“But why do you have to leave, mom?” I asked.
“Because, Star, I don’t know anything about magic and I feel like I’ll just get in the way. It will be for the best this way,” my mom said.
My mother, Asha Alistar, is not concerned about being “in the way.” She just wants to go on more adventures. To hear her tell it, she is one of the most renowned adventurers in all of Galevyn. There was a time when I thought that sounded ridiculous, but I’ve met enough of her old friends, her strong and powerful friends, to have seen the respect they all have for her. The kind of respect you show to someone that has your back. At least, that’s what I think it is. I haven’t really had much in the way of childhood friends, because my mom has been carting us across all of Galevyn ever since I was old enough to walk. Maybe earlier than that. We visit one of her old adventuring buddies, I meet a retired wizard, an elderly fighter, an alchemist that has settled down into her own small business or something like that, and she leaves me with them for a few months at a time while she chases whatever it is that adventuring gives her.
I love my mom, but I wish I could see her more often. And now she wants to drop me off with some lady she only met a few months ago. This has never happened before and I can’t help but feel like it’s my fault. I’m fifteen years old and have only just started puberty. My mom tells me that half-elves like me are what is referred to as “late bloomers” by the humans. I think that just means that everything happens to me late. I don’t really understand it. I just know that I look younger than any other fifteen-year-olds I’ve met. I’m talking four or five years younger. I only just started getting facial hair. It’s a lot to handle.
Speaking of a lot to handle, that’s why I think this is all my fault. Not only did I start growing hair in all sorts of places and getting some pretty nasty acne on my face, I also started developing magic powers. At first, my mom thought it was o.k. She said she had known people that could do magic and it shouldn’t be a big deal. Some people are just born with the ability to tap into one specific discipline of magic. I had started with illusion magic. It became unruly sometimes, there was one time that I turned my mom’s friend, Ricci, into a human. Well, I turned him into an illusion of a human. Being a Mascara, he didn’t appreciate losing the appearance of his horns and tail. He had to walk around with light human-colored skin all day instead of its usual deep red. Then my mom figured out that there was something different about my magic. Then it only got worse when I started doing other kinds of magic. It didn’t take long for me to start accidently charming people and teleporting around.
“You’re a chosen one,” my mom gasped the first time she saw me teleport.
“Is that a thing? You’re saying that like it’s a thing. Do you know what’s going on with me?” I asked.
“I know that you’re more powerful than I ever could have imagined,” she explained. That scared me. I know that my mom knew some powerful people, and apparently, I was stronger than them.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“You’ve been chosen by one of the gods. I don’t know anything about the gods. I always just stabbed stuff while other people dealt with the smart stuff,” she admitted.
“What are you saying? Do we need to go to a church or something? And I going to become a nun?” I questioned, still not quite understanding the panic in my mom’s eyes.
“No, no churches. They’ll claim you and you’ll never be able to have a normal life. We have to figure this out on our own. But how? I’m not qualified for this. And you can’t just keep throwing magic around uncontrollably,” my mom considered.
Our conversation ended there with her muttering something about how she had to think about it. Eventually, she told me she made a new friend named Kianna. Kianna was an elf, like her, and she has studied magic all of her life. She said she trusted her to look out for me. That’s when I started figuring out that my mom was planning to leave me again. I was frustrated, but this was nothing new. She had been leaving me places all of my life.
I put on a brave face and told her that it would be o.k. I was excited to learn about my new powers and she shouldn’t be worried. I learned at a young age that it is easier to lie so other people don’t worry. My mom seemed upset enough, she didn’t need to think I was upset too. That wouldn’t help anybody.
We rounded the corner and my mom began walking towards an old, beaten-up duplex in the docks district of Angalchel. She knocked on the door to the left with the number 2 carved into its roughly finished wood. She looked back at me with a smile on her face and a single tear streaking down her face.
“Are you ready for this?” she asked.
“Totally,” I lied.
These stories serve as inspiration for the upcoming short story collection, Tyranny of the Fey. The collection will be released in Fall 2023. You can get a $1 preview now!