To The Magic, Sold!
By: Brian W. Antoine
October 28, 2008
Tanindra did not look happy as he finally opened his door, it was entirely possible that my pounding on it only slightly after sunrise was not the best time to have disturbed him.
"Hi, I'm from the Acme Apprentice Company, would you like to buy an apprentice?" Pulling on Lan Louis' tail I forced him out from where he was trying to hide behind me. "We have a special today, buy one ..."
I blinked, and started to mutter under my breath about the rudeness of younger Mages these days while Lan Louis started trying to get away yet again, but I had too good a hold on his tail. Reaching out with my staff this time, I started pounding on the door a bit harder, I think the hinges were starting to loosen before Tanindra gave up and opened the door again.
"I'd ask if you are out of your mind, but we both know the answer already. What is it you want?"
"I want to get rid of this worthless son of mine before he eats Kalindra and I out of house and home. I tried selling him to Valestra over at the Golden Rose, but she just laughed."
"Dad!" yelled my son with embarrassment.
"Yeah, I've heard Lan play, I'm surprised Valestra didn't have her sons throw you both out forcibly."
"She considered it, but ...", and I jammed my staff into the doorway as Tanindra tried to slam the door on me again. "Now look, I know you can use an apprentice, the last one you took on hasn't gotten out of the hospital yet so you're having to fend for yourself."
"That was an accident, I told him to label those bottles as he filled them!" came the annoyed comment from the other side of the door as he tried to dislodge my staff and get the door closed.
"Dad, I want to go home!"
I caught Lan Louis looking at my hand in speculation as he bared his teeth about the same time my staff started to slip. *grumble* Concentrating, I focused on my son just long enough to cause him to start floating off the ground, then I kinda melted Tanindra's door, just a little bit, to keep it from closing.
"You're going to pay for that," he told me with an annoyed look.
Tying a string around my sons tail, I let him float above us like a balloon. "I'm gonna be paying for this entire day" I mumbled to nobody in particular. "Now about buying this apprentice from me, how much will you offer for him?"
"I told you, I don't need an apprentice."
"Let me down!, mom is going to make you pay for this when I tell her!" yelled my son as he bobbed in the air above us.
"Who do you think told me to see how much I could get for you? You should not have raided her lemon sugar cookie stash."
"You want me to buy an apprentice who's a cookie thief?"
I looked at Tanindra and started to grin, I had him. "If he steals, beat him for it. In fact, you should probably just beat him once a day on general principles, I hear it's good for apprentices."
Tanindra started looking up at my son as if he was considering it. "Can he cook? I could use somebody who could cook."
"Not a bit I'm afraid, or at least I wouldn't want to try eating anything from a kitchen he'd been near."
"How about magic? If he's going to be an apprentice Mage, he needs to have some magic talent."
I tugged on the string causing Lan to bob around a bit more. "Show Tanindra that trick I taught you." My son just glared at both of us in disgust. "Ok, you'll have to trust me, he does have a little talent. I'll tell you what, take him, give him a try, if he doesn't actually have any useful talent you can beat him for that also."
*You realize he's going to be making you pay for this for years to come* came Tan's voice in my head. *This is hardly the standard way of apprenticing your son*
*Hey, he's not exactly a standard son* I replied as I held the string I was holding out towards him.
Tanindra looked from me, to the string, to our son, then took the string from my hand. "Ok, I'll give him a try, but I make no promises."
"Try not to put this one in the hospital," I told him as a reached back and pulled a travel bag with Lan's belongings up to where Tanindra could grab it, "I'd hate to have to explain to his mother that you'd turned her first born inside out accidentally."
And with that, my son took his first step on the path his parents had already walked.
Or he'd take it as soon as he figured out how to undo the levitation spell I'd put on him. :)