Excerpt from Chapter 3...

     Robin spun around just as Stephen thrust his dagger at his midsection, the tip of the razor sharp blade slicing through his shirt and down across the right side of his stomach. Robin sprang back and away from Stephen’s attack, suddenly feeling a burning sensation beginning to spread across his torso.

     Looking down, Robin could see his shirt darkening, a stain spreading out as his lifeblood soaked into the rough cloth. The burning changed, feeling now as if a large chunk of ice was being passed over the wound. The coldness spread throughout his entire body as he stood, staring wide-eyed at Stephen.

     The bully stood there in front of Robin, his dagger still held out before him, his face flushed from having been humbled before the townsfolk and his friends.

     Robin glanced down at the blade of the dagger, seeing his own blood dripping from its redness…

     Stephen darted forward, the dagger rising, aimed again at Robin. Sure now that Stephen had lost his mind and intended to kill him, Robin had no choice but defend himself against the attack.

     The rage broke loose now with no constraints, no controls, and no mercy. The fire and ice merged within Robin now, coming to his defense. Robin raised his hands up before him, reaching out towards Stephen as he stepped in. It almost appeared as if Robin intended to fend of the murderous attack with naught but his bare hands, unarmed as he was.

     Stephen closed in, still intent upon his deadly attack. Suddenly, from Robin’s reaching hands burst two bolts of Mage-fire, so bright and intense that the onlookers had to shield their eyes from the sudden glare. The bolts flared out and struck Stephen full in the chest, a sharp clap as of thunder sounding as they struck, sending him hurtling through the air.

     Across the square he flew, flung against the side of the village fountain. In the sudden stillness, they could all hear bones snapping as he struck the stone base. For what seemed an eternity, no one moved.

     Then a scream pierced the air as Stephen’s mother, Ilena, forced her way through the crowd to where her son’s body lie crumpled on the ground. Rushing to him, she threw herself on him, pulling him to her. Her cries rang out through the silence as she cradled him in her arms, brushing his hair back from where it had fallen over his eyes.

     Suddenly one of the King’s Guards pushed through the crowd to where Stephen and his mother were. “What is happening here? Speak up, in the King’s name, I say!” he spoke, his deep voice carrying to everyone.

     “He killed my son!” Stephen’s mother cried out between her sobs. “The Hell-spawn killed my boy with his dark magic! We all saw him; he struck my Stephen down for no reason, no reason at all!”

     “Who did this?” the guard asked, looking about. The crowd parted, clearing a path at which the end stood Robin, tears running down his face, his shirt and breeches soaked in his own blood.

     “I”… he said to the guard, taking a step forward. Then his face turned as white as a scrap of sun-bleached muslin, his eyes rolling back in his head, and he dropped to his knees, the faces of the crowd blurring as he slumped forward onto the ground, unconscious.


     He drifted in a sea of grayness, a voice whispering to him. He heard a phrase now and then…“could have destroyed them all”… he heard… “power, a natural”… He tried to open his eyes, to see who it was speaking to him, but couldn’t quite seem to do it. Drifting into unconsciousness again, he heard the voice once more; that of a man with a strange accent saying… “he must be trained.”

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