Logan the Lonesome

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


A short story from a world I created called Santelia. Follows the life of a boy who dreamed of nothing more than to be a wizard and his struggles through life to achieve his dream. Work in
progress.

Submitted: December 19, 2017

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Submitted: December 19, 2017

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Year 346. (0)
An exhausted woman lay battered and weak. Breathing heavily. Drenched in pools of sweat. And yet, she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. A smile that lit up the room greater than a hundred candles. A smile that was positively contagious. A smile, that grabbed a hold of you in your very soul, immobilized you and cast away any despair or melancholy you were feeling. She was smiling because her husband had now become a father, and she a mother. Her Husband, Reynald, cradled a little bundle of crying, pink flesh wrapped in furs. Tears welled up in her eyes when she first laid eyes upon the baby. Even more so as Reynald slowly edged the treasure into the mothers’ eager arms.
After a few moments of bliss embracing her child, she began to cry tears of heartache.
“He can’t grow up like we did, Reynald! He needs to know he can grow up to be whatever he wants.” Cried Abigail, “You need to promise me you will do everything you can for him, with me.”
“Hush my dear.” Reynald breathed, as he stroked Abigail’s knotted hair. “Of course. He deserves better. He will get better.”
Abigail’s smile returned and with it, the entire mood of the room changed, like a sun peering its way through clouds after a long storm.
“Logan.” Abigail stated as she stared into the eyes of hope and wonderment, “That is his name” She finished, as if it were obvious the entire time. Logan laughed and smiled. A smile, not too dissimilar to Abigail’s.

Year 351 (5)
Abigail busied herself amongst the absolute riot of stalls and people trying to sell their wares. Not for the first time, and definitely not the last, Logan wandered off to find something a bit more interesting. Because, although finding new clothes or buying new kinds of foods from far off lands absorbed Abigail’s attention, Logan craved something more magical. He was fascinated by the wizards that patrolled and kept the peace of the towns. For centuries, wizards were the most revered and respected warriors. It was said, one good wizard was worth a thousand knights.
Of course, this interested Logan to no end. Although some feared their power, Logan was entranced by it. He crept down the cobbled squares of the market place to where he found two wizards patrolling through the streets. He followed them. He tried to walk like them. Pulled his tunic above his head as they wore hooded capes to emulate them. One scratched his head. Logan did the same.
Until he heard the shriek, “LOGAN!!”
He spun around as he walked and stumbled right into the wizards. Once Logan had pulled his ‘hood’ down from his head he saw his mother leaning over him.
“I’m so sorry master wizards! My son- He-He is obsessed with wizards.” Abigail stammered, “He meant no harm.”
One of the wizards grunted, “Keep a closer eye on your child.” And lumbered away.
The other wizard, a more kindly looking man with a long red beard said, “Not the slightest worry, my lady. Curiosity should never be punished.” He then turned to Logan and said calmly, “So you would like to be a wizard one day, young man?”
Awestruck by his heroes, Logan could do naught by nod.
“Well, always remember, magic comes from within. If you have the desire, you’ll find a way to bring it out.” The wizard smiled, “Now do you want to see some magic?”
Logan’s eyes widened as big as saucers and he nodded so fast Abigail said his head may fly off.
The wizard laughed and began dancing his fingers around each other and then muttered, “Pyrothen!” and fire erupted from his hands in a ball of flame.
“Woah…”


Year 353 (7)
“Pyrothen!” Logan demanded of his hands. But nothing happened.
The other boys like to play games or train in swordplay. But not Logan. He preferred to practice magic. He had only ever produced a few sparks in his hands, but this was not from lack of trying; hours he spent every day yelling ‘pyrothen’ about the town. Mother joked that one day he’d burn the town down with how much he said it. Father was less impressed, he felt his time may be better spent doing other things. He was a growing boy, a boy who could soon help contribute to the family. Which father believed to be his duty as a man. Logan returned his doubts with “Well, wizards earn mountains of gold. When I’m a wizard, I’ll buy us all a castle!”. Mother laughed. Father did not.
Logan shouted, “Pyrothen!” Once more, but this time, he felt the heat welling up inside him as he said it. He feared for a second his chest would melt. But in an instant the heat shot down his arms to his hands and creating a small ball of flame in his hands.
Logan froze. Disbelief took him. His head darted around to see if had any witnesses. None. He had to tell someone. He knew his mother was busy entertaining her friends. But this couldn’t wait. He ran. As fast as his legs would take him. Through the mill. Over the river where the lovely yellow flowers grew. Past old Margaret’s house. He followed the wooden fence, gliding his hand on it as he ran. Until he finally reached his modest cottage.
“Mother! I created fire! Come and see! It finally worked” Logan exclaimed.
Abigail opened the door as she was slipping on a tunic, “That’s wonderful my dear!” She said excitedly and hugged Logan. But the embrace ended far too quickly, “But you know mommy’s busy at the moment. Can you show your father if he’s back from the farms. Or can you show me after?”
Logan was about to answer when he heard a burly roar from the bedroom, “Hey woman! Get in here! I’m not paying you to talk to some kid!”
Abigail’s face dropped. She looked at the ground. She looked disgraced. Embarrassed. Even a flash of anger.
“You found a job?” Logan chirped with a big smile, “What’s it doing? That’s great!”
Abigail’s eyes met the innocent admiration of her son, and could bear no more. She shut the door.

Year 356 (10)
“Father’s home early!” Logan joyously announced. Logan’s father worked tirelessly at Lord Bowerton’s farm to make sure the family had enough food, clothes and resources. Unfortunately, it meant that the only time Reynald was home, was after dark when Logan was asleep. He would often struggle to stay awake just to say goodnight to his father. He’d sit in bed slapping his face and practicing his fire spell.
This was a rare night indeed that the family were able to have dinner together. Logan beamed at both his parents as they ate in silence. “So, Lord Bowerton’s son Jace, has been teaching me to read! He has all these amazing books about wizards and knights and dragons!” Logan explained enthusiastically, “My favourite is this one called ‘Lucifer the longbeard’. Lucifer was this ancient wizard who was said to be the very first wizard!”
Logan obviously found the topic far more interesting than his parents. Apart from the occasional nod, they seemed more captivated by their bread and vegetables.
His father finally spoke, “How’s…” he glanced at Logan and back at his carrots, “your job going Abi?”
His mother was playing with some vegetables as she answered, “Good. Good.”
To break the uncomfortable silence she added, “Saving quite a bit of gold. Maybe one day soon, enough to enrol Logan in the college of wizards.”
“That would be amazing!” Logan said in awe. His mother smiled. His father smiled too. He always liked her smile.


Year 358 (12)
Logan ran around playing in the yard with a makeshift hooded cloak he had got his mother to sew up for him. He fought imaginary foes, yelling ‘Pyrothen!’ and destroying each one to become the hero of the town. He had gotten quite good at producing fire now and it never failed to bring a smile to his face every time it happened. When mother first saw how good he was, she cried. Logan didn’t understand why that made her sad, but she said “they are happy tears because you will actually make something of yourself.”
Although despite his skill, he was not enrolled in the college. His parents could not afford the tuition.
Logan always wondered what his parents did with all their gold. Father worked from dawn to dusk and then some at the farms, mother was paid by other men for pleasure. He was old enough to realise what she was doing. He knew why she did it. To feed the family. But it didn’t make him feel any better about it. When he asked why that of all things, she said she had no actual skills. And that was the only way she could make gold.
Logan would cup his hands over one eye, shut the other and slowly open his hand as he looked at the sun. It made it seem like a huge ball of fire was being produced in his hand. He would then pick up rocks and throw them at his deadly imaginary foes.
He just played in the front yard; now that he knew what his mother was doing, there had been no need to send him away. This particular day though his mother came outside during her ‘work’.
“Darling, do you mind keeping down the noise out here? It is disturbing… the man inside.” Abigail muttered. She would never say the men’s names, whether because she didn’t want Logan knowing or that she didn’t know herself, Logan did not know.
Logan nodded solemnly and began walking down the wooden fence towards Old Margaret’s house when he heard a scream. His mother’s scream. A blood-curdling scream.
He rushed back to his house. He needed to be brave. A wizard is always brave.
“That’s not your gold!” Logan heard his mother plead.
As soon as Logan entered the threshold of the door he was seized by two hulking arms. All attempts to struggle proved futile.
“Give me the gold or I’ll kill the kid.” The man barked as his arms clamped around Logan’s throat.
“Please, just don’t hurt my boy.” His mother begged. She edged closer to a chest of gold Logan had never seen before. A small fortune was in there. She picked it up slowly and handed it to the man. Logan squirmed free and Abigail lunged at the man with a previously concealed knife. The portly man swatted away Abigail as if she were a fly. But not before she took a slice from the flesh on his cheek. The man felt the blood drip from his face and he fell into a rage. His face contorted and he struck Abigail across the face. Logan’s mother fell instantly, knocking her head on the corner of a table, resulting in a sickening thud. Both the man and Logan stood transfixed on Abigail’s limp body. Both held their breath waiting to see movement.
But no movement came.
After the hour-long seconds, the man began to panic. “I will not be getting hanged for this. The wizards cannot know what happened here.”
He looked down upon Logan in hysteric terror.
Much of what happened next was a blur to Logan. The glimpses he remembered were the man grabbing him with no resistance and slicing out his tongue. The man did this because, according to his logic, “You won’t be able to say who did this when the wizard come!” Unluckily for him, he did not realise Logan could read and write. This blur-like experience shielded Logan to most of the pain. That is not to say he did not feel tremendous agony. He’d have bled out if the wizards had not come to heal him.
The next thing he remembered clearly was a wizard and his father talking saying “He will never speak again.” Logan did not know if they knew he could hear them, but he heard every word. It cut into him like a knife. This hurt far more than the physical pain of having his tongue ripped out. This meant he couldn’t be a wizard. A wizard produced magic by channelling the power from within through speech. The wizard, upon hearing Logan wanted to be a wizard, gave him some of his old spell books. A week ago this would have made him the happiest boy in the world. Now he just felt hollow.

Year 362 (16)
Candle light brightened the room enough for him to read, even at this extremely late hour. Candle light was the only fire he had been able to produce for years. And that was done with an entirely un-magical tinderbox. He read the magic spell books he was given years ago. Although Logan couldn’t speak the spells, it still fascinated him to no end. It also didn’t stop him trying to cast spells every once in a while. That is, before he became inevitably frustrated with himself and quit.
A door slammed and a loud clattering was heard in the front room. Father was home. Was he just tired from the long day’s work? Or was he drunk? Perhaps both.
Reynald stumbled into Logan’s room, “Still awake, huh?” Reynald grunted.
Logan nodded. His father knew he couldn’t talk, and yet he insisted on asking questions. Reynald, seemingly reading Logan’s mind, became frustrated and slurred, “You know what, you should get a real job! Start contributing around here.”
Logan gathered a piece of parchment and quill and began to write out a reply. Reynald snatched up the inkpot and smashed it against the wall, “You know I can’t read that shit. Maybe if you don’t want to get a real job, I should just sell these books. They are probably worth a fortune.”
Horror filled Logan to the bone. He was used to his father’s drunken threats, but never had he said he would take away the only thing that Logan found enjoyment in. Perhaps Reynald read his mind again, as he shrugged and muttered, “I guess I shouldn’t do that.”
Logan smiled to be polite and validate his father’s decision not to take them.
The smile was not out of happiness but it was enough to remind Reynald of Abigail. Reynald’s eyes went blank and he said, “goodnight.”

Year 366 (20)
Knock, knock!
Logan was nervous. He held in his hand a piece of parchment he gathered from a notice board in the town square. The door swung open as he felt butterflies swim around in his stomach. “Yes?” A short man with a goatee answered. Logan handed him the parchment.
“Ah yes! My notice for new students wanting private tutelage in the magical arts. Does this interest you?” The wizard asked as he examined him closely through spectacles.
Logan nodded keenly.
“Any particular branch of magic that has caught your eye, young lad?” The wizard probed.
Logan gestured in a circular motion to represent ‘all kinds’. The wizard looked sceptical.
“My boy, can you… speak?” The wizard asked uncertainly.
Logan looked at his boots and shook his head. But looked up immediately and attempted to explain that he could do magic if he really tried. He knew it. He just needed a teacher. He felt it inside him. He just needed to know how to get it out.
But of course, he couldn’t explain effectively and just waved his hands around.
“I don’t doubt your spirit lad. But there has never been a mute wizard. Magic has always responded to the relationship to the power inside and outward speech. I’m sorry.”
He shut the door.

Year 371 (25)
Logan rarely left the house. But one day that he did as old Margaret invited him over, he came back to an unwelcome sight. He found a letter in his room, or what was left of his room. It had been ransacked and all his possessions stolen. Bandits must have watched him leave and stolen everything. All his books. One’s he had written himself and the one’s he had collected over the years. He unfurled the letter and read it. It was from his father, short and sweet as always. It said:
I got lord Bowerton to write this for me because I can’t bear to look at your face any longer. I want you out of my house by the time I get back. I don’t want to see you ever again.
A tear drop fell on the page, smearing the last sentence.

Year 378 (32)
DUNH…DUNH…DUNH
Logan now worked in the mines. As he had for the last 5 years. He tried so very hard to get into a profession he would’ve enjoyed. Even a squire or page boy for ANYONE at the college. But they all turned him away, some more rudely than others.
DUNH…DUNH…DUNH
As much as he didn’t enjoy his life, he didn’t want to die. In his deepest, darkest section of his heart, he still felt he could be destined for something better than this. He had to. Logan wasn’t made to find iron in a mine. He was supposed to be a wizard.
DUNH…DUNH…DUNH
Or so he thought. Life didn’t always work out the way you wanted it to. “there has never been a mute wizard.” The wizard’s voice to whom he asked for private lessons from, rang in his head like the ring of a pickaxe. Maybe they were right? He had to accept what he was. He’d never be a great miner. Barely a good one in truth. But it was a job. It put food on the table. Well, if he HAD a table. He still didn’t have a home.
DUNH…DUNH…DUNH
It was time to give up. Accept his lot in life. “I’m not destined for greatness. I’m just Logan.”

Year 389 (43)
The rain was unrelenting. Logan felt that even if he jumped in the ocean, it would not be possible to be more wet. He began to shake. His breathe quickened. The rain was soaking him to his core. His makeshift hut had blown over from the torrential rain and wind, leaving him with no shelter. He had tried to stay at an inn but he had spent his last gold on mouldy bread. They would not let him stay even though he offered to pay double once he had the money.
Normally, from working in the mines so much, Logan was extremely dirty. Some days he couldn’t see a spare patch of skin. The rain was giving him and his clothes a good washing. At least some positive was coming out of this.
His shaking became almost violent now. Perhaps the washing wasn’t the only good thing that would come out of this… Perhaps this was it? The great Logan bested by some rain. He had to admit, he had come to peace with dying long ago. It’s not like he had much to live for. His one passion was gone decades ago. His family around the same time. He could at least be thankful he always had his keen mind despite his hardships; some of the other street folk did not fare so well.
It was very hard to find air to breathe. And when he did, it was so cold it hurt. Logan closed his eyes. He had every intention of not moving ever again when he came up with an idea.
One Last time. He thought.
Pyrothen! He thought with every fibre of his being.

He smiled.

 


© Copyright 2018 C.J.I McLachlan. All rights reserved.

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