Monday, March 2, 2015

Day Eight-Twenty-Seven: Boom

The explosion jolted Fynn out of his attempt at concentration so viciously that his hands flew up to his ears, rebounded off of the shield surrounding his body, and smacked him in the chest.

Seated several feet away, looking at a map he’d found in one of Foregone’s houses - houses, he was realizing, which were quickly burning to cinders, much more quickly than he’d realized - Logan looked out a window, mouth dropping open. There was nothing to see outside besides plumes of smoke in the near-distance, however, and he turned his gaze to Fynn instead.

“What in the hell was that?” Logan asked, rolling the map into a tight scroll and jumping to his feet. “Did you hear that?”

“How could I not hear that?” Fynn grumbled, dropping his shield. He rubbed his head. “It was… it sounded like something blew up. Like when we use cannons on the Sky Badword, only… louder. A lot louder.”

Nodding agreement, Logan slipped through the window and leaped nimbly onto the roof of their house, hoping to get a better look at Foregone. It was, however, a fruitless enterprise, as the city was quickly becoming enveloped in black smoke. Waves of heat reached Logan from several blocks away, and the sting of ash made his eyes water. He quickly retreated.

“I wonder if there’s a powder keg somewhere’s here that went up,” Logan mused grimly. “Shit. I hope mom’s okay. Anyway, we’re runnin’ out of time. How’s the shield work goin’? Any better?”

Shrugging helplessly, Fynn cast his spell again. The green energy of his shield shimmered to life around him, expanding out of his skin and forming a tight shield around the upper half of his body, fading to nothing as it approached his thighs. Fynn gritted his teeth and concentrated, and the bubble expanded, forcing Logan to take several steps back -

- but it was no use. When the bubble hit a diameter of ten feet it abruptly popped, showering the room in brilliant, ethereal, harmless shards of twinkling light. The motes faded quietly from sight, leaving Fynn both defenceless and frustrated.

“That’s… that’s the best I can do,” Fynn muttered. “If I take it slow I can maybe double it, but I’d need, like, an hour. I think. I’d need time to test it.”

“Just said we were runnin’ out of time,” Logan said, scratching his chin, “and twenty feet wouldn’t do jack anyway. If I’m readin’ this map correctly, Foregone’s at least three kilometres from side to side. Probably longer. Hell, this could even be an older map, which means it might’ve expanded since then.”

“So it won’t work.” Fynn tried to sound downcast, but a tiny, grim smile appeared on his face. “That’s… that’s too bad.”

“Yeah, I bet you think so,” Logan said, rolling his eyes. “Shit. We might have to go get Eve after all. Assumin’ she didn’t just take off after her meal. But if she gets bitten while she’s takin’ the werewolves down…”

Pausing, Logan imagined a werewolf with Eve’s strength, speed, and propensity for vicious action. This mental picture was shortly paired with a quick scene of Pubton, under siege by an enormous legion of furry beasts and led by a green-eyed lupine capable of jumping right over defensive walls… or simply tearing them down with her bare hands.

“… yeah, forget Eve. Bad idea.” Logan shook his head. “Well, maybe if we get all of the gates closed - “

Logan didn’t finish his sentence. A high, piercing, terrified shriek suddenly filled the room, blasting through the open window with the volume - if not the shuddering impact - of the earlier explosion. Logan recognized the scream’s owner at once, and without a word he leaped out of the window and into the smoky streets. Fynn just barely caught sight of Logan’s hand dipping to his sheathed sword before the prince vanished.

“Oh,” Fynn said dumbly. “Uh… I guess… that’s his mom… then. Yeah.”

No one was around to verify Fynn’s guess, and, eventually, knowing he would just get lost in the streets of Foregone and fall prey to either the werewolves or the spreading fires, he went back to practicing his magic. Each shield was ever so slightly larger than the last, though Fynn didn’t know it…

… and, eventually, someone else in Foregone abruptly caught wind of Fynn’s magic potential.

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