Chapter 2

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

Gacgon was furiously pacing the cold stone floor of his shabby room. The glory of being the greatest sorcerer in the world had slipped from his deft fingers. Oh what a stupendous feat it would have been if his efforts had yielded a perfect fyredrake! He would have then annihilated the powerful Ispolin who lived in caves on high mountain tops. That would have earned him the distinction of being the most illustrious and mighty warlock of all.   

The fearful Ispolin or the dog-headed people were barbarians who excelled at dark magic and devilry. They were always looking to overpower the sorcerers in order to establish their brand of witchcraft. The sorcerers hated and feared them immensely because they were very proficient at conjuring up ‘cantrips’ (deadly tricks or spells) that could strip any sorcerer of  his magical powers and turn his spells against him. The Ispolin had rendered many a formidable sorcerer powerless due to their notorious conduct. 

The only beasts who could destroy these troublesome creatures were the legendary fyredrakes. Fyredrakes had a very short life span but the inferno they spouted from their mouths was so powerful that the seemingly invincible Ispolin could be rendered to ashes in a matter of minutes. 

The Ispolin menace had gone unchecked for almost a century because no contemporary sorcerer knew how to create a fyredrake. Yes, fyredrakes had to be created, they were not born naturally. They were creatures of magic and so could be whipped up by magic alone. The exact concoction to enkindle a fyredrake was lost to time and it had almost been a century since one had been created. Gacgon was lucky to have found that old piece of parchment that contained the blueprint for creating a fyredrake. 

Gacgon was confounded with self-doubt. He had been so secretive about this whole mission. He had trusted no one, not even Mrs. Ratleigh. No one was privy to what he was going to concoct. Every maneuver, every incantation was his and his alone.  

Gacgon took out the yellowed and tattered piece of parchment from his pocket. His reddened eyes tried to decipher every scribbled word. Soon his eyes glanced upon the bottom of the parchment. Written in a very fine hand was the warning - ‘Even a drop of human blood can defile the magic. The resulting creation will surpass the destroying powers of a fyredrake.’             

Ahhhh, he now remembered. Wasn’t the mandrake root cut and handed to him by Mrs. Ratleigh? Could she have contaminated it with her human blood? It really didn’t matter. What mattered was what Mrs. Ratleigh had done with that mystery creature.  

His thundering voice summoned Mrs. Ratleigh. The poor woman scurried across the vast corridor as fast as her skinny legs could carry her.

“Where is the hatchling?” demanded Gacgon.

Mrs. Ratleigh looked bewildered. Wasn’t she supposed to get rid of it?

“Just a few hours ago I asked the keep boy to leave it on the mountaintop, where the Ispolin live.”  



Hemali, you have mastered the art of fantasy! Great descriptions and adding the possibility of conflict with great panache. Well done.
Hemali, great plot and character development here. Loved the chapter ending.
Thanks Sumanda and Linda. The preface and chapter 1 were so intriguing that my fantasy just took flight. Loved writing the chapter.
Hemali, what an extraordinary imagination you have. Your chapter had me totally engrossed with it. Great stuff!
Thanks Rosemary. Happy to receive so much appreciation!!
This is a pure journey into a fantastic world. It had powerful imagery, flow and the characters just lived on the page. Like Rosemary I was captured from the first line to the end. Mrs Mandrake is pure Dickensian or maybe J K Rowling. Fabulous!
A wonderful chapter full of all the magical ingredients we associate with fantasy. I was totally swallowed up in the story. Can we see another great movie in the making here? Hemali has a huge dose of fantasy surging through the heart and has produced a fantastic chapter that is going to be hard to follow. A real winner, Hemali
Thank you Suraya and Ray. It really means a lot when it comes from veterans like you. I am still a novice trying to find my footing.