From Book Three “Healer”
“Enunciate!” Jenario repeated, as yet again another failed attempt at spell casting landed Abraham on his back against the far wall of the Study. Note paper and books scattered in ripped shreds of crinkled paper, some of the edges even singed.
Coughing from the dust still settling around him, the young man rolled over to pull himself up using a toppled chair. After righting the chair, he continued picking up what was left of his note-taking.
“You neglected to tell me there was another syllable in that one,” he murmured.
“Syllables have nothing to do with it.” Jenario grabbed a paper still curling over itself in midair and slapped it down impatiently on the table.
Abraham kept his gaze down, searching for smaller pieces. They had been at it all day. Jenario taught while his son listened and practiced. Yet practice was quickly becoming a drill, one that required detailed attention, more so for the whereabouts of horn versus his magical outbursts.
With a sigh, Abraham tried straightening out his notes as best he could. Every now and then his nose twitched at the smell of burnt cloth and parchment.
“You’ve a warm spot on your robe, there,” came the surprisingly calm tone of his father.
Abraham followed his father’s comment to the helm of his dark, wine robe, and nearly fell over himself at a hint of smoke beginning to curl from underneath. Dropping the paper, he jerked at the fabric, pulling it up so he could check.
From behind, there came a dry chuckle.
“All that from one word?” Abraham breathed, though he could tell his father was not amused.
Jenario licked a finger to flip through a few pages of his spell book. “You have to learn how to properly pronounce things clearly. If you don’t, you’ll end up with curses.” He lowered his voice. “Like an old friend of mine.”
“Who was that?” Abraham reached down to collect his notes. Unsure what to do with them, he looked to his father in question. “I don’t suppose there’s a way to undo this, is there?”
Jenario raised a dark eyebrow flecked with gray. “For that mishap, you’re lucky. Spell casting can be very rewarding, and very misleading.” He gestured to the opened book. “For the magic-user, there’s the ability to recognize words of power, and then there’s the ability to cast them. I like to call it INTAKE and RELEASE.”
Jenario held up his index finger. “Ever heard of the slave owner Shafari?”
Jenario continued, “He was once a companion, and first pupil of mine. It was I who came up with the spells that HE misused, turning them into curses to run a slave compound!”
The same compound that Keith shut down? Abraham wanted to question, but instead asked, “Whatever happened to him?” He pulled his chair up to the table to join his father. He put the remaining paper in front of him.
“Evedentually, the use of curses wore down his talent. Now he’s about as useless as a street magician – illusion. Nowadays, it doesn’t amount to much but a few copper thrown at your feet.”
Abraham sat for a moment, thinking back to the days he only knew illusion. He remembered his chance meeting with the albino Healer, whose words came to him in a sudden realization.
“Illusion can be useful,” he said.
“Illusion is weak!” Jenario slid the book toward his son “You’re better than that! You have the release, Abraham, the ability to use magic. Why settle for something lesser when you can do so much more?”
To emphasis his words, Jenario held up the necklace containing his crimson stone. Its reflective surface captured his son’s inquisitive stare in the candlelight. Just inside rested a piece of the dark horn.
“How do you think I managed to obtain this?” Jenario questioned. “Not with illusion!”