WIP: The New Merlin (Opening)

This story was my first Nano win.  I still haven’t given it a good edit, so bear with me.  This was written in 2012, which feels like forever ago.  When I made comments to a few people what’s it about, they were interested.  Why can’t I get myself to edit this massive work of art?

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

Chapter one

My name is Cynthia.  I am a human living and working in a large colony of anything possible.  They call themselves fey.  My little brother, Robert and I deal with the Human Magic Shop.  It used to be run by the famous Merlin, but after his death a few centuries ago the shop has been vacant.  After I casted my first spell, I was dragged here with my little brother in tow.

The one who dragged me looks like a normal dwarfed human, but in fact he calls himself a gnome and handles basically everything the stores needs.  Whereas I am average with those brown eyes, black hair, and light female build, he is bulky with these dark blue eyes you cannot forget and black hair slicked back like he came out of Grease, the movie.  My little brother looks much like me, so we look out of place being so “normal” which is strange because we never felt normal living among humans.

We own our little magic shop which is filled with old potions, scrolls, and spell books.  I am still learning and those who come to our shop are just asking us to go into human lands to get them supplies.  Some of the creatures living here cannot step into human lands even though our colony exists within human lands.

Between selling Merlin’s old potions and going into human towns for supplies, our gnome shopkeeper has survived.  We call him Luke, mainly because calling him Luificer was not on my to do list.

So back to the current status, which is me trying to control this wild flame spell Merlin’s book is showing me.  I have not managed and both Luke and Robert are on top of me with buckets of water to stop the wayward spell.  It is disconcerning that with half the day wasted to learning this spell, I still cannot stop it from trying to fire up the entire shop.  How does one learn control?

“Why’s that?”  Luke grumbles.  His voice is gravelly and runs shivers across my body every time I hear it.  I guess I am still not used to living with him in this shop.  We have a bedroom each, or a room that is called ours.  “Spell made for human to cast.  She cast spells.  Why she can’t cast flame?”

“Luficier…”  A wisp of a voice enters into our work.  It is higher pitch than a human’s which leads me to believe it is an elf or fairy.  Both of which likes human magic and human spell components.  It was only yesterday I was trying to get fresh sheep wool for one of them.

“Erizel.”  Luke turns around while nodding with his greeting.  “You come because?”

“I wanted to visit with my friends.”  He waves at us.  But his mossy green skin and eyes, pointed out ears, and long bony body structure looks the same as every other elf I have seen in this colony.  Luke knows all of them, they have lived together for a while now, so I leave him to tell them apart.  I’ve only been here a few months and I haven’t even mastered one spell yet from Merlin’s book.  Of course half my time is spent running errands into the human world.

“Hi. Erizel.”  Robert waves excited at the elf moving closer to him.  Erizel steps into our shop enough to close the door and accept the hug my little brother offers.  We know it is human custom to hug as a greeting among friends.  Elven greetings consist of kissing, many of the times tongue involved.  At my second meeting with Erizel he tried to do that with me and I threw a ball of fire at him just because of the intense fear inside of me.

I swear I don’t want an elf.  I do not want an elf and yet there is not another human in the colony besides Robert.  Wanting Robert is worse than wanting an elf.  I know once I get my skills adequate enough, I am going out and finding a husband.  I hope I am not too old by then.  I am already sixteen, the perfect age for boyfriends among humans.

“You came because?”  Luke taps his foot angrily not accepting Erizel’s desire to visit with us.  Neither can I for that matter.  He always has something he wants or wants to do.

Erizel frowns letting Robert go to move further into the shop and look over the spell I was learning.  “To help.  I am always asking for help from you and my job just finished, so I wanted to repay some of my debt.  What do you need help with?”

“No help from you.”  Luke is quick to reply turning back to the book and putting it away.  He hides so many of the spell books and potions, I don’t even know half of them.  Merlin to humans was known as a great magician and humans do not even believe in magic.  Morganna used to live here too, but her shop was destroyed.  They always fought who would receive the most business and it seems Luke still feels that way.  We don’t have another human shop to compete with now.

I don’t think Luke believes he won the battle with Morganna’s shopkeeper.  That squat interesting gnome wanders in occasionally making obscene comments.  He isn’t my enemy and he doesn’t currently have an active shop, although he does have a room that he pays for with traveling for spell components.

“Come now, Luficier, I come with information, too.”  Erizel pouts out although he still looks rather smug.  I look at Robert hoping my little brother is not won by the elf as many humans would be.  No, he seems to also have a touch of magic in him.  I never noticed before and he might just have that touch because of our new home.

Luke seems interested in the elf’s information, I can tell after living with him for so long.  I also note Luke is a little annoyed at the elf who always bothers us.  I wonder what Erizel’s job is since he always needs human components.  “Either pay your debt or leave, Erizel.  I care not for your banter, save that for your female companions.”

“I take male companions too.”  Erizel huffs out starting his own annoyed expression.  Whether I know his skills or not, I know he has skills.  He is a mage in the colony, a known mage, and not someone you truly wish to get annoyed.  “Even Merlin accepted me once or twice.”

“Debt paid or out.”  Luke glares at the elf standing in the middle of the shop.  He points at the door, at current closed due to Erizel and his secret information.

“Tsk.  You are never any fun, Luficier.”  Erizel shakes his head letting his green hair fly about him like a gust of wind made him ready for a model shoot.  “I am still going to tell you.”  I roll my eyes; Erizel is a gossip whore if the name could apply to anyone.  “They say Morganna’s shop will be reopening when Raphael returns from his travel.”

Luke who was glaring and annoyed at Erizel turns away having a tenseness I am not used to.  I tempt to speak, “Luke…”

“No, Cynthia, you have nothing to worry about.”  Luficier walks into his room anyway and I cannot help but turn to the elf standing in our shop.

“Need help with that spell?”  He grins widely.  “As I said before I did spend some time with Merlin.  We were great friends for the entire time he lived in the colony.  I tease Luficier about going to bed with him, but we never did.  Merlin wasn’t like that to me.”  He nods at the hidden book.

Since I did not stop him, he goes to collect the book and reopen it back up to the flame spell.  “Ohh… pretty.  Why are you having trouble?”  His eyes reach mine and for once they aren’t edged with sex.  Is he seriously going to help me now?

“I cannot seem to keep the flame spell under my control.”  I nervously say looking at Robert, but my little brother is far less concerned about Erizel’s bad side.  Then again the elves are very protective of children who are not of sexual age yet and my brother is only ten.

“Here.  She messes up here.”  Robert points at the spell.

With a few mumbled words, Erizel grabs a pencil sitting on the desk.  He goes to write into the book and I reach out stopping his work.  “No, we cannot hurt the spell books.”

Erizel stares at me for several minutes.  Then he says simply, “If you claim this book, you must make marks so the spell fits you.  I hate to say it, but you cannot cast Merlin’s magic.  It’s simple.  Merlin was male and you are not.  The body’s chemistry causes an adverse reaction.”  He states this and I cannot help letting him go.  He is about to write again.

I have to stop him.  “No.  We cannot hurt his spells.”  I bite my lip looking around.

“I know!”  Robert hops to a corner and pulls out an empty spell book.  “Sis can start her own spell book.”

“Good idea, Munchkin.”  Erizel rubs Robert’s head and I look at the book that is passed between them.  “I’ll show you how to rework spells for different sexes.  Hopefully that will be enough.”

“What do you mean hopefully?”  I ask him confused by his statement.

Erizel glances my way.  He taps the pencil on the book a few seconds before sighing.  Then he says while returning to rewriting the spell into the new book, “I have to rework my spells to suit sexes, races, and classes.  If you are too different beyond just being female then the spell will take some time getting just right.  Hopefully you are the same type of human as Merlin was.”

I hear the words, but I do not quite understand his meaning.  However before I can ask the question of him, Erizel hands me the book open to the spell.

“Go ahead, Cynthia.”  Erizel grins waiting for me with a pencil in his hand.

I take the book form him and place it before me to ready the spell.  I nervously glance at Erizel and his grin before trying again.  I read the new spell off letting the magic swirl around me and land square in my hand to offer me a light.  The flame spell is meant to offer light.  It is not meant to hurt in any way and yet Merlin’s spell was causing real fire.  Now it is just light.  I wave my hand through it and am surprised that no heat comes off.  I stare at Erizel with his even wider grin.

“See, females and males have different chemistries.  If you have any more questions I will request payment.  I mean I need to make a living too.”  Erizel kisses my forehead before giving my empty hand a squeeze and disappearing out of the shop letting the door close behind him.

“Cynthia…”  Robert stares at the flame.  “Can I touch it?”  I nod at him.  He walks over to me slowly letting his hand go through my flame spell.  He grins up at me holding his little hand inside my spell work.  “It’s barely warm.”

Letting my own pride shine through, I grin right back.  Now I need to continue my study and figure out how to rework all of Merlin’s spells.  Erizel gave me several pieces of information.  I need to make sure I do not let that help become wasted.


It’s a completed novel. My first one for Nano. A lot of happened since then.

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

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