"Brash Hero"
Glimpses, Part 3
By Edward Bolme
Read Part 2 "A Quest Ended"

He couldn't dream; he could only think.

So think he did. He thought long and hard. He thought about Agram and Korg and Zet and Togoth and Morag and Nagsis, and how much he hated each and every one of them. He thought about himself, and how he'd been foolish to think that he could face off against one of the most powerful Magi in the Moonlands. He thought about the others who'd followed him, and how much he pitied them their faith in him?and their fate because of him.

And occasionally he'd think about his little dream pet Hapu and how much he missed him.

If only he could dream.

But dreaming required, in part, sleep, or at least the ability to sleep. And Tuku had not slept in?how long now? He did the math mentally—something he'd become very good at—and arrived at a number in the neighborhood of 1000 years, based on the number of days that had passed.

1000 years ago, Tuku had led a group of Magi against Agram in an attempt to defeat him. Tuku hadn't waited for Agadon to return from whatever he'd been doing; he'd felt his team could handle the Core Magi themselves.

How wrong he was.

Despite their powers, despite their confidence and their warcries and their very best efforts, he had been petrified by the evil magics of Agram and his minions. Petrified, unable to move, sleep, close his eyes, or reach that maddening itch behind his shoulder blade that had menaced him for?let's see?513 years now.

His followers, too, had been petrified. He could see them, a few of them at least, out of the corner of his eye. His peripheral vision had become very good, because that was all he had. He could see Shasa, who had been doubled over when she'd become petrified. Her balance had been a bit off, and once petrified, she'd fallen onto her stonelike back. Every so often one of the Core Magi would walk by and push on Shasa's stiffened foot, spinning her helplessly around. That really bothered Tuku.

On the other hand, though, she occasionally got a fresh perspective on her world. Tuku didn't. For the last thousand years, he had been staring at the exact same spot in the room, an empty spot in a gallery filled with statues. A spot where Agram had once stood, casting his foul spell while Tuku rushed him.

All this, a thousand years of sleepless staring, a thousand years of Shasa wobbling like an unbalanced top, a thousand years of brooding, all because he was a brash hero.

If only he could get a second chance, he thought. For the 715,634th time.

* * * * *

Then one day, he did get a second chance.

A strange five-fingered Magi with funky, baggy clothes, too-small eyes, and the ugliest shoes he'd ever seen stalked through Tuku's frozen field of vision. Although the Magi looked young, he had the hardened gaze of a warrior.

If he could have, Tuku would have jumped for joy, and not just because this stranger gave him something new to think about. This guy had the look of someone who might have the wherewithal to defeat Agram. He was a Magi folks would follow, or might follow if he didn’t have those stupid clothes and that ugly haircut and that noisy chain dangling from his pocket and those?/p>

Tuku paused in his rambling thoughts. Appearances were not important. Well, okay, he admitted, appearances were important. But that didn’t change the fact that this Magi might do the impossible. He tried to cross his fingers, but of course he couldn’t, so instead he just thought them crossed.

There followed the most incredible, epic battle that Tuku had ever had the privilege of almost seeing. Dream creatures, numerous and wild, clashed all about the frozen statues, roaring and wrestling and slashing and flashing into nothingness with the tinkle of shattered Animite. Raw dream power ripped through the air as Agram and the intruder brought their most powerful spells to bear. Tuku heard grunts, screams, and the ever-hated voice of Agram wishing doom upon his attacker?

Then, at long last, the blessed sound of Agram's utter rage as he was finally defeated!

Tuku felt the dreamstrands of Agram's magic loosen their hold on his body, then slip away. He could move again! All about him, the sounds of joy and relief and celebration erupted, mixed with the sounds of people stretching their backs, scratching their scalp, flexing their stiff muscles, and popping their joints.

Tuku reached around and scratched that infernal itch, while scrunching his eyelids closed for the first time in a long, long time. He felt fifty feet tall; it was so nice to be free at last.

He joined the other dancing, singing people in congratulating the stranger, then started to make his way out of the dark fortress and back to the surface of the Moonlands.

Tuku now had his second chance, and he resolved to make the most of it.

He would find Agadon, if Agadon were still around, to tell him he was sorry. He would spend the rest of his life fighting evil and righting wrongs, wherever they were found, as a penance for having led his people wrong. And he would do it alone, so that no one would ever suffer for his mistakes again.

Tuku reached the surface and smiled in relief. Trees grew, firds sang, the sun shone vividly upon the Moonlands. Tuku shielded his eyes against the glare, so dazzling after a millennium trapped in the dismal chambers of the Core.

It was a good day, bright and beautiful. It was a good day to start his new life. And this new life would begin with a single step.

He took that step.

But before he could take the next step, he was face down in the sod, snoozing peacefully for the first time in a thousand years.

Back to the main story page.

 Magi-Nation and all properties shown on this page is © Interactive Imaginations 2000 - 2010. All Rights Reserved.
All artwork on this site are copyright their respective owners.