Talisman Troublesome

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The tale of Elias Bernzwarg, a highschool student who through the years have collected a vast array of magical artifacts, set in a world of mutated humans who had superpowers. Follow his pursuit as he tried to use these artifacts to befriend and help a bullied girl, Yuri, who he'd fallen in love with since the first day he had met her.

“Hey Elias, are you sure that I could seriously use this to cheat in the exam?” A brown-haired boy, I think his name is Brune, asked again in a dubious voice.

“It’s sure to work, man. I guaranteed it.” I grinned my devious grin. “And you all know the worth of a promise from Elias Bernzwarg.”  

To further prove my point, I picked up the winged eyeball sitting on the classroom table and fidgeted with the ring in my hand. The eyeball swiftly flew up from the tabletop and flew swiftly and silently around the expanse of the room. While the eyeball was flying around, I could see everything the eye saw through the spectacles I’m currently wearing. The kids standing all around me all went into ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ at this display, and I grinned to myself. That’s another sale for sure.

As I gathered the quid from Brune and the other kids interested in my product, I cast a glance around our classroom. It was a typical middle school classroom on this side of the Warped Dimension. Many of the kids have blue, violet, aquamarine, or any of the other shades or their combinations thereof imaginable. Some had unique physical features, like webbed hands, fur on their bodies, tails, and even elephant ears. My best friend Mile had fish gills, so there’s that.

My eyes roamed across the room until I came across this girl. She was huddled near the back of class, silent and quiet by herself, and no one else made an attempt to even go near or have a conversation with her. She was deathly pale and had her long raven hair framing most of her face, so I couldn’t even see what her expression was. Someone in the class nicknamed her, “Ghost”, and the name just sticks, since she reminded everyone quite strongly of the horror movies they’ve seen.

Ghost have just moved here from her old school located in another city, so I guess this whole ordeal had been quite drastic for her. It wasn’t helping when people started mocking her right off the bat after she arrived due to her pale skin, long hair, ghost-like features.

After I’ve finished collecting my money and transferring my product over to my over enthusiastic clients, I stood up and moved over to the seat just in front of Ghost.

“Hey.” I started awkwardly. “I’m kind of looking for someone to talk to. Do you mind a little chat?”  

The first time I met Ghost was when I was working part-time at my parent’s store during the spring break. My parents owned an antique shop, where they sold mostly junk. There were some powerful and unique magical talisman amidst those scraps, but you could say it’s quite a hard find.

Since I wasn’t magically gifted like my brother, who my parents sent to attend a magical university in another mirror dimension, I was stuck here working at the store. I was going over and nicking some of the useful talisman I’d found among the junk when the Ghost came in.

“What would you like, mam?” I said as soon as I got up. The girl had extremely pallid skin and her long inky hair was covering most of her face. I was reminded strongly of an Asian ghost movie, but managed to check my surprise. My face must’ve shown that since the girl looked back at me with one of her inky dark eyes.  

“Umh hmh. Sorry. Would you like to browse?” I asked again.

“I’d like a charm.” The girl said. She actually had a sweet, lilting voice, nothing like her ghost-like exterior. “One for sick people.”

I rummaged through the dusty shelves storing all the kinds of charms we have, from those going into exams, for sick people to get well, for war veterans to come home safely, and much more. There was an uncomfortable silence as the girl stood there and watched me search, so I couldn’t help myself but spoke up, curse my blabbering mouth.

“So. Is anyone in your family sick?”

“It’s my mother.” The girl replied. Now, the girl started sobbing softly, which grew in volume until she was practically wailing.

Oh gosh. What should I do? I wondered as I turned back from charm searching and looked at her. I went around the counter and was soon standing just besides this strange girl.

“It’s alright.” I tentatively reached out to pat her on the shoulder, which seemed to calm down her wailing by a bit.” Come come. Let’s go get some tea, shall we?” I led her to the cushions we reserved fur customers. I left her there, went into the pantry and prepare some warm earl grey tea. As an afterthought I put in some biscuits and scones, in case she’d liked it better.

As I carried out the tea and the drinks, the girl’s sobbing had died down, and as I sat down opposite to her I noticed that she was blushing.

“I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have broken down like that.” She said as she received the tea and plate of biscuits I’ve prepared. “Thank you.”

“A pleasure.” Now, as she nibbled into her biscuits, that uncomfortable silence was back again. “So. I noticed that you seemed to be quite around my age. What’s your name?”

“Yuri. Yuri Iwafumi.” She replied quickly before glancing away.

Oh wow. Her name is even similar to ‘yurei’, which means evil spirits. No wonder she got teased before.  She continued to glance away, as if expecting me to mock her unusual name.

I chuckled lightly, and she looked back at me. “That’s a beautiful name. Unique though, for sure. My name is Elias Bernzwarg. Nice to meet you.” I offered her my hand, and after some moment of consideration, she clasped her hand with mind. Simple as that, we became friends.

Yurei and I spent hours talking about our interests, hobbies, favorite films and novels, and even the ongoing situation in the world around us. I typically don’t do much small talk, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I massively enjoyed spending my time talking to Yuri, and if I wasn’t mistaken, I thought she enjoyed spending her time with me too.

After hours, finally Yuri notices that it was getting dark outside. We ended our discussions, I gave her the best charm I could find, and after asking for each other’s phone number we each wish each other good luck.

So it was a total surprise that I found myself several weeks later, sitting in class, when the teacher announces that a new student was coming in this year.

“Guys and girls, this is Yuri Iwafumi. She transferred here from another city, so let’s show her the ropes and become her new friends, shall we?” I stared at her, this strange, yet lovely girl I’d met in my parent’s store. She noticed me staring but instead of meeting my gaze, she averted my eyes entirely and instead opt to stare at the floor.

Ever since that first day, it’s as if Yuri was trying to stay away from me on purpose. I tried catching her in class, in the hallways, and even in the cafeteria, but she seemed just able to evade me every time. I was perplexed, of course, and couldn’t think up of any reasons why she’d do so.

Was it something I’d said? I wondered. Yuri, of course, got bullied right on her first day of school. She was mocked for her name, her ghost-like features, and because of that she was estranged and wasn’t able to make any new friends in the weeks since she arrived here at the school. The more I saw that, the more determined I feel to get ever closer to her and finally engaged Yuri in a talk.

So, after making quite a successful sale of my spying eyeballs, I decided that today is the day.

I went in and started awkwardly. “Hey. I’m kind of looking for someone to talk to. Do you mind a little chat?”

Yuri glanced up at me, but before she could reply someone stomped right on the table in front of her.

“Ghost girl, what are you doing with peddler? Are you thinking of seducing him or something?” The yellow haired boy, whose foot was still planted on the table between Yuri and I, broke into a hearty chuckle.

I frowned. Fuxion Linx was the biggest bully in school, and everybody knows that. Amidst most of the citizens of the Warped Realm, who have some mutant modifications of some kind, only a rare five percent of the population actually gained any useful powers from it. These people were dubbed as ‘The Powered’. Numerous powered people were spread all over the country, but since they were so rare there was only a slim chance that an average person was likely to meet one.

That was the reason why Fuxion, as the only active powered student in the entire school, starting his lording the moment he’d gotten into this place. He’d bullied people he’d set his eyes on accompanied by his band of cronies. Ever since Yuri came in, she’d become a favorite of his to torture. The bullying had gotten worse day by day, and today was the day I reckon it stopped for good.

“Fuxion.” I said in my calmest, most normal tone. “I’d like to ask you to a duel.”

Fuxion stood still as if shocked. His eyes were bulging furiously at me in what I thought was quite a comical manner.

“What did you say again?” He repeated, as if he couldn’t hear what I’d said so loudly and clearly.

“I said, I’d like to challenge you to a duel.” Once the words left my mouth, I knew full well that I couldn’t retract it, yet, in some small part of me, I am sure of my decision all the same.

All the chattering and murmuring in the class ceased at once. It was as if everyone was holding in their bated breath, waiting for Fuxion’s reply to come.

“Deal!” Fuxion shouted into my face. “I’m gonna so wreck your ass, peddler boy!”

In this country of Feslar, everyone knew that a formal duel was a holy a rite as any. In this country, whenever someone quarreled over something, once the matter got grave enough they could challenge each other to a duel. This means a battle between the two by their weapon of choice, which would only end when one side was incapacitated, dead, or cried out in surrender. The holy rules state that a duel could not be cancelled once issued out, and there could be no outside interference in anyway. So, as everyone could guess, I’m in this pretty deep.

Yuri stared at me, her eyes large as geese eggs. I flashed a charming smile at her and left.

Fuxion and I set our duel to be at noon break the next morning, and the location to be the school’s soccer field.

On noon the next day, so much people came to watch the show that the tired seats besides the soccer field was almost filled to its full capacity.

Fuxion stood there on the opposite side of the field. He was clenching and unclenching his fists, which sparkled with electricity. His hair was standing straight on his head, with sparks running menacingly all over them. Fuxion was famed to have received the power of the Thunder God. I guess I’m getting to test first hand on this day whether that was true.

I only brought a slightly dirty, frayed-looking knapsack with me. My Knapsack of the Void, which stored within were all of the useful magical gizmos and talismans I’d ever came across.

There was a referee, a teacher, standing by the side of the field. He stared at the two of us, nodded at each one to make sure we’re ready, then finally blew the whistle.

Without any preamble, Fuxion sent a massive bolt of lightning streaking towards me. My hand slipped into the knapsack and brought out an umbrella. As the bolt streaked towards me, I pushed the umbrella open.

The bolt slammed against the umbrella with a deafening bang. There was some smoke, but once it cleared the crowd cheered at the apparent fact that I’m still alive, and more, apparently not injured in anyway.

Whew. If it wasn’t for this Gentleman’s Umbrella I would’ve been blasted to smithereens. I’d stumbled upon the umbrella by chance while rummaging through my parent’s antiques. It was a magically crafted umbrella that was enchanted to deflect any magic that was sent against it. The Gentleman’s Umbrella, as it was called, soon became one of my favorite magical talismans.

The crowd continued their cheering as I deflected bolts after bolts of lightning from Fuxion. Fuxion, ever growing more furious, tried to increase the speed and intensity at which he was shooting his lightning at me, but I managed to deflect most of them. One of the bolts made it through and scorched a burn across my right shoulder. I gritted myself through the pain and continued striding forward.

I know that I couldn’t win a duel just by defending, but fortunately I have a plan.

It should’ve arrived by now, I think. I tried to peek over the rim of the umbrella toward Fuxion’s back, but as a lightning bolt instantly came lashing at my exposed face I was behind my canvas shield in moments. Finally, I heard a strangled cry from the opposite side of the field and finally lowered the umbrella.

Fuxion was struggling madly against a magically enchanted coil of rope that wrapped around him as if it was alive. I had let it out of the knapsack even before the duel had begun, and had been stalling the time until the slowly crawling rope had arrived behind Fuxion.

I now willed the rope to climb even further into the air, curling and twisting and taking Fuxion up into the air with it.

As Fuxion struggled, I ran forward while simultaneously lobbing the miscellaneous junk from my knapsack onto his head. A clock, a broom, a large pebble, a piece of moldy cheese. Fuxion yelped each time the projectile collided against his head, and the crowd roared in laughter.

However, those laughter didn’t last. Fuxion was so enraged that crackles of electricity began circulating all throughout his body. Arcs of electricity were running violently around him, some even streaking forwards towards the watching crowd. The crowd gaped and shrieked and scattered. Of course, the rope binding him became blackened and was soon burned off his body.

Fuxion dropped onto the ground, now enraged more than ever.

“You. Elias Bernzwarg. I’m going to make you pay.” Fuxion shot forward like a bolt of lightning.

I, who knew what was coming, instantly ducked and rolled to the side. Fuxion’s electrified fist slammed into the ground just where I was standing. Only, sloshed was a more appropriate word.

Fuxion gazed down in confusion to discover that his fist was submerged in a mire of quicksand. “What…” He could only say as more of his body became submerged in the sand, and at that moment true panic clutched at him. “Arghh!” He tried shocking them, of course, but since sand wasn’t such a conduit to electricity anyway it doesn’t really work.

I had anticipated that Fuxion was definitely going to lunge for me at some point, so I had scattered Quick Quick Sand seeds on the ground ever since I started my sprint. Sure enough, he had fallen quite neatly into my trap.

Fuxion was sinking so quickly into the quicksand that only his torso and his two flailing arms were visible.

“Before the entire school, say you’re sorry to Yuri.” I shouted at the struggling Fuxion.

“Sorry!” Fuxion shouted desperately as the quick sand slithered its way up his shoulders.

“I need them louder, Fuxion.” I said with a snigger, “Otherwise, I guess you’ll just have to sink.”

“I’m sorry Yuri! I’m so sorry!” Fuxion shouted again. The quicksand was at his throat now, and rising even more rapidly than before.

“Make a promise that you’ll never pick on her, or any other students in the school ever again.” I said while struggling to keep in my laughter. “Hurry up Fuxion, otherwise you’ll really sink!”

“I won’t bully anyone ever again! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Fuxion shouted desperately. Only his face was left above the sand now. “Please get me out of here. I’m sorry, everyone!”

“Alright, alright.” I said and snapped my fingers thrice. Simple as that, the quicksand disappeared. Fuxion lay slumped on the soccer field as I turned to the crowd’s massive hooting and applause.

Suffice to say, from that day onwards, Fuxion never picked on Yuri or anyone ever again. Actually, every time he accidentally met my eyes, I actually saw him shiver slightly before looking away again. So that was that, and all was well.

Our school have an annual tradition of an end year ball, where couples and aspiring couples usually ask each other out and such. So it probably came as a surprise to Yuri when I went ringing up her door.

“Ahem.” I said as I stood awkwardly before the front gate of Yuri’s house. I was contemplating whether I should ring the bell again when Yuri stepped out before the door. She had clipped up her long hair in a stylish way as to expose her face more, and I’d have to say that made her look especially lovely. She simply stared at me as I stood there fidgeting.

“Umh.” I said again awkwardly. “Would you like to go to the ball with me?” I darted a glance down at my shoes before darting up to meet her gaze again. I was glad I did that, otherwise I would’ve missed a wondrous sight indeed.

Yuri smiled. Actually smiled. I realized that this was actually the first time I’ve ever seen her smile, and I would love to see it more often, that’s for sure.

“Sure thing.” She replied, still smiling. “Would you like to come in and have some tea?” She opened her doors wider for me, and oh boy, I felt better than if I’d have won the lottery jackpot.

We went in and have a long, long conversation. Apparently the reason that Yuri pretended not to know me and refused to talk to me this whole time because she was afraid she’d pull me down with her. She said that it had happened before that she was bullied in other schools, and she was afraid that if she appeared to know me then the other people might started bullying me too. I laughed at her fears as silly, and openly dared anyone to try to bully me, the defiant Elias Bernzwarg. We had a nice laugh out of that and a generally great evening.

On prom night, I went to pick up Yuri as we’d planned. Once the door came opening I was stunned. It was as if she was an entirely different woman. Her long raven hair was done up in elegant braids, letting her amethyst eye shone dimly in the night. She was wearing an emerald green dress that accentuates her pale skin in the best of ways. I guess I was staring open mouthed because Yuri chuckled at my reaction, then we both made our way down to the waiting limo.

Once we’re near the dance floor of the main hall, I cleared my throat. With the darkness all around, intercepted only by the swiveling pattern of multi-colored lights playing around on everyone’s faces, I looked at the beautiful woman standing before me and offered her my hand.

“Would you like to dance with me, Yuri?”

“My pleasure, Elias.” Yuri smiled a sweet smile, and my spirits practically soared. We danced, my hand in one of hers and my other hand on her waist, and danced, and danced, and I have to say, I had never felt happier.







Submitted: June 07, 2020

© Copyright 2021 S. K. Inkslinger. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I really enjoyed reading this - although I've got to admit the eyeball was a bit gross. Your descriptions of Ghost made me think of the girl in 'The Ring' - nicely done.

Sun, June 7th, 2020 6:58pm


I totally envisioned Ghost as the Ring's main character too, hahah. Thank you so much for your kind feedback, hullabaloo! :)

Mon, June 8th, 2020 1:36am

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