The Clock Tower Guardian Chapter 11

I woke with a start to blaring music the next morning. It was pounding through the walls, the base syncing up with my heartbeat.

“What the...” I muttered groggily as I rubbed my eyes, trying to blink away the sleep.

I stumbled out of bed, tripping a bit as the covers came with me, and managed to reach the door without killing myself. Opening the door, the music blared even louder and I winced at the volume level. What the heck?

Following the sound brought me to my Master’s door, which was cracked open about an inch. I pushed the door open a bit further to see Fenor sitting in the middle of his bedroom floor, a ring of books surrounding him, all open to various places. The music, which this close was almost deafening, was coming from a small black box connected by a cord to a white device with a screen that was no more than a few inches big.

“What are you doing?” I hollered over the noise.

Fenor must have just barely caught my voice over the music because he looked up and gave me a huge grin. Standing, he picked up the small white device and turned the volume down somehow.

“What was that?” I demanded.

“‘Eye of the Tiger’. Nothing like a little ‘Survivor’ to get you pumped in the morning, huh?”

He gave me a huge grin. I stared back, confused and not awake.


Ignoring my monosyllabic query, he talked on.

“Didn’t mean to wake you with it though. I thought my door was closed. Soundproofing doesn’t work so well that way.”

“Soundproofing?” I repeated. “Your room is soundproofed? Is mine?” I shook my head. “No, it couldn’t be if I heard that racket.”

“Racket?” Fenor repeated, looking at me offended. “That is not racket. It’s classic.”

“Whatever,” I muttered, waving my hand dismissively. “What soundproofing?”

After gracing me with a hurt expression for a moment, Fenor gathered himself again and explained by closing the door.

“See,” he said pointing to the back of the door where a beautiful rose pattern was carved. “When the right sequence of roses are tapped, the room becomes soundproof. Watch.”

He tapped out the sequence slowly so I could follow and try to remember it, then I felt a shift in the room. It was something slight and unseen, but it was there.

“Is it soundproof now?”

Fenor nodded.

“I felt something shift when you did that.”

“So you are starting to sense things,” he said a bit triumphantly.

“No thanks to you,” I shot back.

His face fell just a bit and he shrugged.

“And that’s what we’re going to be rectifying, starting today. Let’s get to it.”

My Master, after having told me yesterday that he would seriously begin training me, had then announced that it would start tomorrow and promptly disappeared down to the library. I hadn’t seen him after that and I had no idea what he’d been doing. Looking at him this morning, I would have bet he hadn’t actually slept much last night, if at all.

He led the way downstairs where there was already fresh coffee in the pot. Fenor poured our usual mugs and then led me outside to the Garden. We drank our coffee quickly and he led me to, oddly enough, the same San-mahar grove I had been at the day before. Setting our mugs to the side, I looked over at my Master.

“I was here yesterday.”

“Doing what?”

“Reading to the Garden Guardians and sensing the magic around me.”

“So you did sense it?”

Fenor looked almost excited at the prospect. I nodded.

“Yes, though things happened to distract me from it so I’m not sure that I got very far.”

My Master waved my commentary away.

“Just sit. Any start is better than none, no matter how small.”

So I sat cross-legged like I had before and Fenor sat in front of me so that our knees were touching.

“Now,” he began. “Bear with me. I’ve never had to train anyone before and I was mostly self taught before the time I met my Master, so I have no experience with any of this.”

I nodded for him to go on. He nodded back once and took a deep breath.

“As I understand it, the easiest way to help a novice magic user such as yourself is to join minds and lead you through it...”

Then he added in an undertone to himself.

“At least that’s what the book said.”

I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Wow. You seriously don’t know what you’re doing, do you?”

“Shut up and close your eyes,” he said a bit snappishly.

“Did you ask any of the other Guardians for tips at least?”

His scowl clearly told me the answer to that and I quickly shut my eyes. It was going to be the blind leading the blind then. Goodie.

I jumped a bit as Fenor touched my face. Opening my eyes, I saw my Master giving me an annoyed look.

“Shut your eyes. You know perfectly well I don’t see you like that. I’m not Lotan.”

The mention of the Western Guardian’s name brought the reality of my situation back to me abruptly and I closed my eyes once more.

“I’m sorry,” I said quietly. “I’m just not used to people touching me. What is he anyway?”


“Lotan. He looked like a human but I know he isn’t. So what is he?”

My Master sighed.

“He’s a shape shifter.”

I swallowed hard, fearing the answer to my next question.

“What kind?”

“An all around.”

I felt my breath catch in my throat. That was bad. That meant he could be anywhere and be anyone and I’d never know the difference. Most shape shifters had one or several shapes they shifted to depending on how much power they had, but an all around shifter could quite literally change into anything that breathed because they were simply that powerful. They were few and far between. At most there were perhaps two a generation.

“Are you done with the questions now?”

“Are you done being a womanizer?” I shot back.

Fenor didn’t reply as he placed two fingers on each side of my temple and his thumbs on my jaw.

“Now,” he said in a low, quiet voice. “Breath with me.”

He exaggerated his first couple breaths, making them long and deep, and I followed suit. A few more breaths and we were in sync. I put everything else out of my mind and concentrated solely on breathing at the same pace as my Master.

“Now open your mind and chant with me as you pick it up.”

“I shall not speak, your fate is sealed

But to the one who follows I yield

A single phrase as fate demands

Look to the hands”

I made a face at his odd words, wondering what in Phyre they meant, but I didn’t open my eyes or break his concentration. Instead I listened a few times until I thought I knew it. Then I joined in.

“I shall not speak, your fate is sealed

But to the one who follows I yield

A single phrase as fate demands

Look to the hands”

At first I didn’t feel anything different, but slowly as I fell more and more into the rhythm of it I felt something shift very subtly. Then suddenly it all became clear as it had the day before. The magic dancing with the breeze through the leaves of the trees and pulsing through the earth and swirling around Fenor.

I felt my Master’s mind reach out and brush mine.

‘That’s right. Like that. Now, reach out with your mind for a single strand of magic.’

‘Which one?’

‘It doesn’t matter. Whichever one you’re drawn to use.’

In my mind, I looked around the clearing, not sure which strand to reach for first. Each one was was a different, vibrant color and it was all so beautiful that for a long moment I simply watched the magic flow by. Then I realized which one I wanted to use and tentatively reached out for one of the strands pulsing through the San-mahar trees. It glowed a brilliant green, oddly enough, and I drew it towards me, letting it play through my mind and wrap around me like an old friend.

In our joined minds, I heard my Master chuckle.


‘I should have known you’d go for one of those.’


‘Because the elves are children of the trees. The woods and forests are their true home. That’s why there are so many woody places in the Elven Kingdoms. Even if they are no longer connected to them, there is still a kinship with the trees.’

I nodded in our minds.

‘I never did ask,’ he continued thoughtfully. ‘But what is your other half?’

I was quite for a moment before I sighed.

‘Nixie. My mother was a Nixie. I’ve never met her.’

‘I see,’ he thought quietly before pulling himself back to the topic at hand. ‘Well then. Now that you have a handle on that strand there, let’s see what you can do. Try using it to float a few inches above the ground.’

I gently pulled the strand closer and pondered how to direct the magic for a moment. Finally, I decided to wrap it around me to lift me up. I took my time focusing and then gently directed the strand of magic to do what I wanted. It did, and quite readily. Then, as it began lifting me, it seemed to evaporate and abruptly dropped me.


I landed hard on my backside, though I had only been about an inch off the ground, and my eyes flew open, meditative concentration gone. As I cursed quietly, rubbing my butt to reduce the pain, Fenor opened his eyes with a chuckle. I glared fiercely at him.

“It’s not funny. What happened? Why did it suddenly disappear?”

My Master shrugged.

“The strand frayed and then dissipated. You asked too much of the one by itself.”

“But you told me to!” I shot back, angry that he had set me up to fail.

Fenor waved a pacifying hand.

“You can do it with only one strand, but not if you want to wrap the magic around you to do it. That requires more than one. Let’s try again and use a different approach this time.”

I scowled at him a moment longer as I absorbed what he’d said.

“In other words, using magic in different ways for the same result can use more or less depending on how it’s done.”


“How can you tell the difference?”

“Well...” Fenor paused in thought for a moment. “Think of it this way. If you want to move a bolder, pushing it will take less magic than lifting and carrying it. Does that make sense?”

Slowly I nodded.

“So it’s physics? Like pushing is easier than pulling. It correlates to energy, if you were to do the same thing without magic.”

“Exactly. Like what you just tried to do. To lift yourself off the ground, you could wrap a rope around yourself and toss it over a tree and pull. That’s what you just tried to do. Now, try a different way.”

I nodded and closed my eyes. Fenor placed his hands on my face once more and began chanting. I frowned and just had to ask.

“What does that mean?”

My Master frowned, coming out of the meditative state blinking and taking back his hands.


“That chant. What does it mean?”

Fenor leaned back with a sigh.

“Honestly? I don’t know. I met a soothsayer once and asked her to tell me my fortune on a whim. That rhyme was her only reply to me and it’s haunted me ever since. It pops into my head at the strangest times. Infuriating woman.”

He looked away, lost in memory for a moment.

“That’s another thing,” I said.

He snapped his attention back to me.

“What’s another thing?”

“Chants. How do those work? I mean, they don’t seem to have any connection to what the magic user is trying to do.”

“Oh, they can have a correlation, and usually do for more complicated things because that makes it easier for the magician to focus on what they’re trying to do, but for simple things it doesn’t matter so much. Often for the simpler things, once a user gets good enough, they don’t generally need the chant at all.”

I nodded and Fenor touched my face again as he chanted.

“I shall not speak, your fate is sealed

But to the one who follows I yield

A single phrase as fate demands

Look to the hands”

I knew now, as I let myself be drawn back into meditation, that I would be haunted by that chant as well, if for no other reason than I wanted to know what it meant. Perhaps I’d have to track down that soothsayer one day and ask.

Around me, I could see the magic once more and I reached out for another strand of it, knowing now what I should do. I sent it below me and made it coil up under me, lifting me gently off the ground. I couldn’t help the elated grin that spread across my face at that moment and I could tell Fenor was smiling too.

‘Good,’ he thought. ‘Now let yourself down slowly and release the magic back to where it belongs.’

Concentrating so I wouldn’t take another nasty hit, I directed the magic to slowly let me down and then I released it, watching as it hopped away and slithered back into the tree with the other strands.

‘Very good. Always remember about magic conservation. It can save your life in dangerous situations.’

‘Why’s that?’

‘Because it takes more time, even for an experienced user, to gather greater amounts of magic to themselves. The less you have to use, the faster you can react. Plus, bringing too much magic to yourself can overload your body and kill or injure you.’

‘I’ll remember that.’

We spent the rest of the day there, Fenor directing me to do simple tasks with magic like move a rock or a stick. Then he began slowly moving me toward harder things. He walked me through making a flower grow and lifting water out of one of the fountains. He even had me try directing the wind to rustle through the trees. I wasn’t so sure I actually succeeded, but my Master told me it was a good start for the first day.

“Tomorrow,” he said with a wink. “I’ll teach you something even more fun.”


A/N: Ta-da! Serious Fenor! Kinda. Lol. Hope you guys enjoyed it! (And the song! ;) )

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Comments 14 comments

Wr1t3r profile image

Wr1t3r 3 years ago from Oregon

Awesome. I love you description if magic and how it's different colors. Wonderful. I also like hoe Fenor 'pumps' himself up. It's interesting how much he uses the human world. Great chapter.

Prouvaire profile image

Prouvaire 3 years ago from Illinois

I agree with the above comment; the integration of the human world and the magical world is loads of fun to read. I'm really curious about the chant, now, and a little worried that something will happen to Fenor that relates to it.

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

Wr1t3r, thank you for reading! I laughed to myself when I thought up the Eye of the Tiger bit. :) Glad you liked the descriptions.

Prouvaire, you'll just have to wait and see how the chant plays into things. ;) Thanks so much for reading!

My question to both of you is, did either of you actually listen to/watch the vid or was it a total waste of time that I went searching for it? Lol.

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Truly enjoyed this. I had to leave after just two paragraphs of it and as soon as I got home, I rushed to finish it. Loved it and the almost serious Fenor. I liked the strands of magic, floating around. I did listen to the song, it is an old favorite.

Wr1t3r profile image

Wr1t3r 3 years ago from Oregon

I watched it. Nice little bit.

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

Becky, so glad to hear you're enjoying it that much! :) I'm glad you listened to the song.

Wr1t3r, good to know it wasn't in vain! :)

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

A truly and fascinatingly magical journey. Looking forward to more. Passing this on.

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

Gypsy, thank you so much! And thank you for reading! More soon. :)

vkwok profile image

vkwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

I like how witty the characters are.

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

Thanks vkwok! :)

writinglover profile image

writinglover 3 years ago from Lost...In Poetry

I can't believe I got behind! This was great! So we finally see some training done! Yay! Voted it up awesome!

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

writinglover, so glad you're back and still enjoying! Thanks for reading! :)

SonQuioey10 profile image

SonQuioey10 3 years ago from Williamston NC

Cool. I really enjoyed reading that.

Sunny River profile image

Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality Author

Son, thank you so much! :)

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