The Bear who wanted to be a Wizard – Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities

In a realm of magic, in a time of heroes; lived a young black bear. She loved all things that bears love, berries, chasing small animals, sleeping, and of course magic. She would sneak into the village and watch the travelling magicians and wizards.

From the bushes she’d watch them as they made people disappear and then reappear, changed eggs into birds, and pulled rabbits out of hats. There were different kinds of performers, those that used genuine magic and those that used illusion and sleight of hand. The best ones combined both.

One day while she was hiding in the bushes she hear a young boy ask how the wizard had learned magic.

“Well my boy! I learnt magic from the greatest magic school in the world. The illustrious Pigmole.”

The little bear had been trying to teach herself magic and she could do some decent sleight of hand but couldn’t do any real magic, no matter how much she practiced. She was convinced it was because she needed to be taught.

Saying goodbye to her parents, she set out on a long walk to go to Pigmole School of Magic and Mystery. Along the way she met a large black crow.

“Where are you going little bear?” asked the crow.

“I’m going to become a powerful wizard,” replied the bear.

The crow laughed rudely and when it could breathe again, it said, “You’re a bear. They’ll never let you learn magic.”

“If they can teach pigs and moles, they can teach bears.” With a furrowed brow and a determined grimace, which looked pretty funny on a bear, she continued on her way.

At the gates she came up to a large stone statue. When she was within a few feet, the statue creaked and turned to face her saying, “Shoo bear. Go away.”

“I want to learn magic.”

“We don’t teach bears.” The statue refused to speak after and only blocked her way. The big crow laughed from a distance.

Instead of going home, she decided that she’d find another way to study at the school.

She suck onto the grounds and hid in the bushes, being careful not to leave any traces. She’d listen at the windows and learn everything she could. She slept in the old forest and ate what she could find there.

After several months she was starting to get the hang of basic spells. She still couldn’t pull a rabbit from a hat but she wondered if that was because she didn’t know any rabbits.

She became careless with her hiding and one day, the large black crow saw her at a window and started laughing uncontrollably. The noise attracted the groundskeeper who, seeing the bear said, “Ah ha! You’re the one who’s been trampling my garden!”

“No. I swear I’ve only been listening to lessons. Please. I want to keep learning magic.”

“If you’re not the one trampling my garden, than who is?” The large imposing man asked.

“I don’t know, but if you let me, I’ll find out and then maybe I can stay?”

The groundskeeper nodded.

It took less than a day of hiding for the bear to find out who was destroying the garden; it was a family of rabbits. They were tiny, scrawny looking rabbits. “Stop doing that!” she screamed and the rabbits all ran away.

That’s when she got an idea.

Borrowing the groundskeeper’s hat, she locked herself in a shed and started pulling the rabbits out of the hat. It worked and within moments she had a family of rabbits in the shed with her.

“A bear that does magic?” asked the littlest rabbit as its stomach growled.

“Yes and I can teach you how to do magic so you can find other food than the school’s garden.”

The bear taught the rabbits and the groundskeeper kept his word. Over the years, the old forest filled with animals who would come to learn magic from the great bear wizard.

She studied hard and despite the school never letting her in, she became its best teacher.

The moral of this story is simple: Never doubt a determined bear.

Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities are the expanded versions of stories I’ve told my children at night before bed. They’re short, silly, and were completely improvised in the telling.

The Teapot Chicken – Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities

In a realm of magic, in a time of heroes; lived an old cantankerous wizard named Myrka. Despite living in an ideal little village, close enough to the castle to buy anything she needed but far enough not to be disturbed, she hated people. Wanting nothing more than to be left alone in her small, comfortable cottage, to drink tea and read her books.

Unfortunately, as a Wizard, people always seemed to need her to heal something, fix something, find something, or just stop some ultimate evil.

Because of the drain on her time, people were constantly touching her things. They’d come into her home begging to turn their children back from frogs. (Despite the fact that those same children had been warned that kissing an enchanted frog was a terribly dangerous idea. She’d even done a very informative talk at the local schoolhouse.) While they were inside they’d start touching things. Leaving fingermarks all over the wizard’s books, paintings, or teapots.

One day, after one of the ungrateful townsfolk had a second head removed (How’d she get the second head? That’s another story and the wizard didn’t care to ask.) they touched her favourite teapot, a dainty little china number with pastel blue flowers. The dark black smears on the spout of the teapot made the wizard’s stomach roil and she had to throw out a perfectly good pot of tea.

The wizard finally had enough and decided to enchant the teapot. She took her time in deciding how, but finally settled on making the teapot turn into a chicken when touched by anyone but the wizard or her family.

Why a chicken you ask? Well they’re both cuddly and vicious at the same time. Like tiny dragons, with feathers. She named the teapot Tina and could be seen absentmindedly stroking its spout and lid while reading.

One day the ruler of the land decided she wanted something from the wizard. Despite the wizard doing everything in her power to make people think she wasn’t powerful, word had gone around and Queen Renelle the Sixth needed something.

The Queen didn’t send a messenger or a knight to bring the wizard to her, no; she and her personal guard, court wizard, royal band, and half her court, showed up one morning on poor Myrka the wizard’s doorstep.

The small cottage was only able to accommodate the Queen and two of her guards.

“Would you like some tea Your Majesty?” Myrka asked forgetting the rituals of the court. She had always been more interested in the workings of the magical universe, so it’s understandable that she not know that, in that queendom, when the Queen visits, she must serve her host.

Before anyone could say anything, the queen picked up the teapot, yes that one, and started to serve tea. The events that followed saw the Queen soaked in scalding tea regurgitated by an angry chicken, and the wizard imprisoned for attacking the Queen. Tina hovered off in a huff, pecking several guards on her way out.

The Queen promptly forgot about the Wizard, who was placed in the deepest part of the dungeons. So deep as to have no guards, light, food, or drink. Just a rotting smell from the other prisoners.

Thankfully for the wizard, Tina the teapot was fond of her. The little teapot forced herself into chicken form and made her way to the dungeons. It’s amazing how little attention people will pay to a random chicken and how a strong peck to the nose will dissuade predators.

The valiant teapot freed the wizard from the dungeons and the two headed back to their little cottage.

The thought of cursing the Queen came to the wizard’s mind, but in the end she decided that wherever there was a curse there was always a pesky hero trying to break it. Instead she cast a spell making everyone in the castle forget that she existed.

To avoid the same situation happening again, the wizard enchanted her cottage. The next time a royal knocked on her cottage, the entire thing sprouted legs and ran away.

The moral of this story is simple: Always warn your guests about spells placed on your dishware. Also, don’t bother a wizard while they’re relaxing with a cup of tea and reading.

Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities are the expanded versions of stories I’ve told my children at night before bed. They’re short, silly, and were completely improvised in the telling.

Only Human (Serial Story) Part 13 – Conclusion

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |
Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12

The circle glowed and bright lights erupted out of it as Tim and Ginny forced the lever down on his prototype Metaphysical Transfiguration device.

Rachel, still held by the neck by the Smiling Dark, felt oddly light. A feeling of joy and excitement ran through her. It was a feeling she hadn’t felt since she was a child.

* * *

It was Christmas morning. She and Natasha were sitting in painful anticipation for it to be seven AM. The time their parents told them they could wake them up.

“What do you think Santa brought us this year?” asked Rachel, vibrating with excitement.

“I don’t know, but I hope my motion sensor camera caught him doing it,” Natasha’s eyes sparkled with delight. “You know this is just a memory right?” she asked.

The question caught Rachel off guard. “Can’t I enjoy it?”

“This was my last Christmas…” Natasha trailed off.

“Am I dead?”

Laughing, Natasha said, “Always the optimist. No sweetie. You’re not dead… Not yet.”

“Are you real?” Rachel threw herself at her sister and hugged her.

“At the moment, anything you think of can be real. Now wake up.”

“I still miss you,” Rachel’s tears fell onto her sisters back as they hugged.

“I know, but I don’t miss you enough yet to have you join me. Wake up.”

* * *

The feeling of excitement and power was almost painful.

“What just happened?” asked the man in front of her. He was shadowed as if light didn’t enjoy touching him, but he was still just a man. His face looked like an aged movie star’s, his skin closer to grey than any real colour.

“I think you just became punchable.” She punctuated her quip with a punch.

Lightning crackled around her fist as it connected with the Smiling Dark’s face. It left small burn marks on his cheek. He fell to one knee, his smile disappearing for a moment, and said, “Just because I’m corporeal doesn’t mean I’m helpless.”

His arms reached out and shadows coalesced around his hands forming dark blades. He took a fencer’s stance and started moving towards her. She could see dark tendrils of shadow moving around him like some sort of Lovecraftian monster.

The machine had turned him into a monster that creates and manipulates shadow instead of being made of it. The belief of monsters all over the world that he existed was amplified. Rachel knew what had happened to him had happened to her. The belief of everyone on campus was that she was a demi-god, and she could feel the power of the gods inside her.

“Leave now and you can live.”

“I will have you one way or another.” He attacked and she parried with blades of lightning.

“Ew!” she exclaimed before adding, “I warned you.” Turning to her friends, she said, “Leave the room.”

They fenced, Rachel letting him think he could win, until everyone had left the room.

“I am darkness, shadow, and death. You can’t kill me.”

“I am a demi-god of lightning and energy. Let’s see if you can survive with so much light there isn’t room for shadows.” She reached deep into herself for her new power and pulled it out forcing it into a ball of pure lightning bright plasma around her. She let it expand and cover every millimetre of the room.

The Smiling Dark’s screams were drowned out by the crackle of power. When the entire room was light and electricity she tried to stop it and found she couldn’t. The energy went wild and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

* * *

“Thank you,” whispered her sister’s voice as Rachel started to wake up.

Everything hurt. Rachel opened her eyes to see that she was in her dorm. “She’s awake,” yelled Ginny. Her friends walked into the room followed by a large man with an eyepatch.

“How are you feeling?” asked the large man.

“I hurt, but I think I’m ok.” She was better than that; she knew her broken bones and cuts had healed completely.

“The ache will pass with time. It’s a side effect of returning you to your human self.”

“Ok.” It was all she could think.

“You fought well, Rachel, and for that I hold no grudge for you copying my son’s powers. Just don’t do it again.”

His son? Rachel’s eyes went wide. “Odin. Oh my…” she trailed off.

He chuckled. “If you so choose, your place in Valhalla is guaranteed.” With that, he disappeared.

“Way to go, you amused and impressed the All-Father,” Tim said, probably meaning it to be a joke, but sounding just as amazed as she felt.


“So whatever you did, vaporised my lab and the entire Transmutation building.” Tim still sounded amazed, and seeing her worried look, he quickly added, “Don’t worry about it. It happens more often than you’d think. Transmutation is a volatile area of study.”

“Dowan and I got everyone out in time,” said Ronnie smiling at Dowan.

“Naw, it was mostly you, man,” Dowan replied smiling back.

“Oh, get a room,” gagged Tim.

Turning to Tim, Ginny said, “That’s not a bad idea.” She cocked an eyebrow and crooked a finger. Tim turned bright red and rolled to the kitchen. They closed the door behind them as they entered the kitchen area.

Both Dowan and Ronnie looked uncomfortably around the room until she said, “I’m not up for a threesome.” Their eyes opened wide until they saw she was joking.

“Who would you have chosen?” Dowan asked, with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yeah,” smirked Ronnie.

“Me. If I had to choose someone to die, it would have been me.” The boys looked a little disappointed with her answer and she added, “If you’re asking who I choose now, I don’t know. I like both of you and I’ve had a long few days. Why don’t we have a few dates before I decide?”

“Ok,” they said at the same time.

“I’m not opposed to that threesome,” said Dowan, and he winked at Ronnie before disappearing.

Ronnie turned bright red, something Rachel thought vampires couldn’t do, and said, “Take care,” before walking out of the room still blushing. There would be a lot of time for her to choose. Avenging her sister made her feel more at peace than she’d ever thought possible, and now she was looking forward to her classes and flirting with two hot boys. Her life was looking pretty good.

Both Tim and Ginny were in the kitchen. Ginny walked back in and asked, “Anything I can do?”

“I’m ok. Thanks.”

“I’m glad you’re alive. Sorry you lost your god powers.”

“I’m not. I like being me. I like being Only Human.”

The End

Only Human (Serial Story) Part 12

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |
Part 10 | Part 11

Standing holding the heart of Rachel’s professor, the Smiling Dark said, “Shhh. That’s enough information for my new bride.”

Rachel, Dowan, and Ronnie stood there mouths agape for longer than they should have. The Smiling Dark was exactly what it sounded like; a Cheshire smile and piercing grey eyes surrounded by a semi-transparent shadow in the shape of a man.

“Bride?” asked Rachel, still in shock.

“Yes. I’ve been following and guiding you your entire life. I made sure you found what you needed to be strong and what you needed to grow stronger. I forged you through pain and combat until you became the woman you are. Now you’re almost ready to take your place at my side.”

“No!” she said sounding more confident than she felt.

“You don’t have much choice. You’ll do it. If not for yourself but for your friends,” the shadow sneered.

In a smooth motion Rachel pulled out and threw her mystical dagger. It should have hit the shadow right in the face but instead went through it and stabbed several books in the cluttered office.

The shadow laughed. “You cannot hurt me. I’m not corporeal. I’m an idea, a fear, I don’t work on your plane of existence unless I want to.”

Something about its words made her think of Tim but she didn’t know why and didn’t have time to think about it.

“Must make having a bride difficult,” snarked Dowan. “I mean what’s the point?”

“I will transform her to be like me and we will rule the world.” The shadow’s arms lifted and both Ronnie and Dowan were pulled up by their necks by an invisible force. “Rachel. You will be my bride or I’ll destroy anyone and anything you’ve cared about. The last woman to refuse me was Atlantean.”

“Scary. Put them down.” Again her voice was calm while she was terrified.

“Kill one and you’ll be ready.” When she hesitated, he laughed and added, “I’m not without a heart. You can keep one as a toy.”

The Smiling Dark, literally dangled two men in front of her. She’d known she’d have to choose between them eventually, but not like this. She’d hoped the other would still be her friend, not dead.

“The trickster is quite handsome but he’ll age and get old. The vampire will offer you decades of play time. Both will scream prettily for you.”

“I think you have me confused with someone else. I don’t want to hear them scream… in pain.”

“Not yet. Once you kill one, you’ll feel differently.”

Part of her relished the idea and it sickened the rest of her. Had her bloodlust and love of the hunt been because of the Shadow? Is he the reason she liked to kill?

Her stomach churned. How could she fight something that wasn’t corporeal; that was more of a metaphor?

“I’m not killing them! They’re my friends.” she said, and thought about all her friends.

“If you don’t, I’ll destroy everything you care about.” There was ageless patience in its voice.

“Can you give me time to decide?” She couldn’t think of a way out of this, if she couldn’t hurt it than she was helpless.

“Of course, my bride. You have one hour to decide.” Both men fell at the same time and the shadow was gone.

“I can’t believe that worked,” she mumbled.

“Good job getting more time,” choked Dowan.

“What do we do now? How do we beat that thing?”

“We don’t,” she replied. “But I know who will.”

She had a plan, based off sketchy information and half thought out, but it was a better than no plan at all.

* * *

“What does this thing do?” asked Dowan confused.

Looking up at him from his wheelchair, Tim sighed, “It converts belief to reality.”

“Isn’t that impossible?” asked Ronnie.

They were all standing in Tim’s lab. He was doing something with the electronic parts and all the knobs. Rachel didn’t fully understand was he was doing. Only that it could move the Smiling Dark into phase with them so she could punch it.

Shaking her head, Ginny said, “If people believe in something strongly enough, that belief can fuel the creation of something. It’s why we have gremlins; they were dreamed up through a combination of altitude sickness, lack of oxygen, and human belief. Over just a few years, all the pilots in world war one believed in their existence. A lot of the mythical races owe their existence to belief.”

“It’s called Gaiman’s Hypothesis of Metaphysical Transfiguration,” Tim added.

“Normally it takes years, sometimes lifetimes, for the belief to become real,” Ginny rubbed Tim’s shoulders as she talked. “Tim’s research is about speeding up or slowing down this process. The Smiling Dark is part way through and has found some way to influence the world.”

Ronnie looked at Rachel and tilted his head towards his sister and Tim, wiggling his eyebrows. Rachel gave him a smile.

“Wait, we want to make this thing more real?” asked Dowan, rubbing his throat.

“Yes. If he’s real, he can feel pain.” Rachel actually growled. She impressed even herself with the viciousness of the statement.

“Just make sure he’s standing in the middle of the collider,” Tim pointed at a series of tubes set in a perfect circle on the ground. There were wires coming from various parts of the tubes and magical glyphs on every surface.

“Don’t get trapped inside with it.” ordered Ginny.

“Why?” Rachel asked, and both Ginny and Tim shrugged.

“Time’s up, my bride.” The shadow appeared behind them, smiling, always smiling.

She had to figure out how to get him into the giant, really obvious, trap. “Remind me why you need a bride?” she asked to buy time and sidle towards the right place.

“Once your innocence has been taken—” he was cut off by snickers from all of Rachel’s friends. “Once you kill one of those you love, you’ll be ready to be my bride. We’ll combine and become one.” He moved with her, shadowing her movements.

“First, I’m still trying to decide if I like them enough to do more than kissing. I wouldn’t say I love them. And when you say combine and become one, you mean figuratively right?”

“My essence shall invade your body and we shall meld into a being of great strength and darkness.” If it was possible, its smile grew wider.

She was standing in the middle of the circle and the Smiling Dark was moving towards her. She was ready to throw herself out when his arm, composed of shadows and fear, reached out and grabbed her by her throat.

“Which of them have you decided to kill?” it asked, moving its entire body towards her.

“You!” she choked out. “Tim, now!”

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Only Human (Serial Story) Part 11

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |
Part 10

Ginny had fallen unconscious from blood loss. Rachel took her knife back up and shuddered at what she had to do next. She had to cut the flesh that had touched the holy oil. It infected and necrotised the flesh of a vampire, who were not actually undead.

After cutting up her best friend, she reached into the fridge for a bottle of artificial blood and fed it to Ginny. She woke up part way though feeding and screamed in pain. Her wound started to close slowly as security arrived.

She told them everything, except her being human and hunting for her sister’s killer.

When they left, Ginny insisted she stay in the same room. As she cuddled with the sobbing vampire, Rachel couldn’t help but feel like her quest to find her sister’s killer was hopeless.

* * *

There was no heat in the bed with Ginny. The extremely low body temperature of vampires must have been the root of the rumours about them being dead.

It was cold and Rachel was sore from her various fights of late. She’d come close to death that night. When Ginny had fallen asleep she got up and walked around, cleaned the kitchen, and did some studying.

When she went to the washroom, the toilet seat hurt her back. She rolled up the t-shirt she’d changed into and saw a perfectly circular bruise where she’d been hit by the wizard’s spell. It was as wide as her hand was long and just above her bellybutton. She touched it and it stung, the skin felt sensitive. It felt like she had burned her skin and bruised. Looking at her back in the mirror she saw that she had an identical bruise on her back.

“I hope this isn’t all in my head,” she whispered.

The whispered words connected with something inside her and she felt dizzy. A flash of memories burned into her brain.

* * *

“It’s all in your head, Natasha,” Rachel yelled at her little sister when the treehouse was empty.

The adult Rachel could see her younger self and sister arguing about the existence of what they’d always called cryptoids. Rachel was firmly convinced they didn’t exist, it took Natasha’s death to convince her.

Natasha was nine in this memory or vision and Rachel was eleven. It was when she’d stopped wanting to play at hunting mythical creatures.

Adult Rachel tried her best to ignore what was going on and not look at her sister. It hurt too much. Instead she concentrated on the treehouse, everything in it, and everything around it.

“You’re mean and I hate you!” yelled Natasha as she climbed down the rope ladder.

Younger Rachel rolled her eyes and yelled back, “You’re just a baby who still believes in monsters and fairies!”

As she watched the past, Rachel saw something behind her younger self. It looked vaguely human shaped but cloaked in shadows that shouldn’t exist on that bright summer’s day. As she watched in horror the shadow smiled a bright Cheshire cat smile at her younger self and slowly looked up at her. When she started to think it could see her, she said, “Can you see me?” It winked at her and she found herself once again looking at her bruise in the bathroom mirror.

Her phone rang.

* * *

“So I heard you and my sister cuddled last night. Should I be worried?” Ronnie asked as she distractedly walked across campus.

“Not from her,” replied Dowan appearing on the other side of her.

The two men followed her as she continued to walk. After her waking dream she’d contacted her divination teacher, who’d invited her to meet in the morning at her office.

“Ginny’s prettier than either of you, both of you should be worried.” Rachel said over their bickering.

Pulling a coffee from the air, Dowan asked, “How is she, by the way?” He was the one who’d called her after her vision.

Ronnie replied, “She’s fine. Tim’s with her.” When Dowan gave him a funny look, he added, “The little dude is awesome and makes her feel comfortable.”

“He has my gun and he’s a specialist in ‘Metaphysical Transfiguration’,” Rachel said shrugging.

“Do you know what that means?” asked Dowan.

“Do you?” snapped Ronnie.

“No,” replied Dowan.

“Me neither.”

Both of them burst out laughing and looked at Rachel. “He tried to explain it to me and I think I fell asleep. Something to do with changing things that aren’t tangible into something you can touch and manipulate.” Rachel couldn’t help joining into the laughter. The three of them had to stop walking they were laughing so hard.

Both men knew where she was going. She’d told Dowan when he called and she’d told Ronnie when he and Tim showed up to take care of Ginny.

The three of them walked in comfortable silence until they reached their teacher’s office in the Blue Wizards’ School of Divination and Illusion.

The office was small and cramped. It had four desks shoved in the middle together and it looked like the office was shared by multiple professors. The Hag, their teacher, was sitting with pink spectacles on her warty nose, grading essays.

They awkwardly filled into the room and Rachel told her all the details of her dream, or vision.

“Oh my dear. That’s terrible,” the Hag said, looking distraught.

“Am I getting visions or memories?” asked Rachel.

“Oh definitely a vision. You have great divinatory powers. It’s a rare power for a demi-god. Normally it’s a human trait.”


“Yes. Humans are the most powerful divinatory beings. They can feel the magic around them and use it instinctually. It’s fascinating they have no clue how powerful it is. They call it good reflexes, luck, or gut instincts, but it’s all because they’re more attuned to the magic of time and knowledge.”

“Wow,” said Ronnie.

“You’re human, aren’t you, dear?” the Hag asked.

Changing the subject, Rachel asked, “What about the Shadow Man I saw in my vision. Do you know who that is?”

“Yes but…” she trailed off. Sighing deeply she said, “It sounds like the Smiling Dark. Subridens Tenebris.”

Both men gasped and Dowan said, “That’s just a myth, right? A story that parents tell their kids to make sure they behave.”

“Says the trickster spirit, to the Hag, standing next to a vampire,” deadpanned Rachel.

Smiling, Dowan lifted his hands. “Good point.”

“How do I find it?” asked Rachel, feeling closer than she’d ever been before.

From the crowded bookshelf, a shadow moved. At first Rachel thought it was from the clouds shifting, but it was an overcast day. It floated behind the Hag, and in one swift movement pulled out her heart.

“Shhh,” said the shadow. “That’s enough information for my new bride.”

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Only Human (Serial Story) Part 10

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

After a night of dates and kissing, Rachel felt drained and tingly. She knew that the two men would want her to choose eventually; their fight in the cafeteria proved that, but for tonight she was going to bask in the rare attention.

Growing up in an orphanage and foster homes made it hard enough to make friends but being built like a professional linebacker meant not many boys had been interested in her. Add her fixation with finding what killed her sister and she made people uncomfortable. Apparently she didn’t make monsters uncomfortable, considering how the two men had been reacting.

They were both surprisingly good kissers, she thought, and couldn’t help but smile. Ronnie was gentle and attentive while Dowan was strong and passionate. She wondered if their kissing would be the same as their lovemaking. Even alone, she blushed at the idea.

The excitement of the day slowly washed over her and she started to feel drowsy. Her eyes felt heavy but her lips still tingled. “What a great way to fall asleep,” she thought.

On the border between reality and dreams she sat up. Fully awake her heart beat in terror. Something was wrong. She didn’t know what or why she thought it, but she trusted her instinct enough to get up and arm herself. She was thankful to have forgotten to change. It made re-arming much easier.

Once armed, she looked around, feeling a little silly. Slowly she walked across the room to her door and quietly opened it. It was dark but she could see a shadow moving. The light to the kitchen area was next to her door and she flicked the light bringing up her crossbow. She’d decided against the gun, not wanting anyone to investigate her.

The shadow froze as it was bathed in light. It was a man, dress in a long leather coat. He had black hair tied in a ponytail and he was carrying a giant knife in one hand and a large gun in the other, on his belt you could see these swiss army knives. Both the gun and the knife had strange swirling symbols on them. The moment she saw him she shot at him. He deflected the crossbow bolt with his knife and gave her a big smile.

“Ah! So you heard me coming. Good job.”

She didn’t reply, just reloaded the crossbow and shot again. He didn’t move, but the moment the arrow came close to his coat it flew off in a ninety-degree angle and hit Ginny’s door.

“I bet you didn’t expect it to be me?” He asked with a smug smile.

Opening her door, Ginny looked at the man and asked, “Who’s this guy?”

“I have no idea.” Rachel couldn’t remember where or if she’d seen the man before. He seemed a little familiar.

“What?” The man looked confused. “You’ve been following me since that first night.” The man was yelling. “You attacked my friend Sylar…” he trailed off.

“The Cyclops?” She asked.

“Yeah, and then you killed my roommate from Quebec.” He must have meant the thing attacking Tim. “I thought you were a Huntress and I’d heard they were territorial so I sent one after you, but you survived.”

“You didn’t kill my sister,” Rachel was disappointed.

“Of course not. I’m a wizard not a murderer. But tonight you walked into the Atlantean restaurant that I work at and I knew you were on to me.”

Moving at super-human speeds, Ginny appeared behind the man. She picked him up and said, “You’re an idiot and a jerk.” It looked like she was going to toss him at the door when he sliced down with his blade and cut deep into her thigh. She screamed and dropped him.

“Dipped in holy water and garlic oil,” he bragged as Ginny screamed and bled.

Knowing that she had to act quickly if she was going to save Ginny, Rachel said, “Impressive, did you make those yourself?” she gestured with the crossbow at his weapons and coat.

Puffing up, he said, “Yeah. Nice aren’t th—”

He was cut off by her dropping the crossbow and unsheathing her knives. The enochian runes glowed as she sliced at the gun first. It was obviously not spelled and her knives cut through it easily. With the biggest threat to her life gone she proceeded to position herself between the crazy wizard and Ginny.

“The gun wasn’t important. A prepared wizard can’t be defeated,” he said, his voice cracking.

Lunging at him, she cut through the runes on his coat and nicked his side. She saw blood darkening his shirt. “What were you prepared for?” Since he’d made his own equipment, she knew her weapons, which she’d gotten blessed and spelled by four separate expert practitioners, were more powerful than anything he could have made alone.

“I added some dragon blood to the blade and prepared a spell for you,” he smirked.

Rachel almost laughed, but managed an approximation of worry. He still thought she was a demi-god. Dragon’s blood was one of the only ways to kill a demi-god.

He started a spell, “Propter quam causam admoneo te tu me fascinavit. Tu melius prohibere ea quae facis. EGO iustus non potest stare , tu mihi semper.” It had an almost lyrical sound to it.

His blade glowed with power that shot from it and hit her before she had a chance to move. The energy hit her and went straight through her.

“Nice tune but you can’t really dance to it.” She said it seriously, but inside, was extremely happy to finally get off a good quip. She was also happy to be alive.

“That should have paralyzed you…” He stepped back and hit the wall.

Advancing on him, she brought up both her blades. He half-heartedly lifted his and she sliced through it easily. Sheathing a blade, she grabbed his throat and said, “I’m going to tell you this once and only once. I’m not out to get you. These were all coincidences. The only person I plan on hunting is the one who killed my sister.” He tried to nod. “Now you’ve hurt my best friend and made the best day of my life a little worse. I want you to promise me you’re never going to come after me again.” When he didn’t say anything or move, she squeezed a little and he gargled.

She let him go.

“I won’t come after you again.” His eyes were on the ground.

“Good. Now don’t move.” She tied him up and called campus security.

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