Siphoning the Stone
Every so often when I’m thumbing through my Facebook feed, I come across pictures that spark a story in my mind. When they come to the surface I’ll give a brief overview of the tale. It’s never anything extensive, but it’s enough for me to keep the crux of the tale fresh in my mind. So when I came across a picture of a woman with purple hair using magic to extract a stone from a glass case, I couldn’t resist crafting a narrative. I immeadiately shared the image with a quick note:
A sorceress uses magic to steal a crystal…
Taitha’s silk shawl whipped behind her as she walked down the street. When she came to a particular building, she halted, turning to face the entrance and grinned. With a glance to each side, she stepped up to the doors, touching the clasp on her belt, and strode through the thick wooden panels. Once inside, she hurried to the map of the interior.
The lithe elf placed her finger on the picture, tracing the floors. Her head shook as she dismissed each room until her fingertip landed on the image titled ‘The Library.’ As she traced the best route to her destination, her smirk widened, flashing her toothy smile at the building’s diagram.
Her hands ran up her arms, shifting the position of the shawl and tripping another spell which caused her skin tone to lighten and her clothing’s hue turn gray. As she melted into the shadows, Taitha spun on her heels and started walking through the arch leading into the primary section of the museum. She twisted her way through various hallways as she sought her prize.
When she entered ‘The Library’, she paused and studied the mystical tomes. While Taitha walked around the railing, she traced the spine of each volume, and her eyes sparkled. She stopped when she came to the staircase and allowed her fingers to linger on a book’s cover. She took a deep inhalation, letting the scent of the parchment fill her nose. Reluctantly, Taitha tore her fingertips away from the tome and marched down the elegant marble stairs, heading straight for the pedestal in the middle of the room.
Taitha placed her palms on opposite sides of the glass box and closed her eyes. As the words spilled from her lips, purple energy rose from her extremities and spiraled around her arms. As her chanting increased, her eyelids started glowing a pale gold, and the violet lightning shot through the case, wrapping around the jewel sitting on an ornate pillow. Taitha pulled her hands closer to her chest, and a ghostly version of the gem emerged. The copy soared towards her along flickering tendrils attached to her extended fingers. The energy connecting the two stones glared brightly, and the translucent duplicate under the glass faded until it disappeared while the stone hanging in the air solidified.
“You truly are remarkable,” a voice declared, destroying the silence in the museum.
Taitha gripped the crystal in her left hand while her other traced a pattern on its largest face. The instant it vanished, she spun towards the source, raising her fingers to her neck. She licked her lips and rolled her eyes. “Why did the council send a Hunter after me?”
“You compelled me here. We have to handle rogue practitioners.”
“When the council forced me out, they declared I’d never receive that label, Hunter.”
The tall man descended the stairs, pointing at the empty case. “True, and the council desired to keep the arrangement, but you broke the mandate.”
“Obey those fools?” Taitha asked as she snickered. “The council is incapable of determining the best way to handle the rabble. And unfortunately, they sent you after me.”
“Hunters are powerful mages,” he said as he lifted a glowing finger. “As the individual that help craft our training, I’m surprised that you acted so foolishly.”
Taitha pressed the stone at the nape of her neck. “I am well aware of your capabilities, but you’re ignorant about mine.” Twirling her fingers, she shifted her body weight to her toes. “None of those pompous fools appreciate the depth of my skill.”
The Hunter swallowed a retort as his glowing finger brightened, turning an ominous shade of blue.
“You don’t want this scuffle.”
“I’m well aware of the strength that gem grants,” the Hunter commented. “But it takes a while for the wielder to access that potential.”
Taitha’s smile widened as her teeth elongated. “Hunter, while you’ve focused on the propaganda the council spouts about this stone, I am familiar with its genuine power.”
The Hunter shook his head and pointed his finger at the former councilwoman. “I’m sorry that it’s come to this.”
The crackling blue bolt lashed from his fingertip and raced through the room, slamming into Taitha. When the spell died, she brushed her chest and lifted an eyebrow. “Was that the best you could do?”
“How?” The Hunter asked as his legs wobbled.
“I am the owner of the stone.” Taitha straightened her shawl and strode toward the collapsing Hunter. “My ancestor crafted this stone, and it will always obey my whims.” She reached out and ran her finger down his cheek. Taitha lifted the man’s chin, forcing him to his feet, and positioned her mouth next to his ear, whispering. “I tried being nice, but you forced this response.”
“Please, let’s not do anything rash.”
Taitha placed her hand against his chest, and it glowed a bright red as if it were blazing embers.
The man quivered and strained, trying to retreat.
“Hunter, you can’t escape,” Taitha whispered as she pushed her glowing palm into his abdomen. “You were mine from the moment you approached me.”
“I’ll be your eyes and ears,” the Hunter squealed.
As her hand brightened, smoke began wafting up from it. “What compelling reason can you give me to trust someone so willing to betray his beliefs?”
“Taitha, please don’t do this.”
“Goodbye,” Taitha announced as she shoved her arm through his torso. When her fingers broke through, the glow transferred into the Hunter. With a grin, she moved her finger from under his chin to his lips, silencing his last scream. As the light spread, his body turned to ash, and she pulled her hand out of the hole. She grabbed her shawl and lifted it over her head and dropped it. As the cloth touched her skin, the spell embedded into the garment flared to life. The fabric wrapped around her, and with a bright flash, Taitha vanished, leaving an empty case and ashes.