Lemma the Librarian: Hard Truths, Part 2

I shut my eyes again and
concentrated on the storm, the enormous magical energy roiling through
it, the raw power of  sea and wind and sky. Problem was, a storm at sea is
about as wild as wild magic can be, the most alien thing to human kinds
of power this  side of the Outer Dark. But I’d managed once before to use
a spell of  transference to convert an immense source of wild
magic–Brea’s healing powers–into a high-magic spell. 

Yeah, a spell you prepared in
advance, that took hours. All you’ll manage in ten seconds is to kill us all!

Shut  up, me, I thought, and
began the spell. If I could get this right, I  could sap wind and sky
magic from the storm and feed it into the plank,  using the storm itself
to power a flight spell strong enough to get us  to land!

Just had to focus, keep control…
The sea surged,  and the raft spun into the air again, carrying us with
it. “Hold on!” I  shouted unnecessarily, and pushed the magic
into the wood. 

We  hung in the air, just like
before… And then kept hanging, still  spinning, but headed for the
shore! We were flying! Well, floating,  anyway. The wind was doing the

Okay, maybe more wobbling than
flying… Ugh…

I  felt the bubble form at the
top of my stomach, then rise painfully up  through my chest. My mouth was
suddenly full of spit, and my head  swimming. Nonononono, gotta focus,
gotta keep control…

My stomach spasmed, and I started
dry heaving. The magic spun away from me. And then the plank exploded.

My last thought before I hit the
black wall of water rushing up to meet me was, Killed by my own spell. Dammit,
mom was right.

* * *

The  first surprise was that I
woke up. The second surprise was that I was  lying on something hard and
uneven. Land! Hard, rocky ground! Even while  I coughed and heaved
approximately seven million gallons of sea water  onto it, it was

After, I collapsed back onto the
 rocks. I felt like shit. Every part of my body hurt, I was thirsty as
 hell, my stomach was still twitching irritably, and it was way too

All  I wanted was to lay there
on the shore, but I knew I needed to move. I  needed water, shelter, and
eventually even–ugh, my stomach hated this  thought–food. 

I staggered painfully to my feet.
Nothing  seemed broken, but I felt like one giant bruise as I looked up and
down  the coast. No signs of any rivers, but that’s where water goes,
right?  Down to the sea? So if I followed the coast long enough, I’d have
to  reach fresh water. 

I set out at a brisk stagger, but it
was hard going. The ground was  rough and uneven, and I was (as I
may have mentioned) exhausted, dehydrated, and a solid mass of bruises. When I
finally heard water, I practically fainted. Especially when I realized it
wasn’t coming from ahead; it was coming from my left. In other words,
from higher up the slope.

“Dammit, why can’t anything
ever be easy?” I groused as I began clambering up the rocks. It wasn’t
THAT  bad of a slope, it was just one more obstacle when I was already
fucking exhausted. But I had no choice–water’s water. 

At last, after like a billion
years of climbing, I found my way up to more level-ish ground. I looked
down the sheer thousand-foot cliff I’d climbed to find it was more like
20 feet, and not anywhere near as bad of a slope as it’d felt like. Whatever,
I thought. When I find Iason,  I’ll tell him it was a thousand feet
straight up. It’s not really lying  if that’s what it felt like, right?

…And I’m GOING to find him. He’s
here. Somewhere.

(To be continued…)

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