imaginary archive (ib_archive) wrote,
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[story] no fantasy for you!

author: d.m.jewelle (dmjewelle)
e-mail: jv.choong [ at ] gmail dot com
artist: mene (moonplanet)

A/N: Takes place in the same world as this

"You should put magic in this world," Edna Costello said.

Finnegan paused, with his chocolate chip muffin an inch from his mouth, for a split second.

"No," he said, and took a bite.

Sedna's shoulders drooped. "Aww, Master Finnegan, why not?"

Edna leaned forward. "Yeah, why not?"

Finnegan looked straight at the elderly woman. "You think it's a great idea for everyone else to have magic powers like you?"

Edna shrugged. "Levels the playing field."

Finnegan took a larger bite; nobody'd ever told him muffins were off-limits during socio-politico-theological discourse. "If you want a nemesis all you have to do is ask. Any particular type you're looking for? Sealed demons? Possessed children with telekinetic powers? A man-wolverine?"

Edna glared at her god over the rim of her teacup.

Sedna waved his hand between them. "No, no, she's got a good idea, Master Finnegan. It'd be cool to have powers!"

Edna and Finnegan faced the blue-haired youth.

"Being a legendary hero isn't enough?" Finnegan asked.

"I'm only a legendary hero back home, Master Finnegan."

"And so you want to be a legendary hero on a planet where I am God." Finnegan took his third bite. "This conversation isn't going anywhere. No, you can't have magic in this world because I said so, next topic."

Edna could have sworn the Legendary Hero's braids lost their gleeful bounce.

"I ain't taking no for an answer, unless you give me a damn good reason why," Edna shot back. She had a soft spot for Sedna, but even more than that, Edna Costello's forte was picking fights.

Finnegan sighed and rolled his eyes. "The reason why-"

A piercing shriek rang out, causing the cafe's customers to look up, craning their heads. Edna, Finnegan and Sedna spotted the source simultaneously - a woman shouting at a man grabbing her bag and running away.

"Stop him, that's my bag!"

Sedna sprang from his chair and gave chase when the man passed their table.

Finnegan sipped his tea. "Such an attention whore."



Dirk Blightly ran down the pavement, ignoring the fading screams and stares. He tucked the brown leather handbag under his arm, hugging it as he sped up. A glance over his shoulder revealed a streak of blue braids closing in on him. Perhaps Dirk should have been disturbed by the blissful, maniacal grin on his pursuer's face, but the bag took higher priority. He had camped outside this woman's apartment for a week, noted the times she left and returned home, and spent the rest of his waking hours researching the Gelas Artefact she kept in her bag; after all that, there was no way he was going to give it up now. Artefacts always fetched a pretty penny, and Dirk was confident it was his now that he'd grabbed it.

However, that was before Legendary Hero Sedna reached into his jeans' back pocket and pulled out his Legendary Sword +49 (he'd upgraded it yesterday).

Dirk's eyes grew to the size of saucers.



"That sword seems awfully heavy," Edna pointed out.

"He had a new layer of Enhancium slathered on yesterday, I think it's triple his weight now." Finnegan let the last drop of tea drip into his cup.

"He'll break his arms at this rate!"

"I wouldn't worry about it." Finnegan brought the teacup to his lips. "He's due for a new sword soon. That's how Legendary Swords work."



Sedna hoped people were gaping in awe at how large and cool his Legendary Sword +49 was, and not in consternation because the tip of the sword was creating a long crack along the pavement. It was easy for Finnegan to tell Sedna to wait for the next Legendary Sword before slapping on the enhancements but Sedna was the impatient sort who accepted power when it was offered, and if someone said they could enhance his sword one more time without breaking it, why not? He briefly considered bringing it down on the robber, but the weight of the aftershock might smash car windows and send buildings crashing down; things that would annoy Finnegan more than help bring the robber to justice.

Sedna saw the robber shrink into the distance; this would not do. He looked around: cars lined up along the road on his right, while on his left a group of teenagers about his age in hooded robes and rounded cardboard shoulder pads gawked and pointed at him as they exited one of the stores. He recalled Edna Costello calling them Larpers or "kids with too much time and not enough homework". Just before brushing them off, Sedna caught the glint of a sturdy sword in one of the gawkers' tattered gloved hand. He sauntered over to the teenagers, flashing his biggest, friendliest, most opportunistic grin ever.

"Dude, that's a big sword you got there," the gawker said.

"It sure is. Trade mine for yours?" Sedna pointed to the other weapon.

The boy blinked. "What, this? This isn't cool at all, it's level one, and-"

"It's no problem; I'll return it to you if you really want it-"

"No, no! It's okay! Here, take it!" Sedna politely took the sword and pressed the handle of his Legendary Sword +49 into the boy's palms before sprinting off once more.

He didn't stay to see the boy drop the Legendary Sword +49 and cleave the pavement in two, causing a massive rift across the road that swallowed up the parked cars.



The sharp crack and tremors tripped up Dirk Blightly, throwing him forward. He managed to grab a parking meter before he fell face-first onto the pavement, bag still tightly tucked under his arm. When the tremors stopped, Dirk's knees were still wobbling as he straightened his body. He patted the bag, squeezing it lightly make sure the contents were in one piece. He had shaken off his blue-haired pursuer, but Dirk was taking no chances - his gut feeling told him to put as much distance between them as he could, and the prickling of the hairs on the back of his neck told him that the chase was far from over.

Dirk looked at his feet and muttered, "Celeritate calceamenta." His shoes flickered, warping the air around them. He took off and his surroundings blurred into streaks of colours.



Sedna blinked, unsure whether his eyes were playing tricks or what as the robber shot off like a bullet. He was tempted to complain that the robber was cheating, but quickly regained his thrill of the hunt when he remembered that he was a Legendary Hero. He looked to the row of cars on the road, now parked at odd angles from the tremors, and spotted a large black motorcycle leaning against a car, the handlebar knocking one of its side mirrors askew. Sedna pulled the motorbike upright and got on it.

"Giddyup!" he yelled.

The engine roared to life, its headlight shining brightly.

The road smelt of burnt tar and rubber as the motorcycle sped off.



Finnegan and Edna leaned forward in their chairs, looking at the frantic crowd. The cacophony of car alarms petered out, replaced by people whipping out their cell phones and yelling about a sudden earthquake and how some needed help fishing their cars from the new pit on 52nd street. Some regarded Sedna's oversized sword with confusion - the blade's tip had sunk a foot into the pavement, and onlookers debated whether to leave it be or try pulling it out. A man ran down the pavement shouting and waving his arms and pointing to the road. From their table, Finnegan and Edna couldn't make out what the man was saying, but they had a hunch that Legendary Hero Sedna had something to do with it.

Finnegan frowned, "I hope he hasn't stolen someone's motorcycle again."



Dirk's cheeks burned, the wind roaring in his ears until he heard the roar of a very loud motorcycle.

He dug his heels into the ground, screeching to a halt. Behind him, a mess of blue braids exploded from an oncoming motorcycle. Even from afar, Dirk noted the rider's maniacal grin - what was this person's problem? Who was he and why was it so important to him to chase Dirk Blightly, an everyman down on his luck? A large pedestrian scramble lay ahead of him, with people on every side waiting to cross. Dirk slipped into the crowd and squeezed in between a dark burly man and a suited woman and lowered his head. The motorcycle roar faded to a putt, but Dirk maintained his position. If he could lose himself in the crowd it would be no problem slipping into an alley until his pursuer gave up. He was home free.

At least until a hand rested on his right shoulder.



"Hello there mister! That bag's not yours!" Sedna shoved his pearly whites into Dirk's face, hand firmly grasping the corner of the handbag. Dirk barely kept his hold on the bag.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Dirk retorted loud enough to turn heads. He tugged the bag closer to him.

"You know, the bag you're holding right now, you stole it, remember?" Sedna gave the bag a sharp tug, elbows narrowly missing a man.

"Hey, watch it!" A voice shouted. More yelps of protest followed as the crowd pushed and pulled, trying to get away from the two.

The tug-of-war dragged on, neither side relenting until streaks of blue and white light shot out from the bag.



Finnegan and Edna stared at the large glass panther towering above the buildings. Light bounced off in different directions, giving it a white aura and a rainbow-like translucence that would have looked stunning if it hadn't been growling and trying to bite off everyone's heads. Around them people were fleeing and screaming in terror - Finnegan could make out the faint sound of sirens homing in on the commotion. Finnegan shielded his eyes, the light from the glass panther blinding him if he looked at it straight on.

"Huh, so that's where it went," Finnegan said.

Edna turned sharply to her god. "You made that?"

"Not really...'caught' would be a better word, I guess."

"How do you catch something like that?" Edna wondered.

"The universe is a wondrous and mysterious place," Finnegan deadpanned.

Edna snorted.

Finnegan's pants pocket vibrated. He pulled out his phone and opened his inbox. Sedna had sent a message:

"HELP PLZ SWORD NOT STRONG NUFF."

Finnegan sighed, swept his finger around the screen, pressed a button, and then replaced the phone in his pocket and resumed gazing at the glass beast.



Sedna circled the glass panther, sidestepping the occasional frantic pedestrian. He checked his phone in between leaping over glass patches: everything the beast touched and breathed on turned into shimmering reflective glass. Sunlight made the patches glow, which was lovely if you weren't fleeing from an unearthly glass monster. Partially glassed electrical poles and billboards blinded everyone no matter where they stood. Sedna's boots crunched through the shards of his new sword, turned to glass when he used it to shield himself from the panther's first attack. Sedna had not seen Dirk Blightly since the panther appeared, but the robber was the least of his troubles.

When the opening theme of Superwholock started up Sedna had never been happier to hear it. Sliding between the glass panther's legs, he took cover under a store awning to check his phone. His lips curled at the edges as he read through Finnegan's message:

"Set to max volume, point at monster. Watch your eyes."

Sedna pressed the download button, aimed his phone at the glass panther, shut his eyes, and, bracing himself, hit "play".



A fairy with large black eyes popped halfway out of the phone, its mouth already opening to scream. The ensuing sonic boom shattered the glass panther into a billion pieces, glass shards raining over the debris-strewn scramble.

Sedna felt a wet sensation tickling his ears, coupled with a coppery taste in his mouth. He blinked his eyes open and saw the street glittering with a million rainbow pinpricks of light. People trickled out of their shelters, cautiously popping their heads out first. Some left their cars to inspect their broken windscreens. Looking up, Sedna saw people gazing down from the top floors of office buildings, their glass windows all gone, only the building's metal frame remaining.

Sedna suddenly felt a sharp pain in his right eye, and brought his hand up to his face in a rush.

"Crap, glass shard!" He screamed.



"And that is why this world can't have magic," Finnegan said.



Sedna rapidly blinked his eye - it no longer hurt, and he was sitting outside the cafe with Finnegan and Edna Costello with a plate of muffins and tea set out in front of them. He pumped his fists into the air and exclaimed, "I can see!" to a crowd who had no idea that their god had just rewound time 45 minutes back, before 52nd street split in two and a 60-foot glass panther attacked a busy intersection.

"That's a pessimistic scenario, not everything has to end with destruction," Edna argued.

"Destruction only happens if Sedna's involved, but I'm not taking chances," Finnegan said, biting into his muffin.

A piercing shriek rang out, causing the cafe's customers to look up, craning their heads. Edna, Finnegan and Sedna spotted the source simultaneously - a woman shouting at a man grabbing her bag and running away.

"Stop him, that's my bag!"

A lightning bolt struck the man down, the leather handbag landing next to him with a muffled thud.

The collective jaws of the cafe dropped.

Finnegan reached for another muffin. "No magic makes the world easier to manage anyway." He took a bite. "Mm, chocolate chip."



the end
Tags: artist: mene, author: d. m. jewelle, book 38: urban fantasy, story
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