In Fillory, the air you breathe will either give you the power of gods, or choke the life out of you...
An entry for the #BattleTheBeast contest promoting season two of THE MAGICIANS on the SyFy channel. This story's characters belong to the world of The Magicians. If you haven't read the books or watched the show, be aware that there are spoilers below.
There have been 40 time loops created to destroy the Beast, a force of immense evil residing within Fillory. Season one of The Magicians deals with the 40th loop. This short piece was written with the following prompt in mind: create a story exploring one of the first 39 loops.
Towards the end of season one, there is a scene taking place in Ember's abode in which Julia and Quentin are both present. Ember expresses surprise at seeing Julia. As it turns out, in most of the previous loops, Quentin had usually killed her by now. Our heroes shift uncomfortably at this revelation, which seems intended as a bit of dark humor. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this. I wrote another story for this contest working in an entirely different vein of thought, but still Ember's declaration stuck in my head. Why would Quentin, of all people, kill Julia?
If you're a fan of the show, you know that when Dean Fogg tells Quentin and Julia they are reliving a timeline, it's also revealed that this 40th loop is the first in which Julia was not accepted to Brakebills. The hope was that the inner struggle resulting from her feelings of rejection would make her stronger. Stronger than what, I wondered. What occurred for Fogg to feel she needed greater strength?
I took Dean Fogg's and Ember's words as hints of what may have happened in one of the other loops and ran with it. I hope you enjoy the resulting story!