Dolores the Spell Sweeper - a Short Story
Old Mage's Cottage
Dolores get over here?”
“What do you want now? Can’t you see I’m busy trying to figure out what manner of magical beast could have done all of this damage”
“I know that...I need you to use your magic broom thing and sweep a spell in the dust. It will tell us what we’re up against.”
“The very thing I was doing when you interrupted me.”
Dolores took her broom and started to sweep it around in a circle. Faster and faster she went until an image started to coalesce in the room. The image showed three beavers dressed in rogues' clothing.
They stood about six foot each, they argued with the old mage who lived here about something. Since the image had no sound Dolores and her friend Mer were left trying to read lips. In the image the three beavers had killed the old mage and then destroyed the house searching for something. They left without finding anything.
Dolores stopped sweeping. The image faded. She leaned on her broom and looked over at the older mage, some called him Foxx but whom she named Mer because he reminded her of her former boss Mergor. They both wore the same black flowing robes, bent over hats and had long grey beards. Mer she discovered had a slightly better disposition than her old boss. She’d worked with him for a number of years before meeting Mer.
Dolores preferred her more non traditional attire. She liked her long green dress which accented her more full features. She felt like she was fairly attractive with her long black and pouty lips. The only thing that really bothered her was carrying a broom everywhere. She didn’t really need the broom to cast spells but a few years ago another mage nicknamed her the spell sweeper. The broom was now part of her mystique.
Mer looked over at her. “We need to know what the beavers were looking for and who could’ve enchanted them to act human-like.”
Dolores thought about it for a few moments. “If I had one of the beavers I could sweep a spell to see where they came from…”
“I’m sure whoever enchanted them freed them from the spell long ago. It is the only way to cover their tracks. By now they are nothing more than simple woodland creatures.”
“You’re right...I guess we have to dig through the…”
Three beavers entered the room through the splintered front door. The leader had in his hand a strange look twig. Dolores and Mer looked at them.
The leader laughed, “We may be woodland creatures but we are not simple. I like to think of myself as pretty sophisticated. How about you Clem, do you think of yourself as simple.”
“No boss, I am pretty smart.”
The leader turned to look at Dolores and Mer. “I figured if we waited around long enough someone would come along who could help us find what we’re looking for.”
Mer looked at the three of them. He summed up in his mind if could take them out with magic before they reacted. Dolores started to twirl her broom around in small circles. The head beaver looked over at her.
“Are you nervous?”
Dolores stopped spinning her broom. She had already learned what she needed to know. “Yes, It is not often I come up against beavers of your stature."
The lead beaver smiled.. You are wise to be Leary of us...we bear great magic and as you can see we’re not afraid to use it.”
Unknown to the beavers Dolores had already added a warning spell which protected Mer and herself from other magic. She realized the twig the leader carried was a magic twig.
Mer sensed the barrier Dolores placed around them. He looked at the lead beaver. “What is it you fowl creatures deem worth murdering a dear friend of ours?”
“Foul creatures!” The lead beaver spat at Mer’s feet. “All we want is our jewel back and we will be on our way. If the old mage had merely given it to us we could have been on the way. We do not want trouble with you...so tell us where we may find the jewel and we’ll go...no trouble”
Mer’s face darkened. “Even if I knew where the jewel was I would allow you to take it from here.”
The lead beaver looked at his two comrades. He then lifted his twig towards Mer and started to hum. His cadence started to rise and the air started to swirl. Dolores realized the twig was a piece of a magical song tree. The twig allowed the holder to use song magic. She started to swirl her broom a larger circle to counter the spell. She looked at Mer. He sensed the danger in the music. He combined his magic with hers and they both vanished from the room leaving the stunned beavers behind.
Looking for the Jewel
Mer and Dolores blinked back to existence a few miles down the road in their secret rooms.
“Well that was interesting.” Dolores said.
Mer looked at her. A touch of annoyance in his face. “Interesting...those creatures were trying to kill us,,,for what?”
Dolores smiled, “They were looking for the same emerald we were. The magical green stone.”
“Did you get any idea where the stone is hidden?
“Yes and no…”
Yes and no...which is it. Do you or don’t you know where the jewel is?”
“It is more like I know when the stone was and when it went. I don’t know the exactly where it went. Just the general direction.”
He waved his hand around. “Can’t you do the broom thing and get more details?
“Yes, but only as we track the jewel through the forest.”
Mer turned towards the door. “Well let’s go.”
Dolores stood there a few seconds. “I must warn you. When we use magic the beavers will be able to track us.”
“Pish pish, we have to find that emerald or the beavers will be the least of our problems.”
“Well then let’s be on our way.”
“Where are we going?”
Dolores looked over at Mer. “To a cemetery a few miles from here.”
Mer wrinkled his brow. “Should we use your broom magic to get there in a timely manner or just walk the few miles. I mean I am not opposed to the exercise. Even though I am quite old and feeble.”
Dolores smiled. “You are not old and feeble. You are probably in better shape than me. We could use magic to get there but remember the more magic the more we attract attention.”
“Still I think expediency in this case outweighs the danger. I will create some protection spells just in case our furry friends show up.”
Dolores started spinning her broom in a counter clockwise motion as the words to a teleportation spell formed on her lips. After only a few moments Dolores and Mer appeared outside a cemetery on the outskirts of a town called Min. They looked around to see if there were any sign of the beavers.the road looked empty.
“Let’s get this over with and get out of here. Which way.”
Dolores pointed. “My spell showed the grave as being located up in the back left corner of the graveyard.”
They entered the graveyard and walked up a twisting winding road. A brown cat popped out from behind a tree.
“Why are you in my graveyard.?
Mer looked at Dolores. “Your graveyard? I thought this graveyard belonged to the city.”
“It does...I am the caretaker here. What is your business here at this late hour?”
“We are looking for a grave,” Chimed in Dolores.
The cat looked at her. “Just whose grave would that be?”
“I don’t know, but I will know when I get to the grave”
The cat wrinkled it’s brow. “You are visiting a friend's grave, but you do not know their name.”
“Enough of this, “said Mer. “I don’t mean to be rude but we do not have the time to stand here. Sir cat…
“Well Melvin would you be so kind as to lead us to the back corner of the cemetery. “
“Suit yourselves...visiting a grave and you don’t even know the person's name.”
They followed Melvin as he followed the road up a small hill and around a few twists and turns until he reached the part of the graveyard Mer and Dolores asked about.
“Thank you Melvin,” Said Mer.
“No problem I’ll be on my way. I have work to do.”
“Yes I have to make sure no one comes in and damages the graves...well like you. Wait, what is that over there?”
They followed Melvin as he weaved through some gravestones.
“How did I miss this? Someone has dug up one of the graves.”
All three looked there before them was an open grave and a big pile of dirt. They peered over the rim. Perched on top of the casket was a translucent fellow. He waved up as he saw them.
“Hey visitors. I haven't had visitors since those two chaps came by and dug open my grave.”
Mer looked down. “And just who might you be...have been?”
“I am or was the Avalon. A fine magician in my time, not as good as you Magician Mer but a pretty good one in my day.”
Mer looked at Dolores. “Was this the grave we sought?” She shook her head yes.
“So Avalon,” Inquired Mer. “Who were the two lads who desecrated your grave?”
“I do not know. They came dressed in black and bearing shovels. I watched from afar as they dug up my grave, lifted my lid, cursed to themselves and took off. My guess is that like everyone else they came looking for my jewels. You know what they say though. You can't take em with you.
“So where are your jewels?”
“Aw...I thought you were here to visit. Just another one seeking my jewels. I sold them when I knew I was going to die. Had one heck of time though.”
Mer stood up and looked at Dolores. “Do you know where the jewels went from here?”
“No but I can find out…” She started to swirl her broom as Melvin came back with a shovel.
“You can't sweep the dirt back into the grave. There is far too much. I will take care of the dirt. Now you two must go.”
“Fine, fine,” Rebuked Mer. “We will be on our way.”
They looked on last time in the grave but Avalon was not there. So they turned and retraced their steps back down the road to the gate.
“So did you learn anything about the stones?”
The Antique Shop
Dolores looked at him. “Yes, the stones were sold at a antique shop in Lexon, a day's journey from here.”
“Are you ready to try another jump?”
Dolores started to spin her broom in a circle. The pair disappeared. Standing in the road unseen to them was Melvin. He watched the pair disappear then transformed back into his true form. He turned and walked back up into the cemetery slowly fading as he walked.
Dolores and Mer appeared in an alley in the town.
“I sense other magic at play,” Uttered Dolores.
“Yes, we must be careful.”
The pair walked out of the alley, and tuned left. They walked only a few paces and spotted the antiques store across the street. They surveyed the street as they looked for trouble. The street looked clear. They crossed the street and entered the store. Dolores went down one isle and Mer the other. An old quizzled man approached Mer.
“Can I help you?”
Mer looked at him, “Just looking. No wait, maybe you can help me. I have a friend who collects green emeralds, preferably old ones. You wouldn't happen to have any...would you?”
The man put his hand to his chin. “I did, but they are no longer here.”
“No longer here...that is unfortunate. You wouldn’t happen to know who might have bought them.”
“No, right after buying them an ancient mage wandered in seeking green stones. You guys don’t know each other do you?”
Dolores watched the conversation from behind a rack of old bottles. She giggled to herself. It was watching Mer in action.
Met smiled. “Why do you ask that?”
“You both being old mages and all…"
Dolores laughed. “Sorry”
“First off, I am not old. And second, how do you know I am a mage?”
“You and the young lass over there just have a certain air about you...well that says mage.”
“Well not matter...since you do not have the stones I guess we’ll be on our way.”
“I couldn’t interest you in another bauble could I?”
Dolores stepped forward. How much for this broach?”
Dolores reaches in her coat and comes back out with the money. She handed it to the shopkeeper.
“Thank you miss. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”
Dolores pocketed the broach and they left the shop.l
Mer looked at her. “Why did you buy that thing?”
Dolores pulled the broach out. She held it up for Mer to see. “We thought we were looking for green emeralds. But we were being misdirected on purpose. The old mage did not want anyone to get their hands on this beach. So he set up a clever ruse before he died.”
“But how did you figure all that out.”
“I am the old mage’s granddaughter. The broach must have been attracted to my magic because it called out to me.”
“I still don’t understand why he felt the broach was safe just sitting on a shelf in an antique store.”
“This is not just any antique store. It is a magical artifacts store run by cleverly disguised mage. My grandfather and the owner worked out a spell whereby the broach would not appear except to whomever it chose as it’s new caretaker.”
Dolores placed the broach in a secure inside pocket in her coat.
“So what of the green stones?”
“I don’t know. I’m still trying to work that part out…”
“You’re more clever than I take you for, you know?”
“My mother told me to never give away all your secrets. It is more fun to keep them guessing.”
© 2020 T B Whitt