Friday, March 25, 2016

Duel


Feb. 3, 2016

"Wait - just wait, this should work," Phil took out the pipet and let a small droplet of smoking greenish liquid drop into the crystal decanter. It began to simmer and the mixture turned an interesting shade of seafoam green and the smell of cinnamon toast permeated the air, eliciting a groat from the aforementioned Phil.

He hurriedly began to paw through his leather satchel. Bottles clinked together, and there was the audible sound of glass crunching, and a liquid the color of moldy cheese dripped out of the corner his pack and began burning pits in the marble floor.

"Nice try," said Angie, pulling her wand out. She began tracing a series of complex runes in the air as Phil glanced over at her.

"No, no - you aren't even getting the declensions right," he snapped.

Without  thinking he placed his hand on top of hers, banished two runes, then re-drew the incantation in its correct format. Her eyes widened and she turned a dangerous shade of magenta.

"How very dare you!" said Angie.

"I'm not the one butchering the ancient texts," he said.

"Says the guy who turns a potion of Lung Rot into potpourri?" she said back, pushing her frizzy blue hair out of her void-black eyes. "For Lung Rot, you need to simmer the mandrake stock for an hour before adding the drake's blood. Any hedgewitch could tell you that."

"Well, you'd know," he snorted.

She finished the rune work, reached into her pocket and then tossed some chalky gray dust at Phil. He coughed, and wiped it from his face, pulling his spectacles off and began to hastily rub them on his robe, but the dust smeared greasily all over the lenses. The more he rubbed, the worse it got.

"No! Not my Vision-Sense oculi! Do you know how much these cost?!" he cried.

"You got the Vision-Sense?" she asked, the anger replaced by intrigue and concern.

"You ruined them," said Phil, unable to keep his eyes from brimming with tears. 

"Let me see them," Angie said, holding out her hand, her talons had retracted and Phil handed over his specs. She held them up to the light, whispered three complicated, forbidden words and Phil could faintly hear terrified screaming, and then the greasy mess seemed to vaporize, leaving the lenses clear.

"What did you do?" he asked, peering over her shoulder.

"I told the bacteria that caused the mess that I would make them evolve into multi-celled organisms if they didn't fix it. They hate that," she said.

"Oh, that's brilliant," murmured Phil as he reapplied his glasses. "Oh, these are much clearer."

"They do good work when they're in a panic," said Angie. "Look, Philip, I know I said I was going to hex you into next semester. I'm sorry. Finals have really been getting to me."

"I know how you feel. The project that Dark Lord B'Rudd is having me do - I'm going to be transsubstantiated before this semester is over," he said absently screwing and unscrewing a bottle of glowing blood of the dread Thrax beetle.

"Wait, is it the summoning of the unmentionable evil from the edges of reality?" asked Angie.

Phil went still and his eyes widened. "How did you know?"

"He assigns the same thing every semester because he's lazy. I still have my notes from last year. Do you need them?" she asked, adjusting her backpack, causing some rats to chitter at her before running down her pack, and hopping onto the summoning floor and disappearing into a small opening in the wall.

"Do I? Angie, that would literally save my soul - I haven't been able to do an effective binding in... Well, I can't," said Phil.

"Yeah, let me dig them out of my room," she said.

His face filled with glee, then doubt and suspicion.

"How do I know you aren't going to trick me?" he asked, and another expression - a cross between embarrassment and wincing crossed his face in the other direction as soon as the words left his mouth, blotchy red climbed up his neck and bloomed in patches across his face. "I mean... we were just -"

She gave him a steady look with her odd, black stare.

"I'll need you to drill me on the runic declensions and then we'll be even," she said. "I can swear on... Drat. I traded my soul for extra credit. What else would work?"

"Your mother's soul?" he asked.

She clapped her hands together and grinned, "Perfect!"

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