Eric’s Magic Spells

Where was it?
When Eric creates the spells to help Ian and Jon on their quest, the descriptions of the spells he created for them were much more detailed. Once again, as fun as this was, it did not directly advance the plot, so had to come out.

The water-breathing spell would be drunk. He’d made similar spells before for both fun and rescue missions. At first, he’d tried using just water as the anchor to start with, but water just wouldn’t hold the spell, especially once submerged in more water. The spell simply got lost. Through trial and error—lots of errors—he had finally determined that cola held the spell the best. He theorized that because carbonated drinks were air-infused liquids, they aligned well with an air-in-water spell.

So he lined up small stoppered glass vials for the water-breathing spells and filled each of them from the Coke bottles he kept in his office fridge. Once the spell was added, John and Ian would simply drink the contents and the spell would extract oxygen out of the water for them to breathe. Being consumable, he made a couple dozen vials for both Ian and Jon, each lasting a full day. He hoped that would be enough to get them where they needed to go.

Next were two pairs of swimming fins for the locomotion spell to get John and Ian up the river. That was a simple spell to add strength and efficiency to the designed function of the fins. With his help, it would be much like they attached motors to the fins. They could speed up the river as fast as a motorboat simply by kicking their feet at a leisurely wave. The fins should hold the spell indefinitely, so a pair of fins each should do.

Then there was a pair of knit hats for the journey back up the latrine. His original thought had been a hard miner’s hat as crawling up a pipe or drainway seemed to him like spelunking. A hat was a covering, so it represented a spell to cover a person. But then, because he also had to add in a shrinking spell—so that Ian could traverse the pipes that only a child as small as John could have come through—a hard hat was simply something else that would have to shrink. It would have made the spell more complicated, as hard things tended to be too brittle to shrink well. Bones were difficult enough and they tended to have the slightest bit of natural give to them (while alive, anyway). So he used a knit hat instead. It was still a covering, but soft and flexible—and the cheaper ones even tended to shrink all on their own with a few washings. He would combine the shrinking spell with one to keep them both clean and one to prevent them from smelling anything too nasty. Not strictly necessary, he supposed, but no reason to make the task worse than it had to be. Not much he could do about touch and still leave them able to climb, so he made a note to include some disposable gloves in Ian’s pack. At the last moment, he thought to add a climbing spell to the hat, in case there were long drops in the pipe that they would have to scale.

Finally, pulling out the last item, he smiled widely. “Jackie, you are a marvel.” His list had stated “Portal frames – no bigger than 2 feet across, largest possible to be packed.” He really hadn’t had anything specific in mind and had worried that the frame would have to be very small indeed in order to fit in Ian’s travel pack. But the amazing Jackie had raided a toy store it looked like. Included in the boxes were several foldable, flexible rings designed to act as a throwing toy much like a Frisbee. If he cut off the fabric from the ring, it would make almost the full 2-foot diameter portal that he could get away with—any larger and it risked discovery—and yet with the proper twists, it folded down to something barely larger than a deck of cards. In short, it was perfect.

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