I give you all the first of Cecily’s Apprentice. We meet a woman named Fiona and see her mysterious potential. You chilled the whole town!? Interesting…
The town came into view. The sun was beginning to peak from the clouds. Many were still bundled up. She could hear murmurs about the snow’s disappearance. She chuckled under her breath. She watched a few kids throwing snowballs at each other before heading for a tavern.
The smell of liquor and warm food filled her nose.
“Lady Cecily. It’s a pleasure to see you again.”
A man behind the counter greeted her as he began to pull a bottle from the stock.
“I’ll take it you’ll have the usual?”
“Of course!” She beamed.
He filled a cup up to its brim and set it down where she sat.
“It was starting to look like a heavy storm was coming in.”
“Yes. It looked nasty. However,’ getting such a thing out of the way was child’s play.”
“Oh! So you did take care of it.” The tavern man beamed. “It’s as expected of the guardian of the north forest.”
More people began to chatter.
She took a swig of her drink before slowing down a few sips at a time. Just as she got into the drink the tavern man sat a plate down in front of her. It was stripped beef and vegetables with a sauce over it.
“Mmm.” She took a big whiff of it before getting into it.
She took her bites small. Indulging in the meal. With her drink and her food, she was very content.
As she finished, she noticed a pair of eyes on her. She glanced over to a young woman looking at her. She seemed nervous and fidgety. She jumped as their eye met.
“Oh!” The woman said rather loudly.
“You want something?” Cecily asked in a rather bored tone.
The woman seemed to get more nervous at her tone.
“I do. I’ve been looking for someone like you for guidance. More specifically I need help.”
“Hmm.” Cecily said as she raised her eyebrow.
“In a town just west of here there is a curse. The air is unusually frigid and no matter how much you bundle up the air leaves you cold to the bone. Not a wind is in sight and the sun blares. Many are beginning to catch flu like symptoms.”
Cecily watched her closely as she took in the information.
“Are you keen in magic?” She said shortly after.
The woman winced.
“It happened after a spell I tried to do after hearing of your legends.”
“I thought so.” Cecily groaned, “It sound like it.”
The woman let her head fall.
“Even so. Pick up your head fixing such things is child’s play.’
“Yeah, Lady Cecily can do a lot.” The tavern man said.
“Then you’ll fix it!?” The woman said.
“Of course. But first tell me your name.”
“It’s Fiona.” She said rather hastily.
“Good then, Fiona. I’ve finished here so let’s make haste.”
They had traveled for quite some time. Fiona had come by carriage. She offered for Cecily to travel with her and promised she would bring her back to town afterwards. The town was coming into view. As they approached it, an unsual aura came to Cecily along with a heavy chill. It was clear that the town was under a heavy spell. But what intrigued her was the level of strength to it. Raw as it was, it clearly was done by someone who possess a lot of talent.
“You did this?” She asked.
“I think so.” Fiona said in a small voice.
“Never mind that attitude. Let’s stop here.” Cecily said.
They came to a halt. Cecily jumped out immediately. She held her hands out to the cool air, her fingers forming into a claw-like grip. All at once, the air began to heat. It slowly began to expand.
“This is a simple yet delicate procedure.” She smiled, “I’ll warm the cursed air and the sun will reach in no time.”
“Why so slow?” Fiona asked. “Can’t you burst it away like you did your town’s snow?”
“And over warm their bodies? Nonsense! After all, you said they were weakened by the curse already.”
Fiona immediately hushed herself.
“Now then. It’s spread.”
She then clenched her fists. The air burst into warmth before mellowing out. The frigidness was no more as the sun’s rays began to touch down.
“Wow!” Fiona yelled rather loudly.
“Impressive, isn’t it?” Cecily beamed.
“Wow!” she said again, “I should have known to do that.”
“And yet you didn’t. Let’s go into town to see if everyone is alright.”
They walked around seeing relief on the townspeople’s faces. Fiona greeted many people. She explained to every person she saw and told them about Cecily. To Cecily’s surprise, they seemed to be more concerned about her than themselves. She clearly had a reputation there. After talking for some time she found out Fiona’s a bit of an odd jobs person. Or maybe a charity she thought as she snickered. Even so, there was respect there.
Fiona invited Cecily to join her at a tavern in the center of the town. It was very quiet as the town was still recovering. But as they got there more people were arriving.
“I’ll order you a drink to say thanks.” Fiona said.
“That would be nice. I’ll take something strong. A local favorite if you have one.” Cecily purred.
“Okay I know what to ask for!” Fiona said in a perky tone.
Cecily was taking her time with every sip. It was clear that she enjoyed the drink she was ordered. Fiona watched her as she drank.
“You seem to keep your eyes on me a lot.” Cecily said rather suddenly to Fiona.
“Oh!” She blushed in a slight embarrassment. “I was just studying your energy.”
“Studying? Well, do that later. I don’t like being stared at while I’m enjoying myself.” Cecily snipped.
“Right…” Fiona said as she began to drink herself.
“You have great taste.” A woman behind the counter started. “That’s one of our finest liquors.”
“It does hit the spot. Nothing like a fine drink.” She purred.
“Well a token of our appreciation, I’ll give you a bottle for the road.”
They both perked up.
“Thank you.” Cecily said politely. “It is my pleasure.”
Cecily’s expression fell into a troubled look.
“So you are saying you want to be my apprentice?”
“Uh Huh!” Fiona nodded.
Cecily’s brow furrowed more.
“Come on! Don’t look like that. After all you don’t want to have to free cursed towns forever?”
“True…” She agreed. “I guess it will keep me in practice.”
“Exactly.” Fiona said with a clap.
“Well then. I’ll see what you got.”
Fiona lit up.
“But tomorrow. I need my rest too.” Cecily said as she rubbed her brow.
“Alright. I’ll let you rest.” Fiona said. “I’ll be headed home now.”
And with that, she left the room.
Cecily’s trip was longer than expected so Fiona offered to pay for a hotel for her to stay the night in. After the curse was lifted the hotel owner actually let her stay for free.
She laid out on her bed.
“An apprentice sounds like a hassle…. But no challenge will be run from. I’ll whip her into shape.” Cecily smirked.
She then closed her eyes as sleep took over her.