Read Ravenspell Book 2: The Wizard of Ooze Online

Authors: David Farland

Tags: #Fantasy, #lds, #mormon

Ravenspell Book 2: The Wizard of Ooze (17 page)

BOOK: Ravenspell Book 2: The Wizard of Ooze
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Mona came and knelt down in front of Ben. “Please forgive me!” she begged. “I’m sorry I sucked you up in the vacuum cleaner. Can you ever forgive me? Just come home. I don’t care if you’re a mouse. You can bring your friends to live with us. I just want you home.”

Ben stared up at his mother and fought back a tear. He wiped it away with the back of a paw.

Now is the time, Amber thought. Now I should turn him back into a human.

But suddenly the ground shook all around Ben, and then the pavement on the road buckled upward as an enormous worm poked his head from the ground.

He reared up above Ben like a cobra, his purple skin pitted and burned.

“Not so fast,” Fluke Gutcrawler growled.

Then he burst into song.

Moonlight shines upon the meadow
And upon the garden green—

Amber knew what he was trying to do. She slapped her paws over her ears and began to scream so she couldn’t hear him.

But everywhere, all across the land, the television monitors showed the image of mice turning toward Fluke Gutcrawler, their eyes filled with tears of hope, their mouths going slack, mindlessly following the sound of his song.

Come, sweet mice, and taste the harvest,
Come to the garden of your dreams.
Nectar pools in silver flowers,
Sweeter than a winding stream.
Drink and thirst no more forever,
In the wellspring of your dreams.

Mona Ravenspell saw Ben’s head turn up, saw all of the light and intelligence drain from his eyes as he gazed upon the worm, mesmerized.

For his part, the great worm was not content to be there on the ground. He looked as if he wanted to be up high, some place where he could lord it over the rest of the world.

And so he raised his snout to the heavens, stretching up and up, until he found himself twisting around the shaft of the huge missile, coiling around it like a snake, then climbing quickly until he stood at its top.

Weary is the way before you.
Nothing’s as easy as it seems.
Give me your life, your love, your labor.
Abandon now your hopes, your dreams.

Fluke Gutcrawler peered down at the humans and mice that were huddled before him. “Bow to me!” he shouted. “Bow to me, and I shall be your leader. I will free you from the yoke of bondage, free you from the evil Alaskan bull worms!”

“I don’t think so,” Mona Ravenspell said as she thrust her finger against a red button clearly marked
Launch.

She’d crept back to General Crawley’s command center.

The ground began to tremble and shake, and suddenly flames erupted from the back end of the rocket. Fluke Gutcrawler suddenly whirled and peered down in terror as the rocket began to lift off.

With the song finished, Ben’s eyes cleared, and in three leaps he bounded away from the launch site.

“Amber,” he shouted. “Amber, you have to turn that missile into a fireworks show!”

Amber peered toward Ben. She could hardly hear anything over the roar of the rocket. “What?”

The ground rumbled, and the rocket blasted off with Fluke Gutcrawler clinging to the top of the cone in terror.

“Like the fleas back at Mrs. Pumpernickel’s house!” Ben shouted.

“Oh, yeah!” Amber said.

It takes a lot of magical energy to turn one thing into another. And the nuclear bomb was far bigger than a mouse. Amber was afraid that she didn’t have enough magic left, and trying to cast a huge spell without magic—well, it could be deadly.

Ah, well, Amber thought. It was a good life.

She took a deep breath, and hurled her spell.

The missile roared into the sky atop a pillar of fire, great clouds of smoke issuing from behind. It blazed like the sun as it thundered to its apex.

And there, two miles above the earth’s surface, it exploded.

Enormous fireballs shot out of it from horizon to horizon, in fantastical colors, each of them trailing a brilliant rainbow. There were glowing gems of lime green, and brilliant crescent moons. There were reds that looked like chrysanthemum flowers, and white-hot stars twinkling in their own little galaxies.

All across the earth, humans and animals stared up at the display, their mouths open in awe, clapping and applauding.

The boom from the exploding missile rattled windows and made spiderwebs vibrate, but nothing more.

And for long moments afterward, the people applauded.

With that, Benjamin Ravenspell turned and hopped away from the camera, out of the lights, and went to Amber by the side of the road.

She was lying there, completely lifeless.

Ben stared down and fought back tears. He watched for the longest time, but Amber didn’t move.

Ben’s mother came and joined him.

“Is this your friend?” Mona asked.

“Yeah,” Ben said. “She’s more than a friend. She’s a wizard.”

“She’s the mouse you bought at the pet shop!” Mona said. “Isn’t she?”

“Yeah,” Ben said. “She’s the one who turned me into a mouse.”

“What’s wrong with her?” Mona asked.

“She cast too many spells,” Ben said. “She got the wizard wearies. I think she’s dead.”

Amber’s chest did not rise and fall. Not a single whisker on her snout moved.

Ben crawled forward and pushed down on her chest quickly, trying to remember his CPR. He saw that it wouldn’t work on a mouse. He might be able to get her heart beating, but he couldn’t give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation—their mouths were shaped all wrong.

Air escaped from Amber’s lungs.

He pulled his paws off her chest, letting it fill with air.

Amber didn’t move.

He tried again. A crowd of humans began to gather, and Ben felt frightened. He heard Bushmaster out in the tall grass, calling, “Ben, let’s get out of here.”

But Ben couldn’t just run away.

He hammered above Amber’s heart, then shoved down on her chest again, letting her get more air.

Time seemed to stand still.

Amber coughed softly—once, twice. Then she took a deep gasp of breath.

A cheer rose up from the crowd of people, and Ben looked up. There were hundreds of them, all gathered around him. The news cameras were shining on him, and the reporter smiled at him, her mascara running as tears streamed down from her eyes.

“He did it,” someone shouted. “He saved the mouse!”

Suddenly everyone was clapping and cheering.

Amber’s little paws waved in the air as she fought her way back to consciousness, and she flipped on her stomach and just lay on the cement for a moment. “Oh,” she said. “I feel really, really sick.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Ben’s mom said. “Why don’t you two come home with me? I’ve got some pizza in the fridge and plenty of root beer.”

“Can I invite some friends over?” Ben asked. It was an odd question. He’d never really had any friends before, so he’d never asked it.

“Mouse friends or human friends?” Mona asked.

“Mice,” Ben said.

“You can invite all of the friends you want,” Mona said as she reached down and picked up Amber and Ben, scooping them into the palm of her hand so that she made a little nest.

“Wait for me!” Bushmaster cried as he came racing through the grass at the side of the road, leaping from a screen of vetch, its rich purple blossoms hanging above him in clusters.

He climbed into Mona’s hand too, and she carried them back to the house, patting and stroking their heads.

“I hope you don’t mind staying a mouse a little longer,” Amber told Ben. “It will take a few days to get my energy back.”

“I don’t mind,” Ben said. “I kind of like being a mouse—as long as I don’t have to eat granola every day.”

And it was true.

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BOOK: Ravenspell Book 2: The Wizard of Ooze
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