in Fiction, Short Fiction

The Final Birthday


“Hurry up, already!” Aturo whined. “I want to go back. The mortal world stinks.”

“Oh hush!” said Glen and turned back to the mortal vending machine, tapping her fingers against the glass. Once she’d spotted the drink that she wanted, she murmured a short spell under her breath and the vending machine sprang to life. She got out two cans of Coke Zero and handed one to Aturo as she sat down next to him on the pavement.

“Here you go. Sugary drinks without sugar in them. The mortals, despite their smell, are culinary geniuses.”

Aturo took the can from Glen and copied her actions to open it up and took a small, tentative sip from it. A look of childish wonder overtook his face. “This doesn’t have sugar? That can’t be.”

“But … that’s impossible!”

“No, it’s just mortal magic.”

“Mortal magic. What’s that?”

“Well, legend has it, that in the last 400 years or so, the mortal realm has seen many wise mages who have made up their own form of magic and runes and spells and wands that lets them do all kinds of things. Like they can do telepathy, which even the Wise Ones can’t.”

Aturo had a look of complete surprise. He didn’t believe his big sister. She often had pulled pranks on him like this when they were kids. She would tell him stories about the mortal world and immortal world, ridiculous stories and they always turned out to be false and he would get ridiculed by his friends from re-telling them. “Mortals can’t have magic,” he said flatly. “You’re just trying to pull my leg.”

“Mmm hmm,” Glen shrugged and continued to sip on her drink. There was a hint of melancholy in the way she shrugged off her little brother’s remark.

They sat there is silence for a bit before Aturo broke the silence. “So, do you want to tell me why we broke curfew and left the school and came into the mortal world?”

Glen fiddled with the can in her hand. “No real reason,” she sighed.

Today was not the day to tell her brother about the prophecy, she decided. Not the day for him to know that the Wise Ones were going to come for him soon. 1 more year. Because he was the prophesied Dark Mage that would lay waste to the Fae-land. He deserved one more day of peace and ignorance. And one more after that.

“Just thought it would be cool,” she said pointing at the non-sugary sugar drink in her hand. “Happy Birthday, Aturo.”

Aturo smiled. “Thanks, sis.”

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