The Best Kind of Magic by Jon Hunter

There was no doubting that I had the talent, but I had just failed my Wizardry exams for the fifth year in a row, much to my dad’s disbelief. I panicked every time I had to perform spells in front of the elders. At twenty-five, I was the oldest apprentice ever in the village. Furious, my Dad yelled, ‘You the biggest embarrassment of a wizard of all time. Even the goblins in the deepest forgotten caves would have no use for your talents.’

Hastily fleeing the village, I slumped down by the riverside. I flicked through my spellbook, looking at the confidence concoction devised by the great ‘Big Staff Blue Eyes.’ I had tried it endless times before with no reward. I was the joke of the village, frequently getting rotten food hurled at me by the most notorious gangs of girls. In tears, I noticed a young, beautiful lady beside the river. I shyly returned her smile and looked away, pretending to be busy in thought. Tensed up and staring down at the grass, I held my breath, dreading what might follow. Surprisingly, she strolled across and asked, ‘Had a difficult day?

I faintly mumbled, ‘Maybe...yes probably actually.’

Sitting down beside me, she put her hand on my shoulder and asked, ‘What is wrong lovely?’

Feeling a release of nerves, I plucked up the courage to tell her, ‘My lack of self-belief torments me. I choke every time I take my exams. The villagers think that I am an idiot.’ I was surprised that she looked concerned for me, so I asked her, ‘What do you do?’

She explained, ‘I am Tatyana. I am a model staying here for the local beauty contest. I have won many competitions, but I find all this touring lonely. I have met many people, but none of them are truly my friends.

She had an aura about her like no one else that I knew. Beauty, kindness, warmth and confidence exuded from her. I felt safe in her presence and kept listening to her story. ‘Numerous times folk had cheated on me and stabbed me in the back. In my industry everyone is just in it for themselves. They do not care for each other,’ Tatyana explained.

I nodded but struggled to find any words to encourage Tatyana. She continued, ‘It looks like I have a dream life, but my world is so lonely and ruthless. Thanks for listening, few people ever do that. I can tell you are a kind-hearted man.

Not knowing how to respond, all I could think to say was, ‘No worries.’ A silence fell as we both looked into each other’s eyes and smiled in sync with one another. I instantly felt a deep love for Tatyana but did not know how to convey this to her.

I was therefore ecstatic when she assured me, ‘I will always be there for you. I can tell you are very special. Honesty, humbleness and cuteness are the best qualities in men. You have them all. I need someone to care for and protect. With my catwalk experience, I will fix your nerves in public in no time.

Beaming with happiness our passions took hold as we vividly kissed long past sunset. With Tatyana caring for me, I excelled in the Wizardly circles and passed my exams with bounds of confidence, coming top of the class that year. Other Wizards acted in disbelief at the fulfilment of my potential. Used to me being a loser, the elders did not know what to make of it.

My Dad approached me after hearing of my success and sneered, ‘I bet you couldn’t even turn me to a toad if you tried.

Confidently, I gloated, ``My pond is ready for you now.’ As Dad became a toad, Tatyana sunk her nails into him and threw him in the pond.

Terrible man,’ she mustered.

Alarmed, the village elders discussed how to deal with me. However, just as the head elder Maximal Whitebeard began the proceedings, Tatyana stormed into the chamber with me tailing. The elders didn’t dare move an inch as all eyes fixed on Tatyana. ‘You all know that Alexei is a talent beyond any of your abilities. All I ask is that you reward him fairly and I will see that this village prospers,’ Tatyana asserted.

Enchanted by Tatyana’s powers of persuasion, Whitebeard instantly assured Tatyana, ‘Alexei will be employed as top potions master from today, don’t you worry.’ All the other elders nodded vigorously, not daring to differ. Known for her wisdom right across the Kingdom within weeks, the Queen appointed Tatyana as her top Royal Adviser.

Inviting me to the Royal Palace, Tatyana bowed down to me in the Great Hall and asked, ‘Alexei, the last year has been my best ever. Will you marry me?

Of course,’ I cried, ecstatically. ‘All the wonders I have worked are down to you. Being with you has cast all my anxieties aside. I have never been happier than in your company,’ I boasted with glee.

Within a year, I was voted in as the chief elder of the village after Maximal Whitebeard died of fever. Girls who tormented me before now marvelled at my spells in awe. Walking alongside the river where we first met, I asked Tatyana, ‘What can I do for you as you have done so much for me? I can make you more famous, have more wealth and never-ending beauty. My magic now is endless.’

However, Tatyana looked into my eyes and whispered, ‘Being together is the best possible magic there could ever be for me. That is all I will ever need.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Published in Issue #20

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