Lindsey and Anthony

     Once upon a time, there was an old wizard who lived on the outskirts of a distant kingdom. For years, he secretly practiced all kinds of magic without the rest of the kingdom knowing. He would cast spells, create potions, and enchant all sorts of objects. The wizard never got out much, but he loved testing his magic in the woods surrounding his home. It wasn’t very big, but it was filled with wonder. There was a cobblestone tower full of spell books and scrolls, stained glass windows, and a large wooden door in the front. Outside the house, there were vines growing on the walls, terra-cotta flower pots, and large pine trees concealing it from the rest of the world. The wizard knew that if anyone would get hold of his magic, it could be used to create or destroy anything. He couldn’t risk letting anyone know about his power so he hid himself in a place where no one would ever find him. 

 

     One day, the wizard discovered a new potion in one of his spell books. It was one he had never tested before, and was said to have the ability to illuminate objects. Intrigued, he crafted the potion and went outside to experiment on two flowers. As expected, both flowers glowed in broad daylight; however, the wizard wasn’t completely satisfied. He took the remainder of the potion and mixed it with a strength potion he had lying around. He took a third flower, and tested the new concoction on it. While the other flowers just glowed, the third became a bright orange color and doubled in size. It was nothing like he had ever seen before. He wondered if the flower would continue to grow or if the magic would slip away in a few hours, losing its shine. He decided to leave it out overnight, rather than bringing it indoors like he usually did, in case it grew at an exponential rate and devoured his house. 

 

      Later that night, the king sent out his guards on a surveillance mission throughout the kingdom. The king made sure he knew what was going on at all times to prevent any challenges to his throne. He loved his power and would go to any and all extremes to protect it. Four years earlier, his father – the former king – passed away, and his older brother was to ascend the throne. As his brother’s coronation was about to take place, he assassinated the soon-to-be king and took the throne for himself. As the years went by, he managed to extinguish all challenges, but was still always on the lookout. As the guards were surveying that night, a tree collapsed onto the bridge to the village, ultimately blocking their path. They knew that a failed mission would furiate the king, so they took a trek through the woods in hopes of finding an alternative route. After an hour of searching, the guards got lost, but decided to keep going. They were unfamiliar with the area, but knew they couldn’t be too far from the kingdom by the recognition of large pine trees. All of a sudden, they saw a bright orange glow straight ahead. They looked at each other in confusion, but wanted to further investigate. Maybe they would have news for the king after all! As they approached the glow, they stumbled upon the wizard’s orange flower, which by now had doubled in size once more. The guards were astonished and thought they should bring it back to the king. They attempted to chop it down, but it’s stem was too strong or the guards. The sound of their failed attempts awakened the wizard, who then ran to his window to see what was happening. He’d never had visitors before. With the glance of the royal colors below, he knew it had to be the king’s men outside. He started to panic, but decided to stay hidden. He could always recreate his experiment, but his magic was far more powerful and had to be protected. 

 

     The guards, now frustrated by their failure, knew that the king had to hear about the flower. Something this strong couldn’t go unnoticed. They left the woods, and returned back to the castle, where they informed the king of their discovery. Upon hearing the news, the king was outraged. The thought of a flower being more powerful than he was made him angrier than ever before – he was not going to be made a fool. The king ordered his guards to go out into the woods once again to seize the flower. If it could not be cut down, it was to be dug up. While this was occurring, the wizard finally came out of hiding. What could the king’s guards possibly want with him? This thought stirred him into a panic. It had to be his magic. That night, the wizard barricaded his door and left the flower outside. As long as his magic was safe, his flower could be taken.

 

     The following day, the guards went back into the woods and found the orange flower once again. They tried to take it down, but failed like before. From inside, the wizard overheard the guards planning on how they would get the flower to the king. His fears were now confirmed. Someone – the king – was trying to get ahold of his magic. This was dangerous. The guards left the woods again, alarming the wizard. He knew he needed to take more precaution. 

 

     Within one week, the guards never returned back to the woods, causing the wizard to believe it was safe to go back out and practice his magic like once before. After a few hours of uninterrupted experimenting, the wizard suddenly felt a strong gust of wind and heard the sound of large flapping wings in the distance. At first he thought nothing of it, but when a dragon appeared he was alarmed. It wasn’t even the dragon itself that alarmed him, but rather the small figure on the back. The king was now outside of his home. The wizard didn’t know what to do. This was the first time he was spotted practicing magic in the last 60 years. He had put both himself and his secrets in grave danger. Seizing the flower was no longer the king’s mission; the old wizard was now his target. 

 

      In a cloud of smoke, the Wizard disappeared, retreating to his personal library of all-powerful spells.  If he was to fell a dragon, he would need to draw upon the knowledge of the distant past. The king rode his beast in search of the stealthy wizard, and burned a path in the forest until he arrived at the spellcaster’s aged home.  He lowered his elevation significantly, until the dragon’s head was level with one of the windows. It peered in, scanning the room for anything magical – and what a discovery. In the room was bookshelf after bookshelf, stuffed full of ancient spellbooks and scrolls. With all that knowledge, the king would be unstoppable.  Just then, however, the old wizard appeared among the shelves. With a look of fury on his face and an outstretched hand, he cast his spell. A blinding light eminated from his body, first filling the room, and then covering the tower and engulfing the king and his dragon, who were desperatelytrying to fly away. When the light faded, all that remained was a clear patch of grass in the middle of the woods. 

 

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