... Conjure up a key to open the door to let you out

You need a key to get out of this nasty cell. You're a mage, a sorceress, you can conjure up a key. You have a vague feeling that there's something you have to do, and it's urgent. You close your eyes and try to focus on how to pull a key out of thin air, when shouting from a cell nearby breaks your concentration.

"ROOM SERVICE ... ROOM SERVICE!"

The voice sounds young. You chuckle and decide that the shouter is either naive, stupid, or very very brave. You've heard that voice before, at court. The sudden split second of memory gives you pause. What court, where? You furrow your brow, trying to remember. Shouting outside draws your attention back to the window.

There's a commotion below in the street, just to the left of your cell. You can't get your head out through the narrow space between the iron bars. You can hear everything, but you can't see much. With an irritated gesture, you mutter a few words, and the bars disappear! You look out through the open space in amazement. Apparently magic comes as second nature to you, without even thinking about it. You decide this is valuable information, best kept secret.

Down in the street, there is a pretty maid with a basket, looking up toward someone speaking out of a cell window similar to yours. The guards below don't like the prisoner talking to the girl, and one of them shouts, "PEYTON, LEAVE HER BE!"

Recognition of the name startles you, and your body jerks backward. Your head barely clears the window space before the bars reappear. You stare at the newly reinstated bars in consternation. What would have happened if your head had still been in the window when the bars suddenly grew back? They could have choked you, because they are so close together. Worse yet, they could have sprouted right through your head! You shudder. You have to get your memory back before your own magic gets you killed.

You return to your cot and sit down, with your head in your hands. Peyton. The name rings a bell, but what steeple is it ringing from? You hear shouting, as guards run past your door. You look in that direction, to see the sun shining through the window on a small patch of wooden flooring. A thick slab of wood holds a metal plate, and metal cup. No utensils. It hardly matters, since a huge brown rat sits on the now empty plate, staring at you arrogantly. You glare back, trying to remember if you're afraid of rats or not.

Your stomach growls. You're hungry. You consider turning the rat into breakfast with a spell, but your mind goes blank. Your magic eludes you. Perhaps you can only perform magic inadvertently. You stomp your foot in frustration. The rat scurries away and disappears into a gap in the mortared stone walls.

You sigh heavily. You have to get out. You try to remember what you did to make the bars disappear. You close your eyes and envision yourself pulling at the bars, trying to look out. Ah yes. You remember cursing at the bars and wishing them to go away. You look at the door and wish it to go away. Nothing. You curse at the door and wish it to go away. Still nothing. What you really need is a key, as you had decided earlier. A heavy ring full of brass keys suddenly materializes in your lap. You jump up in surprise, and the keys jangle to the floor in a noisy heap.

You hear guards pause outside your door, where one remarks to the other, "Where's them keys gone?" you immediately pounce on the key ring on the floor, and ...

The End

40 comments about this story Feed