Short Story: Basic Drills


His palm warms as an orange flame flickers into being and flies towards the wooden board they’re using as a target. He looks desperately forward, tracking the fireball’s journey. Maybe this time…

The flame sputters out before it hits the board. He doesn’t even have time to feel disappointed before his master speaks.

“Again,” she barks.

His limbs tremble, his mind’s frazzled, any excitement he has over learning magic died fifty attempts ago. But none of that matters. The condition for his apprenticeship is that he’ll follow all instructions without complaint. If he stops now, he’ll be kicked out, and he’ll never become a mage.

Gathering his flagging strength, he braces his hand and tries to focus through the black spots dancing in his eyes.


He blacks out before he can see if his spell hits his target.


Check out the companion story Advanced Drills.

Genre: fantasy

February story pair: 5/10

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