Continued from 26/366 – A Problem
Morn woke in the morning with his body wrapped in the blankets on the bed. He struggled at first to kick them off of himself for a few minutes before finally wrestling his head to fresh air. The room he was in was larger, brighter, and lavishly decorated than the one he had fallen asleep in.
“Morn?” his mother called down the hall. “What happened?”
Morn jumped from the bed and ran out into the hall, which now was easily six times longer and three times as wide. More doors were lining the hallway than should have been, and not knowing which one was his room, he opened each as he passed. Each door revealed a new large bedroom, sitting room, or library. His head swam with each new discovery.
“Morn?” his mother called again, further down the hall.
“I’m coming,” he yelled back as he ran to the door and pushed it open.
His mother stood in the middle of a bedroom adorned with carvings and marble. The bed was larger than his bedroom had been before and looked as though it was stuffed with goose down.
“What’s happening?” his mother asked, “Where are we?”
“I-I don’t know,” Morn replied, “but I think Azariah might have something to do with this.”
His mother followed him out of the room and down a sweeping wrought-iron staircase that led to a grand entry hall. From a place to their left, they could hear music playing.
“Azariah?” Morn called.
“Morn! It’s about time you woke up,” Azariah said, walking into the hall, “and Mrs. G’Lair, you’re awake as well! How wonderful! Are you hungry? I can have the servants make us some breakfast.”
“Servants?” Morn asked, “What’s happening?”
“Yes, servants. There are seven of them. They will cater to your every whim. I felt so bad last night that I needed to do something to make it up to you,” Azariah said.
“Where are we?” Morn asked.
“Your house. I did some updating on it while you were sleeping,” Azariah replied. “Isn’t it grand? I modeled it after King Bertran’s summer palace in the Eastern Tradelands.”
“I don’t need or want this,” Morn said, feeling his ears grow hot once again. “I want the house back that I grew up in. I want my room and my home back!”
“Morn?” Celeste said as she pushed open the front door. “What’s happened to your house? This place is huge. It practically sits on top of mine now.”
“I didn’t do this,” Morn said, trying to breathe, “Talk to Azariah.”
Morn’s pulse raced in his ears as his breath came in shallow bursts. He felt like he was suffocating. The room was becoming blurred in his vision.
“Morn? Are you okay?” Celeste said.
“He’s having trouble breathing,” his mother replied.
Azariah snapped their fingers, “It’s fine.”
In a flash, the feeling of suffocating lifted, and Morn’s vision cleared. His mind moved from a lack of air to the fury he felt bubbling in his stomach.
“This,” he said, waving his arms around, “needs to go away! You can’t just upend my life at every turn and expect me to be okay with it. You need to stop.”
“I did this because I feel guilty,” Azariah said.
“Guilty for what? We told you last night what we wanted. This wasn’t it,” Morn said.
“I tried Morn. I really tried to fix it, but I couldn’t. I don’t know why, but something is stopping me,” Azariah said.
“What do you mean you couldn’t? You’re a god!” Morn cried.
“I know! Gods aren’t always all-powerful. We’re flawed too. Sometimes we make mistakes,” Azariah said rushing up to Morn, “I can fix a lot of things, but apparently giving your mother back her gift is something that I can’t do.”
“So I’ll never have it back?” his mother asked.
“No, no, no, no, you can get it back,” Azariah said, “I just can’t give it back to you. It is something that you have to go get.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“When I figured out that I couldn’t give it back to you, I tried everything I could. I swear it. I left for a while and went to meet up with some old shaman up in the mountains to the north of here-really bad food, by the way-and they told me that for you to get your sorcery back, you’d have to seek out the elemental stone you lost.”
“Elemental stone?” Morn asked.
“They are these super rare things that only exist because sorcerers exist. Apparently, when a sorcerer dies, a stone is created somewhere in the world. If anyone finds one of these stones, they gain the powers of the sorcerer-pretty cool if you ask me,” Azariah rambled.
“Then get her one,” Morn said.
“What’s going on?” Celeste asked.
“Azariah took my magic away when he brought me back,” Morn’s mother answered.
“I can’t!” Azariah cried, falling to the floor. “Do you think I didn’t try? I can’t even locate one! Never in all my eons have I ever been so frustrated!”
“Frustrated? You’re frustrated?” Morn bellowed. “I went to sleep in my father’s bed last night, in my childhood home, frustrated because you took my mother’s magic away from her. Today I wake up in a house I didn’t ask for, with servants I don’t need or want, with a god telling me they can’t help me!”
“When you put it like that, it sounds silly,” Azariah said, “but it’s not my fault. I thought I was removing her magic when I brought her back, but it turns out she wouldn’t have had it anyway! I didn’t do anything wrong-and you have the nerve to yell at me-I just tried to help you because you helped to free me.”
“I didn’t know I was freeing you,” Morn said. “Had I known that you were locked away, I may have actually put a little thought into what I was doing-”
“The god of fate doesn’t mess around, Morn. You were supposed to release me. Even if you had known I was down there, you would have come around to freeing me one way or another,” Azariah said. “Now we’re fast friends! I’ve never had a friend in a mortal before, but I-”
“You are not my friend,” Morn said, his body shaking in anger, “you’ve never been my friend. You’ve only done the things you’ve done to make you happy. I’m not happy, Azariah, I haven’t been happy since before I met you. I want things to go back to the way they were.”
Azariah stood in the hall, looking like a scolded dog. They avoided eye contact with everyone in the room and their body wilted.
“You’re really not my friend?” Azariah asked, barely above a whisper.
“I’m really not your friend,” Morn said through gritted teeth.
“Fine!” Azariah boomed.
A flash of light caught Morn off guard before he could cover his eyes. He was blinded for a few seconds, blinking furiously to clear his eyes of an Azariah shaped blotch. When his vision cleared, he was standing in his old living room with his mother and Celeste.
“Where’d they go?” Celeste asked. “What happened?”
“I think we have a problem,” Morn’s mother said, pointing to a note hanging from a nail in the wall.
Morn’s heart fell when he read it:
I’m sorry that I’ve upset you. I do want to be friends with you. I’ve gone for a while now and will leave you and your town in peace. I wanted you to know that the shamans told me one other thing. Your mother only has fifteen days to live without her elemental stone.
I’m sorry I’m not a big enough help in these things,
Continued 28/366 – Fifteen days