Writing in Public, Story 5, Scene 3
Eleri insisted she was all right. She was a little shaky and had only been out a minute. Her magic felt like she’d been in a lightning storm and everything was standing on end. But Morgan insisted on returning to the camp and hovered at her elbow like he expected her to fall. “There was something there,” she told him over breakfast the next morning. Morgan insisted on making breakfast. That told her how scared he’d been. She’d made every meal on this trip to practice her skills. Breakfast was cornmeal mush, using some of their existing water supplies and heated on the campfire. He added a sprinkle of brown sugar, which Eleri liked better than the maple syrup. “What do you think it was?” Morgan sipped from a tin cup of tea. The time overnight had given Eleri time to think about what she had experienced. Her gut kept coming back around the to the same thing. “Magic.” Her words fell into silence. The fire popped, startling Morgon into asking, “But how does magic end up going down a stream?” All Eleri could do was shrug. There was only one way to find out. The moon hung faded in the western sky, like it wasn’t quite ready to leave them. Eleri found it a comforting presence as she and Morgan hiked back out to the creek. She found the spot easily enough. Her magic remembered it and wanted nothing to do with it. In daylight, she could see what night hadn’t let her: There was an object caught under the root of the trees. It looked to be metal, and was shaped like a ball, and about the same size as one. Morgan used a small fishing net to catch the object and bring it ashore, being careful not to touch it. Two metal bowls had been fastened together to form the ball shape. Rust covered it, and in one place, it had gone through the metal. Eleri knelt next it, trying to see inside the hole. Couldn’t see a thing. Could feel the magic. “It’s filled with something,” Morgan said. “I felt it moving around when I pulled it in.” “It’s similar to the helmet you found yesterday,” she said. “What if it’s from the war? An old weapon?” The problem was that it was still killing. They had to find it before more reached their village.
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