I slowed my pace, hoping I was at least heading in the right direction. But, knowing my luck, I was most likely travelling the wrong way, just in time for some great catastrophe to blast into existence.
“Hi? Hello?” I called, my voice echoing over the barren wasteland of ice and dirt. Murmuring wind rose to howl in anger. I squinted through the storm, shielding my face from the wind, when I saw the figure slowly walking away from me, shrouded in the mist.
“Hey! Wait!” In my fumble, I slipped, tripped, and bruised both my knees in a second. Scrambling to my feet, I bolted after the figure as fast as a lazy slug in a puddle of sunshine. But it wasn’t all my fault. The ground was so extraordinary slick, that every few paces I’d slide backwards.
A dozen scenarios flashed through my mind’s eye. Most of them ended with me trapped in a snowbank. Even my brain knew I was too clumsy for a simple task, forget attempting to find someone only found once before.
What was I thinking? This plan is ridiculous!
Are you sure about that? The figure mindwhispered.
I nearly yelped aloud. “Who are you? How are you doing that?”
“How did you find me, human?”
“Human?” I echoed.
“You are a human, right? Argh, I feel like I probably mixed that up. I’m sorry. Let’s start again. Greetings, stranger. Congratulations, you’ve found me! Now state your wish. There is only one rule: Your wishes cannot cause harm.”
I nodded, swallowing a nervous lump forming in my throat. “Alright, but I’m not here for a wish.”
The Wish Granter paused. When she spoke, her voice dripped with confusion. “Then why are you here, stranger? What do you seek?”
The Wish Granter turned, her eyes as blue as Corefire, her hair a yellow mop. Her emerald robe draped behind her, and her arms were bare, though she did not appear to be affected by the low temperature in any way. Her Staff, a rich creamy brown color, twisted above her head, had a pink gemstone centered in the wood. Her eyebrows had leapt so far up her face, I began to wonder if they would ever emerge from under her floppy hair.
I waited a few more seconds. “Did you miss what I said? Should I repeat it?”
“I’ve never been asked for help. I’m just startled.”
“Oh.” Why did she state her emotion? Should I did that too? Worth a try, I guess. “I’m waiting.”
“Impatience is not a quality I see as being worthy. You must convince me why you want to be a Magician.”
“How do you know that?” I gasped.
A Wish Granter has many abilities.
“Spooky,” I breathed, impressed.
She tilted her head to the side. Adventure is not a good enough reason.
“Aah! You did it again!”
Nor is fame.
“Look, I get that you’re not used to people. But isn’t reading my thoughts . . . intrusive?”
Perhaps, but it does not cause you harm.
“Please. I have to be a Magician.”
No, you do not. Go home.
“Please! Wait! I have no home!”
She froze, snuffing the blue flames in her eyes as she thought. I see you desire shelter. Friends. A place you truly belong.
I nodded, wary of her poking around my memories.
I am sorry you were banished.
I kicked the ground, stubbing my toe. “It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past now.”
At my words, the Wish Granter tapped her Staff against the ground twice. Instantly, the clouds drew back, revealing a deep sky holding a winking multitude of light.
I remember my feet lifted off the ground, but I wasn’t afraid. Wind wrapped around me, carrying me away from the isle of Unseen Visions, far to the unexplored west.
I stumbled, and someone steadied me as I caught my breath.
I blinked a few times. “Whoa. You’re . . .”
“Old?” the Second Magician wheezed, chuckling. “Come. It is time ya learn what ya’ve gotten yarself into.”