Meet Lucan. He's in Sword's Call in a big way and for those who have read the whole thing, I know of two people who have declared him their favorite character. He's a cute lil guy, so hopefully he will worm his way into other hearts. He is the hero of Dragon's Call (of which there is an excerpt on my "Pieces of Me" page).
This is probably a year or two before the Sword's Call.
Hope you enjoy the story. As always, comments are adored! :)
Have a good Monday!
Lucan wiped the tears from his cheeks—again. He hid under the bed. He would stay there until someone dragged him out. How long would it be this time? If only his magic could make him invisible. He needed to learn a spell for that as soon as possible. Could he ask one of the masters without too many questions in return?“Lucan? Lucan, oh Luuuucaaaan...where are you?” The tone was cajoling. Lucan gulped. That meant he was even angrier than normal. “You’d better come out before I find you. You won’t like it if I find you. I promise.” There was a maniacal laugh. Lucan squeezed his eyes shut.What did Drazen want now? When would he leave him alone? What would he have to do to stop the torture? Martis wasn’t around, so the older boy couldn’t help him this time. Though Martis’s help always came at a price anyway. But Lucan would do all the magic Martis wanted him to if he would keep Drazen away from him. He would even make him a pile of gold coins.They had no value and turned back into whatever he’d formed them from mere hours after their birth, but Martis always seemed to get away with spending them in the market. Neither of them had been caught—yet.“What are you doing, Drazen?” There was another voice. The elf wizard, Renard, one of the shade taskmasters. He wasn’t particularly nice to Lucan, but Renard was better than Drazen.“Nothing, Master.”“Come out of here. This is not your room.”“I was looking for something. I guess I didn’t leave it in here.” The lie fell from his lips smoothly, but that was always Drazen.Renard muttered something in answer, but then the door shut. The voices and steady beat of footsteps faded as they got further away. Lucan’s chest heaved with his sigh.He scooted out from under his measly bed, sitting on the edge with a thump. When would this all end? Moisture hit the back of his cupped hands as they rested in his lap. He stared there for a moment. Crying again? At least he was alone. No one would see. No one could hit him for his tears.Renard and Arius, another elf wizard taskmaster, had been praising him lately. They said he was almost ready. Almost ready for what? It wouldn’t be good news, no matter what.Lucan didn’t want to be ready for anything that involved Lord Varthan, the true master of all the boys here. Shades, they were called. Their magic honed for Lord Varthan’s use.The archduke had taken a liking to him, Arius had told him. Lucan had the strongest magic of them all, Renard had said. It was a wonder he wasn’t part elfin, they all whispered. He cringed. He didn’t want to be elfin. He didn’t want to be a shade, or a mage. He wanted to go home. But where was home? He’d come to the compound so young he remembered nothing else. He’d never wanted to be there.The new boys always cried for their mothers, but Lucan didn’t remember his. Or his father. Did he have siblings? Where was he from? What Province were they in now? Everything was a secret. They were never allowed to go far—never un-chaperoned—and they picked up and moved at least two times a turn. Until Lord Varthan came. Until he picked who he wanted from the boys. Lucan didn’t want that. At all. He shook his head.Arius had said he would become one of the elite.“No,” Lucan whispered, his head falling into his hands.The elf wizards made him—made them all—do horrible things to test magical skill. Being with Lord Varthan would be even worse. Lucan had never been told that, but he just knew.Boys would leave to be the master’s elite and never return. He shuddered. Where did they end up? Even without confirmation, the grim set of the elf wizards’ expressions when news was received told the tale well enough. The shades were dead. That was why they never came back.Lord Varthan was a cruel man. Looking at him made Lucan want to wince. He rubbed his chin where the master had touched him during the last inspection the archduke had made of all the boys in the compound. The spot had burned at the lord’s touch. It had taken everything he was made of not to jerk away that day when Lord Varthan had titled his head up. Meeting those dark eyes had told him everything he needed to know. His master was pure evil.The tremble started at the base of his neck and worked its way down his spine, shaking his small body. His heart pounded. Lucan forced a deep breath and squeezed his eyes shut.“Calm. Breathe,” he chanted. When he opened his eyes, he froze.He’d done it again. Lucan looked down. His bed about three feet beneath him. Nothing but air between his brown breeches and the thin mattress.He’d levitated as soon as he’d let his senses go. It had been happening quite a bit lately. His skin was aglow as he extended his arms and legs, concentrating not to fall. He lay back as if the air was his mattress, spreading his magic across his limbs. The radiance of his body increased as he rose higher. Soon he was floating flat in the air as if he was in the lake the boys always bathed in.This was about all the peace he’d ever get. He reached mentally for the ceiling, guiding himself even as he closed his eyes again. When he was nose to nose with the rough plaster, Lucan smiled. No one could touch him here. At least…for now.
All rights reserved; copyright © C. A. Szarek. The text within may not be reproduced in whole or in part or distributed in any form whatsoever OR SOLD without first obtaining permission from the author.