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SJConrad

"Learning to Forget" (Working title)

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Since reading Razors story I remembered how much I used to like writing. I haven't written anything in years so I figured I'd crank out a quick intro today to see how rusty my skills have gotten. I know there's not a lot of depth here but that will come as I continue. Thanks for giving this a quick glance. I'm super open to critique and am hoping for it to a point!

 

Edit 1: Formating

 

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Jacen awoke in a cold sweat, the imagined smell of smoke and demonfire filling his nostrils. He shot into a sitting position, his eyes searching for the non-existent flames in the dark dormitory. He had awoken this way many times before, but it always felt as real as the first. Realizing this he fell back onto the stiff bed, its creak helping him calm himself. “You’re ok Jace.” He muttered to himself, attempting to still his still rapidly beating heart. The beams of the roof above him shuddered in the wind of the storm sweeping through the area. The sound of the rain beating off the shingles reassuring the young man of their presence.

 

“Oh good you’ve stopped screaming,” a voice said form the door calmly. “I thought someone had finally decided to make sure you’re dead this time.”

 

“Can it Stephen,” Jacen mumbled through gritted teeth, “You knew what you were getting into when you signed your rent agreement.”

The younger man at the doorway chuckled, making his way into the room, settleing into the armchair placed by the large window. “That I did. Doesn’t mean I can’t poke a little fun at how my roomie screams like a little girl in his sleep from time to time.” The youth lazily raised his hand to block the pillow Jacen had thrown at him.

 

“I said can it and I mean it,” Jacen growled angrily this time. He was always irritable after that dream. This old festering mental wound hadn’t healed in years, but hadn’t popped up recently. “Don’t you have something better to do than torment your landlord?”

The younger man reached into his pockets, retrieving some keys from his pocket. “Like remind you we have to be at the institute in half an hour? Yes. Yes I do.” The smug grin on his face couldn’t have been any less annoying to Jace. Why he had offered this man housing still astounded him.

 

“Alright, I get it,” huffed the prone man. He righted himself in the bed once again, the sheets sticking to the sweat that still clung to his body. “If you want to prove yourself useful for once can you throw the bags in the car? Since we don’t have time to make lunch now we’ll grab something on the way.”

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist old man,” Stephen said as he stood. “I hope we finally get to do actual spell work today, not just read about stupid mages of old. If I have to hear about another one of Merlins’ fables I think I’ll vomit.”

 

“Such is the life of an apprentice. I’m sure they know you couldn’t handle casting a simple luminescence without burning the institute to the ground yet,” Jace ribbed back at the teen. He rose from the bed, “Plus those stories are great!”

 

“Yeah, for a nerd like you Jace” Stephen said as he closed the door. A soft thud cold be heard against the door. Another pillow for sure.

 

Today was off to an interesting start, to say the least.

Edited by SJConrad

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I'd read more. There's some missing commas throughout the dialogue that I'd be more than willing to fix up for you, if you wanted.

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I'd read more. There's some missing commas throughout the dialogue that I'd be more than willing to fix up for you, if you wanted.

 

That'd be great. Self editing never was my strong suit.

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Since I had nothing else to do today I continued this.

 

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Jacens’ Subaru Impreza pulled up to the magical institute’s parking lot. The signs listed it as a church but the cities many mages knew better. Yes every Sunday it held a Catholic mass which was actually led by one of the grand maesters but that was mostly a front. Jace pulled the keys from the ignition and opened the door without a word to Stephen. The teens words this morning still playing through his mind. He really wished he could tell the kid off but he knew that would do him no good. Grabbing his and Stephens bag from the trunk he turned to walk to the back doors of the church.

 

“What’s with the silent treatment there boss?” Stephen questioned, taking the black canvass backpack from Jacen and slinging it over his shoulder. Stephens lanky appearance gave him the look of more of a delinquent than someone who should be visiting a church on a daily basis. His torn jeans and spiked leather jacket hiding the sex pistols shirt he wore underneath not helping the image either.

 

“You’re being an ass today is all.” Jacen quipped, not wanting to really share what was bothering him. “Plus I need to focus. I have a hearing with the counsel later today.” He bit his lip. Was he really nervous about the gathering? He shouldn't be. He hadn't broken any of the laws of magic as far as he was concerned.

 

As if Stephen could sense his mood. “Good. I thought you were mad at me there for a second.” Running a hand through his disheveled hair he continued, “I wouldn’t want you kicking me out for teasing you.”

 

“The thought crossed my mind Steve…” Jacen let his sentence drop away unfinished to get the boy to shut up. Stephen was a good kid but could talk too much for his own good sometimes. He reached his hand out to the door knob as they reached the door. The signature of magic power on the door always hit him as he got to the door. It wasn’t painful, but similar to a static shock, it let you know it was there. He mouthed a silent curse and opened the door for Stephen and himself to enter.

 

To any non-mage it would look like a simple hallway, but to the wizards who trained here it was far different. The walls spread out, revealing a large round room, doors and other openings in all directions. The grand mages had used spells to bend space around this room, allowing for multiple levels and rooms to be accessed through this simple looking entrance. A large desk sat in the middle of the room, occupied by three seemingly human looking figures. Jacen nodded to Stephen as the two parted company. “See you after class. You’ll have to tell me what you learn about Merlin the Great tonight.” The youth rolled his eyes and flipped Jacen off as he wandered off to the scholastic wing.

 

“I guess I should go check in,” he muttered to himself, forcing himself to move towards the center of the room towards the desks. As he approached the desk you could see that the figures weren’t made of flesh, but of brass gears and levers all animated by the force of magic. In all honesty they were inspiring but Jacen feared the beings. Something about them being able to know anything that the institute knew about you at an instant was unnerving. What if they got into the wrong hands? He shivered at the thought, pressing it to the back of his mind.

 

“Uhh… Jacen Mills reporting to meet with the High Counsil.” He said in general to the automations. The one closest to Jacen looked up from a sheet of parchment marked with Cyrillic text. The lenses that functioned as its eyes adjusted to his face, as if to verify that it was in fact him.

 

“While your verbal and facial identifications pass, Jacen Mills, all High Counsel affairs require a multitude of identifiers. Please proceed to the administrative wing, room 205 for further analysis. Maester Snow shall be commencing your testing.” The automation then returned to the page.

Great. This day was just getting better.

 

“Um… I hate to be a bother but is there another Maester who can do the tests?” His question wasn’t answered by the automations. Jacen knew all decisions were final when it came to the High Counsel. Maester Snow was a crotchety old man, one of the few mages who still used a spell to focus his power. The old man was a walking encyclopedia of both people and the law. Why he was involved had warning flags running rampant through his head.

 

“I wonder what further they need from me?” he muttered as he walked over to the administration hall on the side of the great room. He had limited dealings with the High Counsel in the past. The only two times that stuck with him is when he was accepted as an apprentice and at his graduation into a full mage. Thinking back on the day of his introduction made his mind slow down a bit. Maester Snow was at that appointment.

But before Jacen could get himself lost in that thought he arrives at a door marked 206 with ancient brass numbers looking like they could fall off the door at any time, and underneath that an equally old looking knocker. “A suitable location for an old wizard I guess” he chuckled to himself. He reached up and used the knocker.

“Come in,” came through in an elderly tone. There was still a sense of authority behind the voice even in age. Jacen silently wondered what he’d be like if he made it to that age. He turned the doorknob and escorted himself into the room.

 

“Ah if it isn’t mister Mills.” Maester Snow said slowly, as if it was quite an effort to talk. The man was dressed in the traditional robes worn by wizards of lore.

 

“As far as I’m aware I am but the piles of cogs downstairs seemed to think additional testing was required,” he said, showing his resentment of the desk dwellers.

 

“Yes, they are telling the truth Jacen. But not testing on who you are per se. How are you? Any troubles recently?” Jacen kept his face neutral to the questions. Shit. Could they know the nightmares were back? Why would they care?

 

“As far as I can tell I’ve been more than ok Maester. I’ve been looking after the housing of the apprentice Stephen Eaves and that’s going well enough…”

 

The Maester cut Jacen off there “I mean in regards to losing your family in that fire mister Mills”

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