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The Wizard

Michael Adam Robson is an engineer and artist based in Vancouver, BC. This is his third story published in Daily Science Fiction.

A cruel winter wind raged outside the crooked hovel, battering its empty boarded up eyes and howling through its broken stone teeth.
The wizard could hear their impish laughter in that wind, out there in the dark, and he shivered in his bed. They used to keep their distance, whispering and scurrying away like vermin, but they didn't run anymore. He was old and toothless now, no threat to anyone.
The fire was dying, it needed to be fed. He hobbled across the cold stone floor to the bookshelf and opened a moldering tome of magic. Fevered scribblings of a madman, in a language he'd long forgotten. Was it a careless spell from a book like this that had conjured the blue devils up? He tossed it into the guttering flames.
In the beginning they had seemed so harmless, all smiles and fun as he chased them through the woods with a butterfly net. But over time they tired of that game, and their smiles faded. No creature likes to be hunted.
A wild giggle came from the corner. They'd gotten in again! He limped back to bed and wrapped himself in the threadbare blanket. The fire cast shadows that danced with nightmares.
Hello, wizard.
He thought to call his cat, but Azrael was long dead and buried. They'd killed him, he was sure.
Something scuttled along the wall, just out of sight. They weren't satisfied with his cat. They wanted him.
Every night they tormented him, haunted his dreams, pushed him to the edge of madness....
And he wondered, not for the first time: was he mad? Were they all in his head?
Are we? asked a small voice under the bed. It seemed genuinely curious.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Author Comments

This twisted fairytale came from watching too many Saturday morning cartoons as a kid.

- Michael Adam Robson
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