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  • Writer's pictureC.A. Lightfoot

Excerpt from Dark Ember

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Keeping the flowing vision of moving earth in his mind, Jonas closed his eyes and spoke the spell-word.


Something in his chest had been building, his focus too concentrated on the image of the dirt to notice. Once the spell-word was spoken, however, the magic expanding within him unleashed itself. Raw power erupted from his outstretched hand. The stone clutched in his palm vanished as the spell consumed it, but in its wake, he felt a bone-deep burning he hadn’t been prepared for.

Jonas’ eyes snapped open, a yelp jumped from his throat.

What appeared to be half of the lakefront before him had risen from the earth, leaving a massive crater in the ground. The soil and grass undulated ominously above him, as though awaiting the order to slam into something. Jonas’ hand screamed with pain, the magic unleashed from within him burning. His book had nothing to prepare him for this outcome. The ball of dirt looked as though it would explode at any second.

Unsure what to do, Jonas reached into his pocket for his phone, though he had no idea if it would work here.

Before he could get his hand on the device in his pocket, an alien sound broke through the shock. The sucking noise was akin to pulling a boot from mud, but much louder. Jonas spun where he stood, noting that the tall, Elven princess was coming to his aid.

Her hands were thrust before her as the air she’d stepped through shimmered and rippled much like the boulder-sized ball of earth did before him.


Drusilla’s voice was soft, but the command in that one word was undeniable. The writhing mass of earth stopped undulating, but it remained spinning above the crater it made beneath it.

The princess held her hand out to Jonas, beckoning him to take it in his. He wasted no time, stepping back and threading her slender fingers with his.

“Undoing another’s spell can be taxing, and you’ll learn nothing if I fix it myself.”

Relieved by the kindness in her words, Jonas took his place beside her. Her hand was warm and steady, even as his trembled uncontrollably. She eyed the writhing mass of earth with nothing more than an upturned eyebrow.

“You’ll need to cancel the spell. Try to remain calm. Visualize the earth returning to its place softly, gently. The word you must use is nule.”

Jonas repeated the word to himself, concentrating on that “ooo” sound in the middle. He tried to calm his racing heart and frantic mind, the magic zinging through his body. His vision of the earth drifting down stayed at the forefront of his thoughts.


There was a sound like a shotgun blast. Jonas lifted his hands to cover his face as the earth around him shattered. Soil and grass rained down from above, the particles once writhing in the air drifting down slowly toward the earth.

Beside him, Drusilla was obviously trying to not dissolve into giggles.


Thanks for reading!


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