J J Hanna
The Telekinetic - Tales of Turedor pt. 3 - Short Story
J. J. Hanna © 2021
Amber perched on the pillows covering the ground in her tent. Camelia had promised to return in a few months, giving Amber time to practice and learn and grow in confidence with the magicians in the Cirque. There was one magician in particular who caught Amber’s eye. They seemed nothing alike, but the way the girl moved was awe-inspiring.
Half of her performances were spent on the trapeze or balancing high up on the tightrope or climbing a net and diving down to catch herself on the trapeze below—crazy, inspiring acts of courage that terrified Amber to even consider.
The other half of her performances were spent on the ground, casting spells left and right to dazzle, distract, and disturb the audience. After all, magic was new to most of the people who visited the Cirque, and watching this girl wrapped in darkness gave the visitors the experience they craved.
It took a few weeks for Amber to learn her schedule, but finally, she found the girl sitting in the big tent alone, cradling a wolf pup in her lap.
“Excuse me—” Amber said, cautiously walking into the ring. The pendant felt warm against her skin on her chest, heating more the closer she got to this girl.
The girl looked up at her, still stroking the wolf as casually as before. “Can I help you?”
“My name is Amber—and I’m supposed to be learning magic. But my instructor left me without instructions, and I’m not good enough to perform, and I was just—” The room spun and blurred as Amber met her eyes, deep pools of inky dark gray.
“You hoped I could train you and teach you. Why me?”
Amber opened her mouth to respond, but the girl was speaking again before Amber got any words in. Nothing else in the room seemed to matter, just this girl and the attention she offered. She couldn’t be much older than Amber, maybe in her late teens?
“You’ve seen what I can do and you want it for yourself. The ring master will be able to teach you more than I can. He taught me everything I know. . . . I see. You don’t want to make a fool of yourself. Fine. I’ll help you.”
The girl waved her hand and the dizziness faded, leaving Amber swaying in the center of the ring as the girl stood, placing the wolf pup on the ground beside her, and crossed the ring. She offered Amber her hand. “I’m Calista. And I’m not going to go easy on you.”
Amber took her hand and gave it a few firm shakes. “What was—”
“What was what?” Calista asked, pulling her long black hair over one shoulder and weaving it into a braid.
“That had to be magic. Everything was spinning . . .”
Calista fixed Amber with a suspicious look, her eyes traveling down to the pendant hanging around her neck. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Shall we begin?”
Amber clutched the pendant. Calista was lying. She had to be. But what proof did Amber have?
“First things first. Show me what you’ve got.” Calista backed away to the center of the ring and dropped the gray cloak from her shoulders, exposing her bare arms marred with wrinkled burn scars up to her elbows. Her hip boasted two sheathed daggers and a beautiful rapier. She didn’t wear them while performing, and in fact she looked fairly odd without her performance costume on—which was a black, purple, green, and blue jumpsuit that sparkled from every and any angle. Now she wore dark travelers clothes—a simple black vest with a double-slitted black skirt, revealing yet another dagger strapped to her leg near her ankle, tucked into her boot.
She was ready for danger. She was armed and ready for a fight.
“How did you learn magic?” Amber asked.
“I told you. The ring master taught me,” Calista replied. “Now. Show me what you know.”
Amber took a deep breath and clutched the pendant as Camelia had told her to do. Then she summoned the warmth and the energy from the pendant itself and from Calista—though Calista didn’t give off much warmth at all. She released a blast of fire at the ground, and the wolf pup yelped.
“Settle, Jinx,” Calista ordered. The wolf pup ran to the side of the ring and climbed under some chairs. “What else can you do?”
Amber focused on her last lesson with Camelia, thinking about the light Camelia had called into being.
“She taught me to create light—sort of. It wasn’t like hers.”
Calista held out a hand and whispered into it. As she did, the teal glow of starlight filled the space around her and funneled into a ball of energy at her fingertips. She reached down to her ankle and drew the dagger there. As her fingers touched the hilt, the dagger began to glow with the same energy her hand had. She held the dagger casually, shining light about the room.
“Was it like mine?”
Amber stared at her. “No. Your dagger is . . .”
“It’s glowing. It’s a simple spell, and was the first sign of my magic. I did it accidentally. Woke up both myself and my friend in the night.”
A sadness filtered into her gaze and promptly drifted off again, or perhaps she just hid it deep inside herself.
“Can you teach me that spell?”
“I can try,” Calista said. “Though it may help me to know how you came across your magic.”
Amber dropped the pendant. “Why would that matter?”
“Because. You have to tap into its source. For some people, that’s easier than for others. Magic runs in my family. The ring master learned over time, from books. So where did your magic come from?”
Amber swallowed. “I—” The room started to spin again. “Stop it.”
“Tell me the truth.”
Fear and anger and jealousy poured out of Amber as quickly as the room had spun before, and Calista flew back, landing hard on the ground.
Calista kipped up and wiped her face, blood slipping down her chin from her busted lip, and the light flickered off of her dagger. She slipped into the darkness in the tent as easily as Amber had slipped into the fancy dresses from Camelia. The chill of danger closed in on Amber as understanding settled in.
Calista’s voice came from beside her, and Amber turned quickly, finding only open air. “You don’t understand your own magic, Amber.” Her voice moved across the room. “Teaching you right now is dangerous.” It moved again, this time settling behind her. “I can’t teach you unless you’re honest with me and with yourself.” Amber flinched as Calista’s eyes flashed directly in front of her and the girl stepped out where Amber could see her again, though her voice still seemed to come from all around her as she spoke. “Will you be honest? Will you confront the fear-filled spaces and let me in?” Her voice settled back into her own body. “Or will you try to find another teacher?”
Amber shivered. Calista had never done any of this in performances. How much did she know? She could teach her so much more than Amber had thought. And maybe . . . Maybe if she let her, Calista could even teach her how to make her own way without Camelia’s help.
This story, segments of this story, and ideas from this story are not to be duplicated or replicated in any way. This content belongs to J. J. Hanna alone.
Please note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events is unintended by the author.
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J. J. Hanna is a writer and reader from Colorado. She loves suspense stories above all else, and is currently working on a debut novel of her own. When she's not writing, you can find her making YouTube videos and Online Courses about the publishing industry. Find her on social media @authorjjhanna to keep track of her most recent reads, current adventures, and to get the most up to date news on all things publishing.