alley battle

I know, I know.  I should be working on finishing my NaNo project.  And I promise* I’ll work on that next, but I needed to procrastinate just a bit longer.  So, I humbly submit a wizard’s dual for your enjoyment.  I had noticed that my last couple magical posts had hinted about battles and spells but hadn’t really expanded upon any of those ideas and I wanted to see what I could come up with.


Tressa stepped out of the shadows, the words of the spell dripped from her tongue as she lashed out with her arm like a whip, “cenda gnithlign rief.”

Her smile of venomous anticipation switched to a frown as her intended target stepped sideways just in time to miss the furious streaking lightning that danced from her finger tips.  The spell sizzled into the wall beyond him, filling the air with the smell of scorched wood and stone, and then fizzled out.  She didn’t have time to lament her failed ambush, though.

She felt the air around her shifting and recognized the sticky sensation tingling on her arms.  “Gnibbwe nkis relicks,” the counter curse sprang form her mind to her lips instantly and she moved her position back into the shadows to make her movements harder to track.

“You didn’t actually think that would work,” she teased Graelen, even as she was calling to mind the words to her next attack.  “I was catching wizards like you in my webs before you were even born.”

Graelen laughed in response, “And you didn’t actually think you could get the slip on me, did you?  I’m sorry, my dear Tressa, but you are no longer the mage you used to be.”

She watched in disbelief as Graelen disappeared from sight.  It happened too quickly for him to have found a shadow to hide in, he simply dissolved.  She’d thought him far too young a sorcerer to know and accomplish that level of magic.

He had the upper-hand, she realized, and she switched tactics from offensive to defensive.  “Gnihdi tisgh lal,” she cast and watched the world turn from vibrant to opaque as she too hid herself from view, and not a moment too soon as the shadows she’d been hiding in were illuminated by a spell Graelen cast.

She moved again, while reaching out with her mind to try and feel his presence, and then she heard his chanting and realized he had moved closer to her.

She recognized the spell just in time to articulate the proper counter spell, “gnidlesih rief tahe.”  The alley returned to shadows as Graelen’s light spell extinguished and then a giant wall of fire rose from the ground and swept over her.  Her magic was successful and she felt none of the heat even though the accompany wave of pressure did make her stumble backwards a step.

He was strong, but she had years of experience on her side.  She kept moving, kept casting out with her mind to get a sense of him, She considered fighting fire with water and flooding their battlefield but figured he would expect something.  Instead, she called upon the wind to stoke his fire and turn it into an inferno.

“Dwin fylur tsbal.”

Tressa grabbed onto the wall as a torrent of wind barreled through the alley.  Her long, gray streaked, hair whipped sideways, and she felt her toes lifting from the ground as the gale reached it’s peak.  The wall of fire sputtered and flickered, then reversed direction and roared to exponential heights and intensity.  It swept passed her a second time, back the way it had come, and even through her magical protection she felt it’s devouring heat.

She heard Graelen curse and felt the pop as he magicked himself out of the alley before the fire could reach him.  The wind died down and she released her grip on the wall.  Her fingers were sore, tired, bloodied, from the endeavor.  The fire, no longer spurned on by her wind spell, raged on.  It had plenty of fuel to feed from in the refuse strewn alley.

Tressa surveyed the battlefield one last time.  She had been lucky, but so had Graelen.  She had no doubt their next encounter would settle their dispute once and for all.  The sound of running feet and shouted alarms roused her from her reverie and she spoke the words that would carry her safely back to her home, where she would get some needed rest after she had looked after her wounds.


What do you think?  How’d I do?  What would you have liked to see in the battle instead?  Shape-shifting?  More detail on the damage from the spells?  More about how the spells affect the casters?

Let me know in the comments, and I’ll probably incorporate your ideas and requests into future flash fiction fantasies.


*I promise nothing.

30 thoughts on “alley battle

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one procrastinating on the NaNo project 🙂 I’m finally writing again. I started hating it in December but now the spark is back. Haha

    As for this, I loved it! I like shape shifting so I always like to see that 🙂 I love your magic stories. Keep ’em coming!

    • Calling out shape shifting seems like cheating. I gave you that one… give me something else? 😉
      Thanks. I’m glad you like my magic stories.

      Good job getting started back up on NaNo. I need to do that. I’ve promised copies of the completed story to too many people to just let it go away. Soon… I’ll start writing for it again soon.

  2. I liked the battle, but would like to see or feel the toll on the casters. It seems that in theory, they could carry on forever.
    Also, I like the spell incantations not being in English, but would like to see how a counter spell works. Is it a barrier? Or does it cancel out the spell?

    Another coming soon? O.O

    • Cool, thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I hadn’t really thought about putting in the toll on the casters until I was already done, and then figured I should, especially since I call out Tressa’s need for a rest at the end. I’ll work that into the next battle. Good call on the counter spells too… I was sort of intentionally leaving that up to the imagination of the reader, but I could definitely give a bit more for you to work from.
      I think my only problem is going to be keeping the segments to a reasonable length once I started adding in these facets. But, I’ll figure it out.

      Soon? In relative terms, sure. But, I have no idea what that means. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week.

  3. I never thought about the point of view of how the spell effects the caster. That is interesting, but I don’t know if it is necessary either.

    • It’s often included in the fantasy books I read. A wizard will cast a spell and then clutch his chest as he feels some of his energy ripped from him to complete the magic… or something like that. I’m not sure it is necessary either, just trying to get a feel for what my readers expect/want. I aim to please. 😉

  4. i always enjoy your wizardry, and as it’s not a genre i know how to right, i will leave it in your capable magic hands to continue as you wish. best, beth

  5. I think having the casters of spells being affected by the energy they release is quite a grown up sort of magic. It says that spells have consequences and that there must be a balance or a cost. Which is probably why there’s no such thing in Harry Potter. If they are going to shape shift, they could each go through a range of creatures, but less comically than in Disney’s version of Sword in the Stone. I like what you have done here, however!

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