A crooked corner for flash fiction
The sky was calico with its longing for rain. For snow, for anything save emptiness. Desire hummed between earth and sky like a string. I could have played such tunes, if I’d felt the need. I shoved my hands deep into my pockets (my pockets were deep because a magician’s pockets are always empty), and turned to Jay. “Can you make it rain?”The boy stared up at me, solemn-eyed as he searched my face for a trick and found none. Two nights ago and a town away he’d made sure he didn’t get wet one night by refusing to let snow bind itself to him. He’d slept tired and exhausted after that, but to him seeing bindings is easier than humans breathe. Changing them was not.He grinned, a flash of teeth and burst of pride, pale eyes unfocusing as he stared somewhere else, a place even a magician could not follow. I could call down the rain, with its desire, had I need. It would take time to shift currents, to make it part of the world. The rain that gushed down on us mere moments later was not part of that and Jay yelped in shock and then grinned hugely. “I did it!”“You did. Can you undo it?”He blinked and his face screwed up into a tight frown as his fingers spasmed shut like wounded limbs. He shook his head and looked up in worry at me.“It’s okay.” I ruffled his hair and we walked through the rain as people dived for vehicles and homes for cover. Jay whimpered as the rain turned to hail. “I’m thorry. I tried too hard?”“It’s okay. You’re learning.”He relaxed at that, so happy at his trick that he practically skipped over to puddles to jump into them like a human child would. I watched and walked. He was learning. Getting stronger. There were many reasons magicians did not gather companions to them, and one was that we changed them. They were touched by magic and often touched it in turn on some level. The power to bind and to loose was a deep level for a creature from outside the universe. I watched him leap puddles intently and tried, with everything in me that was both magic and not, to not be afraid. If he could trust me and insist on being my friend, the least I could do was not be afraid of me. The sky bled rain and hail; I softened the power of it a little and wondered if I was more afraid of Jay than for him. The magic in me gave no answer.
You really nailed the melancholic atmosphere... "The rain bled rain and hail" -> gorgeous!
Thanks; I doubt I'll use this in the series, though, or at least not in this form. The magician being worried/afraid of Jay is intended to be more a slow development.