"Paladin", "Mage" & "Builds Character"

Paladin

I am not fond of paladins and the lawful good attitude that binds them. “Get behind me,” he says. “I’ll protect you.” He smiles and touches my cheek. “I’d take a bullet for you.”

Yeah...

Thanks?

This whole dying for me shtick doesn’t do me any good.

Instead of being

so hardcore about how you would die, how about you get serious on how we’re gonna live together. You can’t wash dishes in plate armor.

Mage

My lone loofah is my spell reagent. (My husband is traveling for work, and took his.) I open a portal to the reality where he has died. It has been 8 months, and I am not strong enough to see my loofah hanging there alone. I loop his strings over top of mine because that is our secret code for, “I love you.”

Eventually I will get angry enough to stop doing this. I pass through time when I am sitting in my faculty advisor’s office and he is telling me that I need to stop time traveling and live in the present.

(I really miss him.) Then I remember my favorite professor died last year and I burst into tears. Apparently that is an evocation still. My toddler brings me back. We’re showering and he wants me to drown his toy car. I perform the trick where the water runs down my fingertips like an elemental channeling. I have seen BILLIONS of realities, time-lines, and contingencies. There are so many of me out there in the cosmos, that I feel pretty sure I am only a mirror image of the original caster.

Builds character

When I got my first ring people asked, “What are its stats?” +4 Charisma

-2 Wisdom +/-8 Fortitude (randomly rolled for every hour)

What no one ever asked,

and I found out alone, was,

“How heavy is it?” It was a star with a heart but no soul. I was over-burdened.

My party grew and shrank. Some quit the campaign. “I don’t see it as ours, only what I’ve earned.”

All the fights, He may have had all the loot, but I had all the experience points.

I started amassing armor and weapons.

People noticed. “What are you planning?” With my busted arsenal,

un-enchanted,

broke, and potion-less,

I only hoped to survive.

When I got my second ring, I levelled up. With a brand new character sheet,

I could decide what our story would become.

Roll initiative.

Ellie Hudson has a bachelor’s in psychology from Meredith College. She lives in Kentucky with

her best friend/husband and two wonderful sons. She has no social media, but she does have a

ukulele. She has been previously published in The Rising Phoenix Review and Dying Dahlia

Review.