Authors: Daniel B Harris
Davie the Mage
Copyright © 2014 Daniel Harris
All rights reserved.
To my wife and kids who not only tolerate my insanity, encourage it!
A special thank you to my editor who wasn’t insane until I started this project
To my photographer for his endless submissions and love of the setting sun. My thanks, J.R.Wolfe.
I’d like to thank my brothers for playing fantasy games with me when we were kids, my parents for letting me read absolutely everything and my wife for forgiving the light at all hours of the night.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
ike my big brother before me, I wasn’t ready to be tied to a desk! Even if the desk was in a luxurious castle with maids and servants at my beck and call, it didn’t sound fun. When the time came for my brother James to be assigned to the Lordship of a castle, he took a trip to No Man’s Land and then across the ocean. Along the way he met a beautiful young lady and married her. He now has his castle, consorts, wife and children. I didn’t know if I wanted any of those things yet. I’d decided that Davie Stephenson, the son of David and Alba, was going on a trip of his own.
The trip that I’d decided to take had taken a lot of research and many hours of listening to my father’s stories about the land that he came from. You see, I’d decided to try to travel to his realm and explore. I knew that it would be completely different from what I’d grown up with and that the people would be strangely different. I’d have to learn many things in order to even interact with them on any level. I believed that my magic would still work and that would be the first thing I checked when I got there. If it didn’t, it would make for a short trip. Growing up a magical child of the king and a princess, both Wizards of Eredwynn, would make me helpless without my magical abilities.
Father had explained that the people from his realm feared anything that they didn’t understand and since magic didn’t exist there, I knew I’d have to hide it well. I’d been working with my brother Seth on my remote viewing skill and had learned to locate an object just by thinking about it. The fairy rings from my father’s stories could be found all over the place and I could find them with a simple picture in my mind. Seth had been quite curious about what my plans were and I’d hinted a bit. I would let father know that he could locate a ring, in case they had to come to the rescue.
I packed my bag with clothes that the tailor helped with. She remembered my father’s clothes from when he’d first arrived in Valeview and patterned the ones she made me after them. She thought that I was just going through some nostalgic dress-up phase and I was happy to let her think that. I packed rations for several days, a dagger, because a knife would always come in handy and some money. I knew that gold coins wouldn’t be used to buy items in my father’s realm but that the people there would trade gold for something called dollars. Father had explained that two of our gold coins were an ounce of gold, and that was worth over a thousand dollars in his realm. I was taking two hundred gold coins and should have around a hundred thousand dollars’ worth. I hoped that would be enough for a short trip. I wasn’t going to take any platinum because I was under the impression that platinum wasn’t something that the general public had ready access to. I threw in a bedroll, since I knew that I’d be sleeping in the woods while I learned about the people of the kingdom of the United States. Dad said that it wasn’t called a kingdom but whatever the political climate of the place, I wasn’t interested. All packed up, I went to see my father.
I located him in the kitchen, having breakfast in his favorite hiding place. He always loved hanging out with the servants and said that it helped him realize how much they did for us every day.
“Good morning, Father. I thought I’d find you in here!”
“Well, good morning, Davie! You’re up and around fairly early this morning. And since you’re carrying a pack, I can deduce that you’ve heard that Lord Tassin’s castle might be opening up soon. So are you planning on going to No Man’s Land like James did or do you have another destination in mind?”
“Sometimes you frighten me with your ability to know what we’re thinking! Actually, I am planning on going to your old realm and seeing what it’s like.”
“Son, you know that could be even more dangerous for you than going to play with dragons across the mountains! Have you thought this through and planned accordingly?”
“I’ve listened to all your stories, Father, and I think I’ll be okay. I plan on staying invisible for a while, until I can learn how the people interact. I don’t even know how they buy and sell, but neither did you when you first came to Eredwynn. I’ll have to learn how to do all those things. I have clothes and a means to get money, so I hope to pass as a normal citizen. I have also decided if my magic won’t work, I’ll come right back. I know that going into a dangerous situation unprotected would be foolish.”
Father sighed, “Have you told your mother?”
“Tell the Princess Alba that her only son is going off on a trip to another realm? I think that would be as foolish as staying in your realm if my magic didn’t work! She’d have me chained in a dungeon somewhere and have my magic nullified. I doubt that’s possible, but it could almost be that bad. I plan on telling her that I’m going when I get back. It sounds like the safest course to me.”
Father sighed again and shook his head. “But you’ll tell me, knowing that I’ll have to be honest with her, if she asks. You boys are going to make me bald, and then your sisters are going to notice boys and I’ll be driven insane. Oh the joys of parenthood, but I wouldn’t give one of you up for anything. It seems that you have thought through the basics of your plan. When are you leaving?”
“I’ve already had breakfast and was just waiting to talk to you. I’ll admit I’m nervous but I feel that it’s something I need to do before settling into a castle. I’ve been sixteen for four months and it’s time to do this. I’ll be leaving now.”
Father and I stood and hugged each other. He said, “If you weren’t nervous I would be more so. Nerves will keep you on your toes. Just remember that while you’re there, expect to be lied to. People aren’t exactly honest, I’m afraid.”
“Thank you for understanding, Father. I love you, and give Mother my love when she beats my location out of you. I’ll see you soon.” I backed away, focused on the closest ‘fairy ring’ and ported.
Standing in the early morning chill of fall, looking at the ‘fairy ring’ that was supposed to transport me out to the realm of my birth, caused fear. Fear of the unknown is the worst kind of fear there is! I’d rather face orcs than deal with the unknown! But there I was, breathing deeply and preparing for an adventure. Finally, I stepped up and spun in the circle. The birds that had been singing all around me were gone but that was the only difference that I could tell. I didn’t even know if the thing had worked but I had to assume that it had. I
and the spells worked exactly as expected. If I had crossed over, that was a promising sign that I could actually visit my father’s realm safely.
I was in a clearing exactly like the one I was in before I had turned the circle and knew that looking around was the only way to see where I was. I started walking to the east and saw strange houses right away. There were dogs barking and a strange roaring sound in the background. I climbed a slight incline and walked between two houses. There was a black strip across the land between houses and I determined it had to be a road of some sort. A metal box on wheels roared down the road faster than a horse could run! It stopped at a crossroads in front of a sign that was conveniently marked ‘stop’. I could see children inside looking through the clear glass, or what I figured was glass. I didn’t know if I’d ever want to be in a noisy box on wheels but when I saw children inside, I assumed they must be safer than they looked. I was already seeing so many things that I’d only heard about, I was slightly overwhelmed.
I walked along the side of the road, following it toward the larger buildings that must be the center of town. The boxes that dad had called ‘cars’ whizzed past me at an alarming speed. They must have been traveling at forty miles an hour!
I found a large building with a picture of an apple on the front of it. People were walking in and out of doors that seemed to open on their own. I would have suspected magic if I hadn’t been assured that it didn’t exist here. I’d been told that most of what I’d see that looked like magic was just science and easily explained. I walked to the door, but since I was invisible it didn’t open for me. I waited for someone to walk in and followed quickly behind them. Being careful to avoid people who couldn’t avoid me, I made my way into the building. It was laid out in different rows with numbered signs hanging above them. Food was located on all the rows! Judging by the amount of food in this one building, this society must not have a problem with hungry people! As I wandered, I listened to the people talk. Some of the words I didn’t understand but judging by the inflection, they must have been obscenities. They were uttered in front of ladies and children and sometimes by ladies and children! This society did have a problem with respect, and I’d heard that from Father quite often.
I located where the people paid for their purchases and positioned myself in an out of the way place where I could watch. I floated up eight feet above the lines and could see everything that was done from there. Most people paid for their purchases with a card of some sort that they would run through a machine. That didn’t sound like the money that I’d been told about. I finally got to watch as a parchment with numbers printed on it was passed to the clerk. She then counted back the same type parchment with lower numbers and a few coins. I watched dozens of transactions and finally thought I had things figured out. I was getting hungry, as it must be getting close to noon, so I exited the store behind a leaving patron.
I went airborne because it seemed the safest way for me to travel and flew to a large park. I checked for people and dropped my
. I pulled food out of my pack and since I had it opened, I grabbed four coins. Judging from the last store, a couple thousand dollars should last a while. Now I just had to locate a place that bought gold coins, or just gold. I sat quietly and ate, watching as parents brought children to play. Some of the kids played games that I was familiar with but there were others, carrying some object in their hand, I didn’t understand. They would run around hiding behind trees yelling ‘bang’ at each other and then one would fall on the ground as if he’d been killed. I couldn’t understand why parents would let their children act like they were killing each other! Where I came from we played games that showed love and devotion to family. I found the whole thing confusing.