Blog post by Kiran Mathew.
It’s here! Josephine Lamanson: Learns Magic has just been finished! #JosephineIsHere! Look for previews of the third book, A Civilization Lost coming soon!
Josephine Lamanson: Learns Magic
Book Two of the: Jack, The Fourteen-Year-Old-Wizard series.
Written By Kiran Mathew
Chapter 1: Cocoa In The Garden
Aaron, Jack, Jonathan, Josephine, Calypso and Pete strolled through the grand garden of Magic Village. In the spring, the roses opened, the lilacs blossomed and the wolfsbane wilted under the sun’s rays (since wolfsbane is a deadly plant, the sun will kill it, duh).
Towards the center of the garden was a golden pot, larger than Aaron himself! Inside it, was a magical plant that had been stolen (the officials of Magic Village preferred the term ‘relocated’) from Medea and Circe’s palace.
Ivy from the plant grew from the pot and spread out in every direction on the ground. Several stems shot up, each with a different flower on top. One had a lush blue rose, another had a red dandelion, and yet another bestowed a cream-colored lily.
Aaron picked the lily and handed it to Josephine, who smiled and tucked it behind her ear. Calypso secretly scowled from the other side of the plant, and whispered in Jonathan’s ear.
“Huh? What? Oh… I get it. Kind of.” Jonathan said, with an interval of around 3 seconds between each phrase. Jonathan-copying Aaron-reached out his hand to pluck the dandelion.
A vine rose up from the pot and swatted his hand, and another slithered down the pot and wrapped itself around Calypso’s ankle, and pulled her downwards. Aaron, Josephine and Jonathan leapt forwards to help her up, and Josephine got there first.
Josephine put her hand on Calypso’s arm to pull her up, but the girl glared at Josephine and pulled her arm away. Josephine-startled-backed up, while Calypso allowed Jonathan to help her up.
“Are you okay?” Jonathan asked, while Calypso brushed the dust and dirt off of her blue jeans. Calypso nodded.
“I don’t think she likes me.” Josephine whispered to Aaron, and he nodded. The 6 continued to walk, but stopped when they heard rustling from the shrubbery to their right.
“What was that?” Jack asked. Nobody knew. Pete picked up a stick and advanced towards the bushes.
“Ooh! Its a stick! I will fetch!” A brown dog bounded out of the bushes, headed straight towards Pete. It tackled him to the ground and wrestled the stick from him. The dog brought it over about 5 feet away from Pete, lay down, and started chewing on the stick.
The dog had a chocolate color, and looked like a labradoodle except with only 1 inch of hair.
“I’m Cocoa.” the dog said, still chewing the stick. There was a gasp from Jack, Aaron and Calypso. Pete struggled to get up, but finally stood up next to Jack.
The teenagers eventually got over the shock and introduced themselves.
“Okee. Hi.” Cocoa said, then trotted over to Pete and said, “Did you want this?” She dropped the slobber-covered stick on his feet, and then scampered into the bushes.
Chapter 2: The Boy In The Sky
After Cocoa left, Josephine started gushing to Aaron about how adorable she’d been. Aaron just nodded, and eventually, she stopped.
Unexpectedly, tendrils of grey smoke suddenly began slinking out from under the shrubs on either side of the group. They rose simultaneously from the ground and up, swirling in a cloud of grey smoke. It suddenly rocketed upwards, and the entire sky turned grey.
An image of a boy appeared in the clouds. He looked around 11, with tan skin and brown eyes and hair.
“Hey guys!” he called. “Which one of you is Josephine?”
Everyone looked at Josephine. She looked terrified of the 11-year-old in the clouds, but still she spoke: “Here I am.”
“I need your help. Remember those items you guys stole for Medea and Circe? Well, the Djinn army is pretty angry about it, and we need you to get the items back.”
Josephine took a couple seconds to take it all in. “Why me?” she asked.
“Because I have better things to do,” he responded.
“You’re the Djinn king?” Jack asked, astounded.
“Yes.” Kiran said.
With that, the smoke cleared and it began to rain.
Chapter 3: The Snow Queen
Josephine told Aaron she wanted to do the task alone, and he simply agreed.
Kiran had given Josephine a map, so she knew where to go first: through the territory of the Snow Queen.
Tales had been told about her fiery anger and her frozen heart, since before Josephine had been born. She lived past the Forest of Snow, in the Frozen Mountains.
When Josephine got to the Forest of Snow, she was reluctant to step in. The large pine trees were covered in snow and their branches extended so long, the Forest had a cover over it, made of a tangle of ice vines, pine needles and tree branches. No sunlight came in, except through an occasional small crack in the ‘ceiling’.
The farther Josephine went, the colder it got. She had a large bag, and among it’s various items was an enchanted sword. She took the sword and it’s scabbard out and clipped it to her belt. Josephine tucked the sword in.
Just in case, she thought.
The first monster Josephine encountered was a snow-wraith. Now, wraiths were scary by themselves, cloaked ghouls as big as a human. A snow-wraith was 10 times more terrifying, because of it’s knowledge in many ice enchantments, curses and spells.
It flew towards her, but she ducked down and used her magic to try to blast it backwards. It didn’t work.
She tried again and again, with no results. Josephine took out her sword and sliced where the wraith’s arm should be, under the long, heavy cloak that shielded it’s whole body.
The wraith-enraged-blasted her with a ball of hail, and repeated the process several rimes.
“Now, now, leave her alone. Yes, leave her alone.” The snow-wraith glided away and disappeared seconds later.
“Are you okay?” a woman asked, pulling her off the ground where she had fallen when the wraith went all hail-ball-crazy.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Josephine said, nodding.
“Now I think we should introduce ourselves, I’m Elsa, but I’m better known as the Snow Queen. “
Her last 2 words made Josephine shudder, and she hurled a ninja star from the bag at her. She caught it, and ice spread across the metal, until it was completely froze over, and Elsa dropped it into the snow.
Josephine gaped at the small object laying in the snow, that had gone from a metallic grey colour to a snowy white colour in about 10 seconds.
Elsa waved her hands and shot a spray of ice into Josephine’s face. She blinked several times to clear his eyes when she felt something hard push her backwards.
Josephine’s eyes cleared in time to see Elsa kick her again, and this time the pain was sharp, and Josephine saw the heel of her white boot had hit her in the side.
The world was turning blurry, and everything was coming in and out of focus. The last thing she saw was Elsa turning away from him, her blue cape fluttering in the wind and her blonde hair swept over her ear.
Josephine was suddenly aware of how cold he was, until her vision went black.
Chapter 4: Betrayal
Aaron and the others had almost reached the Forest of Snow.
Of course Aaron would have never let Josephine go by herself, so a couple hours after he left, Jack, Aaron, Pete, Jonathan and Kelli (Calypso) departed on the same trail Josephine had walked on only hours before.
When they found Josephine, she was lying on the ground. By the time Aaron ran over to him, he was conscious and standing up.
“What happened?” Aaron asked, and Josephine explained the incident with the Snow Queen.
Everyone looked concerned after she finished the story, everyone except Kelli. Out of the corner of her eye, Josephine saw Kelli fishing around in her pocket. She pulled out a small bag, which Josephine recognized as Magic Sand, enchanted so that could kill anything.
“Aaron, look out!” Josephine jumped in front of Aaron just as Kelli threw a handful of the sand at Aaron. Josephine closed her eyes.
There was an explosion that blasted everyone backwards and when Josephine opened her eyes, she saw Kelli transforming into the demon she had fought in the Dark Woods.
Josephine felt something cold in her hands. She looked down and saw a ball of water. Wasting no time, Josephine threw it at Kelli. It connected with her leg, not doing any harm.
Kelli hissed and glared at her. Before the eyes of everyone watching, Kelli transformed into a large dragon, with black and purple scales, sharp green eyes and a long, pointed nose.
Ok, I’m not going to kill her, just maybe put her to sleep, so nobody’s in danger. Josephine told herself.
“What is going on? Kelli, what are you doing?” Jonathan yelled. He was usually smiling, but the only emotion on his face now was terror. Josephine readied herself, and before she could move, Kelli opened her mouth and a stream of fire blasted outwards, smothering Josephine.
Aaron and Jack yelled, and Pete covered his eyes. When the flames stopped, Josephine stood there, and not even her clothes were charred.
“What the _____?!” Pete yelled, while everyone stared at her-astonished and terrified.
Before she could respond, another jet of fire came, and when it finished, Josephine raised her hands to the sky, and a blast of midnight black lightning shot Kelli. The dragon roared and fell to the ground.
Josephine stared in horror at what she had done. Kelli lay in a heap, smoke rising skywards from the motionless dragon. Her eyes were closed, and Josephine realized they would never open again.
Josephine covered her mouth with her hands. Jonathan and Aaron rushed up to her. “It’s not your fault Josephine, I should have known she had ill intent.” Jonathan said, while Aaron asked-rather, yelled- “You have magic?”.
Then, another explosion rocked the ground, but this time Josephine realized that she had caused it.
She screamed, and ran into the mountains. Josephine would not put anyone at risk because of her out-of-control powers.
Chapter 5: Alone
After hours of walking, Josephine could tell she wasn’t in the Frozen Mountains. These mountains were different, somehow.
Take for example, the skulls that littered the ground. Josephine had spent years studying geography in school, and she finally recognized the place when she saw a tuft of purple-ish grass sprouting from the black rock of the mountains.
She was in the mountains of loss, not a safe place to be. Skeletons of dragons, ogres and people littered the ground. Josephine thanked her lucky stars that she hadn’t arrived at night.
Small candles sat wedged into the rock, and Josephine wondered who had out them there. She thought that it might have been voodoo mages, but she quickly pushed that thought out of her mind.
The sun had just passed behind dark clouds, and the candles cast frightening shadows through the bones that Josephine tried to step over.
She shivered, but kept moving. Josephine reminded herself what she was doing: protecting her friends.
But from what? she asked herself, and was forced to answer: she was protecting her friends from her unstable magic that she had tried to forget about after her encounter with the witch.
When the clouds passed, Josephine expected to see the sun. She didn’t. All she saw was blackness in the sky. Josephine jumped in alarm, wondering how the sun could just vanish.
Soon, Josephine came to a river, that appeared black because of the lack of light. She pulled a candle off the ground, and cobwebs and hot wax fell from the bottom. Josephine held the candle out in front of her, and discovered the water was black.
An inky, endless, midnight black. A never-ending black.
She kicked a pebble into the water, and it made a small explosion at it dropped into the river. it appeared to have the same characteristics of water, except black.
Josephine saw a green light marching over a hill on her right side. When it got closer, Josephine revealed that it was a man dressed in black, holding a torch with green flames sprouting from the top.
On his robes were strange symbols, stitched in purple thread. It must have been a voodoo mage!
Josephine turned the way she’d came and dashed behind a ledge sticking out of the rock wall. From the angle he was coming, the ledge would not allow him to see her.
When he got so close Josephine could hear his breathing, he reached behind the ledge and grabbed Josephine’s shirt, pulling her from her hiding place. Josephine screamed in terror when she saw fat goblins lumbering towards her.
Though they were half her size, they carried clubs, swords, axes and bows. Josephine was unaware she was holding a ball of green electricity in her hand until it was too late. It shot out of her hand like it had a mind of it’s own, and collided with the man.
He yelled and collapsed to the ground, sending black dust upwards. The goblins screamed and ran back the way they had come, dropping most of their weapons.
Then, another mage appeared, and waved his hands. Several tendrils of black smoke intertwined around Josephine, binding her tight. She struggled and tried to use magic, but the voodoo mage only chuckled.
“They arrrrrre, mageec rrresseestant rropesss.” He said, rolling his ‘r’s, adding ‘e’s and emphasizing ‘s’s.
The world went black as tendrils began to smother Josephine’s face.
Chapter 6: Assistance
Josephine woke up tied up on a long board resting on the rock wall. She was surrounded by goblins and mages, dancing while tribal music played from an unknown place.
From a crack in the ground, black smoke began to leak out, forming a human-like figure, with a long dress. It was about a foot taller than Josephine, but the smoke swirling behind it made it seem far more scary.
“The Night has awaken!” a goblin cried, and the crowd joined it in cheers.
“Where is my food?” The Night asked, in a raspy but booming voice.
The crowd pointed to where Josephine was tied up. The Night glided closer, just as a sliver arrow shot it where it’s stomach might be. The Night howled in pain, just as another arrow sailed in, but this one was golden.
Two people appeared-a girl and a boy- and Josephine recognized the boy as the Genie King, Kiran. His brown hair was now organish-gold, and he was wearing golden armor. A yellow quiver sat on his back with colour-changing gemstones stuck onto it.
The girl had brown hair that went just past her shoulders, with a streak of silver and blue. She held a diamond-encrusted silver bow, and wore blue and silver armour.
The goblins raised their weapons but Kiran clapped his hands and the weapons faded into nothingness. The girl snapped her fingers and ice began to spread across the ground, and when it touched the goblins they froze over completely.
Kiran threw a golden sword at Josephine’s ropes, and the snapped and slid off. She raised her hands and blasted the remaining goblins with knock-back spells. Voodoo mages summoned dragons and swords, and charged into battle.
Kiran raised another sword and ran at them, hurling fireballs at them. The girl ran over to Josephine.
“By the way, I’m Kyra.” she said, and swung a small bomb at a mage. From over the hill, a lightning bolt shot a voodoo mage in the chest. He toppled over and disintegrated.
Josephine turned and saw Aaron, Jack, Pete and Jonathan running towards her. They caught on, and began battling The Night and the mages.
Pete clapped his hands, and tremors shot through the ground and the air, sending everything tumbling backwards a few feet.
Josephine guessed it was a late reaction from the potions he drank a long time ago, right before he rescued them in Shmael’s forest.
Everyone soon recovered from the shockwave, and the attack resumed. By now, Kiran was hurling lightning bolts at anything that moved, so Josephine backed up and leaned against the wall.
Kyra was freezing everything in her way, and unfortunately, Aaron was pushed into the path of rage by a goblin.
The last thing Josephine saw was Aaron trying to avoid the beam of ice.
Chapter 7: Pirates
Josephine covered her eyes with her hands, until she thought it was over.
She looked and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Apparently Aaron had spun around and threw the goblin into the ice beam. Ice spread across the goblin, and soon he was completely frozen.
Josephine ran over and gave Aaron a huge hug. They laughed at the near-accident, and continued hugging.
Kiran and Kyra continued to fight the mages and the goblins, and yelled at everyone else to go. Josephine lead the group running out of the purple coloured mountains.
They had all escaped alive.
Soon the sound of waves crashing on sand became loud, and behind some palm trees, they discovered a beach.
Near half a mile from the shore, there was a large wooden ship, floating steadily towards them.
“What’s that?” Josephine asked, pointing towards the ship. The others slowly turned to face it. It was moving faster, Josephine saw. At the rate it was going, it would reach the shore in less than a minute.
“Quick, hide!” Aaron said, and they all dashed behind the palm trees.
When the ship reached the beach, Josephine realized with horror that whoever was on the ship wouldn’t be able to leave, because the front of the ship was on the beach. That meant whatever was on the ship would be stuck with them!
A tall, skinny man climbed down a rope someone had draped over the side of the boat. His black handlebar mustache had dots of seawater in it. He was dressed in a long red coat that dragged on the ground. The man’s hair went down to his neck, and was long and curly.
“Ah yes, this land will do fine! Smee, bring down the crew!” he called, and a short, round man attempted to climb down the rope, but succeeded only in falling over the side of the boat and into the sand.
“The cap’n says move on outta’ thaire!” the man called Smee yelled, with the ‘e’ of ‘there’ becoming more like an ‘ai’.
A group of bulky men jumped out of the boat, and successfully landed on their feet, unlike Smee.
They all held swords, and had a red bandana tied around some part of them. One man’s arm was hanging at an odd angle, and another man had a scar on his head that ran down over his eyelid and onto his chin.
“Pirates,” Jonathan whispered, and there was a quiet murmur of agreement. The captain turned towards the trees where they were hiding, and called Smee to bring him a sword.
Smee plucked a sword out of a random pirate’s hand and rushed it over to the captain. He patted Smee on the head, and pointed the sword at them.
“We’re dead.” Pete muttered, and Josephine began to creep backwards slowly. If she just had enough time…
“Gotcha!” The captain yelled, pushing the small palm trees away. “You thought you could best me, Captain Hook, and my crew!” At this he motioned towards his pirate friends. One of them, so busy ‘digging for gold,’ that he didn’t even notice.
Josephine was almost ready…..BAM! An explosion blasted Captain Hook backwards, and the palm trees snapped and fell to the ground. Sand exploded off the beach and flew into the pirate crew’s eyes.
They stumbled and fell onto the ground, yelling and wiping at their eyes furiously. Smee fell over and rolled into the water.
The Captain looked outraged, and marched forwards. He swung his sword at Jack, but Jack flicked his hand upwards and the sword disappeared, inches from his face.
Captain Hook raised his sword and a gust of wind swept up more sand from the ground. It arched upwards, swirling around, forming a solid shape. It was then that Josephine saw the small, golden teapot in his hand. It was exactly like the one they had found in the desert….
Kiran the genie king appeared, wearing long golden robes. His arms were crossed, and he looked angry.
“What is it this time?” he growled.
“Them,” Captain Hook pointed at Pete, Jack, Jonathan, Josephine and Aaron. Kiran looked surprised.
“I’m really sorry guys.” Kiran said, before waving his hand and sending them flying into the air. Josephine’s wings spread instinctively and grabbed onto Jack and Aaron, and Jack grabbed Pete’s hand.
The swooped backwards and flew back down to Kiran where Kiran was.
“Why did you do that?” Aaron yelled.
“It’s a curse,” Kiran said. “I’m a genie, and whoever has my lamp is my master. I can’t fight them, or hurt them. I have to do what they ask, no matter what.”
Josephine wanted so badly to help him, but Pete had already dashed over and snatched the lamp from Captain Hook. Pete crushed it into a little ball and threw it into the ocean.
Captain Hook howled and yelled, but Kiran’s loud voice was heard more. He repeatedly thanked Pete, and he dropped onto the ground.
“Thank you,” he said for the last time, and vanished.
Chapter 8: Mermaids
Jack waved his hands and the pirates disintegrated, their weapons falling into the sand. Suddenly, a long tentacle reached from the water and wrapped around Jack. Josephine screamed as it pulled him into the water.
Pete wasted no time, and dove into the water. Josephine dove in after him. She cast a spell on them, so they could breathe underwater for 10 minutes. She didn’t know if she could make it last longer.
‘Thanks’ Pete mouthed to her, and they began to swim downwards into the darker water. Josephine felt something brush against her ankle, she stopped and looked backwards.
She saw nothing, so continued to swim. By now they were so deep her ears had popped under the pressure. Soon, brilliant light filled the water, and a beautiful mermaid appeared.
Her long blonde hair trailed behind her in graceful strands. The mermaid had a shiny tail, covered in green scales. She saw them, and pulled a dagger from a purse she clutched at her side.
Josephine kicked her backwards and she and Pete swam for their lives in the other direction. Josephine cast spells backwards every so often, just to slow her down.
Soon, they saw bright lights, lamps floating in the water. A large palace spread before her, made of a greenish rock, possibly jade or emerald.
Josephine turned, and saw the mermaid had vanished. She and Pete saw a large octopus holding Jack in one of it’s tentacles, duck through a door in the palace.
They looked around to make sure there weren’t any mermaids, and then quickly swam to the palace. With Pete’s super-strength, they opened the massive door and slowly crept swam inside.
Josephine guessed they had about 4 minutes to find Jack and get out before her spell ran out. When they found the octopus and the unconscious Jack, Josephine strung together a small sleeping spell and shot it at the octopus.
We have to get Jack out quickly! He doesn’t have a spell on him! Josephine sent to Pete using telepathy, one of her magical abilities. He nodded and grabbed Jack. It was then that they began to swim up.
Soon, Josephine’s leg became entangled in thick seaweed, anchoring her to the sandy floor of the ocean. She knew that the spell would run out soon, but instead of letting Pete help her, she sent him-with Jack in his arms-blasting up towards the surface.
The spell wore off after she blasted them, but Josephine knew Pete and Jack would make it. Josephine, however, wouldn’t.
She tore at the seaweed, but knew it was useless. Josephine slowly floated down to the sand. She hit the bottom, sending up a small cloud of sand.
At least Pete and Jack are safe. She thought, before blacking out.
Chapter 9: A Twist Of Events
“…and there was a piece of seaweed…I could have helped! She’s still there…we can’t save her! I’m sorry, I should have tried to save her. It was…so fast.” Pete stuttered, while Aaron and Jack stood at the water’s edge trying to spot Josephine.
Aaron walked over to Pete.
“You’re right.” He said. “You could have helped, but you didn’t. And now Josephine is down there.” He pointed to the clear water, and glared at Pete. Electricity crackled in Aaron’s fingers, and Jack’s heart jumped.
Little sparks jumped out of his fingertips. Pete flinched, and Aaron suddenly pushed Pete backwards, and he stumbled and fell into the sand.
“Aaron! What are you doing?” Jack yelled, and jumped between Pete and Aaron. Aaron’s eyes glowed red, and tendrils of black smoke unfurled from his fingers.
The smoke suddenly launched forwards and hit Jack. The smoke uncurled and covered him, like a thick black blanket of death. Jack screamed, and Pete ran over, desperately pulling at the smoke.
Then it abruptly disappeared, and Jack fell to the ground. Pete grabbed his arm and pulled him onto his feet. They both looked at Evil Aaron, his eyes sill glowing red. Evil Aaron jumped off the ground and sprouted black wings.
They were long and velvety, with glossy feathers. Evil Aaron glared at them, and steadily rose upwards. He spoke, his voice loud across the beach.
“Beware the wrath of the Hafaelimm!” he said.
Jack wondered what a Hafaelimm was. Pete looked equally confused. Jack suddenly dove forwards and grabbed a dagger from the bag. He threw it at Evil Aaron, knowing it was what he had to do.
The boy caught the dagger and tossed it into the ocean, as if it were a piece of trash. Jack shot a wave of fire at Evil Aaron, but he simply vanished.
♢ ♢ ♢
The dagger fell swiftly through the water, gaining speed as it went. It sailed through a sea anemone, cutting some of it’s tentacles off. They trailed down to rest on a rcoky ledge covered in seaweed.
The dagger fell past a school of fish and a mermaid, who nearly avoided being cut by the fast-moving weapon.
It continued to fall, until it reached the bottom of the sea. It slid right into the sand and stayed put, the handle sticking up.
At least, until a hand shoots out from the sand, and pulls itself out of it’s sandy containment.
Josephine climbed out from the sand, and saw the dagger. She picked it up and sliced the seaweed still wound around her leg. Then, using fast kicks, she propelled herself upwards to the surface.
♢ ♢ ♢
It turned out, Josephine wasn’t as powerful as she thought.
Kelli got up and stretched her claws, and tested out her fire breath on a nearby tree. The snow covering it instantly reduced to water and slipped off the tree. The pine tree went up in flames, igniting another nearby one.
Soon, the entire forest surrounding Kelli was in the midst of a wildfire. She cackled, and unfurled her scaly wings. They opened wide, and Kelli rose into the air.
With her powerful wings, she sent huge waves of air propelled forwards, sending smoke, and and fire to be pushed away, spreading through the entire area.
Smoke swirled and spiraled, and Kelli beat her wings while pushing away the scents of smoke and ash from her nose and focusing on one small thing: Josephine Lamanson. Her scent was mixed with something else, maybe salt…or seaweed.
Whatever it was, Kelli would find Josephine.
Chapter 10: Emerging
Josephine’s head broke the surface of the water, her brown hair glistening with water. She reached her hand up and brushed a strand of it from her face. Jack, Pete, and Jonathan turned and looked her way, surprised.
“Josephine!” Pete called out in surprise, and he ran towards her.
The sky was dark, and Jack had be shooting small bursts of fire into a pile of twigs, which soon ignited. Embers shot up into the sky, and Jack turned to look. Jonathan and Jack ran over and helped her up.
Sand stuck to her clothes, and it was cold despite the towel Jack had retrieved from the bag and wrapped around her, but she didn’t care. She was with the people she cared about.
“Wait a minute….where’s Aaron?” Josephine asked. Jack jumped, and glanced nervously at Pete and Jonathan.
“He kind turned….” Pete seemed to be struggling for the right words.”He sort of…turned…evil?” The last word seemed more like a question than an answer.
“Yeah,” Jack clarified, “He called himself a Hafaelimm, or something like that.”
Josephine gasped. She remembered a while ago, when she had been in school, they learned about the Hafaelimm. Mr. Waglessíf-their magical creatures professor-had taught the class about them.
They were a powerful creature that had no distinct appearance, that could control someone. Josephine shuddered as she told them about what she knew.
“I also know how to beat them.” Josephine said. “And I have a plan.”
Jack, Jonathan and Pete leaned in to listen.
Chapter 11: Goodbye, Again
Josephine flew Jonathan, Pete and Jack over a lush green jungle, where they heard explosions.
Dropping down into the trees and trudging through dead leaves, fallen vines and something squishy and brown. Josephine groaned as she stepped in a pile of it.
The air was wet with mist, and water dripped from trees above the teenagers’ heads and fell onto them. They soon saw Evil Aaron, blasting a coconut with purple lightning.
“Dude, I know coconuts are hard to open, but do you really have to fry it?” Jack asked. The red-eyed demon turned it’s gaze to them, just as Pete plucked a palm tree out of the ground, and threw it at Aaron.
It hit him in the stomach and he fell over, the tree on top of him. Evil Aaron grunted, just as a wave of fire shot from above and covered him. Josephine’s heart froze in fear just as the fire cleared.
The red glare faded from his eyes, revealing his usually calming blue. She would never see that blue again, because his eyes closed. His charred clothes were tattered and falling apart, and with a single breeze, he turned to dust and flew away-carried by the wind.
“No!” Josephine yelled, tears forming in her eyes. She grabbed at the dust as it sailed away. It was Aaron, her Aaron.
She had lost him once before, in Khan Swamp. Josephine sucked in a breath, and looked into the sky; Kelli was hovering in human form, a smile on her face.
Josephine Lamanson lost it.
With a sudden burst of adrenaline fueled by anger, Josephine levitated a boulder off the ground and shot it at her enemy. Kelli punched it easily and it broke into pieces. Too easily.
With a scream of rage, Josephine reached inside herself for all the power she could grasp. She felt invisible doors inside her mind fly open, and she knew spells she had never heard of.
She mentally sifted through them, until she found one she found fitting: Curse Of Destruction.
With an almost demonic laugh, Josephine waved her hands and cast the spell. She didn’t really know what it would do, but it impressed her.
Kelli screamed in pain as her hair suddenly stood up on it’s own, and stiffened; almost as if an invisible hand was pulling it. Then, her skin started to grow grey, a sickly grey. She looked like she tried to say something, but nothing came out.
Then, Kelli fell from her place floating in the air, and landed in the dirt. Soon, she disintegrated into a pile of grey dust. Suddenly the wind picked up and blew the dust through the air.
Wherever it touched a plant, it shriveled up and died. The ugly grey color spread through the forest.
The boys-who were in shock because of Kelli’s sudden death-screamed “RUN!!” as a giant cloud of the dust came barreling towards them. Josephine knew she should protect her friends-after all, she had caused this.
She sorted through the spells again, until she found one powerful enough to combat the Curse Of Destruction. She found a protection spell called the Spell Of Combatant. She cast it , and a nearly transparent dome appeared around her and her friends.
The large clouds of dust came roaring towards the barrier, and pushed against it, but the shield held. Until, the dust began to eat the spell. Josephine cursed in frustration and grabbed her friends.
The white angelic wings she had become familiar with sprouted from her back as she rose into the air. Below her, the dust swirled, as it spread across the land. Far in the distance, she could see the tall towers of Magic Village.
I hope it doesn’t get there, she though worriedly, and continued to fly away from the jungle, towards the familiar dark, imposing castle that used to belong to Medea and Circe.
Chapter 12: The Mission Is Complete
When they landed, Jack started crying. Aaron’s death had been so sudden. He glanced over at Josephine, her eyes red and puffy from crying. Jack knew he didn’t have enough power to bring Aaron back this time.
Aaron had been Jack’s best friend, but he had been Josephine’s husband.
So as not to draw attention to himself, Jack wiped his eyes and calmed himself. The large, imposing doors of Medea’s castle were pushed open by Pete. A strong feeling of familiarity came upon Jack as he walked in.
Immediately his eyes were pulled to a doorway across the room he was in. Tendrils of green smoke were floating out of the room through the open door. What the heck? Jack thought, and walked towards the door.
When he reached it, he called for the others to join him and they cautiously stepped through the door. There were stone steps that spiraled downwards, and the floor was slightly wet and sticky.
“Woah,” Pete said, nearly falling over after stepping the wrong way on a particularly slick part of the floor. They continued to march downwards, their uneasiness growing with every step as green mist clouded their vision.
When the stairs finally ended, the team found themselves in a small room, made with bricks of stone. They then saw, the bag. The one they had used before, while going on a mission to find Jack’s crown. It was there.
Pete rushed over to the bag and reported that everything was there. Jack jumped with joy; their mission was complete. Aaron was gone though, and this time for good.
Thrusting the pack over his shoulder, Pete headed up the stairs, followed by the rest of the friends. Triumph in their mood and step, they proceeded out of the castle to head for home.
♢ ♢ ♢
Magic Village was in ruins. Buildings were toppled and fires burned in what had once been homes. It was nothing more than deserted ruins, for all the people hd fled. Grey mist hung in the air like a cloud.
“What happened here?” Josephine wondered aloud, awestruck.
The team ran over to the grand garden; the vines that crept along the walls were an unhealthy shade of grey and literally rotting before one’s eyes. Shrubs and bushed were coated with dust and falling apart.
The plant that had been ‘relocated’ from Medea’s castle was a tall tree, but leaning to the side, leaves black with dust.
The bark was decaying and ugly bugs skittered around the dirt. The beautiful golden pot that had held it was broken in places. Other places there were holes in it so it looked like acid had eaten through the metal.
“Josephine,” Jonathan said, finally answering her question. “I think your spell made it here.”
There was a stunned silence, before Jack’s voice cut through it like a knife. “But there are close to 200 miles between the jungle and here. There could be thousands of other civilizations between here and there.”
Pete spoke: “If it destroyed Magic Village this badly, I wonder what happened to the other places.”