Forty-Minute Story: Dyriel, Part 4

“What…” Dyriel’s heart faltered. “What do you want?”

“I want nothing, child. But a spell like this won’t run on good wishes and pixie dust.”

Her smile deepened into something unreadable. “You must offer me something in exchange for the laws of the universe that I am about to break.”

yay for stories controlled by maths

“I’ll die,” said Dyriel, without hesitation.

“Balderdash,” snorted Amagoso. “Stuff and nonsense. Your brother’s in danger, not you. It’s a harmless spell. Now, tell me what you’re willing to sacrifice.”

“You’re not listening. That’s what I’m willing to sacrifice.” Her toes tingled and she felt lightheaded, real and yet utterly unreal. “That’s how the forest magic works, isn’t it? Tooth for a tooth, life for a life. I know that’s what you want. So take it. Take my life, and save my brother.” Amagoso only stared at her. Didn’t she understand? “Quickly, before I lose my nerve!”

A grim grin crept over the hermit’s face. “You have some strange ideas about death, girl. Suppose the duke finds out his only daughter was murdered in the forest by tree people? Forget about the baron, it would be a whole new war, and your brother would lead the charge all over again. No, we’ll have no talk of anyone dying in my realm today.”

Dyriel saw the soldiers silently loosening grips on sword hilts, and only then did she realize how true the hermit’s answer was. “But if you won’t accept that…”

Amagoso waved a thin arm at her, dismissing the question. “You said what you said with the truth in your eyes. You’ve made your sacrifice. Let’s do what needs doing and get you out of my hair.”

The old woman produced a piece of parchment and a goose-feather quill. “These will save your brother.”

“Ink and parchment will save my brother?”

“You may have had a strange feeling these last few hours that your choices were not your own. My spell will simply restore that balance by giving you more choice than usual for a brief moment. Here, the quill is already inked, just read the words and circle your decision.”

Bemused, Dyriel read the question on the parchment. “How should the story end?”

But she allowed herself a slow smile when she saw the first choice:


4 responses to “Forty-Minute Story: Dyriel, Part 4

  1. An interesting end to the story we’ve been creating. I must admit, I didn’t anticipate that ending. At least, not in the style that you delivered it. I look forward to seeing what you do next week!

  2. Ahhhhhhh, You’re numbers do not add up to 100% (Head explodes) lol, also 11.

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