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Difficulty Discovering

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Alex, struggles to find his form after a failed first shift. Seeking help from many takes him on a journey across the country, on a journey of discovery and learning.

Fantasy / Other
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Light streaming through his window was what eventually woke Alex up. Not the numerous alarms, or birdsong, it was the light that had finally stirred his consciousness. He crawled out of bed, already feeling the last wisps of his dream slipping away.

“Today”, he thought to himself as he rushed downstairs, “is the day I finally find out”.

Alex threw together a quick breakfast, he was eager to get started even though no one else in the house was awake. He finished it in what seemed like record time, and taking the steps two at a time, he sprinted back upstairs to his parents bedroom. He lived with his one parent, who he called ‘Ren’ and they are gender diverse. It’s been that way as long as he can remember, just him and his Ren.

Alex bursted into their bedroom, only to find it empty, he thought “Ren must be in the workshop already, that’s weird I thought everyone was sleeping.” The door was just across the hallway, and he made his way over, slower this time. Alex realised that he might be too enthusiastic at the moment.

Alex glanced around the door to the workshop, where his Ren was reading a bundle of papers. He noticed a small felt box in-front of them, he couldn’t remember what it was meant to be.

“Hi Alex!” his Ren said, “I’ve got some paperwork here that we have to do first, before we get started. It's mainly just stuff to read.”

“Paperwork!” Alex exclaimed, “You didn’t mention that before.”

“It’s imposed on me by the council, I’m afraid,” said his Ren.

“Oh well, If we have to,” Alex said taking the bundle of papers.

Alex skimmed through them, most detailed the dangers and risks of shifting for the first time, and the dangers of putting it off. He stopped on a mention of a fire stone, he had not heard of that before.

“Ren,” Alex said, “What is a fire stone?”

His Ren answered, “Oh, that’s something I forgot to mention. Fire stones are used to focus out internal power, or magic. That focusing of your magic will help you shift for the first time.”

“Is that what is in the box, then?” Alex asked.

“Yeah. Go ahead, open it!” said his Ren.

He picked up the box, the felt soft against his fingers. The box was warm, as if it had a faint heat source inside. He opened the box, revealing a teardrop shaped yellow stone. The stone was somewhat transparent, showing different layers, each one glowing brighter than the last. As Alex picked the stone up the glow rippled, like waves on a still pond. He thought it was one of the most beautiful things he had seen.

“Now, you’ll use that to focus your energy, or magic, on yourself,” his Ren said, “Shall we get started? Do you remember what I taught you?”

“Yes!” Alex said, “Reach inside and find a spark of warmth, and focus on that. At the same time hold an image of my new form, with the want to change into that form.”

“That right. Now you need to focus that spark into the stone, first,” said his Ren, “That should amplify it for this first time”.

Alex closed his eyes, and tried to focus inwards.

“No! Stop!” shouted his Ren, “You can’t do it here”

Alex snapped back to the present.

“Come on over here,” said his Ren, “There’s a special area designed for first time shifts.”

His Ren walked over through the shadows, and switched on a light. It revealed a sunken circle, with a small indent in the centre. “This will contain your magic, and direct it all to you,” said his Ren.

As Alex walked over he wondered why his magic would need containing, but the thought was quickly swept away by the excitement of what was happening. When he got to the centre of the circle, he noticed that the indent in the centre was shaped exactly like the fire stone he still held. There was nothing else to do with the stone but hold it, so he placed it in the indent. A glowing yellow barrier sprang from the edges of the circle, the colour matching the stone’s. He felt a little enclosed off, and trapped, but that still didn’t outweigh his excitement.

Alex sat down and focused his thoughts inwards. It was pretty hard, finding that spark, he couldn’t even sort out what his thoughts were most of the time. It felt a little stupid sitting their just thinking. Eventually he felt a presence of something that felt other, something a little different from the rest of his thoughts. He thought about drawing it out and into the stone, and it came willingly, with a sudden rush of energy, then it left him abruptly and he fell to the floor.

After a while he came too, his Ren shaking his shoulder, as he opened his groggy eyes. 

“What happened?” Alex asked.

“There was a massive explosion,” answered his Ren, “It started from you and nearly broke the stone’s protection. The explosion was purple with streaks of blue, which I’ve never seen before in magic, it’s usually green.”

“Oh,” said Alex, “Did you find out my form at least?”

“No, honestly I’m more concerned why this happened,” said his Ren worriedly, “I’m worried what this means for you.”

Alex felt his heart drop, he had been waiting for this moment for a very long time for it to only fall short.

“I’ve contacted the council, they’re sending over experts who will help,” said his Ren, “In the meantime let’s get you some food. You must be starving after that.”
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