Chapter Eight.

What happens with Meylyne’s spell practice to put her in such a bad mood?

Meylyne’s scowl deepened as she read through Level Two. She knew this chapter by heart by now.

“Why so cranky?” Blue asked.

“I know this level inside out by now but I can never get the spell at the end right. It’s all about focusing your mind so that your thoughts can’t make the incantation go wrong. It sounds simple enough, but the incantation doesn’t make sense!”

“How come?”

“Well, I’m supposed to take a leaf and turn it from green to yellow but the incantation looks just like the one to make fire. I’ve tried it a thousand times and my leaf has never turned yellow. It just burst into flames!”

Blue thought for a minute.

“Maybe that’s the point – you know, to train your thoughts even when the spell doesn’t make sense. So don’t think about fire; just think about the color yellow!”

Meylyne looked at the incantation again.

Maybe he’s right – I just have to do better at trusting the spell.

“Okay, but you two better move back, just in case …”

“Just in case nothing,” Blue interrupted. “Control your thoughts, remember!”

“Right.”

Licking her lips, Meylyne grasped hold of a leaf, picturing it as the same color as a buttercup. Once she was sure there was nothing else in her mind, she whispered the incantation.

Two firebolts shot out of her palms. She stared in horror as they whizzed into the undergrowth, the shrubs burst into flame. Within seconds, some purple sticks caught fire as well. They fizzed and sputtered, then shot forth a fountain of white sparks. Gasping and coughing, she, Blue and Hope ran out on to the open bridge.

“What are you doing? Put it out!” Blue yelled.

“I don’t know how” Meylyne wailed. “This is all your fault!”

She knew it was unfair to blame Blue but she felt so helpless and stupid it made her angry.

“Conjure water!” Hope urged.

“Oh right, like that’s so easy … oh no …” Meylyne gasped, looking at the fire. “My book of incantations is in there!”

By now, the flames were licking their way up one of the mimosa-trees. If it wasn’t stopped soon, all the trees would catch fire as well. Meylyne’s eyes teared up from the smoke billowing around them. She had never conjured up water before but ice … that was just the opposite of the spell for fire ….

The first mimosa-tree caught on fire. As the flames roared, burning ash rained upon them

“Do something …anything!” Blue cried.

Ice would have to do. Flinging herself at the edge of the undergrowth, she grasped a burning shrub. The flames seared her face. She buried her head in the crook of her arm and chanted the fire-incantation backward as best she could.

Nothing happened. Now the flames were edging their way around her. She must’ve said it wrong.

“Try again!” Hope urged. “Louder!”

“Okitsasa atihom atse akeels!” she shrieked.

With a whoosh, the roar of the flames ceased. Creaking and crackling took its place. Meylyne looked up to find that the flames had shriveled up into jagged icicles poking out from the branches and sticks. They criss-crossed around her like glass spears. Her insides turned to jelly and she flopped onto her back. She couldn’t believe it had worked.

Snapping off an icicle, she cradled it in her blistered palms. At first relief made her numb. Then she remembered her Incantation Book. Scrambling to her feet, she dashed into the undergrowth, ice crunching beneath her feet. Something tugged at her cloak and she pulled herself free, her eyes roaming around the ice-encrusted bushes.

There!

Half-hidden beneath a blackened shrub, was her book. The cover was singed and had a hole in it, but aside from that, it looked fine. She pounced on it, clasping it to her chest. Seconds later, she heard the sound of crunching behind her. She turned to find Blue and Hope standing there.

“It’s fine, no thanks to you!” she snapped, glaring at Blue. “Next time I tell you that I’m rubbish at sorcery, I’d appreciate it if you’d just believe me and keep your stupid suggestions to yourself!”

Blue shrugged. He looked shaken but was quickly resuming his infuriating cheerfulness.

“Meh. So you need a little practice. I’ll sure you’ll be fine by the time you have to battle those soul-sucking sphers!”

Hope shot him a dubious look but said nothing. Staring at the devastation around them, he muttered,

“Enough spell practice for one day. We go now.”

 

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