You know what I need to hear.
Deep in a sunless dungeon, a father struggles to hold onto hope.
Then the glowing notes arrive. They offer freedom—for a very simple price.
But some things should never be for sale, even in the darkest places…
Hello, Wizard is a tense dark fantasy of integrity and temptation.
His jailers had stopped bringing food days ago. Or at least, it felt like days ago. No light came into the stone basement he was being kept in, except for when a slat was lifted and a tray of stale bread (or sometimes buggy rice) and water was slid under the door. So, really, he had no sense of how long he’d been down here or how long it was between the intermittent feedings. Some sort of holes must have been present in the heavy stone surrounding him, for ventilation, but they didn’t let in any light.
The man rubbed the only smooth spot on the floor absently.
This was it. He would die down here, and his wife and son would never know what happened to him.
He let out a sigh through his nose. He hoped she would remarry. He wished he could tell his son he died doing the right thing. But even if the man were promised the punishment would be the same, he would do it again. In a heartbeat.READ MORE
Light—little more than bluish shade, but in the blind black where you couldn’t see your hand waving before your face, it was LIGHT—appeared, in the form of the rectangular gap in the bottom of the door. The tray rasped as it was slid over the stones into the room.
The slat dropped back down.
But the light was still there. Something on the tray was glowing, pale greenish. The man crept closer. He hadn’t stood upright in some time, for the cell had been built perhaps four feet high. And he was a tall man anyway. So he didn’t have far to go when he knelt at the tray.
He took the palm-sized loaf of bread, broke it in half to save in its leaf of wax paper, then broke the remaining half into four quarters. He kept his gaze locked on the glowing thing next to the paper cup of cold water while he ate a quarter, but felt sure he should prioritize the food. He allowed himself one more quarter of bread and a sip of water before he turned his attention to the glowing item.
It was a piece of paper, folded into a square.
He held his hand over it. Not hot. And though it seemed almost blaringly bright to him, it only illuminated his hand (filthy) faintly. He took a sip of water, then unwrapped the paper. He squinted into the bright belly of the paper. The words were written in black: thick, slabby, but tidy.
You don’t know me, but I would like to help you out of there. Is this something you would like? I can’t promise you’d make it home again, but you’d surely be closer than you are now.
Think about it. See you next meal.
Home! The man sobbed once to see the word. Somehow, written on that glowing paper, it hit him with a heavier weight than merely imagining in the dark. The chicken coop, the soft grass, the warm words of his wife, his child’s face…
He clutched the glowing page to him and the page guttered like a dying candle.
Is this something you would like?
More than anything.COLLAPSE