Felix and the 49 bade farewell to Llywelyn the land-whale at the south entrance to Flockboast. The ride was surprisingly comfortable but Llywelyn had been rather talkative. After dropping them off he stomped over to a nearby gumboom and fell asleep. Felix could make out the sea not far from the western side of the road. He breathed in the salty air. Jean sat next to him and said: “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Dali the Impressive had already stripped and was bolting toward the crashing waves. Alas, they couldn’t admire the splendid vista for long as angry yells at the entrance begged their attention.
“You shalln’t pass!” bellowed a wizard in a red robe and hat in a way that was almost cliché.
“But, I have wares to sell!” retorted an angry trader.
“How will these wares benefit Flockboast?”
“Cauliflower is an important part of anyone’s diet.” the trader said holding up a cauliflower to prove his point.
“Not important to me!” said the wizard, “Now leave!”
“Come on, I have a wife and kids.”
“We’ve all got problems. Now begone!” The cauliflower trader was adamant and tried to push past the wizard. He had gone too far. The wizard spoke his incantation and with a soft ‘fwump’ the trader collapsed to the floor as a cauliflower.
“Now, what do you have to offer that will benefit the city?” the wizard said with a cold nonchalance that exuded a lack of remorse or possibly boredom.
Wizards are a bit strange but at the same time fairly commonplace on the Gnome Archipelago. Anyone can become a wizard (if their marks are good enough). Being accepted at The Prestigious School of Assorted Magix (PSAM) on Hat Island is an honour, or so they say.
Benefits include: meeting like-minded wizards; getting wizard discounts and if you’re lucky enough the cream of the crop may get a half decent job. The Prestigious School of Assorted Magix has many faculties that will go unnamed until the author can think of some.
Like all wizards, this one had blue skin, a result of extended exposure to Hat Island’s cold environment. This particular wizard, Harold, has a degree in Applied Transformation Magix with a major in Ice Block Manipulation. Unfortunately, his thesis on changing water into ice, which wasn’t well received by his colleagues on Hat Island, a place perpetually covered in snow heavy enough to cling to the thickest thickets, was never published. Moreover, if you thought that sentence was clunky you should have read his thesis. Somehow, Harold had landed a job as an entrance wizard at Flockboast City’s South Entrance. The pay wasn’t great but he did get to practise his art. “Forget all this wizard nonsense and inherit the business!” His father the foul fowl trader had said. These words repeatedly reverberated thru his skull resulting in a perpetually poor mood and consistent contempt for all types of traders.
“Excuse me, wizard.” Felix asked politely.
“What? Who said that?” Squawked Harold.
“Down here. I am Felix. I have come…”
“Gah!” The wizard shrieked. “A talking cat!”
Harold recalled at that moment a line in his textbook. “Felines with the ability to speak are cursed” (Hecate, WA 34).
In an instinctual flurry he unleashed a bolt of Magix at Felix. There was a flash and a soft ‘fwump’ as Harold fell to the floor. No longer a wizard but a bowtie.
Harold the bowtie disdained as he remembered the next line of that transcription. “…and you should never Magix against them.”(Hecate, WA 34).
Felix picked up the bowtie (Harold). “That would look good on you.” Jacques the Scarred said eyeing it thoughtfully. Felix nodded his agreement, attached the defeated bowtie and entered through the unguarded doors to Flockboast and the end of the chapter.
A lone cauliflower sighed…
Hecate, (WA 34). Introduction to Magix. 17th ed. Hat Island: Prestigious School of Assorted Magix, p.394.
Note: WA 34: Weapon Age Year 34 (34 years after the slaying of the Slain)