An Amanda Moonstone short story
By Dan Wright
Comic by Kirsten Moody
Amanda and Wilfred walked hand in hand as the sounds of the waves floated through their ears and created a calming sensation in their minds. The sand felt warm underneath their feet, but not too warm. It was a cool breeze today, which helped balanced the hot rays from the sun, leaving Amanda and Wilfred warm–but not too warm. Every so often, the water to their right lapped across their feet, wetting their toes. It almost tickled a little and made Amanda chuckle once or twice.
She looked to Wilfred–his blue eyes, almost the same colour as the clear sea, sparkled in the sunlight. Though she had to struggle to take her eyes away from his bare chest now and then. Wilfred wore blue trunks, revealing his entire top half. She herself was wearing a green two piece and she was sure that Wilfred was enjoying looking at her as much as she was looking at him. Amanda had always been somewhat shy about her own body really–she never saw herself as particularly pretty, in fact she always considered herself rather plain. But with Wilfred, she was happy to let go of some inhibitions.
So far their holiday had been absolute bliss. Having just moved into their new house at Ashfeld, and Amanda having got her potion business off the ground, they decided to take a short holiday to celebrate. And with it being summer they decided to visit Whitesand Beach–a popular getaway spot for the people of Celtland.
Amanda and Wilfred gazed into each others’ eyes, both lost for words. But neither of them really needed to say anything–they both knew how they felt for each other, body and soul. Amanda felt Wilfred rub a thumb against the top of her hand and she shivered a little. Her palm pressed against his closer, the sweat in each other’s grip almost making them stick together. They both smiled at each other, just enjoying the moment and the peaceful stroll. Just the two of them.
Or so they thought.
The sand exploded a few feet in front of them, causing them to jump back in fright. A large, lumbering beast burst forth from the dust storm. It was at least five times the size of Amanda and Wilfred, with dark brown and orange skin that flaked off on occasion. The creature looked at them with yellow, beady eyes, hidden behind eyelids that looked like mini rock piles.
“It’s… it’s a sand ghul!” Amanda gasped. These sorts of ghuls were rare–but had been known to frequent beaches on occasion. And like any ghul they were extremely dangerous and would attack anything non-ghul. The sand ghul opened its mouth and let out howl that sounded like cracking stone. It lifted up two large pincers, which dripped with sand as they opened and closed. Despite not looking sharp, they looked sturdy enough to crush a human to pieces.
“Get back, Amanda!” Wilfred cried, instinctively throwing himself in front of the ghul. “I’ll take care of this…”
He reached for where he thought his sword was, but grabbed only air. He gasped and sweat poured from his brow as he frantically grabbed at his hips, as if hoping his sword would just magically appear. But he remembered that he left his sword back at their camp.
Wilfred palmed the side of his face, cursing his own stupidity. “I’m such an idiot.”
Amanda put her hand to her mouth to hide a gasp, feeling both Wilfred’s embarrassment and horror. Without anything to defend themselves with the ghul would make short work of them. Her hand then pressed up against a small, spherical object. One of many dragon gems that hung around her neck that Amanda had been collecting for a while.
And these dragon gems gave her magical powers.
Amanda had just discovered magic and had been collecting these gems for several weeks. She had always had a fascination for magic and found out that these gems were actually pretty useful–once she had learned how to use them. Being a sorceress wasn’t something that she let people know publicly, given that modern society were afraid of them, so she used her powers only in private. Wilfred was the only one who really knew she had the ability to control them.
Smiling, Amanda stepped in front of Wilfred. “Why don’t you let me handle this, Wilfred?” she said, holding up the blue gem on her necklace.
“Huh?” Wilfred gasped. “What does that one do?”
“Wind magic,” Amanda replied.
“So… what? You summon a tornado or something?”
“Not exactly. It makes my breath strong–like really strong.”
The ghul let out another sandy roar and Amanda knew that she didn’t have long before it attacked. Ghuls were sometimes slow to attack due to being mindless, but that didn’t mean that you should give them too much of a chance.
“Stand back,” Amanda warned.
Wilfred did so. “What are you going to do?”
Amanda faced the ghul. “I’m going to blow it away!”
That’ll teach it for trying to ruin my holiday!
Amanda started to inhale deeply. She needed a certain amount of air to use this magic–but thanks to the power of her gem, she filled her lungs up quicker than expected. When full she held her breath, her cheeks puffing up as far as they could go.
“Amanda, what are you-.”
Amanda held up a finger, stopping Wilfred mid speech. She needed just a few seconds to charge up the magic power, then she was ready. Amanda blew as hard as she could–a tornado burst from her mouth, picking up the sand ghul and lifting it into the air like a leaf. It soared through the sky and tumbling towards the sea, disappeared out of sight.
Amanda flicked her hair over her shoulders and smiled, flexing a bicep. Remembering Wilfred, she turned back. He had a shamefaced look and Amanda was worried that she may have damaged his masculinity by being the one that saved him.
“Er, wow… I feel embarrassed,” Wilfred stammered. “So much for me being the hero.”
“Aw, it’s ok,” Amanda said, hugging him. “It was sweet that you tried to defend me in the first place.”
Threatened with eviction, Amanda Moonstone stumbles across a lost Prince, of which there is a reward for his safe return. Little does Amanda know is that this “reward” is actually a wicked plan created by the tyrannical King Kimera to keep his claim on the Royal Throne intact. However, finding the Prince may just be the key to undoing the one mistake that has haunted Amanda for over a year. Because being a sorceress comes with a terrible price…
From the shadows, a mysterious man in black watches every step Amanda takes. But what is his purpose? And what part does the insidious Blood gem (her most guarded of gems) have to play in Amanda’s future?
Dan lives in the United Kingdom – born in the historic town of Canterbury, Kent. He picked up a love of Fantasy stories after reading such classics as The Lord of the Rings, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and numerous Roald Dahl novels.
His Draconica series, a Fantasy/Manga series that has been praised for its Anime style action, humour and illustrations. He has also had a short comic strip called Queller, which was published in an anthology for the comic Lighting Strike Presents . . . and has also been a judge for a book competition at his local school.
His other hobby is playing guitar in a band called Rage of Silence. He likes all kinds of music—but he mainly listens to rock and metal, rap, some pop music and also film and video game scores. He also loves Disney and Pixar movies—often finding himself singing along to the tunes, or crying manly tears!