Tales of an Old Wizard, the debut compilation from the Writers’ Collective, Authors For Charity, is a collection of short stories for readers aged 9 and up. All proceeds from sales and downloads go to charity.
The world has forgotten real, old magic, and now no one remembers how to make fire by snapping their fingers, or raise waves with a whisper. Greum is an old, old wizard. He used to rule the elements, but now he doesn’t bother. The only magic left in his life is that in the stories a young boy, Paul, delights in tricking out of him. Stories of dragons and warriors, mystery and sorcery…
Find Greum’s stories inside this book, and join in his and Paul’s delight as they escape to times gone by, and revel in a long-forgotten past.
By Marie Godley
The village laid out below me was familiar, yet confusing. The streets, some with terrace housing, others with individual cottages, ran in straight lines, radiating out from the village green; but in my mind I kept seeing track-ways and houses with enclosures holding animals, clustered together.
I turned away from the view as the sound of voices floating up the stairs caused me a stab of irritation. I’d come up here for some peace and quiet, figuring I was the only one likely to stand on top of the church tower in windy weather. I briefly considered slamming the door at the top of the staircase shut; I could do it too – with one wave of my hand – but I didn’t, those days were long gone.
A stout woman in tweeds and brogues erupted through the doorway, followed more slowly by her companion; a red faced man whose moustache seemed to be quivering as he fought to get his breath back.
“Come along Arnold,” she said brusquely.
Her voice grated down to my inner core and I stood still, hoping she would ignore me; I was to be disappointed.
“Oh it’s magnificent isn’t it?” she shouted above the wind, addressing me despite my lack of eye contact.
“Imagine – St Michael’s has been here for three hundred years,” she informed me.
Why she wasn’t telling Arnold this I couldn’t imagine, I walked away.
“How rude!” I heard her exhale heavily as she moaned to her companion.
I didn’t care; about her or the church. I only climbed up to the tower because it was the highest point in Whitehaven. St Michael’s hadn’t always been here. I had stood on this same spot six hundred years ago; only then I’d been standing on the battlements of Haven Castle and the surrounding village had been a few scattered buildings.
I turned to descend the spiral stone staircase, my visit shortened by the addition of people in my vicinity. Why was it so hard to find somewhere without anyone about?
I acknowledged the vicar’s greeting with a nod of my head but kept walking towards the door.
“What is his story?” I heard the vicar ask Mrs. Hettle, the lady who did the flowers. “He often comes to climb the tower but I’ve never seen him so much as glance around the church, let alone take part in any of the services.” I assume he thought I wouldn’t hear him. He was wrong.
I wondered what Mrs Hettle would tell him as I passed through the entrance. Would it be the rumour that I had moved here to be closer to relatives that wanted nothing to do with me? I bet it wouldn’t be the story of how I was an elemental wizard who was 700 years old. How I’d been all over the world; witnessed some breathtaking miracles of nature and some nasty things I would rather forget.
And my family wanted nothing to do with me.
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