Cozy Flash: “The Magic Is Out!”

The flapping of huge wings overlaying the piercing cries of massive reptiles woke Ralph from a reasonably sound sleep. Realizing that the Dragon Express had found the best flying at the moment was over his modest cottage, he surrendered to the inevitable and abandoned his bed. While fumbling for his winter robe, he whispered the word to bring the glow crystals on the ceiling to life. Nothing. Still dark.

Finding the robe, Ralph repeated the word in a louder voice, being careful to pronounce it correctly. Still nothing. He managed to get the robe on, then found his crystal ball by touch, hoping it had stored up sufficient magic before the outage. Tapping it with a finger in the proper sequence activated it, and he used the dim glow to find his way to his kitchen.

There he spoke the word to light the stove. Again the magic failed, confirming the power outage. As he poked around in the junk drawer for the emergency light crystals, Ralph muttered a prayer to his favorite god that the idiots at the power station would be able to get their chants right to keep the ley lines charged. He found a crystal that worked when rubbed and used the light to find a clean mug and the wine jug. After filling the mug, he dug a box of nuts and pretzels out of the pantry. With food, drink and a light, he headed for his study to wait out the dragon flights. This close to the winter solstice festival, there were enough packages to deliver that the aerial traffic would last for hours.

After settling into his favorite chair and arranging his treats on the side table, Ralph corrected his prayer to include making sure the sacrificial animals sent to the priestesses of Isis would be of high enough quality to please the deity, so the magic could be tapped at the power plant. With that bit of spiritual cleaning accomplished, he fired up his crystal ball, once again marveling at the advancement in micro glyph technology that allowed it to be portable instead of tabletop mounted. He called up the research paper he wanted to read from the repository at the main Temple of Apollo over the World Wide Scrying Network.

Munching snacks and sipping wine, Ralph dove into “Proof That Parallel Dimensions Exist and How Their Fundamental Laws of Nature Might Differ From Ours.”

— Robert Goforth

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