Abigail stood outside for a moment longer, then reality sunk in. The animals! Hiking up her skirt she darted toward the barn. She barely made it in when a lightning bolt struck right where she had been standing. “Hey watch it!” she wanted to shout at the sky. The thunder seemed to be reading her mind, for right then it boomed in response! She shuddered and quickly battened down the barn windows and secured the animals. Abigail fought against the wind to close the barn doors. “Ugh!” She exclaimed as the dead bolt slid into place. She ran across the yard and into the kitchen of the Royal Dragon.
“Abigail, where have you been?” Her mother asked “I was getting worried about you.”
“I was just taking care of the animals in the barn. How are things in the dining room?”
“Okay, other than some broken plates and spilled food. Would you grab a broom and start cleaning up, please? I’ll start cleaning things up in here.” She motioned toward the pots and pans that were spilled all over the floor and counter.
She picked up the fallen mirror in the dining room, and looked at herself briefly. She stood 5’ 5” in her socks, was average in build with wavy brown hair and vivid green eyes. She once overheard someone say she was “Plain to the point of forgettable”, which was fine by her. Abigail hung the mirror back on the wall, fixed her tousled hair and returned to straightening the room.
As she swept, her mind buzzed with a hundred questions, foremost among them was “What in the world is going on?!”
Tomorrow she would go and see Martin. If anyone would know what this thing was Wizard Martin would!
“Lizzie?!” Tallie called across the ruble of trees in what was once a clearing. The earthquake had brought some of the old trees down around the mouse family’s home. “Lizzie?!” Tallie called again.
“Here I am!” Lizzie stood up from behind a fallen tree. Her parents and siblings followed.
“Are you alright?”
“I….I think so. How about you? What just happened?” Lizzie asked
“Oh I’m fine” Tallie smiled “I’ve never seen anything like that before!”
“Well, is there anything we can do?” asked Lizzie
Suddenly Lizzie began hunting around under the fallen tree, gradually becoming more frantic in her search.
“What are you looking for?” Tallie asked
“My book! I can’t find my book!” Lizzie exclaimed.
“Let me fly up and see if I can find it.” Quick as a flash Tallie was in the air, her keen eyes searching the rubble for the book. “Aha! I see it.” She swooped down and plucked it up in her beak.
“Thank you! I’d hate to lose it, I haven’t finished it and the ending seems quite promising!”
Tallie laughed gently. If there was one thing her friend was known for other than being shy, it was her passionate love of books! Lizzie joined in the laughter; they often knew what the other was thinking! Their inside joke was interrupted by Lizzie’s father.
“Lizzie! We’d best be getting into the house, it’s late and starting to turn cold!”
“Yes dad! I’m coming, right away!” Lizzie replied.
Tallie and Lizzie said their goodbye’s and each went to their own homes. Tomorrow was a Saturday and they agreed to meet then.
The next morning after chores and an early breakfast Tallie and Lizzie met beneath the large willow tree near the river, Gorm Domhain, The Deep Blue.
“Last night’s events were so strange” Lizzie was saying. “I keep thinking about what it might have been!”
“I was also!” After a moment of silence Tallie said “I’ve heard there’s a wizard of incredible wisdom who lives near the edge of the forest. Perhaps he would know what it was?”
“Perhaps... You weren’t thinking of going to see him, were you?!” Lizzie asked.
“I’m not sure about this!” Lizzie said. She was becoming more uneasy about this whole idea the closer they got towards the Wizard’s house.
“I’m not comfortable either, but this may be our only chance for an adventure! And I’d like to at least have one!” Tallie replied.
As they walked along the vague path toward the house, they were startled by the sound of rustling leaves to their right. Suddenly a girl appeared.
“Oh!” She exclaimed. A slight smile emerged on her face “Good morning! I’m sorry if I startled you.”
“Good morning” Lizzie replied timidly. She recognized the girl from around the village; she was the tavern keeper’s daughter.
After an awkward moment of silence the girl spoke again “My name is Abigail. What are your names?”
“I’m Tallie and this is Lizzie!” Tallie said quickly, having finally found her voice.
“Nice to meet you! Where are you off to this fine morning?” She asked
Tallie and Lizzie exchanged glances. Should they tell her? Very well, their look seemed to say.
“We’re going to see the Wizard!”
Abigail looked quite shocked “I am also! Would you mind if I walked along with you? I don’t get many chances to talk to people my own age, especially girls!” She laughed lightly.
So the three of them continued on their way to Martin’s house, unaware of what their futures had in store for them.
“Rizon Kandarr!” Master Martin’s booming voice seemed to echo off the walls of Rizon’s small room! It was amazing to Rizon how a man as small in stature as the Wizard could be so loud!
“I’m coming!” He answered groggily.
“I expect you to be dressed and down for breakfast in three minutes or I shall be forced to return!”
Rizon was out of bed like a streak of lightening. The last time he had over slept Master Martin had come into his room with a very hard stick, which found itself squarely on his…. Well, he didn’t wish to relive that!
He was dressed, bed made and at the table in record time; under two minutes!
“Well done Rizon! I hope you shall keep up this discipline in the future!”
After Master Martin blessed their food, Rizon dug into his hot porridge. Master Martin was not the best cook, in fact he might be one of the worst Rizon had ever encountered, but he made a wonderful porridge!
“What are my duties today? What will we be studying? Will I be able to do any real wizarding?” Rizon asked between spoonfuls of breakfast.
Rizon didn’t see the old wizard roll his eyes towards heaven.
“Yes, as a matter of fact you will be learning one of the most important things an apprentice wizard will learn!”
Rizon’s eye’s brightened. After 4 long months of monotonous schooling he would finally be learning something fun!
“What will I be learning today?” he asked with obvious excitement.
“You will be learning………..” he paused for effect….. “the difficult job of learning to NOT TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!”
Before Rizon could come back with a “cunning” remark, there was a knock at the front door.
Rizon and the Wizard looked at each other.
“Well... answer the door!” Martin said at last.
Rizon begrudgingly got up from his seat, slid the latch from the door and opened it. To his surprise there stood three girls; a three foot tall white mouse, a blue sparrow, and a human girl.
“We’ve come to see Wizard Martin” Abigail said. “Is he here?”