Thursday, 29 September 2011

26) Edward Beetle

    Edward the insect, a wood beetle to be precise, was running out of time. He’d successfully gathered up the piece for his fire spell, but if he didn’t get to the top of the building before the sun came out his whole journey would be in vain. He scrabbled up air vents as fast as his little legs would carry him and flew when he had enough clearance, but this was taking far too long.
    All of a sudden he heard a low rumbling from far down below. It gathered speed then quickly blew by him and pushed him up and off his feet. He righted himself, turned around and ran towards the mesh wall between him and where the wind had come from.
    His tiny head peeked out into the vast dark space. Then the rumbling came again. This time he was prepared and he held on for his life as the wind pushed against him.
    A huge wind flew by and sucked at him so violently he lost his grip. He twisted and turned through the air. Instinctively he spread his wings and flew.
    It took him a second to orient himself, the area was so gloomy. Eventually he was able to see up, it was a small bit brighter than down. And he flew up as fast as he could. He was close, he could smell the fresh air of outside and hear the light pitter patter of rain drops.
    The large rumbling whooshing thing from before was starting up again from below him. He dared not hazard a glance down, but he could feel it pushing up the air around him. The additional breeze gave him a bit of a boost and he burst out of the ventilation shaft into the last drizzle of rain.
    The sun was already out. Edward’s heart dropped, he was too late. He saw the ghost he was supposed to fight, the queen beetle ghost in her giant human mask and bulbous body. She shimmered in and out of reality, sometimes splashing in a puddles on the roof, sometimes not.
    He screwed up his courage and yelled, “Stop!”
    The ghost stopped and turned to face the sound and said, “Who’s there?”
    Edward could see what she was holding in one crooked arm, his old master’s wand. He felt the waiting fireball spell crackle with his anger under his carapace. He tried his best to breath calmly lest his magic go off.
    “It is I, the warrior Edward come to stop your reign of terror!” He said.
    “Ah ha!” She said and turned around, ignoring him. She waved the wand and sparks flew out of it.
    “I said stop.” He said and peeled off a small part of the fireball spell, meaning to just hit the wand, his poor dead master’s wand out of her disgusting claw.
    The spell crackled and spat in the humid air. It streaked across the space and Edward’s aim was true. The spell hit the wand and vaporized her hand.
    The queen ghost wailed, spectral ichor dripped out of her injured limb. She turned back and ran at Edward, her human face mask had changed. Its eyes narrowed and its mouth turned down in anger.
    Edward flew up and concentrated. He broke off a larger piece of the spell and flung it down at the ghost. It hit her square in the mask, broke it in two, and revealed her misshapen face of pincers and eyes.
    She leaped up into the air and swiped at Edward. He barely dodged and she was able to hit one of his wings. He spun out of control and tried to land, but ended up in a thin puddle of oily water.
    Just then the sun came out and everything was bleached white for a moment. He heard the queen ghost screaming as the light made her incorporeal again. Edward cursed his luck. His spell would not work on her anymore, but he’d stopped her from completing her spell to make it over.
    He dragged himself out of the puddle and laid down, exhausted, and crawled towards the light to dry himself.

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