Here Lies Augustus, Better Off Dead

  "I've listened to your request a hundred times Madalein, and my answer remains the same; I shant do it.  The risk is too great."

  Augustus sat with his feet on the ebony table, his brown hair obscuring his eyes, giving him the appearance of being deep in thought.  To keep himself focused, he twirled a pen in his fingers.  In front of him, an elderly woman with black veil looked solemnly at the banished warrior.

  "And I'll keep begging you!  Please, my son still hasn't been able to eat or drink anything!  He's nearing death!  I've heard that your void mystic is very powerful, surely you can move a cup's worth of water and a slice of bread into his stomach!"  Madalein pleaded again.

  "Powerful yes," Augustus muttered as he leaned forward,"accurate, no.  This mystic isn't for medicine, and I've never even heard it tried."

  "The doctor has said this sickness won't run it's course for another three moons!  He can't wait that long for water!"

  Augustus waited quietly for  a moment.

  "You really want me to try this?"

  "Yes!"  She said, standing excitedly.

  "Then I'll try it.  Though his blood will be on your hands should I fail.  Expect me in an hour."

  The sun was already falling into the desert by the time Augustus arrived, the sky a bright orange as he tapped on the wooden shack's door.

  A tall, blond man with blood on his silvery gloves greeted him, showing him into the unfurnished bedroom where a pale child slept on a tiny thatch mat.

 "You really think this might work?"  The doctor asked as Augustus brushed the boys brown hair back.

  I don't know was what Augustus thought, but he answered;"Yes."

  On two small clay plates was the ground bread, and in a tall flower shaped glass was the murky water.  Probably worse for him.  Augustus handed the pen to the doctor.

  "Could you mark where his stomach would be?"

  The doctor pulled down the little blankets and drew an approximate circle where he should void both items.

  "The bread should be mulched enough for him to digest it."  He said, handing the pen back and sitting against the wall.

  Augustus didn't hear, he was too busy thinking.  In his eyes, he saw no boy, or flesh, but a little cylinder of light amongst the darkness.  His left hand grabbed a handful of crumbs and then, in a flash of black energy, they were gone.

  The boy shifted uncomfortably, but other than that, nothing seemed to happen.  The doctor's eyes widened and a bit of a smile crept over his lips.

  Augustus went right onto the water.  He waved the doctor over and handed him the cup, then made his hands into a bowl.

  The doctor poured carefully, the dirty water flowing though his imperfect basin.  Another flash and the water reappeared.  But not where it should have been, it rematerialized in the air and fell like rain over them.

  "What happened!"  The doctor yelped, backing away.

  "Formless things are hard to move.  Get me another glass."

  There was a little knock at the doorway, it was Madalein, who carried another little glass.

  Once again, the doctor took it, and poured.  Augustus registered the liquid, and how it rested at that moment in his hands.  He saw the little tube of light in his mind again, and then the water was gone.  In his mind, fear of what happened dominated.  Images of the boy coughing up the misplaced water appeared.

  "By Father's Sin.   I think you've done it."

  The child grumbled a bit, but then turned over and went back to sleep.  Madalein's mouth was open, but no words came out.  Her eyes watered, and she embraced Augustus tightly.

  Night fell and Augustus saw that the boy was doing better.  His fever had calmed, and it seemed he was past the worst stages of the sickness.  Although Augustus's emotions ran wild because of his mystic, he felt a definite happiness at that moment.  He left after receiving many thanks from Madalein, and a canister of polluted water.

  The moonlight illuminated his black tunic in the dust as he trudged through the sands.  His body was weak from the focus and exertion the day had imposed.  As he came over one particularly large dune, another cloak caught his eye in the distance.  The figure approached steadily, waving a wrapped hand at Augustus.

  The two met in the dip between each hill.  They stared at each other for a moment before the void user spoke.

  "Ar, what is your reason for contacting me?"

  "A minute little bit of information passed through the capital today.  A lizard struck down another caravan."

  Augustus crossed his arms,"few dead merchants, hows it any of my business?  I told you to alert me when something substantial happened."

  "That wasn't the interesting part."  Ar the informant grinned.


  "It was the kings response.  He wants to take the war to the lizards."

  Under his dark hood, Augustus raised an eyebrow,"is that so?  It is substantial news."

  "I believe this was exactly what you were searching for."

  Augustus nodded and withdrew the bag of silver orbs he owed.  Then he left for the horizon, with high spirits in his soul.

  Redemption is close at hand, the hand that draws the blade fastest.


The End

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