Once upon a time a wizard lived in a castle tower. He had a proper thatched roof home like the rest of the survivors, but he was rarely there. He preferred the tower. Sure it was cold and damp in the winter and he felt like a baked fish in the summer, but he told himself it was good for his character, that in his advanced age of eighteen score seasons and half a dozen great years he should keep on his toes as much as possible.
He was a chaos magician and proud. How much less chaotic is a comfortable house? Wood for the fire when its cold is for senility.
The wizard sat hunched over a great book with thick rough edged pages. The book was barely two palm widths square, but it felt deeper and wider whenever he read it, symbols and diagrams curled out from each other like rapidly growing ivy. Or at least it seemed that way. When he tried to catch the movement it always stopped. He’d long since resigned himself to letting the book show him what it wanted him to see.
This warm fall evening our Wizard was working on a simple flame spell. He mumbled the spell to himself, testing out the syllables, getting a feel for the way they moved the energy around in his throat. He closed his eyes and sat back in his seat running the spell over and over in his mind. He imagined the essence of fire, the flames and the heat, the all consuming need to spread and the spark that could start it all.
His eyes snapped open and he focused on his half eaten apple. He thrust out his hands and declared, “Lumight Numow!” He felt the magic coursing through his arms then flicker out of his fingers. And nothing happened.
His pet turtle across the room slept, secure it his shell.
The wizard turned to his turtle and gave it a weak smile. “Just practicing. Really didn’t expect anything there. I mean, apples are full of water. There’s no room for the fire. Everyone knows that.”
He knew the spell. It was a simple two word spell any baby could use. He could hold the whole thing in his head. Anything he wanted to burn should burst into flames with the force of his words. He was strong with magic. It should work. He turned back to his desk and extended his arms out again, this time aiming at his mess of a candle, yellow bees wax and blacked wicks.
“Lumight Numow!” And nothing.
He turned back to the book and read for a moment. He got a slight intonation he had missed earlier and turned back to his candle. “Lumight Numow!”
This time he felt the magic pour from his mouth and his center at the same time. His arms were just pointers, the real energy came from his heart, he understood that now. He felt the energy leave his body like a breath. He waited and in a heartbeat a single tired wick sputtered into life.
He shouted, “Ha! Did you see that Archimedes?! Ah ha ha!”
The recalcitrant turtle poked its head out of its shell then pulled it back in.