Mages

Author: DeadEndMikie
Fiction Rated: Teen – Fantasy/Adventure

 

Lightning flashed overhead as the two robed figures retreated up the hill. The one in the lead slipped in the mud, and dropped to a knee. The second one, barely slowing, looped an arm under his fallen allies shoulder and, with a powerful tug, hefted his friend onto his own shoulder.

“Gods, Randall! I want my arm in its socket!” cried the first one

“We have about half a minute until that horde of corpses catches up with us.” Said Randall, as he continued to run, “you can have either your life or your limbs, not both.”

“You make a good argument for the pain… you can put me down, I can keep up”.

“For being about 10 years my senior, Merick, you sure are inept at many things… I’d think a mage of your power could at least RUN…”

“Oh, shut up.”

Merick dropped out of Randall’s grip and proceeded to race up the hill. The rain began to patter down again, and over the course of a few seconds it had gone from a slight drizzle to a downpour so hard that the drops stung the bare skin.

“Alrighty, boss… we are at the top of a hill. You are gimpy, and I’m wet. The zombies are following us, which I think is part of your plan. But you haven’t told me yet. You have a plan, right?” queried Randall.

“I’m working on that… the plan, yes, was to have them follow us. But the rain makes it hard for me to enact the second part, which was to burn them to… uh…death… um… you know what I mean…”

“So, then… they chased us into our own death trap. Once again, my aged friend, you are amazing,” responded the younger man, with a devious smile on his lips.

The pair had scant few seconds to catch their breaths, and when the next flash of lightning came, they saw below them on the hill what looked like a swarm of insects, moving quickly up to meet them.

“Um… Merick, my dear friend…”

“What?”

“About that plan?”

“I’m open to suggestions…”

With that, Randall raised his hands over his head, the soggy sleeves of his red robe dropping down to his elbows.

“Come, thunder!”

“What in the Hells do you think you are doing? Why are you making the storm worse?!?”

“Work with me on this one, Merick. It stings the flesh now… what can you do with it??”

Merick smiled, very similar to the one that Randall had. As the rain beat down harder, the older mage pulled his arms back so that his elbows were behind and his hands were just below his shoulders. He splayed his palms, fingers pointed earthward.

“Now you get the idea, my friend,” Randall snickered.

The zombies moved inexorably towards them, and with amazing speed that one wouldn’t think a corpse could muster. When the first line of husks came within ten or so feet of the pair, Merick thrust his hands forward toward them. The rain drops, which had begun to come down hard enough to welt skin, ceased to fall straight down, and instead launched themselves towards the undead legion.

The first few zombies were struck by needles of water and shredded. Loose, decaying chunks of flesh fell to the ground. Limbs detached. Corpses dropped.

“You are going to have to do better than that, old man.” With a smile, and a grunt of effort, Randall thrust his arms out to his sides, and the rain seemed to stop mid- fall. It began to puddle near his hands.

“Now, watch me… learn some creativity. That’s what makes me better than you, even if you are more ‘experienced’.”

Randall swung his right arm forward, sending the floating pool of water flying towards the mob of undead. As it flew, it flattened to paper thin, and it began to swirl around. It found the nearest standing ghoul and cleanly removed its head. The water- blade continued into the mass of zombies. Randall launched the second, cleaving another small path through the creatures.

“Impressive, my young ally, but the problem with ‘creative’ is that it burns too much power. I prefer simple spells that conserve power, like such.”

With that, Merick stomped his foot into the mud and thrust a hand into the air. “You may want to get off the wet ground…”

Randall jumped, and not a fraction of a second too soon. Almost as soon as his feet left the ground, a bolt of lightning struck Merick, and a huge swath of zombies ignited, fell, and charred.

“Tell me, Merick, how does redirecting lightning use less power than my spell?”

“I didn’t use less power. I used the same amount of power as you. I just got a bigger effect than you did.”

“Says you! My water disks are still going!”

There was suddenly a horrendous snap, as of the sound of a giants leg being broken. The lightning flashed again, and the two mages saw a tree, snapped part way up the trunk, flying towards them. Both mages pushed thrust their hands forward, sending a powerful gust of air at the flying flora. Randall, ever the showoff, put a little more ‘oomph’ into his side, and the tree began to spiral as the gusts of air hit it.

The tree fell to the ground hard, twisting as it landed. As it spun, it tore a gaping hole in the mass of undead. The two mages looked at each other briefly, both with the same question on there mind.

Merick spoke first, “There was no magic in that tree… that was physically thrown at us…”

“What do you think it was? And should we… um… run, maybe?”

“Run? Randall, my boy! When did you become so cowardly?”

“Never been a coward. I’ve just always been fond of self preservation.”

The ground shook, as though with thunder, but no lightning had struck. The two mages took a brief second to look around, but went back almost immediately to the threat of the zombies.

As Randall and Merick prepared their next spells, they noticed the shadow behind the zombies. It was enormous, easily 15 feet tall. And it was headed straight for them. It didn’t bother waiting for the zombies to part. The creature just trampled what was in its way. The sound of bones shattering under its weight found the mages’ ears.

“Hey, Merick, I think we found what threw the tree….”

The thing started up the hill towards them, and it became clearer what it was.

“Oh, wonderful… it’s a hill giant. How ironic, that we are trying to kill zombies on a hill, only to deal with a hill giant zombie.”

“Oh, quit your puling, Randall. Any idea how to kill it?”

“You are the ‘master wizard’ here, Merick… you tell me.” Responded Randall sarcastically.

There was a deafening roar, as the creature reared its head back. Then it began to charge up the hill. As it did, it reached down and grabbed the broken tree in one hand. It reached the top of the hill in less than 10 strides, and as it did, it swung its makeshift club downward.

Randall dove out of the way, while Merick simply put his hands up. The tree hit the ground with a thunderous crash. Randall could hear the sound of branches snapping. Or, at least, he HOPED it was branches, and not Merick’s spine.

The leaves ignited in a small circle where Merick had been struck. The undead behemoth raised his tree and struck downwards again. This time, Merick got out of the way. As he landed, he pointed at the giant with both index fingers, and then drew them together then down, drawing a sort of ‘T’ shape in the air.

Suddenly, the air grew cold. Randall opened up a small flow of energy to keep himself warm. He knew what Merick was doing. He smiled as he watched the zombie, who was soaked from the rain that Randall had turned into an outright downpour, slowed, then stiffened as the water turned to ice. As it continued to rain, the ice grew thicker and thinker by the second.

“You know, that WILL thaw eventually, Merick.”

“Maybe.” Replied the older mage, as he thrust his arms outwards to the sides. The ground shook and roared, and then parted beneath the giant zombie. As the ground opened wider, the giant fell into the hole. Merick sealed the wound in the earth and looked around.

“Tell me, Randall, weren’t there more zombies?”

Startled, Randall looked around as well. “Well, I’ll be damned… where did they go? The big guy couldn’t have stepped on ALL of them…”

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

“You’ve always got a bad feeling about something. Take it as a blessing. Lets get back to town to see about the damages.”

Originally published at: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/2856551/1/Mages

 

 

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