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Response #4: C_Hillman

As the cornstalks rustled I gave a nervous start and readjusted my hat. How could this trip have possibly gone so badly? Just last night an idiot Bugbear had wandered into my camp just as I got settled down to sleep, and this morning, about an hour after I got moving, a group of cunning goblins had ambushed me on the road. At least I would be home in another couple of hours where I should be safe.

The sun was beating down upon my head and the wind was completely still, yet the rustling continued to build. The farmers shouldn’t be in this field today, they should be all the way on the other side of the farm so what could be making that noise? I eyed the field nervously as the stalks started swaying visibly; whatever was out there was coming this way.

After the way the last couple of days had been, I decided that I couldn’t afford to take any chances and readied a fireball spell. If anything should attack me, I’ll just roast it!


I spun around to face the source of the sound, releasing the fireball as I did so. As my eyes fell on the source of the noise they grew wide, I used all my magical might in an attempt to redirect the spell. I cannot let it hit!

The fireball veered a bit skyward as its former target fell to the ground with a shriek. It was my 10 year old niece; she had apparently wanted to see me as soon as possible and decided to try to surprise me. I ran forward to check on her and make sure she was alright.

With her eyes wide she just stared into space where the fireball had barely missed her nose, but she appeared to be unharmed.

Suddenly something white landed beside me, I looked upwards in an attempt to see where it was coming from. The sky was full of them, I grabbed one to see what it was. It was popcorn! The fireball, in skimming just above the cornstalks, had heated the corn enough that the entire field was popping!

A piece of it landed right on my niece’s nose, she blinked and seemed to snap out of her daze. “Wha… What just happened?” she asked.

“I nearly roasted you is what just happened! Never sneak up on a Mage, you know that!” I snapped, then I gathered her up in my arms in a tight hug saying; “Never scare me like that, I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t been able to redirect it!”

Returning my hug with tears in her eyes, she said; “I won’t Uncle, I won’t.”

I held her out away from me with a twinkle in my eye; “How about we make a deal, you don’t tell your parents about me almost roasting you and I won’t tell them about you sneaking this far away from home. Does that sound good to you?”

She laughed nervously; “Yeah, that sounds good to me. Let’s go home now. I think I need to lay down.”

“Good idea.” I said.

We walked on down the path, though I couldn’t resist a glance back at the spot where I had nearly roasted my own niece, blanketed now under snowdrift-like piles of popcorn. Turning my eyes back to the road in front of us, I shook my head ruefully; “I’ll never forget this trip, that’s for sure.”

Written by:  C_Hillman

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