Apologies…409 words. 😉
By Tilda’s twenty-sixth attempt to produce an illuminorb, Silviu’s patience was wearing thin.
“Concentrate, Tilda,” the Ambakian powermage snapped.
“I am concentrating.” Tilda rubbed her palm against her trouser leg. It felt hot; surely she must’ve been close to pulling the Power down that time?
“Again.” Silviu grabbed Tilda’s hand and pulled her arm straight out in front of her.
Tilda gritted her teeth. She’d never get the hang of this. She could feel the Power inside, fizzing through her veins as it had done ever since her initiation, but she couldn’t seem to pull it outside of herself to form one of the illuminated spheres that Silviu had demonstrated so easily.
Silviu sighed and rubbed his forehead. “Remember what I told you. Say the words illuminarka spherus, imagine a channel in your arm and direct the Power along it, towards your hand. Then you can shape the Power into something more tangible – like an orb.”
“And if I can’t?”
Silviu’s blue eyes shone like chips of ice when he replied. “You must. You cannot progress any further with your training as a powermage until you succeed.”
And how long would he be prepared to wait for that? Tilda’s stomach dropped into her boots. If she failed to achieve this first step in her training, would Silviu start looking for another mage to represent Merjan?
She wouldn’t be beaten by a little ball of light. She squared her shoulders, closed her eyes, and focussed on the fizzing sensation. It had been strange to feel that extra something inside her body over the last few days, and its constant presence had fooled her into thinking it would be easy to use the Power. But to consciously tune into that sensation and draw on it to produce an orb was much harder than it looked.
The doubt demons struck; you can’t do it!
Don’t think about failing, a little voice said in Tilda’s head. You can see and sense the Power – heck, you’ve even spoken to it. You can’t give up, not after everything you’ve gone through to become the Mage of Merjan. Concentrate… and try again.
Tilda took a deep breath and quieted her thoughts. In her head, she imagined a line, running from her chest to her shoulder, then along her arm and thickening where it reached her palm. Concentrating hard, she visualised the fizzing as blue light, and gently, drew it along the line, colouring her whole arm blue.