The view was spectacular. Hank was pissed.
High in his bubble, watching as the castle came closer, Hank could barely breathe. The bubble was stifling. Sweat dripped off the edge of his wand and his vision was warping where a puddle had formed on the bubble bottom.
No one ever tells you about this part when you take your Entry tests, Hank thought. No one sits you down and tells you that magic can be a drag. That it can make your eyes glaze over. That it can make your pits smell.
No one sits you down and says, hey, Hank, I know you want to be a sorcerer, but you do know that everyone learns teleportation via the bubble, first. You know that right?
Hank drifted over the forest and approached the clearing that meant this obscure rite of passage would soon be over. A movement at the tree line caught his eye. Hank couldn’t make it out. Probably just a patrol.
The forest was a massive, old growth, stretching from the castle to Munchkinland border. Ever since the Munchkins had revolted against the crown and created their own sovereign state, the safety of travel through the forest had decreased dramatically. Patrols were sent out from the castle to make circuits through the forest and keep the violence in check.
Hank wiped a hand over his brow, wishing the bubble’s form could be altered to include even a hint of a breeze.
There it was again. Movement. Something was stopped at the edge of the clearing. Why didn’t the patrol just keep moving towards the castle? Unless—
In spite of the heat, Hank chilled. Unless it wasn’t a patrol. Unless the Munchkins were surveying the castle.
Hank heard the voice of Alaster, the cantankerous old crone who taught Prisms 101 as clearly as if she were in the bubble: “Any clear surface can be manipulated.” A mirror can be a portal, water can be a scrying mirror; and a window can be a magnifying glasses.
Windows, Hank thought, rolling up his sleeves and gripping his wand tight. Why not bubbles?
He focused his eyes on the bottom of the bubble, weaving his wand in the pattern and speaking the words. Suddenly, Hank could see the forest as if he were standing a mere ten feet above it.
The boot. The color. The—a face came into view. A Munchkin. There could be no doubt.
Hank broke the spell and came back into awareness into his bubble
His heart was still. He would give the warning the moment he landed and the spell popped.
Years after, when the First Munchkin War was a story told to children and Hank led students of his own, he never allowed a student to progress until the bubble was mastered.
After all, he told his students, you just never knew what the bubble might show.
Prompt via Write on Edge. For Write at the Merge this week, we were given the photos below:
Image courtesy of imgur.net
click here for picture source