Fantasy Funny

Harold the wizard sipped his morning cup of pixie coffee while sifting through a pile of letters. Most of them were bills, so the magical dust in the coffee seemed the right choice for dealing with early morning stress. One bill in particular caught Harold’s frown.

“25.459 crits for the expense of magical energy?” he groaned. “Can you believe this, Krenko? It’s like we’re turning into some tyrannical kingdom that wants to suppress all wizards by taxing their magic to insanity!”

“M-hm, it sucks, boss,” said Krenko the goblin, Harold’s magic familiar and closest friend. The earrings in his enormous ears clinked together as he turned from washing the dishes to regard his master. “Oi say the king’s time is due for a leave. His bulbous behind has been warmin’ that ol’ chair for too long a time.”

Harold snorted. “Yeah. I mean, does the council have any idea how much resources I waste on protecting their borders? Free rent of the mage tower ain’t enough to cover this expense!” Harold slapped the bill in his hand.

“Sure ain’t.” Krenko turned back toward cleaning the dishes. He had to stand on a stool to reach the counter.

Harold glanced at the ceiling. “It’s hardly even a proper mage’s tower anymore. The magic well it was built upon has all but dried up - because I have to protect the kingdom from invaders. And now the bloody hypocrites charge me even more for the magic I use for their benefit? Preposterous!”

A flash of blue light filled the kitchen as Harold disintegrated the bill in his hand. It turned into a croissant, steaming hot, as if freshly baked. Harold took a crunchy bite and nodded.

“All bills should be like this, Krenko. Like food. Then people wouldn’t complain so much.”

“Sure thing, boss,” Krenko said, wiping his hands in his apron. “But then most them bills would never come to their due receplicants-”


“-ach, yes, that fancy word. Oi think they’d be eaten before that.”

Harold mused, munching. “Yes, I think you’re right. Brides, the king would probably charge everyone for the food, in addition to the bill itself!” He shook his head, wiping the crumbs off the pile of letters, and continued sifting through them.

“Bill, bill, bill, a letter from an aspiring apprentice, bill… what’s this?”

Harold pulled a red envelope from the pile. It had bits of gold and azurite sprinkled over it, handwriting addressing Harold by his full name, not just ‘wizard’. 

Harold ran a finger over the envelope, using a tiny burst of magic to dissolve the glue holding it closed and peeked inside.

“It’s empty.”

“Huh,” Krenko said, rubbing his earrings. “Ain’t that a bummer. The bloke forgot to put it in!”

“Wait…” Harold reached inside the envelope and his arm went in shoulder-deep - even though the envelope was just a handspan wide. The wizard searched a moment and then pulled out a large tapestry.

“One a them magical letters, eh?” Krenko chuckled.

Harold spread the tapestry on the table, straightening its wrinkles. It was masterfully made, woven so intricately precise that it must have been done with the aid of magic. The colors were surreal, the text enlarging to accommodate the reader’s eyesight, the images moving in animation. It was beautiful. 

The only problem was what it said.

“I can’t believe it.”

“What is it, boss?” Krenko walked to the table and stepped on his toes to see. He whistled in surprise. “Shoot boss, those are some fine pictures!”

“It’s an invitation to a reunion.”

The goblin frowned. “Boss, you ain’t married.” He raised an eyebrow. “Are you?”

“Wizard school reunion,” explained Harold. “It’s been forty years since we graduated and it’s tradition to organize a gathering.” He leaned back in his chair. “Oh, my… Has it been forty years already? I thought time would flow slower once I’ve mastered its secrets. Am I an old man now?”

He looked at Krenko, expectedly. The goblin shrugged. “You hoomans look old from the moment you’re born, boss. All wrinkled, growing them long hair or shiny skin… Oi can never tell your proper ages! We goblins, see, we look the same all our lives. Born beautiful, die beautiful.” He smiled, revealing the holes in his wall of yellow teeth.

Harold kept staring at the tapestry, distracted. He was lost in memories, reliving the times as a student. Those early days would forever be with him, revered as a joyful time in his life.

He sighed, smiling. Then he frowned.

“I’m not going.” He rolled up the tapestry.

Krenko, who was still observing its beauty, blinked. “Boss?”

“It’s a waste of time.” Harold stood up, walking over to the hearth. “Besides, I haven’t seen most of my colleagues in over ten years!”

“Well, that’s exactly why Oi thinks you should go, boss.”

“Nonsense.” Harold threw the tapestry into the fire. “I’ve grown too much, become too wise in the years. I can no longer mingle with that lot.”

Krenko cocked his head. The flames seemed to avoid licking the tapestry. “Why?”

“If I remember correctly, they all specialized in their own magic major. All of them chose a narrow, specific field of magic, a tiny sliver of it. They never could see the big picture, as I did.”

“Maybe they changed, boss.”

Harold grumbled. Of course, the tapestry was fireproof. “Bah,” he waved a hand to transform it into firewood. But instead, it exploded in a thunderous blast, sending charcoal all over the kitchen, throwing both Krenko and Harold to the floor. The dishes that the goblin cleaned earlier fell to the ground, shattering. The table turned over, the bills and letters burning up in a puff of smoke. The clean, white walls of the room stained with black soot, and Harold’s mighty grey beard and bushy eyebrows smoldered.

The tapestry remained intact.

“Well then,” Krenko coughed, getting up and helping Harold stand. “Oi’d say someone knows you well, boss. And they want you to go.”

Harold took the goblin’s hand and stood up. He dusted his blue robes, stained with soot, and picked the ambers out of his beard. He regarded the tapestry, then Krenko, then the mess in the kitchen.

“We leave at once,” he said.

“Oi’m coming too?” Krenko asked, excited.

“Of course. You’re my familiar. It’s your duty to come.”

“But, Oi’m not suited for fancy folk.”

Harold picked up the tapestry and rolled it under his arm. “That lot ain’t fancy, Krenko. Far from it.”

Krenko scratched behind his ears. “But, who’ll clean this mess if Oi’m going?”

Harold snapped his fingers. In a flash, the room turned back to the way it was, with the dishes cleaned and the fire burning in the hearth. The pile of letters was restored, only they’ve been turned into croissants.

Krenko frowned. “Boss.”


“Remind me why Oi have to clean if you can just snap them fingers and do it yourself?”

Harold smiled, walking out the kitchen. “Come, Krenko. Maybe this will be fun after all.”


“Harold? Is that… you?”

“Hello, David. How’s life up in the clouds?”

“Err… swell. I must say, I haven’t expected you to come. What a pleasant surprise.”

Harold regarded the bald man with annoyance. David, the high priest of the Church and archmage of holy magic, had an angel floating by his side as a familiar. His snob smile could not be disguised by any amount of blissful devotion and it annoyed the hell out of Harold.

“I see you weren’t joking with the Church, huh?”

The man blinked, aghast. “Joking? Why would I be joking?”

“Well,” Harold said. “I remember when we were classmates, talking of what major to pick, you were too busy learning the invisibility spell so you could go spy in the girl’s bathroom. It’s quite surprising to see you as a priest. The white suits you, though.”

David’s face turned red in a flash. The angel raised an eyebrow, regarding her master.

“What about you?” David asked, forcing a smile. “Have you ever majored in anything? As I recall, you couldn’t make your mind back then. Too indecisive.”

“Of course,” Harold replied, taking a drink that Krenko brought for the two of them. David reached to take the drink, but Krenko bought one for his master and the other for himself. The holy archmage puffed with indignation.

“I majored in all of them,” Harold said, sipping a fluorescent drink that had something swimming in it.

“Nonsense,” David said, shining his white teeth upon the world. “No one can master all the schools of magic. You must pick one, everybody knows that.”

“Magic is not divided,” Harold said. “It’s one. The schools are but aspects of it, they are human conventions to help us grasp and control the infinite diversity of magic as mortals. In reality though, there are no schools or types or domains of magic. It’s just magic.”

David sighed, his angel regarding Krenko with disgust. “I see you’re still a pagan, then. Shame. Such talent, but you waste it chasing fairy tales. Take a look around this room, old friend. What do you see?”

Harold glanced around the room. It was their old lecture room with benches and desks removed and replaced with tables of food and drinks. An elvish orchestra was playing at the blackboard and magical spheres of various colors hung in the air, alternating their lumination in rhythm to the music. 

And, of course, there were Harold’s old classmates. There was Vlad the necromancer, with his undead phoenix familiar, trying to animate dead stakes and fish back to life at the food table. Susan observed Vlad’s behavior and shook her head. She was of the summoning school and her familiar was a forest spirit, a mixture of leaves, twigs, and water. She was probably the one who organized everything, always acting so bossy to everyone. Gloria, the enchantments specialist, chatted with Ashley, the transformation archmage, and the two of them sipped wine while talking. They were the exotic type and Harold remembered having a crush on both of them at one time. He had to admit, they aged well. Their familiars, a noble cat, and a shapeshifting fox lay at their feet, paws placed before them in confidence.

Then there was Ricky, the destructive magic archmage, with his dragon familiar. Ricky could never sit still, and even to this day, Harold saw him moving about the room, speaking in short sentences while eating cake. His dragon rested on a chandelier above the room, napping.

Nick, a warlock to the Blood God, with his hellhound familiar, watched the whole room from the darkest corner he could find. As their eyes met, Harold felt a shiver across his spine. The man tortured birds as a student. And sometimes ate them.

The last one was Will. Harold immediately sensed something off about the man. His familiar was a dog, and it wasn’t actually a familiar. It was a pet. Harold remembered that Will didn’t graduate and therefore didn’t receive the magic certificate of a wizard, thus not receiving a bond with a familiar. His grades were disastrous back then and time didn’t do him well. He was stuffing himself with food, ignoring everybody. Who thought it a good idea to invite him anyway?

“I see a whole lot of wizards, but not much wisdom,” Harold said, turning back to David. “More broken dreams than realized potentials.”

“Such a pessimist,” David said, shaking his head. 

“I’m just being real.”

“Well, what I see are men and women who’ve devoted their whole lives to the study of a single aspect of magic - an aspect of God herself! Look at them, Harold!”

“I don’t want to…”

“They are masters of their respective study! Vlad, necromancy. Nick, sacrificial arts. Gloria, enchantments. Ashley, transformation. Ricky, primordial destruction. Susan, summoning. Will…” David paused. “I’ve no idea what he’s doing here.”

“Where is Misty, though?” Harold asked, realizing there were quite a few missing. Probably they were wise enough not to come.

“Misty? The illusionist? Oh, she apparently tricked herself into not existing and now nobody can find her.”

Harold grimaced. “Yikes.”

“All schools have their dangers, as well as their blessings. Like my domain, for example. Holy magic suffers no sin and only the purest of hearts can rise to the position of archmage.” David smiled, his angel rolling her eyes.

“I see,” Harold said. “And when do you expect to rise to that position? Another forty years?”

David puffed, deflating. “I should have expected as much, from a dabbler who cannot choose a single domain of magic. And one that has a goblin for a familiar, ha!”

“‘Ello, your holiness. Moi name’s Krenko.”

“You know what they say,” David smiled, leaning forward. “A familiar is a direct reflection of a wizard’s personality and wit. I think yours represents you remarkably.” The bald man then leaned back, a wide smile of satisfaction on his face.

“Oh, was that meant as an insult?” Harold asked, raising an eyebrow. “Because I agree with you. Our familiars represent us to the letter.”

David frowned. 

“Krenko here is the humblest of creatures I have ever seen in my life. His humility helps me to understand the true secrets of magic unlike any familiar I have ever worked with. He is sincere, honest, and genuinely interested in everything. A perfect companion for studying the endless diversity of the arcane.”

Krenko sniffed. “Oh, boss. That was… beautiful. Oi’m speechless…”

“My drink is empty,” Harold said, waving his glass. 

The goblin looked up and frowned. “You ruined the moment.”

“And what does your angel say of you, David?”

“It’s obvious,” David said. “It represents the purity of my heart, the burning faith I have for the arcane arts in their purest form. It is obvious as the sun that I am a noble soul.”

Harold snorted. “You’re so far up your ass that Misty would be proud of how you’re deceiving yourself. Look closer! That is no angel!”

The angel, shaped like a gorgeous woman, placed a hand at her breast, expression stupefied.

“Enough, Harold!” David spat. “You may insult me if you must, but do not insult my familiar! That is low even for a pagan!”

“She’s a snake, David. Just like you.” Harold raised a hand and dispelled a magical illusion, revealing David’s angel to be a hideous old hag, with the lower body of a snake. David, upon seeing this, stumbled back and yelped like a girl.

“Yep, nothing like seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time.”

“You… you…” David pushed past Harold and ran outside, cursing like no priest ever should, his familiar following.

Harold sighed. “You see now why I didn’t want to come?”

“Nope,” Krenko said, finishing his drink. “Oi’m having a wonderful time, boss!”

As Harold watched David leave, he noticed dead fish slithering on the floor. A pile of stakes, vaguely humanoid in form, tried to follow them.

“Say, boss?” Krenko asked. “Is that how food ought to behave?”

Harold groaned in annoyance. Vlad laughed at the food table, arms outstretched in a glorious display of pride. “I think it’s time to leave.”

“But we just came, boss!”

“I don’t want them to-”


“Too late.”

Ricky sauntered over, stepping over his own toes. The old man was clearly drunk, and then some. “Harold!” he shouted like everyone was deaf. “Did you get the tapestry I sent you?”

“Oh, so that was you?”

Ricky placed a hand on Harold’s shoulder and leaned on him for support. “I made it especially for you!”

Harold grimaced and performed a quick spell to protect his ears from the shouting. “It blew my kitchen, Rick. Nearly ruined my beard.”

Ricky blinked. Then, when he noticed the holes in Harold’s mighty beard he leaned back and released a thunderous laughter. And it was actual thunder; the man’s destructive magic seeped into his laughter, booming like a thunderstorm in the room.

The dragon raised its head on the chandelier.

“I guess I shouldn’t throw it in the fire,” Harold murmured.

“It would explode either way!” Ricky laughed so hard the elf band stopped playing.

“OhMyGodEeeewww!!!” Harold turned, noticing Susan, who just now noticed the food coming alive. “Vlad! What is this?”

“Is art!” the tall spindly necromancer replied in pride. 

“I like to seduce my men with enchantments,” Gloria said, flicking a tiny ball of purplish light towards Will. The man sniffed it and his head turned, eyes locked on Gloria.

“Oh, I just use my body,” Ashley replied, shapeshifting into a land-siren, the seductive curvatures barely contained under the fabric of her clothes. The poor man Will didn’t know which woman to drool over. In this state, he actually resembled his pet dog, as a wizard does with a familiar.

From the dark corner, a whisper rose. “I’m going to use all your skins to warm myself in the winter…” It was Nick.

Harold grabbed Krenko by the arm and turned to leave. The goblin spilled his drink.

“Boss!” Krenko protested.

“No way,” Harold said, pulling Krenko outside. “I’ve seen this before. It’s when many wizards start doing stupid things together that they attract wild magic to themselves. I don’t know why I let you talk me into coming here!”

“But, but-”

Just as they stepped outside into the cool night air, the building behind them exploded in a cloud of color, sending pieces of scorched whales, caramelized toothpicks, and women's purses flying into the air.

“Oh,” Krenko said, watching the bizarre assortment of objects rain to the ground around them.

Harold snorted. “Magic school specialization my ass. More like an asylum for the gifted.”

They set foot on the road back to their tower, with the remains of random things - and an occasional wizard - dropping around them.

“I hope you brought an umbrella.”

“Oi did.”

The two of them huddled beneath a small umbrella, avoiding stepping into anything icky.

“I hate reunions.”

October 01, 2020 17:48

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