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The Princess and the Pendulum

Ok, so here is what i wrote to send into the LAND writing contest. Wish me luck!

Varick sat quietly on the small bench and poked the fire. The burning embers hissed and groaned as the fire consumed them. It was going to be a cold night, and he needed a warm fire once he got back from his quest. One more log, he thought, getting up from the bench. He walked towards the door, but stopped. The young sorcerer walked back to his place by the fire. He reached for his long wool coat hanging just to the right of the fire. He swung it over his shoulders and continued back through the front door.

The snow was falling deep in the woods, and the trees creaked and groaned as the wind blew around their naked branches. Varick walked slowly towards the wood pile, but he knew that would have to wait. It was time for his quest, and his owl was close. He passed by the small hut containing the wood he chopped over a year before, and made his way to the meeting place deep within the forest.

Soon he was at the small clearing in the middle of the woods. The wind was blowing now, and kissed at his frozen nose. Only he did not notice how cold he actually was. Varick was pacing slowly through the snow. His coat dragged against the icy ground as he made a profound groove in the land with his pacing. He stopped as if he thought of something, then changed his mind and continued pacing.

Sopho was taking exceptionally long, and he was growing restless. Back and forth he paced, wondering where she could be. Finally, he stopped just as the white owl fluttered to a nearby branch. She stared at him with her amber eyes and he drifted to her. The owl dropped an object out of her beak and Varick caught it. He looked down at the small crystal hooked to a silver chain, and smiled. “Thank you Sopho, my dear friend,” he said to the owl as she took flight. The owl screeched as it disappeared into the night sky.

He held up the crystal by the end of the chain. The clear jewel came to a sharp point and glittered with the snow. “Hello my dear pendulum. You shall show her to me.”
This time he hurried his way through the woods, towards his small dwelling. The fire should have made the cabin warm now. The sorcerer walked through the front door and straight to his hand carved table. He spent weeks on the table, and it showed. The top was flat and smooth, and each leg was designed like a dragon clutching a large stone. He rubbed his hand along each scale on one of the legs and closed his eyes. It was the last thing he made before the winter came.

The snow from his giant wool coat started to melt. It dripped all along the floor but he didn’t notice for he was too busy pushing aside the various objects to work his viewing magic. With everything out of the way, and the proper candles lit, the sorcerer once again took out the small crystal and held it by the end of the chain. “Show me her dear pendulum,” he whispered to the sheer crystal. His elbow sat firmly on the wood as his forearm stood perfectly still. He stared at the crystal in full concentration. The only things that could be heard were the soft ticking of his swinging wall clock and his soft breathing. Without moving one muscle, the magic from within crept up his arm and down to his fingertips. The crystal glowed blue, but only for a second, before it started to move in a slow circle, counter clockwise. As the circle grew wider, the sorcerer fell into a trance. The pendulum picked up speed, spinning faster and faster as a small light opened from underneath it. The small light grew and was soon a small silver disk, almost like a mirror.

The silver liquid shifted and stirred until it became solid and started to glow. The sorcerer watched as a picture took shape and the image started to emerge from the magic.

There she was, pacing just as he was only a few moments ago, only she wasn’t waiting for anything. The beautiful princess with her emerald green eyes was trapped inside her chamber. At first she locked herself away for fear of ever being hurt, but now she could not find her way out. She walked to the only window in her small room and looked upon the snowy forest. Sopho glided in closer and landed on the window ledge. “Little owl, you have come back.” The princess stroked the top of the birds head. Suddenly there was the sound of several clocks chiming at the same time. The princess turned. “These swinging clocks, always reminding me of the time wasted in this lonely world. I hate every hour.” She turned back to the owl. “Little friend; I must close the window; you are letting in the snow.” The owl hooted in agreement. Sopho turned and jumped, taking flight once again. She was returning to her master. The princess sighed while shutting the window and the image faded away.

Varick continued to stare at the silver liquid as it started to fall into itself. The pendulum slowed, then ceased to swing. He knew it was over, and that was the only image he was to get tonight. He looked out the window to his right and stared at the stars. They twinkled back.

He picked up the pendulum once more and kissed it. He squeezed it in his hand for only a moment before he tossed it out the window. Sopho will collect it and deliver him another image soon. He blew out the candles and the cabin was draped in darkness. Varick sat at his table with his forehead leaning on his clasped hands. The princess was not far away but he could never help her. He was a maker of magic, not a prince or knight in shining armor.
It was a long time before Varick actually moved. The swinging wall clock chimed midnight and he was forced out of his thoughts and back to reality. He shivered and finally took notice that his fire went out. He sighed, and his breath was a white cloud of coldness. How long has that fire been out? he thought, walking over to the fireplace. The embers were cold, and there was no sign of a flame. He grabbed his poker and scraped a few burnt cinders. It was no use; he would have to start a new fire.

Varick hurried back to his chair and grabbed his coat. Swinging it over his shoulder, he rushed back outside to the wood pile. He grabbed three hardy logs. The wood was a seasoned oak, making it burn slower in the fireplace. The door was pushed open with his shoulder and he scurried to the fireplace.

He kneeled to the hearth. With the logs in place, the sorcerer rubbed his hands together held them to the wood. He shivered once more and closed his eyes. “Flames ignite” was all he had to say and the power of his words danced to the logs. They burst into a brilliant blaze of orange, yellow, and white light. Varick got up and with silent satisfaction, returned to his small bench and grabbed the poker. The fiery cinders cried out in protest as the flames devoured them.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
aww. i hope that's not the end of it, i wanna know what happens :)
Dec. 11th, 2007 08:42 pm (UTC)
Well, it had to be a certain length so i had to cut it short. I might add to it later tho.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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