Chapter Snippet

From latest novel “No’va”


“Forgive my ignorance, but it’s bit harder when I can only study written formulas.” Shafari gripped the log he sat on and pushed himself to a standing position. The way the vines moved was unnerving. Across from him, he could sense Thomas Gracie’s unease in his attempts to settle things in conversation. From the other two, he heard nothing as his full attention now rested on the Healer standing before him.

“Writing magic?” She chortled. “So you can manipulate it into something other than what it was meant to be?” That playful gaze suddenly turned cold. Shafari noticed those plush lips thin in a frown. “If that’s all human magic-users care about then maybe your Council should have finished you off.”

“Shafari….” He heard Thomas Gracie’s warning, but he was too busy controlling his inner anger. He could feel vines slithering across his boots. For a fleeting moment, he wished he could have extinguished her instead of the orb.

Suddenly, she stepped back and laughed, her giddy manner catching the men off guard. “But what do I know?” A single gesture retracted the vines back where they belonged.

A startling slap to the leg from a backtracking vine brought a gasp from the magic-user. No more than that, it immediately drew the orb to him in a flash of red hot pulses. As though the anger had transferred from the magic-user, the heated light advanced upon the Healer in a swift lunge that made her jump back out of fear of being burnt. Now it was Shafari’s moment to laugh as the light flickered a moment more as if shaking off a temper. Soft yellow soon returned and it retreated back to its master’s outstretched hand, darting over and under with gentle flickers as if checking him over.

“That’s just it,” he said with a satisfied grin. “You don’t know.”

“That’s quite enough, thank you.” Thomas Gracie rose quickly and stepped between the two. He glared at Shafari a moment before turning to the female, who by now had recomposed herself. “My apologies, but all of us have been affected by the Council, not just magic-users. It is why we came – to escape an unjustified persecution.” To Shafari, he then mouthed the words SIT, in which his companion did so with refined dignity. A returned smirk caused a sigh from Thomas Gracie and soon took a seat again to watch the playful orb weave around its master’s hand.

The Healer returned to leaning back against the tree. Though her gaze never left the magic-user, it no longer contained that sting of coldness to it. Drooping shoulders suggested that she, too, was weary from the day’s journey.

“You should put that away now, Shafari,” Thomas Gracie said. “We need rest for tomorrow. I don’t mind taking first Watch.” He motioned to the Healer. “You should as well.”

“I intend to,” was her response. “But it will be at my own choosing.”

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