My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Phoenix: Chapter 35 (Xavier)

I woke up. Phoebe’s wand was laying on my face for some reason, and it was spurting out dust clouds and the smell of mushrooms. I sat up, taking it and staring at it.

None of the others were awake, and Phoebe was gone entirely. What had she done? She’d left her wand!

Nothing like this in the Worst Case Scenario book, I thought, looking at the supine bodies of Mark and Key, and at the sleeping pegasi.

I nudged Key, trying to wake her up. She didn’t move. I shouted at her, but when she still didn’t even curse at me, I shook her and then started checking for a pulse.

Her heart was beating fine and she was breathing all right. So was Mark, Silvester and Currey. But either all of them were extremely heavy sleepers who didn’t react to being slapped in the face, or they were out cold magically. I hoped Daniel was checking on us somehow, magically, and not just going for another root beer.

This is bad, I thought, taking Mark and Key’s jackets off their sweating bodies and using them as cushions to prop up their feet.

Key’s temperature seemed fine. I was guessing that if Phoebe’s wand hadn’t landed on my face—however it happened—I probably wouldn’t have woken up, either.

Which begged a question. Well… it was worth a shot.

I placed the tip of the carved wand on Key’s chest, hoping for the best, and said, “Vie.”

Nothing happened. I guessed she wasn’t that close to death, so the spell wouldn’t work anyway. My magic usually worked in emergencies, and this was definitely an emergency.

I took a deep breath and tried again, using a different spell: “Excitanda.”

And nothing happened. She just laid there. I could have kicked myself.

After another run-through on her stats to make sure the spell hadn’t done any damage, I started thinking. Well, trying to think, with all this stupid, stupid stuff happening that I had no control over.

Nothing I could do. Well, maybe there was something I could use for power. I had a roll of duct tape somewhere, but it wouldn’t be much help trying to get the others to wake. Maybe it would help me strangle myself later, though.

Let’s see. What would strengthen magic? I rummaged through my pockets.

A Ziploc bag full of pegasus treats? Probably not.

My slingshot? What, would I shoot the others with the wand? No.

Stale bread crumbs? Still no.

A bottle of hand sanitizer? Well, it would come in useful somehow, but not for strengthening magic.

Crap. I was supposed to be the one who was good at this stuff. Medical attention. “Field work.” What field would that be, the field of getting run around by crazy dragons and flying pegasi and going for a long time without eating? Like now. Man, I was starved.

Needle and thread? No way.

Phoebe’s phoenix feather! The one she’d given me. To save my life someday. Where was she now? Was she all right?

Now how was I supposed to do this?

I gripped the wand and the smooth feather in the same hand. I was surprised to feel the same sort of life from both the feather and the wand, now that they were together, as I felt with my hand on Silvester’s neck. They weren’t warm, but they were there.

I stroked Silvester’s neck, just to make sure, just to… compare. He was alive. Currey was alive, too.

Well, no time to waste.


Key started to hyperventilate. I put her hand over her mouth, forcing her to breathe through her nose, and she relaxed. With my other hand on her wrist, I felt as her pulse sank back to normal again, and she started breathing normally.

Then she surprised me. She sat up.

“What was that? Oh my—“ She’d just spotted Mark, out cold. “What’s wrong?!”

“Same thing as what was wrong with you,” I said. “Don’t worry. He’s fine.” I hoped.

With the phoenix feather and the wand, I did the same thing for Mark, getting it right on the second try.

“Is that one of Phoebe’s feathers?” Key asked.

“She gave it to me,” I said, “and lucky she did. It’s the only thing that would have helped us. I couldn’t just do this with her wand.”

“You mean that’s her wand, not yours?” Key asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “I never carry mine. Spells don’t usually work for me, remember?”

“So she left it?”

“Yeah. It dropped on my face—that’s why I woke up.”

“And she’s gone.”


Mark came to, and I repeated the spell with the pegasi.

“Where’s Phoebe?” Mark asked, worried the instant he woke and noticed she was gone.

“Gone,” I said.


“I’m not psychic.”

Currey came round, apparently noticing that Phoebe wasn’t there himself. He looked like he was trying to say something to me, but Currey’s connection was apparently more with Phoebe.

We had shortsightedly neglected the obtrusive fact that we needed to eat once in a while. We were all starving and tired. But Phoebe came first.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 3:48 pm and is filed under Phoenix. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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