Blood, part 2 of 4

Photo by Brett Sayles on

“Haven’t seen you out much recently, you okay?”

Bree, his neighbor, had caught him standing on his porch, blinking away the startling sunrise as she passed by on her morning walk.  Richard held up a hand in apology and when his vision had cleared and his head had stopped swimming he replied, “Just been busy with projects inside.”

“You look paler than normal.  Are you coming down with something?”  She continued before he could respond, “You know it isn’t good to be locked inside all day.  Humans need fresh air and sunshine.”

Richard chuckled, “Yeah, I know.  That’s why I’m outside now.  Had a powerful urge to get some fresh air.”

Bree looked towards the sun kissed horizon.  “Sure seems like it is going to be a beautiful day.”

“I hope so.”

Without another word, Bree turned her focus back to the sidewalk in front of her and moved on.  She did wave a hand in parting, though, and Richard called after, “Talk to you later.”

Then he went back to focusing on his breathing.  He was paler than normal.  He’d lost too much blood with the last spell he’d cast.  It had been a whopper, and it had worked, but it had taken so much out of him that he he’d vomited and then barely gotten the wound to stop bleeding.  He’d gone too far and he was scared.  Not of the power.  He relished in that.  But, he hadn’t meant to spill so much of his blood.  He didn’t want to do that again.

Finding the balance between the power he craved and ensuring his own safety was proving difficult.  With candle magic, the cost of the spells had never varied as much as he was finding it could with blood magic.  That was problematic.  He liked consistency in general.  But when it came to magic, even minor deviations from the norm, from what he practiced, from what he expected, could have huge consequences.  He was tempted to give up blood magic and go back to candles. 

Richard shook his head.

He couldn’t do that.  Now that he had tasted this much power, he couldn’t give it up just like that.  He would just have to practice more, study more, and figure out the why behind all the little deviations so he was never caught off-guard, so he never spilled more blood than was safe.

He stayed on the porch for a few more minutes.  As Bree had said, he needed some more fresh air and sunshine.

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