Adventure Fantasy Fiction

Beneath the maintenance entrance lay a craggy patch of dirt. Originally intended to become extra storage, when the stadium’s construction went a million dollars over budget anything that wasn’t front and center to the patrons was moved to the bottom of the to-do list; this unsightly remnant of heavy handed bulldozers and artless excavators was the last place the cameras swarming the stadium would want to be on this historic championship night. So they would have assumed. If an intrepid reporter had been there they might have seen something truly historic, something never before seen in this world.

Faint green light radiated from a hole in the earth, splashing the underside of the starwell with an eerie glow. The dirt trembled and an arm shot up from below. Grasping a handful of dusty ground, a figure climbs up from the hole. He wears a gray cloak, hood up; after dusting his knees he turns and reaches back into the hole where another hand now emerges. As the green light fades he pulls this second figure out from the burrow who, although much smaller, also wears a gray cloak with clandestine hood.

“Where to?” asks the tall one.

“Think I got us pretty close this time, she shouldn’t be far.” The small one’s voice was gruff, and tired sounding. Scratching his scalp beneath the hood he asks, “Are you ready for the link?” 

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

“That’s not reassuring. You better not botch the detection ward this time!” He slaps the tall man’s shin with the back of his hand.

“Well I’m not very good at this, isn’t that why we’re here?”

“Just saying, I’m too tired to run anymore, so do it right this time Kevin!” In the dark beneath the stairwell the small man raises his arms halfway overhead, shaking his sleeves back from his wrists he reveals hairy-knuckled hands, each with only four stubby fingers. The same green light from before now emanates from inside his hood, and he mutters something under his breath. Facing his companion he waves his hands in small circles, then drops them to his side.

Kevin now raises his hands, palms together as if to pray. Then slowly, seemingly straining with much effort, separates them revealing a glowing ball of spastic yellow lightning, sparks dance from it’s sunbright core to the tips of his fingers, and trace the lines of his palms. Holding this bundle of arcane power for only a moment, suddenly he claps his hands snuffing the light entirely. A small shockwave sweeps over the strangers bathing them in a shower of glimmering sparks. Then darkness again.

“How’s that boss?” he asks, wringing his hands.

“Hmm…” the small man snorts. “Looked good to me, proper hue, controlled dismissal, did the tracking spell take? Can you sense her?”

“I-… yeah, you were right. She’s close”

The pair make their way into the stadium, passing through the masses of frenzied fans unnoticed. The crowd roars, one side a sea of crimson, the other side a wall of navy blue.

“That’s her! On the field,” Kevin points.

“Which one?”

“Number eleven, look at her go!”

Down on the field, number eleven takes off in full sprint. Quickly she overtakes her rival, weaves between opponents, and intercepts a pass. Powerfully kicking the ball down the pitch, she tears through the grass with the intensity of a charging bull, and skillfully fakes out the last guardian between her and the goal. The ball flies into the net, and the sea of crimson erupts into a riot of cheers.

“She’s strong. That’s a good sign.”

“Aye, that’s good.”

As the horde of reporters and photographers swarm the field no one detects two mysterious strangers among the bunch. The eager press flock directly for the woman in the number eleven jersey who scored the final goal.

“Ms. Nester! How’s it feel to be the highest scoring world champion ever!” one reporter asks, thrusting a microphone into the crowded huddle.

“It feels right!” She yells, adrenaline still surging in her veins.

“Such a close game, but you pulled it out in the end. How did your team manage this amazing comeback?”

Team!? What do you mean by team? This was all me!” She beats her chest. “Not one, not two, but all three goals by Abbey Nester! ‘Abbey Nester Wins World Championship,’ and you can print that!”

Number eleven moves on and the thronging huddle desperately follows, leaving behind two hooded figures.

Kevin turns to his companion, “Well… so she’s competitive Jash, so what? That’s a good sign too, right? I mean this won’t be easy she’ll need a lot of drive to-”

“It can’t be her,” he growls. “This one won’t do.”

The two figures stand like a pair of mismatched obelisks in the center of the field. Jashobeam pulls back his hood revealing scruffy pointed ears, and the small tusks of his troglodyte jaw. He scratches at his thick orange beard, then looks up at the full moon beaming down through the roof of the stadium.

“But, it’s not like we have all the time in the world, I think this one’s better than the last one, unless you want to try the first again. You said we could always go back-”

“This one won’t do,” he shakes his head. 

“Then what?” Kevin pulls back his hood revealing his normal human face, his black tousled hair and blue eyes.

“Let’s find something to eat, and on the next full moon… we try again.”

No one notices the downtrodden pair as they march back through the crowds and out onto the street.

* * * 

“I’m glad you came,” She says.

“I’m happy for you Abbey, you’re gonna do great,” Kevin says, standing on the doorstep. He takes off his novelty party hat and steps backwards into the night.

“Is that all though… you’re just… happy?” She closes the screen door behind her, hushing the sound of the party.

His eyes turn downward, “What do you want me to say? I think you’re doing a great thing, it’s so selfless. You’re always so-”

“Tell me not to go,” she says, stepping towards him.

“Abbey… we’ve- we’re just friends,” he winces, hoping his reluctant expression might relieve the sting. It doesn’t. “... Maybe in another life,” he says after a pause, “… I don’t know why I said that. I’m sorry. I wish you the best on your trip, but I think it’s time for me to go.” He steps off the porch, stopping for a second, “for what it’s worth, I really am proud of you… I’ll see you around.” Then he walks into the night, down the driveway past the line of cars and into the street.

Abbey thinks about the party inside, the party specifically for her that her loving friends so generously put on. She tries not to cry, not to let one person keep her from a great time with all her favorite people, but the tears come anyway. She holds her face in her hand and tries to regain composure to go back inside, when suddenly she hears a sound. The sharp crack of a snapping twig, mother nature’s essential alarm system, draws her attention to a tall figure standing a short distance away in her yard, wearing an ominous hood.

“Who’s there,” she insists, suddenly alert.

“You can see me?” The figure mutters surprised, caught with one foot on the sidewalk, and one still in the grass.

She squints, and in the ample light of the full moon peers into the shadow of the hood and makes out a face. “Kevin? What the hell are you doing? Is this a joke?”

“Oh you can like- see me, see me?” he says sheepishly. “Wait, you recognize me?”

“Was this supposed to be a disguise? I just- look, did Lisa put you up to this? If there’s some kind of surprise you could have just told me,” she steps off the porch. “I was trying to have a serious conversation, I’m sorry if real honesty makes you so uncomfortable, but you can’t tell me you don’t see how this is worse.”

“I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else, I’ll just go-” the figure starts slinking away.

“No, seriously Kevin, just wait a second,” she grabs at the cloak as he steps away and it pulls open revealing an antiquated red tunic and a brown denim pant in a style she’s never seen, like some kind of half-hearted renaissance fair costume. “Wow, you changed fast, what is this even supposed to be?”

“Hey kid, I think we should try the back-” a gruff voice says in a raspy whisper, as a small hooded figure comes around the corner of the house. “Oh no,” he says, seeing the scene.

“Seriously what is this?”

Panicked, Kevin snatches the edge of his cloak from her hand and tosses it behind his shoulder with a flourish. “This is your destiny Abbey Nester! And I am not who you think!” He waves his hand trailing yellow sparks and his eyes begin to glow.

Abbey gasps and steps back.

The diminutive Jashobeam rushes in with surprising quickness, slapping aside Kevin’s hand. “No, don’t do that,” gently pushing him back away from the girl.

“What is this!? You’re being super weird right now,” says Abbey. “And who is this!?” She snatches at the loose end of Jasohobeam’s hood pulling it back revealing the scruffy fur of his head and his creaturesque face. “Ah!” She shrieks, stepping back again and covering her mouth.

“Now you done it. Why do they always scream?” the little man asks mostly to himself. “Listen we can explain-”

Mod-de-willa-her” Kevin says, suddenly clapping his hands and sending out a shockwave that billows his cloak and rustles through Abbey’s tied up black braids. “Ok that time I’m pretty sure it worked,” he says looking down at Jashobeam.

“How are you doing that!?” Abbey shouts, pointing.

“You dummy,” Jashobeam says, reaching up and yanking the collar of Kevin’s cloak. “You cast the ward on all three of us!”

“Well… yeah,” Kevin utters defensively, “I assumed we’re about to have a private conversation. We wouldn’t want anyone to see us, anyone else that is.”

“This- This is crazy,” Abbey says, and she turns and scrambles back up the steps and through the front door.

“Abbey wait-”

“No,” Jashobeam interjects before Kevin can go after her, “you might’ve played this one right kid. This might work in our favor.”

Inside, Abbey is panicking moving through the house. “Lisa!” She screams.

In the living room, one of her friends turns up the volume on the speaker, “I love this song!” She starts dancing with the guy she brought to the party. Nobody even looks as Abbey rushes in.

“Where is Lisa?” she asks, but no one answers. She storms into the kitchen where her best friend is pouring herself a drink in a red solo cup. “What is going on? Did you put Kevin up to some kind of prank?”

Lisa just hums to the music as she takes a sip from the drink. She turns to walk back to the living room.

“Hey! Listen to me, what’s going on?” Abbey shouts, and grabs at Lisa’s shoulder.

She stumbles, slipping out of Abbey’s grasp and nearly drops her cup. “Whoa,” she mumbles, trying to keep from spilling. “I might need to slow down,” she giggles and keeps walking.

Before Abbey can go after her, the back door cracks open and a hooded head pokes inside.

“They can’t see you,” says Kevin.

The door opens wider and Jashobeam pushes in front. “So best not to interact too much, don’t want to freak anyone out.”

“What about me?” Abbey pleads, backing away from the pair. “I’m freaking out!”

“Don’t worry,” Kevin assures. “It’s not permanent, in a couple hours they’ll see you just like normal.”

“None of this is normal. What’s going on? Who are you?”

“Refugees,” Jashobeam says. 

“Beggars,” Kevin says.


“What?” Abbey asks, her heart races, head spinning with confusion.

“You don’t know us,” Jashobeam begins.

“I know him,” she points at Kevin.

“Well… You know a version of me,” says Kevin.

“And we,” Jashobeam continues, “Know a version of you.”

Knew” Kevin corrects.

Abbey’s hand scrambles across the kitchen counter and she pulls a cleaver from the knife block. “I’m listening,” she points the blade at her two intruders, “keep talking.”

* * * 

“So you are wizards, from another dimension?” Abbey asks skeptically. Sitting on the floor of her bedroom closet, a kitchen knife across her lap. The three of them sit crammed in together; it would be total darkness if Kevin had not conjured a small yellow sphere of light.

“Cooperomancers,” says Jashobeam.

“From a parallel reality,” Kevin adds.

“Which is why you look like Kevin?”

“Well I am Kevin, just not your Kevin.”

“Sure… but what about you then, is there a ‘Jashobeam’ in my world?”

“No,” the scruffy little creature says, scratching his chin. “Likely not. Likely nobody like me in this world.”


“What do you know about your ancestors? As in your ancient ancestors, homo neanderthalensis, homo erectus, homo hovelenius?”

“Not much apparently, I’ve never even heard that last one.”

“That’s because in your reality they likely went extinct, long before recorded history.”

“But in our reality,” Kevin cuts in. He gestures vaguely to Jashobeam, waving his hands around his furry head. “We’ve got loads of ‘em.”

“Here you just got humans doing the whole civilization bit,” says Jashobeam, “but in our world we got humans and trogyls,” he points a hairy thumb at his chest.

“And… ‘trogyls’ taught humans to do magic?”

“Sort of,” says Kevin.

“We don’t have endless time here,” Jashobeam says, “so I’m gonna cut to the highlights. We trogyls are the source of magic. The trogyls of old were mighty sorcerers with overwhelming power! But when the Sorcerer King saw the way his people used their abilities to oppress humans, he believed there would never be peace between us. So, the king, most powerful of ancient trogyl sorcerers, set a curse on his own people, that they could never again cast their own spells, never again change the world to their whims.”

“But,” Kevin says, “There’s a catch.”

“Right, see trogyls can’t cast their own spells no more, but we can lend our power to humans who can!”


“So…” Abbey says, connecting the dots. “Humans have no magic, but can cast spells; trogyls have magic, but can’t. So they have to work together?”


“What does this have to do with me?”

The two men look at each other somberly.

“Well,” Jashobeam begins, “you’re Abbey Nester. Our world also had an Abbey, and we knew her. She was my partner.”

“A great magical champion who protected our world. No duo was more powerful than Abbey and Jashobeam!”

“You keep saying knew,” Abbey says, “past tense. What happened to her?”

“She was defeated,” Jashobeam says hastily. “There was… a trogyl cooperomancer who believed he had figured out a spell to reverse the Sorcerer King’s curse, to grant innate casting once again. They taught it to their human partner, who rather than testing it on a trogyl, used it for themselves. Becoming a human with their own magic, and their own casting ability, and no need for trogyl cooperomancers.”

“The Corrupted, we call them.”

“Yes, and the Corrupted has been terrorizing our world ever since. Ruthlessly hunting down coopermancing partners, separating, imprisoning… and killing them.”

“But I still don't…” Abbey rubs her shoulder, “what am I supposed to do about any of this?”

“My people sit in captivity. We need a hero. We need you.”

“Why can’t Kevin do it!”

“I’m honestly not very good at magic,” he says sheepishly.

“Well me neither, I’ve never done any magic at all!”

“But you have the potential!” Jashobeam insists. “Abbey had a raw and natural potential like no one before. And as her partner, my magic is strongest when she acts as my conduit. What I can do with Kevin is peanuts to what Abbey and I could do! What we could do.”

“... none taken,” says Kevin quietly.



“I… can’t. I have a life here, I can’t just leave this all behind,” says Abbey.

“Correct me if I’m wrong but this is a going away party isn’t it?” Kevin asks. “You’re traveling abroad to help underprivileged kids or something like that?”

“Yeah, sports camps in-”

“Noble, to be sure,” Jashobeam cuts in, “you’re giving your time to help children who need it. Not everyone would, but we’re talking about something much much bigger. We’re talking about helping an entire world!”

“It’s no small thing,” adds Kevin, “this might not be just your time, we could be asking you to give your life. We understand if it’s too much. All we ask is that you consider it. Consider-”

“When would we leave?” Abbey asks, determination in her eyes.

“The next full moon,” Jashobeam whispers.

* * * 

Deep in the forest Jashobeam raises his arms overhead, he mutters the incantation, but this time his hands wave over Abbey, and her eyes begin to glow with a purple light. Slowly she turns her hand in a big circle, just like he had taught her. Then palm extended she casts a glow onto the hole in the ground and it lights up.

“After you,” Jashobeam says and motions to the open portal.

Abbey steps into the glowing chasm, and disappears.

“Are you sure,” asks Kevin, “that this Abbey will be different? How do we know she won’t be corrupted too?”

“Well…” Jashobeam scratches his chin. “We didn’t even have to mention the reward money. I helped a greedy Abbey Nester tear our world apart, maybe we can help a selfless one put it back together.” 

“Good enough for me.”

With that, the short hairy creature jumps into the portal.

“And this Abbey Nester thinks I’m cute, so there’s that,” Kevin steps into the glowing doorway and the light fades away.

May 05, 2023 17:18

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Kimberly Gold
15:49 May 11, 2023

What an engaging story! And that comes from someone who is very picky concerning fantasy writing. I believed every single bit of it as there are just the right amount of magical terms and the characters are absolutely adorable and round. The opening transports the reader right onto the scene and the ending was a surprise twist that tied everything together nicely. Great story!


Ben Battles
16:18 May 11, 2023

Thanks so much! It was hard cutting this one down for the word count, haha. So many little human moments I wanted to keep in, but I'm glad it still reads as believable!


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