The Wizard of Flaws
Copyright © 2001 by Lewis Korn
"Pack your stuff. You're leaving."
"What?" he asked.
Hungry scrambled out of his bed and tripped over his pile of clothes, landing right before the foot of his now-former master. He could hardly believe what he'd just been told.
"I said get lost, boy."
"I can't go back to Flaws, Master. Besides, what did I do?" Hungry implored while picking himself up off of the cold, brown tiles that littered the room.
"Well, first off, you haven't learned a thing I've taught you. You blow every opportunity that comes your way. And second, you're out every night with that retard, getting blitzed."
"But that's not true --"
"And now you're calling me a liar? Do you know what it takes to train a magic-user, boy?"
Hungry wished that he had something to say to that one. His now-former master always employed questions that no one could respond to. Hungry hated that, as a matter of fact. However the master had been doing this for over fifty years, so Hungry sure couldn't come close to that.
"I asked you a question, boy. Do you know what it takes to train a magic-user?"
"I wish you'd give me another chance, sir."
"Are you kidding? I've been doing this for over fifty years. Fifty years! I know that's not quite as long as Duende, that stupid elf down the street that you're drinking yourself to death with every night, but that's just because he's cursed with living for so darn long. I've shown you incantation after incantation and all you seem to be able to do is sleep all day and spend my gold pieces. You're leaving. And if I have to tell you again, I'll shrink you down to the size of one of my corns and mail your worthless carrion of mooching to the Abyss ... overnight!"
Hungry's former master left the room as the door slammed behind him. He never touched the door either.
Hungry packed his clothes and his spell book, which was empty, of course, into a backpack and left. Needless to say, he was quite upset. Without money, without food, and without a master, he wouldn't last long. And in these parts, whrere the Invisible Pancreas Eaters were known to roam occasionally, Hungry felt as if his future prospects were rather slim. He headed out, reluctantly, toward Flaws.
Hungry walked down the main road through the forest. He walked and he walked. His feet ached and his armpits weren't exactly in the same shape that they were earlier this morning. He wished that he had something to eat. He wished that he had something to drink. He wished that he had studied harder.
As Hungry pressed on in the direction of town, his attention was diverted to an object on the ground. He walked closer to it and kneeled down to it. Whatever it was, it sure was shiny. He pried it out of the dirt to find that it was a ring of some sort. Unusually large for a ring, it wrapped around Hungry's finger perfectly. He smiled. But it was slightly unusual.
The ring was bulky, and definetely made of gold. Carvings encased it to where it was practically a work of art unmatched by any other ring that Hugnry had ever seen, not that he was some jewelry expert or anything. There was something about it that was just different.
"I wish I knew what this ring was for," he said to himself.
And then, from all sides of the forest came a voice with a commanding and sarcastic tone.
"It was a ring of one wish," the voice said.
And the ring disappeared from Hungry's hands.
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