Chapter One, Part ThreeMature

A cloud of dark smoke issued from the place it was standing, flinging it into the air in a violent acrobatic convulsion of black plumes and splintering wood. Its brief scream pierced the Illinois twilight, and then a howling orange flame burst up over the camp grounds. 

“Anyone up for s’mores?” I managed. Then I fell face first into the mud. 

After a moment of silence, Michael’s voice arrived with the rest of the normal night noises, but my left ear, the one the treant had blown, was the only one upright and not filled with mud. Basically, the reception was low, by that point. 

“Harry, you set the forest on fire. Mab called Molly- she left, but she wasn’t thrilled. Your nose is bleeding from the adrenaline punch. Are you strong enough to-“ 

Grumbling a friendly Mab-shaped curse which filled my mouth with squelchy, squishy mud, I then called up the Winter Mantle just long enough to sit up, wave my hand, and whisper, “Ventus iclo procellus!” 

The energy of the spell left me, and I felt the steady, dim crackle of fire over where the treant had fallen stop along with the rain again- my magic had drawn the moisture out of the surrounding storm front, just like I’d planned. Then a shivering fit shook all six foot nine of my timbers, and I ran out of breath with a grin, falling back into the mud again with my butt in the air. 

The moon shone down on my other face for a minute, and then I passed out.


The End

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