Practice Session

Author’s note: Sorry I missed last week. It was a rough one. This week is an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo WIP. It has had minimal editing and is posted mostly unaltered from how I originally typed it in week one. I hope you enjoy.


“You need to understand that the fallen can disguise themselves as anyone,” said Levi. “That’s why you need to keep the amulet on. You won’t be able to read auras without it. It would be the easiest kill they ever made.”

Cara shuddered at the implication. All this time she had assumed her mother was just being overly protective of her little girl. Now she understood her instance of always wearing the dress and the amulet.

“Tell me a bit more about this dress, how come you don’t wear clothing like it? Or why doesn’t anyone else wear any magical clothing for that matter.”

“The guardians of the books, that is to say you, are like the knights of old. Think of your dress as holy armor.”

Cara looked stunned. “Some armor,” she said running her had along the impossible dip in her cleavage. Levi’s face blushed and he looked away.

“Yes, well, apparently you need to move freely and, well, the point is, it’s armor and you need to wear it. Looks can be deceiving. Eventually you will grow stronger in your abilities. I’ve heard of some guardians who could alter the appearance of their armor as well as their bodies but that’s pretty advanced stuff. Usually only older, more experienced guardians, well it doesn’t matter. Just keep it on at all times. Which reminds me, have you been working on your protection spells?”

“Yes, I can’t keep this thing on 24 hours a day you know? A girl’s got to clean herself up and besides, the only suit I want to sleep in is my birthday suit,” she smiled at his furious blushing.

“Well, let’s practice those for a while. I’m getting bored of discussing the history of magic too and I’m the scholar. I’ll give you a moment to prepare your wards then attack. I’ll give you warning first. Ready?”

Cara closed her eyes and imagined herself standing in the room. She pictured every detail. She imagined a glowing sphere around her. She opened her eyes. “Ready.”

Levi had already unsheathed a dagger while her eyes were closed. He whipped it toward her feet. Armor or no, he didn’t want to accidentally harm her if she had made a mistake. The dagger dug into the wood inches from her toes. Cara jumped in surprise.

“I don’t understand, what did I do wrong?”

“A regular knife thrown by a regular human, probably would have bounced off, but a magical weapon wielded by a professional magic user and knife fighter, however would have killed you.”

“You never said you were going to use magic to attack me, it’s not fair.”

“Nothing is fair, Cara! Do you think your father thought it fair when you were kidnapped and he had to sacrifice himself to save you? Our enemies didn’t play fair then, why the hell would they do it now? Because you pout?”

Cara took a step back. Never in her entire life had she seen Levi even frustrated, let alone angry and shouting. She had no answer so just stood there.

“You have to plan for every contingency, Cara, every eventuality. I know it’s not fair. My God, how I wish it was even a little fair, but it’s not and it never will be.” His anger seemed to be subsiding a little and he had stopped shouting. “We are going to try this again, Cara. It won’t be fair and it won’t be gentle. I’m going to try to kill you now, Cara. You better make yourself ready and you better do it quick ‘cause I’ve been killing magic users for a long, long time, little one and I never miss.”

Cara didn’t have time to close her eyes and concentrate on forming wards and protection spells. In the few seconds of preparation she had she noted that Levi’s aura had turned from white to dark brown. It gave her some comfort that it wasn’t black. She imagined several layers of spheres around her. She imagined his knife becoming wedged in mid air as it passed through multiple layers of magical protection, like paper. A knife would easily plunge through one or two pages, but not a whole book. She hoped she was right.

Levi turned and threw his hands out. No knife left his grasp; instead a blast of air penetrated the spheres and knocked her off her feet. She slammed into the fireplace, knocking her head on the mantle. She struggled to keep from passing out. The spheres were gone; disappeared when she broke concentration. She quickly threw them back up.

Levi cast another wind spell which tossed her end over end across the room. This time as she tumbled, he threw one of his knifes. Cara saw it coming and threw her spheres up. The knife carved a chunk of skin out of her nose before stopping. He really was trying to kill her. She had been blown away from her rifle. She laid unarmed on the worn wooden floor.

Levi reached his arms into hidden pockets and withdrew two more knives. He hurled one at her before charging. This time the blade stopped well away from her. Levi cast another wind spell as he ran. Cara was slammed hard against the wall. Unlike the other wind attacks this one was sustained and pinned her to the wall. Unable to move she was helpless as he ran toward her. He slammed his fist into her jaw. She slumped to the floor. Her dress snagged slightly on the wall causing it to twist. It fell open exposing one of her breasts. She saw his blade swing with superhuman speed toward her chest. Then, everything went red.

12 thoughts on “Practice Session

  1. Love it! I want and need to know more — is he just teaching her a lesson or flat out trying to kill her? If so, that is some tough love right there. Nice work. I can’t wait to read more.

  2. “Then, everything went red…”

    Let me guess, Cara (and Levi) found out exactly what she was capable of.

    This is a really good glimpse to your NaNo novel. You seem to have all the elements of a good story here: Danger, History of blood between “Guardians” and “Someone/Something really nasty”, Magic, Young person learning who they really are.

    I’m signed on. When do I get my ticket for the ride? 🙂

  3. Chris I am impressed that this is a first pass through, first draft NaNo extract.

    And what a brilliant hook. Someone acting in the part of trusted teacher and then giving it to Cara. Nasty stuff- but we all know from the bible Levi was a nasty piece of work (wish my sister had have chosen another name for my nephew)

    As others have commented, love the last line with everything turning to red. Awesome hook. I can’t wait to read more. I’ve spent the whole of NaNo wandering around wondering what you’re NaNo looks/reads like. Now I’ve had a chance and I definitely want to read more.

  4. Thanks for all the support everyone. To answer your questions about Levi: He’s good guy with a propensity for violence. I’m touched that some of you would like to read more of the story. My plan is to let it sit untouched for a few months then start editing. I’ve been in their world for several months now and I need a break. It will be a relief to write flash not centered around character and story development.

    Thanks again for reading. You don’t know how much it means to me.

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