"Witch's Son" by Danny

"Do not gather too much, Acacius. We only require so much."

Acacius' eyes rolled in the back of his head as he grunted an agreement to the feline pacing back and forth with its eyes transfixed on the young warlock.

"You know you worry too much?"

"One of has to, especially since you're being so brash," River scolded.

The back and forth between Acacius had been going back and forth for years, but had increased since the death of the Witch. The Witch was Acacius' mother and River was her familiar. The Witch died two years past leaving Acacius alone. He knew it was within reason to bring her back to life but it would take work. Acacius did not have his mother's knowledge but he possessed the raw power that he was born with. Thankfully, Acacius located the spell in one of his mother's old tomes. The trouble would be gathering the ingredients necessary for the spell, especially the blood of a mother. Although River's feline tendencies would be beneficial for this situation as they would use a bird that River caught that morning.

River warned Acacius that he should weigh the day when everything would come to fruition. A spell with this enormity would cost the caster dearly, especially if the young warlock was unprepared for its power. Of course, Acacius was young and reckless. He wouldn't heed the words of a familiar; he believed he knew everything there was to know. He had casted powerful spells with ease before and he know the prize that awaited him if he was successful.

"You don't have to do this," River coaxed as she passed between Acacius' legs.

Acacius' eyes darted down from the task at hand to the black cat that continued to nag at him. He had heard this speech many times before with each ingredient gathered. Now Acacius braced for the rantings from this centuries old cat.

"It is the natural order of things. Your mother died. All creatures of this world will die. I will die, you will die; as she did. I have known your mother long before you were born and I know that she would disapprove of the dangers that you are going through. She would have wanted you to move and become the warlock she believed you to be. I would imagine, if your mother could be here she would put a stop to this and pull your ear as she did numerous times."

Acacius instinctively thought of the phoenix feather that hung from his ear that his mother gifted him when he first claimed his element.

"Yeah, she would have but she's not here. She can't do anything about what I'm doing now, 'cause she's dead. Now, scram. I got to concentrate," Acacius rebutted with a swift kick to River's hind region.

"Willful boy," River yelled as she ran for the open window. She could only do so much since she was not his familiar. River loved the boy like her own child, but she could not watch anymore. She would go hunt for a meal and hope he would eventually come to his senses.

A stitched smile curled as the familiar raced out to the wooded area surrounding the cabin. Overlooking Acacius as he gathered the mother's blood; Joceline grew anxious on the shelf. Joceline was the Witch's rival in all things. In fact, Joceline was the primary reason the Witch was not available to raise this young warlock. Joceline and the Witch's final battle would cost both of their lives, but Joceline was cautious and practiced a dark soul magic allowing her to inhabit a doll that resided in the Witch's home.

Although Joceline trapped in the handstitched doll, she could still maneuver and scheme. In reality, Joceline is the one to blame for Acacius being on this dangerous task. She dropped the tome on the sleeping warlock to inspire him with such a powerful spell. Joceline knew that the spell would create a new body for the Witch's spirit to inhabit but the body would provide a gateway for her spirit as well. Now she awaited her turn to interrupt Acacius from finishing his incantation with her own variation of the spell.

In her anxiousness, Joceline leaned too far forward and dropped a large vile. Acacius jumped as the glass breaking behind him. He scanned the area for what had caused the distraction; already blaming it on the familiar with her moral highground. But as his eyes scanned around, he noticed the doll waiver enough to catch his attention. With a sharp inhale, Acacius gathered the power to spout a small fireball. Joceline darted from the high shelf she previously thought to be safe from the young warlock.

Instead of surprising Acacius while casting the spell, Joceline now had to fight the young warlock for the right of the spell. In the doll's form, Joceline contained only a fraction of the power she once wielded. Joceline called the winds to help carry her small frame from the shelf as well as pepper Acacius with various objects.

Acacius covered his face from the debris. He inhaled for another fireball, but only thought of the lessons his mother bestowed on him. The main one being: not to use fire magic inside the home. Instead he called a length a rope to life, taking the shape of a noose. The noose began its life by snaking its way after the doll and tightening its grip around the small leg.

Joceline's wind, even as imperfect as it was, would cut the rope as a sword dislodged a snake's head from its body. Joceline did not need powerful magic to battle the inexperience warlock, she only needed it to be precise. She used her magic to turn wind into a cutting edge. Soon enough, the wind in the small cabin began to swirl around and took aim for Acacius. Each pass of the wind spell left small cuts on the young warlock. Each cut would not be enough to fell Acacius. Joceline smiled with her stitched mouth as she thought of the cliche: death from a thousand cuts.

Joceline's plan would have worked, if it weren't for a wayward cut. A cut that would split the phoenix feather attached to Acacius' ear; the last gift of a mother gone. An uncontrollable rage filled Acacius, causing his very blood to boil. Intensifying heat build off Acacius as he eyed the doll that managed to destroy his phoenix feather.

"Piras," uttered Acacius in a low tone as flames spiral from his body.

River looked on as the cabin burned, unable to move closer. Acacius emerged from the inferno with a fist full of ash that once belonged to a rag doll.

After long while staring; the words stumbled out of River's mouth, "Are you okay?"

"No," Acacius answered as he looked off into the woods. "I need practice."

Acacius and River walk into the woods, looking for a new home.