The Riddling Magician

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
About a girl who thought she couldn't be tricked and wandered into a forest. She only finds herself in a whirlwind of riddles and demons.

Submitted: November 21, 2011

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Submitted: November 21, 2011

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Everyone gathered around the fire, awaiting The Teller. You could hear the laughter of children, and the bellows of the men from miles away. The Teller walked over to the gathering, a brown cloak hung off his thin form. Once spotted, everyone hushed and took there seat around the fire. The Teller took his place on a stump and waited for everyone to silence themselves. “What story do you have for us tonight?” One man asked. “Can you tell us the one about the Falling Moon?” a woman asked as she batted her eyelashes in memory of the romantic story. “No!” a man objected. “I want to hear the one about the war and fighting.” He added. All the men cheered to that.

The Teller looked around then shook his head. “I will tell none of those.” His voice was deep but gentle. “I have a special story for you, a true story.” Mumbles arose from the crowd. The Teller warmed his hands by the fire then cleared his throat. “It was a very long time ago, before any of you were brought into this world.” He started the story, all eyes fixated on him.

“Once there was a girl, a foolish girl. Everyday the girl would wander into the forest. She went further inside each day, not afraid of anything. She of course, did not realize she was being watched. The bold girl didn’t know what she would find in the forest, or what would happen, she just knew that she wanted to explore it all. Inch by inch she wanted to know that forest. Little did she know that the forest was forbidden to go into, or wicked things rested among the shadows.

One particular day she had gone too far into the forest. She had crossed dangerous territory. Vines grew thick in this part and it was hard to walk anyway. The leaves and tress seemed to be alive, for they would always close the girl’s path as she moved on. A snap in the distance made the girl stop. Her breath was steady and no noises were heard expect the creaking of the trees and whispering of the light breeze. The girl felt something strong then grip her ankles. With a yelp she fell to the ground. Panic rose and she scrambled away from the vines and towards an odd opening. 

The girl lied in the leaves and dirt for a short time, unsure if she should go forward, or try and find a way home. She only had one choice though. When she looked behind herself, there was nothing but vines intertwined in each other, blocking her ways out. A heavy sigh crossed her lips as she stood up and slowly walked forward.

She came out of the trees and into a small clearing. It was round and lined with trees, this seemed to be the only way open. Sitting in the middle, on a stump, was a man. He had white gloves on and was wearing a green suit. His top hat was purple, as were his shoes. A grin was placed upon his face. “Welcome!” he shouted suddenly, making the girl jump. “Who are you?” she asked, in a small voice. The man stood and bowed. “I have no name, but I am a magician.” He said cheerfully. She could see his rich brown hair curl out from under his hat. One eye seemed to appear purple; the other was a definite brown. The magician invited her over to sit, and so she did just that. “What is a magician?” the girl asked. The magician’s smile got larger. “The better question is what can a magician do.” He said. “I can trick you.” He added. “No one can trick me.” The girl stated boldly. The magician smile got even larger, taking up half his face. “Do I sense a challenge?” he asked. The girl didn’t know what to say, so she only nodded.

“Answer me this riddle then, we are very little creatures and we all have very different features. One of us in glass is set; another you will find in jet. Another may be found in tin and the fourth is boxed within. If the fifth you should pursue, it can never fly from you. What are we? ” The girl thought it over. “A E I O U sometimes Y” She said. The Magicians smile decreased a bit. “You are clever.” He said. “What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich need it, and when you eat it, you die?” The girl looked at him. “Nothing. Because nothing is greater than God. Nothing is more evil than the devil. The poor have nothing. The rich need nothing. And when you eat nothing, you die.” The girl answered clearly. The magician eyed the girl for a moment then turned his back on her.

His long legs took him to the edge of the clearing. He soon turned around on his heel sand started back towards the girl. “Very well, I will let you go, only if you are to promise to come back tomorrow.” He said no hint of play in his voice. The girl stood and nodded. “I promise.” She said, but had no intention of making it; little did she know though, that she had to. Even if she didn’t want to, her fate was already set into place, and her promise would not be broken.

The next day went on as usual. The girl helped her mother in the house and looked after her younger brother. Her eyes would sometimes wander towards the forest, and when she saw a dark figure she would quickly look away. She kept telling herself that she nothing would happen.

 

Night seemed to come quickly and it was time for the girl to go to bed. She soon fell into a deep sleep. An hour later she started hearing noises. They kept getting louder and louder. The girl woke up and got out of bed and walked over to the window. When she looked out of it she saw the dark figure at the edge of the forest again. The noises turned out to be voices, but none of them was recognizable, and they seemed to becoming from the forest. After slipping on her shoes she climbed quietly out of the window. The moon made a light for her as she snuck away from her house.

The voices led her eventually to the clearing again. There in the middle stood The Magician. A small smile rested on his face. “Welcome.” He said quietly, motioning the girl to sit on the stump. “I’m glad you kept your promise.” He added after she declined his offer. “Are you ready for more riddles?” he asked after a bit of silence. The girl just stared at him, confused on how she got here. “Very well.” He sighed quietly. The girl then blurted out. “I wasn’t going to keep my promise, but somehow, I had to come.” The Magician nodded his head. “A promise is a promise. You must keep it, no matter what.” He said, his eyes fixated on her. “So you forced me here?” she asked. His purple eye seemed to glisten in the moonlight. “I did no such thing. It was the power of the promise.” He answered. “Shall we move on?” he then said before she could say anything else to that. The girl took the seat and waited for his riddle.

“I am always in front of you but can never be seen. Think of tomorrow and you will know what I mean. What am I?” he asked her, his eyes looked towards the trees. The girl thought about it, it was tricky but easy. “The Future.” The Magician looked sad, but smiled anyway. “Correct.” He said solemnly. “I am red, I am your power, I may be broken by a coward. What am I?” he said to her as he glanced up at the moon, it was like he was waiting for something or someone. “A heart.” The girl slowly said. The Magician looked at the girl and nodded, his face was long and his eyes sad. “I once was a fool, who believed in love. Now I regret my decision, for I made a deal with a demon and now I have become one myself. I am now feared and hated by many. I have a heart so dark and deep, I am darkness itself.”

“I don’t get it.” the girl said, pondering. This was a complicated riddle. She then figured out that it wasn’t another riddle, but he was about to tell her something. “I never believe that I could be loved, so I made a deal. My heart was broken by a young maiden hundreds of years ago. She ran off on me with another man. My heart shattered and I felt as if the whole world crashed. I was wandering aimlessly in the forest, this forest. I wanted to die, to be forgotten. I wanted to forget the pain and anger. I happened across a boy. Or at least, he had the appearance of a boy. He knew what I wanted and he proposed a deal. If I did what he asked, he would take away all my pain. I was anxious to rid of it, so I agreed. The details of the deal were never fully explained. The boy was a demon and he tricked me. He not only took y pain and anger, but he took my will to love and all the chance of happiness. He took all my emotions.” The girl waited in silence, now knowing this was about him and his past, “Throughout the years, I got a bit of emotions here and there, but I became completely numb. I was a doll. I finally talked the demon to give me back a few emotions, since I was doing so well collecting his souls. He agreed, but again, he gave me guilt and remorse. I had to keep taking souls and also fell the guilt of it. I easily became what I am today, but a simple little deal.”The magician motioned his hands to himself, and then looked up at the girl, tears in his eyes. The girl had yet to connect any of the puzzles of what he does.

“I have tricked you” The girl was then confused, how could he have tricked her? “Every time you answered the riddles correctly I took part of your soul” The girl gasped slightly, standing up and backing away slowly, the magician removed his hat and threw on the ground, “He made me a monster. I’m so sorry, but it’s too late.” The girl fell to the ground, her knees hitting the cold dirt. She couldn’t believe his words, and actually didn’t understand them all that much. “How could you?” the girl stared up at him. The magician sat back down on the stump and looked towards the ground. Then an idea came to his head. “What if...” he trailed off into silence.

The sobbing girl looked up. “What?” she asked, wiping tears from her red cheeks. His eyes studied the girl for a while. “The deal was never really over.” He said quietly.  The girl looked confused, but kept quiet to hear what he had to say. “If I can find a way to reverse it or something, the curse will be broken!” The Magician looked then looked beyond the trees. Something in his eyes startled him. Like those words brought something, “You must go.” He said to the girl who only ignored him. Out of nowhere a young boy walked into sight. “Hello Magician.” The boy’s voice was soft, but at the same time eerie. His eyes were dilated as they focused on the Magician. His black curly hair formed around his perfect circular face.. He wasn’t as tall as the magician, but taller then the girl. “There is no way out” He spoke. The magician didn’t move or say anything to him. The boy raised his eye brow then looked at the girl. “You must me lucky number 150.” The girl’s eyes got big and her mouth dropped suddenly.

The Magician hung his head, ashamed of himself. “I had to.” He said to her in a mumble. The boy laughed, making the trees shake and a chill run up the girl’s spine. “You must answer the last and final riddle!” the boy said, his voice booming loudly. The Magician thought for a second, his face hung low. He was forced to give her a riddle. He opened his mouth and told her a riddle she would have to solve. She would breathe her last breath after it. “I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?” He spoke softly, but loud enough for her to hear. The girl stared at the Magician. Was there any way to get out of this? An idea then came to the girl. She looked at the Magician, her eyes focusing on his. “I-I don’t know.” She said suddenly. The Magician wrinkled his brows to this answer, if you wanted to call it an answer. The demon frowned and narrowed his eyes. “You liar.” He said to her.

After a few seconds the ground shook and total darkness covered the world. Like all the light in the world was taken away. You wouldn’t be able to see your own hand in front of your face. All the girl could hear was an angered cry. There was an odd tearing noise and the ground shook more. Soon the cry was gone.

The girl opened her eyes to see a handsome man looking down at her. She was lying down now. Maybe she blacked out or something. She had a headache and she felt a bit weak. The Magician was crouched over her, making sure she was okay. Something was different about him. His clothes were less colorful. He wore tan trousers and a maroon shirt that fit him perfectly. His brown curly hair came just over his eyes, both were brown. He still had a tall thin figure, but he was normal again. “How did you lie like that to him?” he asked her. “Lie?” the girl looked up at him. “You said didn’t know the riddle.” A light pink rose in the girl’s cheeks. “I didn’t lie.” The Magician laughed a bit. “Now don’t go lying to me too. That was the easiest riddle! A small child could figure the answer out!” he fidgeted with his clothes; he had gotten use to the bright suit he wore for centuries. “Well, thanks.” He had a new smile on his face, a happier one. “No, thank you. You saved me.” The girl said quickly to him. The Magician had to laugh again. “But I was the one to put you in danger in the first place.” The girl shrugged, she was about to speak again but all of a sudden people started coming out of the forest. A small gasp came out of the Magicians mouth when he realized who they were. They were of all the innocent people he had tricked. They all looked confused and in a daze, not remembering anything. He told them the way to their village and they stumbled around and eventually left. The Magician looked back at the girl. “The name’s Elijah.” He said, taking her hand. The girl smiled up at him then let him help her to her feet. “Raina” the girl said back to him. With a smile they walked out of the forest.’

The Teller looked at everyone’s face, all surprised. “So that’s it then? They lived happily ever after and died of old age?” one woman asked. The Teller shook his head, “I never said they died, and I guess you can say they did live happily together.” A few of the villagers started to leave for home. A little girl went up to The Teller, “Teller,” she said, her voice high and small, “Didn’t you once tell us that you were a magician?” she asked. The Teller smiled, but the smile could not be seen by the young girl. “Perhaps I did.” He said, he looked towards the light and for the first time, she saw his smile, and it was a happy smile.

After everyone left, The Teller put the fire out. He watched as the rest of the villagers went into there homes. His long legs took him towards the forest where a woman was patiently waiting. He hugged her and took her hand and disappeared into the misty forest. The young girl, from before, watched the Story Teller from her window. A small happy gasp escaped her little lips as she realized the story was indeed true. She happily got into bed, dreaming about the story that was just told to her and letting her imagination take flight.


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