Friday, July 30, 2010


Fear and Respect
By Janet Hafner

“Magic is like a cooking fire” The magus said. “A tool, very useful.” He licked his fingers. “But also dangerous in the wrong hands.”

Clustered around him like grapes, the students stared on, rapt, their pointed hats bent at amateur angles.

“Like fire, magic has an allure about it, a flickering beauty that draws the heart and holds it, but go too deep–” The students gasped as the magus thrust his hand into the cooking fire, winced at raw and blistering skin as he showed the damage to his students “and you will most certainly get burned.”

“Magic is not something to be feared or toyed with.” The Magus busied himself with a quick spell that turned his skin back to a healthy tone. “It is a tool that should be treated as such, respected.”

He fixed the wide-eyed pupils with a strong stare.

“Forget this, and you practice at your own peril.” The campfire raged suddenly behind the magus, leapt out of the stone circle and roared into the sky. “Forget this, and you will get burned.”

The magus burst into laughter as the fire reached for him and the students broke suddenly in fear, scattering into the woods. Behind the old wizard, a sharp-nosed man as thin as a whip stepped up and gently quieted the cooking fire with a simple gesture.

“You never get tired of scaring the new ones like that, do you Barius?”

“Never.” The old magus grinned.

“Because I know a little fear now will keep in check a larger tragedy later.”

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I live in Nebraska with my husband and two dogs. It sure does get cold out here!


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