gaming powerhouse.”
“My friends are playing Summoner’s Chess with their own wands. Will this one handle multiple summoned monsters at a time?”
Terrance sucked through his teeth. “The best part about these things is that you can always upgrade them. So if you, uh, happen to find that this one can’t handle the requirements, you can always come back and purchase something to stick onto it. So! Now that we’re all happy, let’s go ahead and get the purchase going, shall we?”
“But–” Celeste objected.
“But–” Billy joined.
“Ah, no buts!” Terrance took the wand off of the stand, carrying it straight to the counter. “I’m sure you’ll find this wand will suit every need you’ll have, for the cheap price of one hundred gold coins. Is there anything else you need?”
“That will be all,” said Celeste.
Terrance snorted, his face suddenly souring. “Fine.”
A small silence as Terrance worked out the details on an abacus on the counter.
“What’s wrong?” Celeste said.
“Hm?” Terrance didn’t look up, his face forlorn. “What do you mean?”
“You seem awfully miffed.”
“Oh, you know.” Terrance gave a shrug. “These wands, you give them to your kid, they get all excited, play with it for a bit, and before you know it…” Terrance made a motion of snapping a twig in two, complete with sound effect. “And then the wand is unusable, and the kid is crying, and you’re looking for a repairman at five in the morning–”
“What are you trying to say?”
“One year insurance is twenty gold.” Terrance gave a wicked smile.
Celeste sighed. “Very well.”
“And if you’re getting this range of wand, you’re also going to need to purchase the EZ-Wiz Elemental Suite to properly set it up for elemental spells. That’s another hundred. Oh, and you’re going to need to buy a wizarding hat, too.”
Celeste frowned. “A wizarding hat.”
Terrance nodded. “Can’t be seen casting spells without a wizarding hat. Very essential piece of kit, only ten gold. Alright, so if I’m calculating this correctly, your total price should come to–what are you doing?”
“Hm?” Billy said. “Oh, I was just admiring these wand cores behind the counter. Gosh, they’re very expensive, aren’t they?”
Terrance nodded again. “Ah, well, you see, those are gold-plated cores. It, uh, helps the magic come out faster. A hundred gold for one.”
“Gosh, really? I’m sure you and I both agree that those are perfect for my magic classes.”
Terrance’s eyes glinted. “Oh, yes, yes! Most definitely, sir!”
“Do you think you could get me, ooh, about ten of them? The ones high up on that shelf, there.”
“Most certainly, sir!” Even after Terrance kicked a stool over to the shelves, he had to stand on his toes and pat around for each core. “I am sure that you’ll be the best student there ever was, what with all this equipment. Nine, and…ten. There you go, sir, ten gold coins for one thou–”
Terrance turned around to just catch the store door’s bell tinkling. Nobody was behind the counter anymore. A note had been left that simply read ‘gone to a proper shop — Billy’.
Terrance scowled. He hated people who knew what they were doing.