Written by Chris O., Cara L., Val O., M.L., Merf, Stu B., Amelia O., Nic L., Don C.
The night was icy cold. Karl was miserable. He'd let everyone down again. The Inn had burned down. He had burned it down. Just because Max wanted to sit in the tap room. He was supposed to be the one who was in control. He was sure Isabel hated him now.
"It wasn't your fault, you know," Max said.
"Uh huh," Karl replied mournfully.
Max kicked a piece of charred wood as his breath puffed in the cold air.
"It was a crummy inn, anyway."
Karl glanced at his taller friend. "It was the only inn." He glanced over at the men sifting through the wreckage. "It was her inn. Her home."
Max scratched his head and tried to think of a way to help his friend. He knew this was at least partly his fault. He shouldn't have had a problem sitting in the tap room, that soldier shouldn't have tried to throw him out, but that was the way it was. He should have known better.
That inn had a reputation for being unkind to magic users. Especially fledgling ones. Karl, pretty obviously when you regard the smoldering inn behind them, had developed a gift for fire. Mad had gotten air. The display caused by it getting out of control was no less devistating. As they were sitting on the step, Isabel are you fine? No I am not I am so angey at you. WHy mike why? Why are you always macking pepole pay atanchun to you and not me?
Isabel smirked down at him. "Okay, your blood sugar has bottomed out again."
"It has not," he grunted, but she could see his hands were trembling.
"You need to be more careful about how much of your own power you use. Someday, you're going to have a seizure at the wrong moment." She turned to walk back to her mother's house. "I'll get you some orange juice and a sandwich."
Karl nodded. The great hero Strongkuler(?) had undertaken an epic quest for the legendary Oranges of Idun(?), capable of restoring hower to even the most besmirched reputations of magickind. He had finagled the trickster Soprano Odinscream(?) to pluck them, then brought one orange to each shire. Isabel had been their shires keeper of the sacred citrus. She alone had thee power.
Numbly, Karl followed her. "Your mother had orange juice at her house?" he said.
"We are protected," Isabel answered. "I gave her some seeds and a tree cutting a while back. I thought it would be a good idea to have some oranges set aside in a safe place. Clearly, I was right." She sounded slightly bitter at the end of her words, which only made Karl even more miserable.
"Freya preserve us!" Isabel's mother exclaimed when she met them at the door. "Whatever happened to you, child?"
"Well," said Isabel, "it's a long story. One involving fire magic."
Isabel's mother threw a less than pleased look at the man standing behind her daughter. She knew well, as most surely did by now, of his fire magic. She put her hand's on her hips, "And I suppose he's here for some juice?"
Karl flinched at the accusation in the woman's voice. Maybe he should have stayed with Max, and at least attempted to help at the site of his loss of control.
"If we leave him in his weakened state" Isabel's mother said, "we won't have to worry about any further stray spells to clean up after."
"Mother," Isabel said, "you know we have to help when we can."
"Yes," she sighed. "I suppose we do. For one thing, we'll need him in good shape so he can repair the damage he's caused."
That was when Karl knew his next few years weren't going to be much fun.