Friday, June 3, 2011

Human Error

    Alex grabbed his notebook off the small wooden table and studied the diagram once more. He needed to be sure it was indeed the top row, third from the left, that he wanted. He put the notebook down and looked back up at the wall where, arranged in a grid, dark holes filled up entire plane. Taking a deep breath, Alex extended his hand out into the one of the holes and released a surge of energy from his fingers.
    Instantly, he felt the power vortex lift.
    His heart began to race as he looked back at the notebook lying on the table. “Third from the left” he said out-loud as he looked at the wall where he counted the holes. One...Two...Three...Oh my god. Four. I released the fourth one. He felt his mind pull away from his body as he stood there, helpless, looking at the fourth hole.
    He reached in and tried to pull it back, but it was too late. The damage was done. He rushed out the door and stood atop the tower overlooking the city. He could already see the dragons diving in, terrorizing the helpless citizens.
    From his perch, he saw the city guard mobilize as soldiers filed out of the barracks with spears raised into the air as they tried to stick one of the dragons. Alex wanted nothing more than to go down and help them, but there was nothing there he could do. It was too late.
    He went back into the room and pulled his notebook off the table, running his fingers over the diagrams. The simple drawing with its clear markings seemed to mock him as he waited for his power to return. He gripped one of the pages while he listened to the screams coming from below. Alex ripped it out of the notebook and crumpled the paper, tossing it out the door and over the ledge of the tower.
    He leaned up against the wall, facing the holes, and slowly sank down until he was sitting on the floor. Above him on the table, the notebook was within sight. He grabbed it and threw it towards the door, but it didn’t make it over the ledge, falling back into the tower. While he was sitting there, he could feel the tingling sensation return and he sprang up and rushed towards the fourth hole where he rammed his hand into and pulled back the power.
    Within moments, he could feel the reassuring presence of the power vortex, and he ran out onto the ledge, looking back into the city. The dragons fled, but they left behind numerous dead bodies on the city streets and small fires that dotted the homes below him. Alex looked up to the sky where he could still see them hovering, waiting for their chance at another attack, then he picked up his notebook.
    He set it back onto the table and counted out the holes once more. One...Two...Three. Then he stuck his hand back in, releasing the power once more.
   

13 comments:

FARfetched June 3, 2011 at 8:34 AM  

Magic always has a way of getting away from the unwary or inattentive, doesn’t it? Great little drama.

John Wiswell June 3, 2011 at 8:44 AM  

One wonders how he'll develop after this. Will he learn moderation, or get full of himself? I'd fear I'd succumb to the latter.

Paragraph 3 - "begin" for "began"

Craig Smith June 3, 2011 at 12:07 PM  

Gripping stuff!

Tony Noland June 3, 2011 at 12:32 PM  

Like any good carpenter can tell you, measure twice, release the power vortex once.

Good stuff.

Michael A Tate June 3, 2011 at 1:15 PM  

FAR: Yea, when you hold a lot of power in your hand, you better be sure of what you're doing.

John: Since this is loosely based on something I did...I'm going to say he learns moderation :)

Also, thanks for pointing that out.

Craig: Thanks

Tony: Thanks, and your comment made me laugh. Good one!

Sonia June 3, 2011 at 4:34 PM  

That is a costly mistake! Hope he learns.

Icy Sedgwick June 3, 2011 at 5:37 PM  

Yes, you really must double-check everything. You've definitely got scope to expand this.

Sulci Collective June 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM  

You need a background in accountancy if you're going to reach the top in the numerology field. failing that, insurance loss adjusting is a useful qualification

marc nash

Chuck Allen June 3, 2011 at 8:16 PM  

Human error, indeed. Kind of makes me glad I don't have any special skills. :)

Michael A Tate June 4, 2011 at 8:54 AM  

Sonia: Yea, I think he'll learn. I hope so at least. I don't want anybody releasing the power vortex when I'm around.

Icy: I never thought about extending this before, but that's not a half-bad idea. Perhaps we'll see more of careless Alex later on.

Marc: You just need a background in 4th grad math to be honest...

Chuck: Yes, but special skills....come on, that's cool. I want some.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) June 4, 2011 at 9:17 AM  

Like a futuristic Dutch boy sticking his finger in the dike. Well done!

Adam B June 5, 2011 at 12:30 AM  

What a great glimpse into a magical realm yet has such resonance in the modern world and our need for power.
Adam B @revhappiness

AidanF June 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM  

Intriguing magic system you created with this world. I like the limitations you've built into it.

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