Another Terribleminds challenge where three specific things have to be used in the story. Mine were talisman, a found dog, and a gateway. Enjoy!
Sebastian rolled his sleeves up and began the incantation. A gust of wind swirled around him and Margaret as thunder echoed through the alley. He closed his eyes and spoke over the growing storm. The sky above them began to glow and spark.
It was cold that night, even for October. Margaret rubbed her hands together and blew into them. She stood next to two suitcases by the brick wall.
“Does this have to be outside?”
Sebastian opened one eye.
“I need lightning for the spell. A lightning strike in the apartment will kill our deposit.”
“Seriously, like, ninety percent of your spells need lightning!”
“If you know, why did you ask?”
She stuck out her tongue playfully.
“I thought having a sorcerer for a boyfriend would be more fun.”
He glanced up to check the cloud above them. It was big enough now that it wouldn’t collapse into a magical twister. The cleanup for those was insane. Literally, it could send a sorcerer to the psych ward.
He called Margaret over.
“Do you still have the necklace?”
She let the sapphire gem dangle on its silver chain, and placed it in the center of a circle on the pavement. Sebastian added a few more arcane symbols with the chalk. Margaret stepped back as he lay walnut tokens around the outside. He uncorked an aromatic bottle, and sprinkled the contents in a rune pattern over the whole thing.
He called over his shoulder as the circle returned the glow of the sky above.
“The gateway’s almost ready. Grab the bags and we’ll get this vacation started off right!”
There was no answer. He thought she’d be more excited. She’d been talking about Hawaii for months now. He turned to look for her.
She emerged from behind the dumpster with a bundle of fur in her arms.
“I found this poor guy cowering away from your spell. He looks like he could use a good meal. Don’t ya, buddy? I think I’ll call him Coconut”
She smiled and reached up to scratch the mutt behind the ears. Sebastian’s mouth hung open. Now? They’re about to go on their very first trip as a couple and she finds some stray now?
The first bolt of lightning struck the necklace, then another, and another. Each charge of energy came down in a different hue. The alley lit up like a dance club. Sebastian knew the necklace had become a gateway talisman as soon as it started floating. Even after the lightning stopped, the talisman had an ethereal glow to it. Even after they were home from their trip, it would make a lovely gift for Margaret.
Just as Sebastian stood up to grab the suitcases, the dog leapt from his girlfriend’s arms.
The scruffy terrier snapped up the talisman in its slobbering jaws. The dog’s body glowed as it swallowed. Sebastian raced over, desperate to pry the little beast’s mouth open and get his hard work back.
“Drop it! Come on. It’ll be months before I can try again!”
The dog’s eyes glowed blue. It had already bonded with the talisman’s magic.
Sebastian collapsed back onto the asphalt and rested his head in on his knuckles. Margaret crouched down behind him and hugged his shoulders. Coconut barked at a pigeon and popped out of existence. The mutt came and went with each subsequent bark.
A few months later, in the dead of winter, Sebastian was finally able to finish the talisman without interruption. He and Margaret lay on a sandy beach, watching the waves roll in. The dog popped in and out, using his new talents to chase unsuspecting seagulls.