The Illusion: Part 1 by Hugo Brodribb

I sigh in relief as I finally locate the ‘welcome tavern’. Its curves and corners seem to spin, the huge gargoyles and giant sculptures that are peppered over the building give it an eery feel. I push the old, wooden door aside and stumble through the doorway. Inside is not what I expected, the interior is littered with soft leather couches and huge TVs. All creatures from goblin’s to giants are welcome here. The air is thick and smokey. A trail of black smoke catches my attention, I follow it with my eyes, eventually reaching the source, a cloaked man, with tattoos scattered all over his face, in his mouth is a golden pipe. I walk over to him. He opens his mouth.
        “Hello there, I’m Trednor Spriggans.”
“Ar- Are you related to Balthazar Spriggins?” I ask.
“Yes, I’m his brother, he thinks he knows all about the magic in Ahoy, but he is wrong, I am the one and only wizard here, that’s why I’m counted as a celebrity around these areas,” he says in his old, crackly voice.
“Well, can you show me some of your magic then?” I reply.
        “Well- um-um,” he stutters, ”Well what?” I say with a tone of suspicion.
“Of course, but first have a drink,” he says.
He reaches into his cloak and pulls out a golden vial. ”Have this, it’s a rare nectar from the peaks of Dragonridge Mountains,” he says with slight wariness.
I grab the vial in my hand, its smooth, rounded edges feel like pebbles from the shores of the Misty Isles.”Now, just follow me,” he says in annoyance.
He sits up from the leather couch, stumbling over his dirty gown and begins to walk through the tavern. He stops at a spiral staircase, next to it sits a one-eyed cat lapping milk from a bowl, it sends a shiver down my spine. “Down here,” Trednor mumbles. I follow after him. We finally reach the bottom of the stairwell, he then begins to cast a spell on the wall beside us. The wall begins shaking and it slides open. “After you,” he says in a bragging tone.
He stumbles through the doorway and walks towards a small table in the centre of the room. It had an old dusty cloak covering it. Trednor rips it off, revealing a red, crystallised ball. He asks me “Think of anything in the world.”
“OK, what about a sword,” I reply.
“As you wish,” he says strangely.
He begins waving his hands around the crystal ball. Then he somehow reaches into it, the ball begins shaking, bolts of light sparkle around it, and then it stops. He slowly drags out an iron sabre, glimmering and sparkling. “So do you believe me now?”
“Wow, how did you do that, there’s no magic left in Ahoy, that’s impossible!” I shriek in excitement.
“Well my friend, I am the leader of a Magical revolt, full of Necromancers and Wizards, called The Golden Road, we plan to storm the city of Ahoy once our powers have reached unimaginable levels, but you must swear to never tell anyone of my plans, because everyone around here sees me as an icon, and if that changes I will come for you, and kill you. Do you understand?” His voice changes from a happy, excited voice to one with anger and rage in it.
“Yes,” I stutter, in fear. I turn to leave, but the doorway has closed. “How am I meant to leave?” I ask in caution.
“You don’t,” he replies mysteriously.
Suddenly the room begins filling with smoke, grey and thick, my breathing gets deeper and heavier. Then darkness.
I wake up, rubbing my eyes in pain. My leg has a massive wound sliced down the middle of it. The blistering sunburns my face. I sit up and look around. Nothing but sand surrounds me.
        I’m lost, in the Great Desert.
To be continued…