A Tasty Spell
The rain poured down for the third straight day, which was
quite unusual for Mystery Island, and pattered against the many windows of Caer
Tuva, the sound echoing throughout the many halls and rooms of the large castle.
Caberdrone, a large Darigan Kougra, smiled as he padded softly down the winding
staircase from his room in the southeast tower. He liked when it rained because
it gave him the perfect excuse to lay about the castle and read the day away.
It was perfect.
He stepped into the great library, in the heart
of the castle, and went straight to the bookshelves on the far side of the room,
next to the large arched windows. He knew exactly which shelf he had left off
on the day before. Glancing out the window as his paws grabbed random tomes
and scrolls off the next shelf, he saw just how wet and misty the outside had
become. Almost like a dream, the air was foggy, distorting the trees of the
nearby forest, making them seem almost ghostlike. Nothing looked as it should,
that was for sure.
"It'sss ssso creepy," Caberdrone hissed quietly
to himself. Quickly disregarding it, he took his pile of books to his favorite
cushiony armchair and lit some candles on the table next to it and settled himself
down to read. The weather was quite fitting for the books he had selected though,
for they were ancient and well worn, books about times long past and heroes
long dead and in their own way, very dreamlike, much like the misty fog outside
the window. Picking up the top book, the large cat curled up and began to read.
A sudden crack of thunder brought Caberdrone
out of his book a couple hours later. He had been so immersed in it that he
totally forgot about where he was. It took him a moment to recover, then he
yawned and stretched out on the floor, reaching for another book on the pile.
This next one was really, really old, he could tell just by the worn leather
cover. Pieces were falling off and the binding itself was cracked and tearing.
He opened up to the first page and saw immediately
that it was written in some strange tongue, one that he couldn't understand.
While he knew some of the more common languages of the land, this one was a
mystery. "One of the Ancient Tonguesss," he said aloud. But being the determined
creature that he was, Caberdrone wasn't going to let some unknown language prevent
him from finding out what mysteries were hidden within its pages. Carefully
closing the cover, he slipped the book into a nearby backpack, no doubt belonging
to his owner. Caberdrone snickered, "Nah, sshe won't mind. Too much."
And speaking of his owner, he figured he should
go find her before he set out to Voltaire's house. With that he grabbed one
of the bags straps in his mouth and dragged it up another set of stairs, being
careful though, not to let it bump around too much.
He soon found Stormy, his owner and also the
owner of Caer Tuva, in her own room, bent over a desk and drawing. He stalked
quietly into the room and stopped just inside the door. "Ssstormy?" he said,
cocking his head to one side with a wicked little grin. He watched as the girl
jumped a few feet out of her chair, dropping her pencils and bumping her head
on the overhanging lamp. She spun around, glaring.
"Ouch! Make a little noise next time you come
in, okay?" she yelped, rubbing her head. "You're way too quiet."
Caberdrone just sat in the doorway, his fangs
shining eerily in the lamp light. "I mussst keep my ssstalking ssskillsss ssharp."
Stormy rolled her eyes. "Hmm. So, what do you
"I'm going over to Volt'sss housse. I need her
to help with a transslation of thisss book I found."
"Are you sure you wanna go out there? For a
book? You hate getting wet and I don't really care to hear you complaining all
night about your stinky, damp fur."
"I do not ssstink," Caberdrone said defensively.
Stormy smiled. "But, I need to go, I'm too curiousss as to what it'sss about.
I cannot wait. Rain or not."
Stormy turned back to her desk, shrugging. "Curiosity
killed the cat, you know. Just be careful in this rain though. If it gets too
bad, stay at Volt's house tonight cuz I don't wanna have to search the whole
island for you if the wind sweeps you away."
"Okay. Sssee you later then." With that, Caberdrone
turned and headed to the front door.
He peered out, wincing at the pouring rain.
Yes, he liked the rain, but only when he could stay indoors during it. But going
out in it was another story. He took a deep breath, preparing himself, then
plunged out and onto the soft, muddy ground. He figured he'd make better time
by flying, not to mention avoid all the muddy puddles, so after bounding a few
strides on all fours, he took a giant leap into the air and spread his wings,
flying towards the Gray Manor.
Caberdrone of course was soaked upon arriving
at Volt's house, and he wasn't too happy about it. Shaking himself off underneath
the slanted porch, he pushed a claw against the doorbell, a loud gong reverberating
throughout the worn halls inside.
The door opened moment later and a large, annoyed
looking gray and orange cat, a Halloween Kougra, peered out. Caberdrone grinned
in greeting, knowing that she too was probably lounging about somewhere, reading
book after book. He knew he'd probably have the same look on his face if someone
Voltaire stepped aside, letting Caberdrone through.
"So what brings you out in this mess?" she asked, wincing at the puddles her
purple striped friend was dripping everywhere. Not that it made a difference,
as the old house she lived in had small holes in the roof that dripped water
Shaking off a bit more, Caberdrone answered,
"I've got a sssort of challenge for you. I found thisss old book in our library
and I have no idea what language it'sss written in. I thought perhapsss you
might know it, or at leasst, could help decipher sssome of it."
Volt's eyes lit up. She loved new old books.
"Sounds intriguing. Let's get up to the attic and we'll take a look at it."
She led him upstairs to a comfortable room, filled with shelves of books, much
like his own library at home. The settled themselves on some faded velvet cushions
and once comfortable, Caberdrone pulled out the old book from the damp bag.
"Hmm…" Volt studied the book for a bit, carefully
turning the pages with the tips of her claws. "It almost looks like a spell
book of sorts. Look." She stopped at a page that had dark, bold print at the
top and what appeared to be a list underneath.
"Ingredientsss for a potion, perhapsss?"
"Seems so. And this next page probably explains
how to mix it."
"Are they all potionsss then? Or isss there
Volt flipped through a few more pages. "I think
there are spoken spells too. See?" She pointed at one crumbling page near the
back. "This one doesn't have a list, and seems to be written almost like a poem
would be. It might be an incantation or something."
Grinning again, Caberdrone looked at his friend
excitedly. "We sshould try one!"
"What? No. I mean, they don't exactly look friendly.
The writing is much too scrawly for love potions and happy spells." She made
a face at that. Excessively happy and cute things annoyed her and made her ill.
"But… Maybe there's a simple, not too evil a curse we can try…" She smiled,
Caberdrone jumped up and circled the room a
few times, his tail swishing behind him as he though. "Well, perhapsss we could
jusst transslate a few, jusst to sssee what they're about." As he continued
circling, much too excited to sit still in one place, Volt flipped through some
more pages of the book, running her claws down the pages as she read. A few
minutes later she stopped and pointed. "Aha! I think I found one that you should
Caberdrone took a few short bounds towards her.
"What? What isss it?"
"Here. 'Ye Olde Giant Donut…' I can't read that
last phrase though. But, hey, it's a giant donut, we can't do wrong with that,
"Wow… A giant donut…" The cat licked his lips,
already anticipating the large round pastry, dripping with chocolate frosting
and rainbow sprinkles. "Ssso, what do we do? Jusst read it?"
"Yeah, we have to read it out loud. Ready?"
The two propped the book on a stack of pillows
in front of them and began to read:
"Iced dark sky above sprinkled with stars,
glazed with creamy swirling galaxies,
hear my wish:
See that the snacks in my cupboards are sparse,
a sweet pastry please grant me now
in my dish!"
Finishing the spell, they each let out a slow
breath, both eager to see if the spell would work. "I guess we should go check
the cabinets then, see if any donuts have magically appeared," Volt said to
her companion, grinning.
Caberdrone needed no second bidding and raced
downstairs to the kitchen, followed closely by Voltaire. They both skidded to
a stop in the doorway. Lo and Behold! A fresh donut was sitting right in the
middle of the table. "Hmm," Caberdrone thought aloud. "I don't think thisss
will be big enough for usss each to have a large sssli-" He was cut short though
as both cats watched the pastry double in size. Looking at each other and smiling,
they both trotted to the table and climbed up on stools, even as it grew again,
now over a foot wide. "Mmm, thisss isss going to be one deliciousss donut!"
"Yeah, we'll have to find something to put the
leftovers in. Unless you plan on eating it all?" Volt smiled wickedly at Caberdrone,
The two friends began to eat, but they soon
noticed that the donut wasn't getting any smaller. In fact, it was doing just
the opposite. Now it was so large, the edges hung off of the kitchen table,
pushing both Voltaire and Caberdrone back against the fading painted walls.
"When'sss it gonna ssstop?" Caberdrone shouted
at the same time as Volt cried out, "How do we stop it from growing?"
"I don't know Volt, but we'd better get out
of here before we get sssquished!" With that, they both squeezed passed the
expanding baked good and raced out of the kitchen, out the front door, and into
the pouring rain outside. The donut grew more and more, until the walls of the
Gray Manor started to bend outwards, pieces of wood and brick flying out of
Caberdrone turned to Volt, "We have to ssstop
it. There musst be a reverssal ssspell in that book. One of usss sshould go
in and get it."
Volt backed up a little bit, frightened, but
not wanting to admit it. Sparing his friend the humiliation of admitting that
though, Caberdrone volunteered to go. "I'll eat my way in and try to get the
ssspellbook." With that, he charged back in, growling and snarling and gnawing
his way through. By the time he found the book though, he was completely full
and couldn't bare to eat another bit. He sat down for a moment, breathing hard,
both from running and struggling and with a bit of fear as well. He didn't want
to die by being smothered by his favorite food. Laying his head on his front
paws, he rested for a bit, but a loud crack seconds later brought him back to
his feet. He looked up in horror as one of the side walls cracked, giving way
to the pressure of the giant donut. It escaped, pulling free of the house and
the bricks and wood, rolling down the hill, sloshing into mud puddles along
Caberdrone ran after, calling to Volt, who stood
nearby, aghast at the site she just witnessed. "Here!" he cried, tossing her
the book. "Sssee if there'sss a reverssal ssspell. We have to find a way to
sshrink it before it runsss into a town or village."
Voltaire plopped down in the mud, turning the
pages of the book with Caberdrone standing over her, using his wings as an umbrella
and shielding both her and the spellbook. She found the page of the donut spell
and shouted out:
"Expanding wad of sugar and dough,
I command thee to cease to grow!"
The two turned in the direction the pastry was
rolling, watching, waiting, to see if anything would happen. As they held their
breath, hoping against hope that the reversal incantation had worked, they crept
silently towards the donut, which had slowed down it's rolling spree. They stalked
closer and closer, and as they did, they noticed that it was slowly shrinking
in size. With a small pop! it returned to normal donut size in just seconds.
Caberdrone and Voltaire let out a loud sigh of relief.
Creeping carefully towards it, Caberdrone picked
up the donut and broke it in half, giving the other piece to Volt. "Here, if
there'sss anything I've learned from watching bad horror moviesss, it'sss that
once one defeatsss an enemy, one hasss to chop it up in tiny bitsss and bury
it in ssseparate partsss of the world."
Volt held her donut piece up in front her her
face, her expression a mix of disgust, accomplishment and hatred. "Alright,"
she said. "I'll bury mine here, you keep yours and bury it on the beach or in
that swamp by your house."
Caberdrone waited while his friend dug a deep
hole in the muddy ground. "Ssspeaking of home, maybe you better come back with
me, until we can come back and fix up the Manor. Preferably on a dry, sssunny
Volt finished stamping the last of the ground
back in, nodding. As they set off for the beach together, Volt said, "Hey! Perhaps
Stormy will go out and get us some donuts to munch on, eh?"
Caberdrone growled and shoved her playfully.
"There'sss no way I'm eating another donut again. Ever." He paused for a moment,
then added, "At leasst not til tomorrow morning."