Short Story: The Magus and the Vampire

Start from the beginning

"Let it come," Gladus said. The beast stared at her with hungry eyes, its teeth gnashing.

Vic grunted and threw his hand forward, sending the dragon racing towards her. Its body whipped past his cheek, causing his pale yellow hair to fly into disarray around his face.

Gladus didn't lift a finger. Her eyes flashed blue and she tapped into all the droplets of water from the steam clouds. They elongated and turned into spear-like-needles. As one, they all pointed inward and raced towards the creature.

With the fire inches from Gladus' face, the water weapons struck. They sliced through the dragon's body like butter, ripping it to pieces before Gladus' very eyes. The dragon exploded into a burst of heat, shoving Gladus' black hair and the multi-colored cloths binding it backwards. This time, she expected the heat and wound water tendrils around her legs to keep her in place.

Vic threw his arms in front of his face, grunting, as the same heat wave washed over him. The magic swept him up and threw him backwards. He rolled like a broken doll across the mud, stopping only when he crashed into their magical shield. Vic flopped onto his stomach with a groan and stared owlishly at the suddenly empty battlefield. All that remained was the soft patter of rain that caressed their hair.

Gladus shook her head. "You got cocky again, Vic. You should have felt the water forming around you."

"I did," he protested. He struggled to rise, wiping mud off of his red t-shirt. "But I thought I'd catch you with the dragon before you turned the field against me. Lord, you're giving me a run for my money."

"You're getting better despite your sloppiness," Gladus assured him. She released the tendrils around her legs and walked towards him. Her long violet robe rustled around her with each step, the golden hem catching the glow from a streetlight across the way. They stood in her backyard. While a fence blocked most of their activity, she and Vic had also set up a magical ward to hide their antics from eager eyes. Not everyone in this section of Chicago was a parahuman or part of The Purple Door District, and she didn't need the cops coming down on her because she was disrupting the peace, or because she was a monster as some would call her.

She held out a hand. "Where did you learn to make the dragon?"

Vic took hold and rose, mud squelching between their palms. "Lenore, would you believe it? She finally climbed down off of her high horse to show me how to create creatures with my power."

"Good. If you're going to be my replacement, she needs to show you at least some semblance of respect." She stood back and looked around at her destroyed backyard. "Hm, mind fixing that before we go in and get cleaned up?"

"Will do, Priestess." Vic cleared his throat and stretched out his hands. This time, fire didn't ignite on his fingertips. A soft green glow danced around him and flowed into the earth.

Gladus felt the Ether move beneath her feet and watched as grass sprouted through the mud piles, cleaning up the skid line Vic had left behind in his collapse. The earth swallowed up ice shards and smothered the lingering flames until nothing by a field of green remained.

Vic panted, his magic flickering and then dying. Gladus caught him when he wobbled. "May have pushed it a little too much tonight."

"Hmm," Gladus grunted. She glanced up as his shield wobbled and faded, leaving hers to hide their presence. A wave of her hand broke her own ward before she started to help him into the house. "What you need is a hot shower, tea, and a good meal."

The Purple Door District (Preview)Read this story for FREE!