Clothes Make the Mage

Pratt shivered in the cold cavern, watching the dark sky outside and waiting for it to rain. Rain meant people scurrying indoors. Rain meant no people to gawk at his naked self as he ran to the tower that held his master’s books.

Rain meant he could finally figure out how to conjure up some clothes. All for the sake of a dragon. His very own pet dragon. The reason he got into this magic business to begin with. It certainly wasn’t skill. He couldn’t cast a spell to save his life. It’s how he lost his clothes to begin with. “What you need is motivation,” his teacher had said. And because of the promise of a dragon, he’d agreed. And that had led to one whole week of nothing but his birthday suit to cover him.

For a dragon. His very own.

When it became a torrential downpour, he bolted into the dark, hugging himself and running to keep warm. He tripped, mud covering him from head to toe. Cold covering. His teeth chattered. He slipped again, this time onto his backside. Couldn’t cry out though. Couldn’t attract attention. Muddy Man was not a good name for a future mage, with or without a pet dragon.

Down the path that led to the street that went past houses with people safely inside all the way to his tower, his teeth clacked against each other. Hands trembling, he didn’t even pause to light a fire.

None of his books in the cave had the answer, though his teacher said they did. All they talked about were pottery spells. Baking bricks. Things like that. The closest thing in there to what he needed was a makeshift suit of armor made from baked mud heated by a magical flame, but had he been given a way to light a fire? Noooo.

From what he could tell so far, none of the books in the tower had the answer, either. He threw down book after book, as much to keep warm as to vent his frustration.

A small squawk behind him froze him in place. The growly squawk came again and he turned.

There, munching in leisurely fashion was a small dragon. Munching, he noticed, on a large number of pages from one of his master’s books.

A book entitled Conjuring Household Items for the Magically Inept, Including Housewares, Furniture, and Clothes.

The book he needed.

The dragon swallowed and let out a burp of red flame. Then squawked again.

And Pratt, covered in mud, laughed.

Copyright © 2015; Amy Keeley

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