Today is the fourth and final part of The Temporary Wizard of Locklynn! If you’ve missed any of the other chapters, click the appropriate link: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three.
If you’ve liked what you’ve read, please let me know!
~ S.G. Rogers
As the new swarm of woolihoppers began to descend, Kipp materialized in a crackling flash of light. He wove a spell over a herd of yamas that caused the grazing insects to whirr up overhead. Ilene magically blasted them with frigid air, and the winged creatures dropped to the grass like fat brown hail.
“What does your spell do?” she asked Kipp.
“It makes the wool taste foul.”
“Good one,” she said. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
Ilene and Kipp moved across the pasture, working together until the menace was eliminated. When the last insect was dead, Kipp magically swept the frozen woolihoppers into a huge pile. Ilene vetoed his plan to burn the lot, and instead used a reduction spell until the pile resembled an anthill.
By the time the two wizards returned to the farmhouse, Dane Goery had set up several casks of ale to reward his neighbors for coming to his aid. Kipp declined the cup offered to him, and waved off any expressions of gratitude.
“I’m sorry I was late,” he said. “But I’m heading to the other farms right now to treat the yamas against any more woolihopper infestations.”
Kipp vanished in a flash of light and sound like far-off thunder. Ilene wrinkled her nose at the smell of ozone that always accompanied a wizard’s transport. As she sipped her ale, a smile played on her lips. Although Ilene freely acknowledged that Locklynn’s wizard was powerful, Gert had mentioned he was the most handsome man she’d ever seen. Ilene’s shoulders moved in a baffled shrug. There’s really no accounting for taste.
Mayor Henryr approached. “It appears that your approach with Kipp was better than ours. What did you say to him?”
Ilene laughed as she recalled the Bear Clan wizard sitting in the middle of the icy stream, soaking wet. He’d worn a shocked expression only partly due to the temperature of the water. I expect he won’t underestimate a female wizard again.
“You could say I threw a little cold water on the situation,” she replied. “I hope it does Kipp some long term good.”
In the tavern’s common room after dinner that night, townspeople exchanged enthusiastic stories about the fierce battle against the woolihoppers. Ilene joined in from time to time, but she mostly enjoyed listening to the conversation. Her mood was tinged with sadness; now that Locklynn’s wizard had emerged from his hibernation, she would be moving on… but when? Strange how quickly I became attached to this place.
Gert slid into the chair next to Ilene and gave her a worried smile. “Are you all right? Your green eyes look a little blue.”
“I’ll be fine, thank you. I suppose I should leave tomorrow so you can rent out my room for the festival.”
“What? I thought you were getting along famously here. Why do you want to go?”
“It’s not like I have a choice. With Kipp back on duty, I must look for another job.”
Gert frowned. “It doesn’t seem fair somehow.”
“I knew the job was temporary from the beginning,” Ilene said. “Perhaps after I get settled into my next position, I’ll come for a visit, to see how you’re getting along.”
“Promise me you’ll stay in Locklynn at least until after the festival,” Gert said. “There’s plenty of work for you to do until then.”
The steel band tightening across Ilene’s chest suddenly eased. “Only if you let me add extra guest rooms to the tavern. You can always use the extra accommodations even after the festival is over.”
“You have a deal, even though I’m getting the better bargain.”
Over the next few days, Ilene was too busy with festival preparations to contemplate her departure. Gert mentioned that Kipp was working out at the festival grounds, helping to erect a dance pavilion and food booths.
“It’s so wonderful to see him out and about as a part of the community again,” she said.
“That’s great.” Ilene forced a smile. “I’m glad the town is in such good hands.”
At last, people began to pour into Locklynn in anticipation of the festivities. All the rooms at the Spinning Wheel Tavern were full, even the extra rooms Ilene had created in the back. In addition, most of Locklynn’s residents let tourists rent their spare bedrooms. Visitors erected tents in the fields—so many, in fact, that the area resembled a campground. Taverns and shops were bursting with customers, and Ilene was glad she’d put so much effort into renewing the street and buildings. For such a small town, Locklynn looked its best.
Her brother Ian arrived on the first day of the festival, bringing with him a large contingent from Spriteburg. The group included several merchants in search of Locklynn wool and finished products. It was with a great deal of pride that Ilene watched the spirited haggling over vibrantly colored lots in the marketplace. Ian nodded toward the vast array of wool skeins.
“I recognize your handiwork, Ilene,” he remarked. “You’ve always had a fine eye for color.”
“You’re too kind, Ian,” she replied. Ilene suddenly noticed the lightweight cherry-red muffler around his neck. “What a beautiful scarf! Did you buy that from one of the booths?”
“Naw, I won it in a game of cards at the campground this morning. Poor lad never knew what hit him.”
As Gert strolled past just then, she gave Ian a saucy wink. Surprised, Ian had to look around to make sure her gaze was directed at him.
“Aye, she wants you to introduce yourself,” Ilene laughed. “Her name is Gert, and she’s my landlady, so be nice.”
“How’d I get so lucky?”
Ian loped off in pursuit. Moments later another man came to stand by Ilene’s side. She glanced up and her mouth went dry. The stranger was young, clean-shaven and terribly handsome, with broad shoulders and a shock of thick red-brown hair.
“Welcome to Locklynn,” she said. “You must be here for the festival.”
“Thank you, I am. The town looks much better than the last time I was here. Gert tells me you’re the new wizard?”
“Aye,” she replied, without thinking. “Well, actually, no. I’m just temporary.”
“Really? Maybe you should stick around,” he said. “I’ve heard the regular wizard is a useless lump and a lazy lout to boot.”
Ilene looked him full in the face. She gulped when she realized the man had one green and one blue eye. Although they were different colors, both eyes were mesmerizing.
“I don’t know him at all, to be truthful,” she replied. “We didn’t exactly meet under the best of circumstances.”
“Maybe you two could start over,” he said. “If you’re willing.”
Ilene noticed Ian had cornered Gert next to a booth selling freshly poured battercakes and lemonade. “It won’t be easy. Do you see my twin brother Ian? If Locklynn’s wizard can manage to get on his good side, I might change my mind.”
“It’s already been done,” Kipp replied.
“How do you know?” Ilene asked, surprised.
“I let Ian win that scarf off me just this morning,” Kipp said. “Plus, Gert’s my cousin.”
I invite you to visit the world of Yden:
The Last Great Wizard of Yden
Jon Hansen always thought his father’s tales about the magical planet of Yden were fiction. When his father is kidnapped by an evil wizard, however, Jon is forced to dig deeper. His investigation uncovers magical artifacts that will unlock another dimension—if only he can gather his courage to make the journey. On his quest to Yden, Jon encounters wizards, Cyclopes, and a warlord who seem to want him dead. Fortunately, he’s got friends by his side, as well as the ability to draw things to life. Can he and his friends defeat the most evil wizard the magical world has ever known, or will Jon become the latest addition to the Wolf Clan wizard’s gruesome collection of trophies?
Children of Yden
While balancing the rigorous demands of regular schoolwork, Jon eagerly begins his magical training on Dragon Isle. At the same time, the Dragon Clan starts to search for other Earth-born sons and daughters of Yden’s wizards. Using a purloined map, however, the Fox Clan has already begun recruiting the children of Yden for their own sinister plans. Jon soon discovers Guinn of the Fox Clan is searching for a magical artifact called the Portal Key — and he’s more than willing to kill for it. Worse, Guinn’s desire to settle an old score puts Jon directly in his sights. As Guinn’s schemes fall into place, Jon is forced to hurt a close friend to protect her. Can he learn enough magic in time to thwart Guinn’s ambitions? Will he find the inner strength to survive injury, bitter betrayal, and horrendous loss? The fate of Earth and Yden hangs in the balance.
Secrets of Yden
As Jon Hansen begins his senior year in high school, he and his friends are focused on the future. Unfortunately, a past skirmish on Yden is still having repercussions. Bailey of the Shark Clan is out for revenge, and he may have secret support in the Executive Council. Worse, time is stopping on Earth for increasingly long intervals, and only Jon’s ankh sets him apart. An unstable portal is the cause, but his search for answers uncovers an ancient prophecy that seemingly spells his doom. Can Jon repair the hole in the universe before time stops forever, or will he have to sacrifice himself to save the world?
Kira: The Yden Trilogy Prequel
Poisoned by an enemy, Kira struggles to find an antidote before she succumbs to enslavement. At the same time, she’s desperate to save Dorsit, a Leopard Clan wizard whose youth and magic has been stolen by a murderous wizard on a rampage. As Kira’s homeland is invaded by bloodthirsty legions, Kira flees across the country in a bid to reach the Mirrum Mountain nymphs and a legendary cure. Hunted by shadow hounds, an army of Cyclopes, and an evil jinn, will her wits and skill as a warrior be enough to survive?