Thought you might like a few paragraphs from Bumblestook, Book 2, currently in the writing stage;
Once again, they met in that mysterious place which knew no boundaries; where the cold, grey sameness stretched on to forever. With dream-like slowness, wispy tendrils of foggy ground-cover rose to merge with low-lying clouds; effectively obscuring the horizon. The familiar notions of ‘earth’ and ‘sky’ were suspended, along with such niceties as “up” and “down”.
The twelve individuals, gathered there in a ragged circle, did not seem bothered by the odd geography. Indeed, even when the fog, swirling about their feet, parted to reveal a patch of dark night sky, sprinkled with stars; they were not in the least disturbed!
The oldest of the group (a short, wizened, old Wizard with a long, snow-white beard that brushed the hem of his brown-velvet robe) withdrew his staff from the center of the circle. The smoky-topaz crystal, embedded in the tip, ceased to glow; having played its part in the creation of the All Seeing Circle.
“Focus now, on where you have been, and what you have seen. Let the sky below become your screen. Project all thoughts to the fore, that we may see what has gone before,” Imperious the Impossible intoned.
Two of the circle nodded and bowed their heads in concentration. Bartholeumous the Bold’s dark, wild, hairy brows came together over his generous nose, as he focused on events passed; while Kondor the Brave’s smooth, hairless, coffee-colored dome shone with perspiration.
The others kept their eyes on the sky beneath their feet, as it rippled like a reflection in a pond. Abruptly, a scene flashed into existence, and the gathering found themselves watching four Wizards, battling furiously, two against two. The power, lancing forth from their staffs, illuminated the rocky walls of an underground tunnel. The battle took on added dimension as the warriors rose into the air.
At the back of the tunnel, they saw another group of individuals. Two children and three Amorphae (a Bungaree, a Gr-r-rog, and an over-sized Skurrier, by the looks of him) pressed against a rock wall, in an attempt to avoid the clash of Wizards.
They watched as the boy-child (a disheveled youth, with dark hair standing up in wild, wavy clumps, rumpled clothes, and a mud-streaked face) tied a ridiculous, black-polyester cape about his slight shoulders, in a clumsy bow. The task was made all the more difficult by the fact that in one hand he clutched a Wizard’s wand, of obviously cheap manufacture. Surprisingly, not one of the twelve watchers giggled, or snickered, or in any other manner expressed disdain, at the sight of this little would-be Wizard. In fact, their reaction was quite the opposite, as they leaned forward to witness his actions, with keen interest.
They watched as the Wizards’ battle swung close to the little group, and a shower of small rocks and dust rained down upon their heads. The Hero (a girl-child with a commanding presence much larger than her slight build suggested) gave the order for them to move out. The Hero and the Amorphae hugged the rock wall to the left, then dashed across the open end of the tunnel to the other side.
The boy lagged behind, to close his backpack and sling it over his shoulder. He hurried to catch up, but was hampered by his long garment as he ran. Obviously, he had not been trained in the art of wearing a Wizard’s Cloak!
When young Wizardlings are given their very first set of official Wizard-wear (Robes and Cloaks) there are basic lessons that must be learned, before they are allowed to don them. Perhaps the most important of these, is the ability to command the fabric to billow about, so as to never allow the multiple folds to become dangerously entangled in their legs. It was evident that the young boy, in the scene below, was seriously lacking in Wizard Basics. He seemed to have no control at all over his garment. In fact, he actually allowed the errant Cloak to trip him!
Some of the group shook their heads at this, and one (a rather large woman in a voluminous, black-velvet Cloak, splashed with orange and purple tropical flowers) clucked in sympathy.
“Poor little Wizardling,” cooed Kalikalakalani. “Imagine, not even knowing how to tame your own Cloak!”
The watchers drew in a collective breath, as a long, dark shadow fell over the boy. Malador (the Magnificent or Maleficent, depending on your point of view) had arrived on the scene!
The leader of the Overlords towered over the boy, who lay sprawled on the rocky floor of the tunnel, a victim of his Cloak’s lack of discipline. Malador grew in size to fill the tunnel opening, and swiftly tossed a Soundasleep Spell at the boy’s friends, as they moved to help him. The boy, who had managed to get halfway to his feet, scrambled over to his fallen comrades. He shook them, imploring them to wake up. When they did not, he bravely challenged the evil Wizard before him, demanding their release. Malador responded by threatening the boy’s family and friends, intending to entrap the child into doing his bidding.
The watchers tensed. This was what they had come to see. They were not here to influence these events, for they lay in the past; but to see for themselves the manifestation of the child’s power. They leaned in, as the boy shouted his own name (Farley Bumblestook!) and thrust forward the silly, plastic wand, with every ounce of strength he possessed. Unfortunately, as he did so, he tripped over the outstretched tail of the slumbering Skurrier. He fell backwards—
“Stop!” Several in the group shouted.
The scene ceased to roll, leaving the Bumblestook boy frozen in midair, both feet off the ground, mid-way to the floor, his wand outstretched and pointed toward the ceiling. Incredibly, a thin stream of power lanced upward, hot-lava-red, from its pathetic, plastic tip!
“Reverse, slowly,” Imperious ordered.
Bartholeumous and Kondor strained to comply, and the scene unfolded backwards in fits and starts. Malador had just finished issuing his threat…
“There!” Impy shouted, and the picture froze again. “Zoom in on the boy’s face!”
And there it was for all to see. A look of desperate resolve had replaced the youthful innocence on Bumblestook’s face. In his eyes flickered twin flames, lava-red.
Impy nodded sagely.
“Wild Magic,” he said simply, simultaneously confirming their highest of hopes, and the worst of their fears.