Chapter Four: How To Defeat An Evil Wizard
There are three things I now greatly regret doing in my life. The first was sharing a secret with Leon Sumpter in the sixth grade. The second was telling my parents that I’d seen fairies when I was twelve. The third and final regret I must now live with is slipping two tabs of acid to a powerful wizard from 19th-century England who had mastered the ability to control the weather.
I sat there, in a repeat of how I’d first met Brenton “The Plagius” Byrne, behind a wooden wall as it rocked back and forth as it and many blocks around were engulfed in a rain and wind storm the likes of which I’d never felt before.
A smear of mud landed in my eye.
I winced and wiped it away.
“STAND BACK, HEATHENS!” came Plagius’ voice, shrieking from atop the tallest nearby building.
I’d never seen somebody on two tabs of acid before, and I wasn’t sure if this was normal, or simply a side-effect of being in this world of magick and, seemingly, very broken natural laws.
“Princess Lisa?” Mugridge asked me from his position hiding near my shoulder under a conveniently-sized wooden outcrop.
“Yes?” I asked, shivering as the cold continued to get to me.
“I don’t mean to sound too offensive, but your ideas are, uh… shist.”
“Shit,” I corrected. “They’re shit. And yes, I know.”
Teaching the natives to use language correctly was proving to be a fucking nightmare.
“I have a question for you,” I continued, hoping The Plagius wouldn’t notice us talking as he fought against whatever invisible creatures he was convinced were now assaulting him on his rooftop.
“How in FUCK did twelve-year-old girls take down sorcerers, dragons and whatever other bullshit you people deal with?”
“Well, according to the old texts,” Mugridge began, fluttering his wings slightly to get some water off them before proceeding. “She, err… the Princess traditionally talks him down. Sort of like you did before you sent him insane. I remember one particular incident where the Princess insisted they have a tea party, and explained to him why it was bad manners to blow down a city using tornados. So, he went away for a hundred and seven years to think about it.”
“A TEA party? You mean all I had to do was convince this dopy shit-heel that he’s being a cunt, and he’d fuck off and think about it for a while?”
“Err, I think so. Another Princess became friends with a serpent-dragon, it’s told. She trained him to fly her around the place, and even to hum along to a song called ‘Ring a Ring a Rosie’!”
“Serpents? Fuck, I’m scared enough of snakes. Scratch that one right off. But go back to Plagius. You said she talked him down during… during a tea party?”
“Yes. They had a tea party, and she explained to him the meaning of kindness, and took his wand away, promising he could get it back after he’d thought about it for a hundred years.”
I paused, dumb-founded.
The silence was filled with the sound of a nearby stables having its roof blown off and crashing down some metres away in the middle of a street.
The house above us creaked.
“You’re fucking shitting me.”
“No, that’s what she did.”
“No, I mean… his WAND? It’s his fucking WAND that lets him do all that?”
Mugridge looked surprise. “Well, yeah. He’s a wizard. It’s kind of their thing – wands, y’know.”
“So if I’d just taken his wand away, he wouldn’t be able to do any of that?”
“You winged little shit! I thought we just had to wait out his bad trip! Why in fuck didn’t you tell me that earlier?”
Mugridge flew up a bit higher, looking somewhat offended.
“Because,” he snorted. “You didn’t ask! Fucking!”
There was another awkward silence.
“No, no. You just say ‘Fuck’ there.”
I stood up, shook some of the water off myself, and peered around the edge of the house toward the tripping wizard.
“Foul daemons from… get out of my hat!”
I noticed just how flushed and red he looked.
Quickly looking around, I noticed a ladder to one side of the house, blustering about wildly and in a fashion which would make even the most drunk of teenager trying to impress his friends think carefully before ascending it.
“Mugridge?” I asked.
“You stopped me from falling off the tower before, right?”
“So you’re clearly a lot stronger than you look.”
“Why thank-you,” he said.
“Can you… can you hold that ladder steady?”
Mugridge flew up to the top of the ladder and held one of the sides.
“Huh,” I said, watching the tiny little creature stop something dozens of times taller and heavier than him from moving at all.
“Right,” I said, plodding through he rain and muck toward the ladder.
“Incidentally, after this bullshit, I’m having a fucking shower.”
“What? A rain shower?” Mugridge said through gritted teeth as he held the ladder as firmly as he could.
“No, a… well, a bath then. You have baths, don’t you?”
“Yes. Can you start climbing already? It’s, err… it’s getting heavy.”
Grumbling a bit under my breath, I began to climb.
Barely audible over the wind, it was more the feeling of the ladder becoming two parts than the actual sound of it.
Desperately, I held on to the half of the ladder Mugridge was still holding up.
My feet slipped from two of the splintered steps and I felt a sharp pain as my ankle scraped harshly against exposed wood.
“Sssh! The mad wizard will hear us!” Mugridge hissed through gritted teeth.
“Mug!” I half-whispered. “I need to get on the roof.”
“Fine – I’ll try,” he said. “But you’re really heavy!”
“Fuck you. I’m a normal sized woman, and you’re an insect with a top-hat. I’ll bet if you were the same scale of thing as me you’d weigh more!”
“Shut up. I’m trying to concentrate shit!”
“Please stop using those words, Mug.”
I then realised that I was actually moving.
I glanced down and realised to my horror that Mugridge was actually, somehow, lifting the entire broken ladder with me clinging to it for dear life higher and higher.
I felt dizzy as I looked down and saw the splintered wood below me, and dizzier still when I realised that my right ankle was, indeed, bleeding.
I hate blood.
“Oh man,” I murmured to myself, closing my eyes and holding on tighter, shivering again as the wind whipped about me.
“Okay,” Mugridge winced. “Get off now!”
I looked down, and found myself above the roof finally.
Counting to three under my breath, I gritted my teeth and jumped.
It was only a few feet, but it was the most terrified I’d been since sliding off the tower several hours before.
I hit the tiles hard, and promptly began sliding down off the tilted roof.
Mugridge dropped the ladder right after me, and a number of chunks of wood began to slide after me, slipping beside me for the most part, but with one large bit of wood landing firmly on my head. It wasn’t that heavy, so I grabbed it with a free hand and dug it into the uneven tiling on the roof.
Of course, it did no good, and I kept sliding.
“Shiiiit!” I hissed as I kept sliding
Suddenly, a sharp pain hit as my hair was rudely pulled.
Mugridge had caught up, and was now slowly my descent off the roof by holding onto my hair.
It stung like a motherfucker.
“QUIT IT!” I called out. “That fucking HURTS!”
Mugridge, mercifully letting go of my hair, moved further down, and before I realised what he was doing, grabbed onto the only part of my clothing he could see exposed – my left bra-strap in one of his hands, and my tank-top in the other.
The strap pressed painfully into me and my top slid up, letting my stomach scratch painfully on some exposed tile, but it did work – I slowed down and, finally, as I hit the edge of the roof, my feet caught on the little gutters around the edge.
“Fuck.” I looked up toward Plagius, and laughed to myself as I realised that he was so entranced with making some kind of horrifying micro-storm several metres above his head that he’d either failed to notice our awkward entrance, or simply didn’t care.
“Mugridge, I think-”
“NO!” the angry fairy hissed. “I’ve had enough. I’m tired, and I’m just going to sit here a minute.”
I looked down, and saw him sitting morosely in the gutter, water rushing by him as he emptied some mud from his miniature top-hat.
“Fine,” I said.
Grabbing a larger bit of wood, I started slowly clawing my way up the roof.
Near the top, I winced as I realised the slab of wood had given me a splinter.
Then, finally, at the crest of the roof and now just a meter or two behind the flailing and screaming Plagius, I grabbed the wood and began to get to my feet.
I didn’t get more than a moment into trying this before I gave up.
“Fuck it,” I said, deciding standing up like Plagius was somehow doing on a slippery, wet, uneven roof was absolute suicide.
Instead, I shuffled over to one side a bit so Plagius was within reach, brought my leg back, and gave him the sharpest, hardest kick I could manage.
I had readied myself for some sort of sickening snap like in the movies, but it turns out the human body is nowhere near as fragile or prone to gory breaks as Hollywood had lead me to believe.
However, kicking someone on a roof from behind their shins is a very good way, it turns out, to send them sprawling onto their arse.
Or, in this case, due to the angle of the roof, onto his head.
Plagius landed hard, wand going flying, and the moment it left his hand… the storm stopped.
It happened so quickly that it was like somebody had hit ‘mute’ on the entire world.
The clouds parted, rain stopped, the wind vanished, and all I could hear was a dull moan from Plagius before he went limp.
The wand rattled past me, also getting caught in a gutter.
I slowly sat upright a ways, looking around me at the devastation the extremely localised storm had caused.
Nearby residents, realising the storm had stopped, were now peering out from the ruins of their houses, and one or two small children came into view, having clearly been hiding behind or under various things in alleyways.
Catching my breath and enjoying the sun as it warmed me up slightly, I began to feel all the dull aches and sharp pains of various nicks and scratches I’d obtained.
Then, below me, I saw a cluster of about four pompous men with armour on, one with a huge feather in his hat, behind a grumpy, fat man with a suit and a particularly bushy moustache.
The approached us and looked up, the suited man clearly giving quiet orders to the guard-like figures.
“Hey, Brenton?” I said more for my benefit than for that of the dazed figure beside me. “You’re an arsehat.”