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The Wizard by the Sea

The Sale

By Luke FosterPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 9 min read
11

The sun was cresting over the horizon as the wizard shuffled along the beach. He huffed along as the morning sun warmed his ancient bones, his deep purple robes dragging along behind. The wizard felt every one of his 132 summers as he carried his armful of shells he had harvested from the rock pool. It was an early start to his day, but the shells were at their most potent when infused with moonlight. Besides, he would feel better once he could take a potion of rejuvenation when he got back home.

He approached a shack on the beach near the edge of the town. Barely more than a village, it still boasted an impressive market. People visited from across the duchy for the fresh seafood catch and for wares that they could not get elsewhere. He sold relics, potions and various artifices from the front rooms of his shack.

Even though the sun had not yet fully risen there were people starting to filter into the market district. Opening the door he dropped the shells onto his workstation at the back of the room and took out a purple standard about the length of his forearm and hung it on the hook on his front porch. The store was open.

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Her tongue stuck out as her little face screwed up in concentration. She had denied all offers of help as this was something she needed to do for herself. She gave a huge sigh of relief as she finished her task.

Lunara looked at herself in the mirror and straightened the bow in her hair. Tying the ribbon had been a tough task for her tiny fingers, but she was four summers old now, and wanted her independence. Plus, today was a very important day. She was getting to go to work with her daddy and she was so excited.

Her daddy was a merchant, selling textiles all across the duchy. His successful business meant they lived in a nice house in the capital, but he still travelled across the area most days, maintaining his relationships with his suppliers and customers. And today so was she!

Her mother had prepared a lunch for her to take as it would be a full day trip, as they were heading all the way out to the coast. She had eaten it before mid morning. It turned out that Daddy's work was boring. He just spent all day visiting shops and talking to boring old men. There wasn't even anything interesting in the shops, so she just spent the morning outside the shops kicking the dirt and messing up her shoes.

They arrived at another town market but this time she could see the sea. She asked if they could go down to the beach but she was told that he had to talk to a couple of the stallholders first.

Time dragged as Lunara waited impatiently for her father to finish his meetings, and when he left the last stall she dragged him by the hand down to the beach. She wanted to play but her father pointed to a shack that he told her he had to visit. She pouted and pleaded, and he assured her that this was the last stop of the day, and afterwards they could go play in the sand.

Lunara had no idea why her father would want to visit such a dirty old building, it bore no resemblence to any of the shops or stalls they had visited so far today, but she had no desire to go inside the filthy looking shack. Her father strode inside the door and she looked around for something to entertain herself with, but her father's head appeared back around the door to the building and beckoned her inside.

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The day had been busy, and the wizard was happy with the level of business so far. He needed to make some more basic health potions, as a group of young men had purchased his entire stock. Apparently they were planning an expedition to climb the mountain range in the southern reaches of the duchy. They were happy to use the most basic potions to stave off the effects of the cold in the high peaks. He had offered to make them unbreakable ropes for their journey but they seemed reluctant to meet his asking price. He shrugged and went about his day.

He was threading string through the shells he collected that morning, if he got the pattern right, and applied the correct incantations, it would work as an unfoolable intruder alarm that was the product of choice throughout the whole town.

He completed one and put it to the side when the door opened and the merchant walked in, he had gestured to someone behind the door to follow him in so the wizard put down his equipment and waited with interest. The merchant normally travelled alone as he sold his wares, and the wizard regularly bought thread and cloth from him, as it was unnaturally well suited to holding magic within, allowing his spells to have more longevity.

The merchant opened his arms wide and greeted him in a booming voice, as he normally did, but behind him came a young girl, in a green dress with a matching ribbon in her blonde hair. She looked around his store with widening eyes as she saw the colourful items in their display cases.

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The inside of the shack bore no resemblance to the outside, as everything was clean and colourful, and the windows facing out to sea brought plenty off light into the room. Lunara heard her father greet the man behind the counter with a friendly tone, and her mouth opened in surprise as she took in the sight of the old man behind the counter. His long white beard and bright aquamarine robes drew her eye. He glanced in her direction and offered a quick smile but Lunara quickly averted her gaze and began to examine the cabinets.

She heard her father begin to talk business, as she had heard all day, and instantly tuned out the noise. She redirected her attention to the items on display and was once again awestruck. The display case in front of her had a selection of carvings. Wood, bone and even intricate metal were in sight.

A flash of colour from the next case dragged her attention across. The carvings were beautifully done and incredibly detailed, but they weren't very colourful, and young Lunara loved her colours. This case was filled with glass jars, large and small, and every colour you could name. There were deep crimsons and electric blues, shiny purples and poisonous looking greens. One, which she thought was a smooth gold, changed colour as she watched into an inky black and then back again.

A small high pitched cry whipped her head around, and she headed to a crate by the front window of the store. She let out a delighted little squeal as she looked inside the open crate. Four tiny toy dragons sat in the crate. A green, a red, a purple and a blue, all with their own little rocks to sit or lay on. When they began to move Lunara could barely contain her excitement. A squeak of joy escaped her and the red dragon turned his head to look up at the little interloper peering into their home and bared his tiny fangs. She wanted to reach in and hold one but she didn't know if they were dangerous. She stood in thought until a rich, musical voice startled her.

"They won't hurt you, little one."

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The wizard leant upon his workbench as he chatted with the merchant. They discussed how their respective businesses were going and the state of the capital. The wizard had no fondness for preamble but the merchant was a good man, and the wizard was amused by the cooing noises being made by the little girl as she explored the store.

The talk turned to business. The merchant showed him a thread that was intertwined with bronze. The metal was of low quality, but the ability to insert the bronze directly into the artifacts would benefit his work greatly, and he would be able to add small amounts of better quality bronze once the thread was in place.

They haggled on price. The product wasn't cheap, but he felt he paid a fair amount. Business concluded, the merchant was packing away his samples when the wizard heard the excited squeal from the little girl. He headed over to see her stood looking into the dragon crate.

"They won't hurt you, little one." he spoke softly, but she jumped up anyway. "You can pick one up if you like."

He didn't think that the young woman's eyes could get any wider but was proven wrong. She looked to her father for approval and at his nod turned back to the crate. Her hands came out clutching an emerald dragon the size of her two hands together. The minature dragon glanced at the little girl holding it and yawned, settling down and curling itself up in her hands.

She held the tiny drake to her chest and beamed as it snoozed on her hands. The wizard looked down on the two little creatures fondly. Dragons are notoriously selective about who they let handle them, they aren't violent but they make their feelings known. And this one was content.

"Would you like to take her home, little one?"

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After her father had given his permission, Lunara looked down into the crate and tried to decide. She didn't like the red one, it scared her. The purple one was quite cute, but it seemed to avoid her. But then she felt a nudging on the back of her hand. She turned her hand and a bright green dragon climbed onto it.

She lifted it from the crate and hugged it close. The diminutive creature had a warmth to it that felt comforting against her tummy. When it settled down she began to stroke the scales on the back of it's long neck.

She was taken aback when the old wizard offered to lt her take the dragon home. She looked once again imploringly at her father. The merchant chuckled as he looked at the face of the little girl that would get whatever she wants.

"At least it's small. So how much does it cost?"

The wizard waved a hand nonchalantly and said they would discuss it at the wizard's next order. This seemed to satisfy Lunara's father and he agreed that she could take her new pet home. Before she did, the wizard bent down to her level.

"What is your name, little one?"

"Lunara." she answered in a quiet voice.

"That's a lovely name. Did you know that it means moon?"

Lunara nodded that she did, her mother had called her little moon since she was born.

"Dragons are very special creatures, Lunara. This may only be a little dragon, but it will keep you safe, no matter what, and when you are scared it will be there."

Lunara listened with only half an ear as she stared at the magical creature in her arms. The dragon shook itself in its doze and settled into a more comfortable position. Her father and the wizard talked some more and then Lunara and her father were on their way.

Her father asked if Lunara wanted to play on the beach before they set off home but her attention was still on her new pet so they got into their carriage and started the journey home.

The journey took several hours but Lunara barely noticed the passage of time, her new friend woke up not long after they set off and she spent the whole journey on the floor of the carriage with her dragon. She barely paid attention to her evening meal when they got home, eating as fast as possible and retiring to her room to listen to the rain bounce against the window with her dragon in her arms.

When she got tired, she placed the dragon on the table by her bed and settled down to sleep. The rain had intensified and the room was lit by a sudden flash. The lightning was followed by a rumble of thunder so loud that Lunara shrieked and hit herself under the covers.

As she cowered she felt pressed up against something. She peeked her head out of the blanket and was surrounded by a wall of green. Her dragon had somehow grown to the size of a tall man, with a wingspan twice that. It had climbed onto the bed and drawn her in close. The thunder clapped again, but she held on to her dragon, and the noise and lights didn't scare her as much anymore.

She fell asleep with its leathery wing, resting comfortably. When she woke the next morning, the dragon had shrank back to its previous size. It hopped into her arms on the bed and snuggled up, small and content once more.

Fantasy
11

About the Creator

Luke Foster

Father. New husband. Wannabe writer.

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Comments (8)

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  • Testabout a year ago

    Such a lovely and sweet story. It's also lovely that you wrote this for your daughter. I think she will be happy to read this and proud of her dad for being such a wonderful storyteller.

  • Taleabout a year ago

    Sweet Story

  • Gina C.about a year ago

    Wonderful story!! Truly enjoyed this :)

  • Heather Hubler2 years ago

    I loved this! What a wonderful story. It felt like something my grandma would have read to me at bedtime, and I would have asked her to read it again and again. Loved the title as well. Great work :)

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    This is so sweet. Love it.

  • KJ Aartila2 years ago

    I love this & can't wait to see where you take it!

  • awww, yes, you should absolutely do a part 2. How sweet

  • Jessica Bagnall2 years ago

    That was so cute

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