If You Must Stand

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A quick author's note:

There is a fair amount of swearing in this chapter. If you would like a clean version, just direct message me and I'll send one to you.

- Lefty

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Simon

The world rushes by in a wild blur of colour and muffled noise, going fast even as I move slow. Heat and golden light radiate off of me in waves (in just two seconds flat, I've become a fucking tsunami). Something cold and solid rests in my hand— a sword hilt. The sword hilt. I would know the weight and shape of the Sword of Mages anywhere. The cool, familiar metal feels strangely comforting in my hand. With every heavy, deliberate step towards the crest of the ravine, the Magickal cloud around me grows denser, solidifying alongside my determination to kick some major ass.

My mind switches to autopilot (something that has historically ended in destruction and chaos). I reach the crest of the hill, for a moment staring down at the smoke-filled gulley, and at the two pale figures slumped against trees.

Without thinking about what I'm doing, I leap off the side of the ravine. Instead of falling, though, I descend slowly, my feet settling onto the ground comfortably when I land. Like Peter fucking Pan.

Baz's limp body sags against a tree five metres away, his skin sallow and wan. All around him are bright crimson and rusty brown smudges and puddles of fresh and dried bloodhis blood. And there's something wrong with his arm. And his (beautiful, perfect) nose.

My vision goes red when I see him like this; when I see what the dickhead that took him did to him. The Sword starts to steam under my fingers, filling the air with the smell of molten metal.

"Baz!" My voice is strangely magnified and echoey, like I'm talking into an old-fashioned microphone. As I try to run to him, the smoke thickens, circling me in a black maelstrom. Frantically, I try to push through it, to slash it with my sword, to find my way blindly to Baz, but nothing happens. Even though I'm moving, I'm not going anywhere. No matter how hard I dig my trainers into the mud, I don't move forward.

"Show yourself, you bastard!" I shout, the magnified words coming out soaked in magic. "Come out and fight!"

A laugh slithers through every particle of the smoke around me, sounding like a snake about to strike.

"Hello, Chosen One... I've been waiting for you for ever so long..."

A growl rises from the back of my throat.

"What do you want from me?" I demand, looking in every direction. Trying to find something I can kill.

"I only wanted to see if the rumours were true..." the smoke hisses back, "if the Chosen One truly does exist... if he truly did kill the Humdrum with his magnificent power..." the word 'magnificent' drips with sarcasm and poorly-veiled reptilian laughter.

Before I can reply, a face materialises in the smoke: a hollow, paper-pale face, with black lips and perfectly round, completely black eyes. The effect is chilling, sending a shudder up my spine.

"So..." the dripping black jaws spread into a gruesome smile, "Hello, Chosen One."

I glare at the monstrous features.

"What are you? And if you wanted me, explain why the bleeding fuck you decided you needed to kidnap these people!"

"I am an Enenra, stupid boy... and... I needed them," the smile stretches impossibly wider, "to get to you."

Anger flashes through me like spark paper. Before I'm aware of what I'm doing, I'm bringing down my blade over and over again into the foul thing's head. Heat and light stream from my fingertips, peppering the white skin like shrapnel. An agonised, dying scream echoes between every smoke particle.

" You. Do. Not. Steal. My. Family. And. Live. You. Son. Of. A. Bitch!" I scream, letting my magic build and build with every word. The last word punches the Enenra with a force like a small bomb, and the thing explodes into black dust, blasting the leaves off all of the trees within a fifty- foot radius.

As if I'm a puppet whose strings have been cut, I drop to the ground, and the world goes black for just a moment. My ears ring with a high-pitched whine, muffling all other sound. Even my vision, once it returns, splits in two and is strangely wobbly and discoloured.

How the hell did that just work?

And, more importantly, how the hell did I do it?

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P.S.

I got fun watercolour brush pens for Christmas and I drew Simon and Baz :) (Wee Master Pitch will be on the next chapter)

- Lefty

- Lefty

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