Previously, Rune had created his town and had it out with Black Bart. That's when things started getting weird. Really, really weird.
SPELLSLINGER - PART III (Continued from November 12) (Continued from November 5)
Inside, he slid his back down against the wall and peeked under the swinging door. The steel monster was nowhere in sight. He heaved a sigh, and pushed himself up. He really needed a sarsaparilla something awful. But the bartender, the cowboys, and even the saloon gal had disappeared. His mouth dropped open as the bar and the shelves behind it began to drip like burning candles, the wax pooling on the floor.
He tried to stop the melting, but he couldn’t feel the boost of Thordis’s magic. The walls became hazy, then transparent. The glacier rose behind the fast disappearing structure. He glanced at his wrist, activating his built-in magic watch. “Crud. No way is two hours up. Aunt Thordis gypped me.” He tried to rebuild the saloon. When that didn’t work, he changed his western shirt into a heavy anorak with a fur-lined hood. The saloon melted away, and he stood freezing on the glacier.
He searched for any vestige of his western town. Nothing. With tears stinging his eyes from both cold air and disappointment, he began to trudge toward the shimmering bubble protecting the village from the arctic cold.
Rune stood still, a tiny, sharp edge of anxiety gnawed at his thudding heart. It was only then he realized he was completely and utterly drained of magic. As the bubble faded away, he dropped to his knees and held his face with his hands. He gulped, fighting back the tears, but the sobs rose unbidden in his chest, and he couldn’t hold them back.
When his knees began to freeze, he choked back his crying and stood up. He calmed himself, trying to think this through. Aunt Thordis wouldn’t abandon him out on the glacier, would she? Surely, she’ll be opening the gate any minute, calling him into the village’s warmth. But how long might that take? Maybe she was busy with Council work or taking a nap. He had to find his own way back into the village or risk freezing to death. He didn’t have long before the cold would overtake and drag him down into a final sleep.
All the kids were taught early on that they shouldn’t go out onto the glacier by themselves. It was dangerous, even stupid. He counted on the magic Thordis had pumped into him to work, but for some reason it had disappeared. Why would that happen? It couldn’t be lack of power on her part; she was the strongest witch in the village. It must be something about himself or where he was that caused the magic to go away.
Rune had only one option left. He had to let his vampire out. He’d been trained since he could barely toddle to hold that part of him inside, to never let it out. Mostly, he succeeded, but only because his family kept all temptations away from him. He was not allowed to see human blood. He’d been magically blinded more than once when a witch accidentally cut herself. His mother and aunt had swaddled him in a deep layer of binding to prevent his vampire from coming out. He still had to have blood, but his mother controlled him when he received his daily ration of animal blood.
Now, he had to fight off the damping spell that kept his vampire half in check. With his warlock magic gone, all he had left was the hot blood of the vampire. Vampire speed, vampire senses, vampire strength. But he knew the consequences. If he surrendered to the bloodsucker, then nobody would be safe around him. Even at his age, a vampire is a dangerous creature. He could only hope that the witches inside the village would recognize him and take the appropriate drastic measures. He shuddered, fully understanding it might include his death. But staying outside was out of the question.
TO BE CONTINUED ON NOVEMBER 26TH