Vertgates Serial: Lumi Ranta Chapter 1

in 2017, I tried writing an anthology, but I failed in completing it due to a ton of work and life taking over. Yes, part of it involved finishing the last few parts of Hollandus Landing, but it’s whatever. I couldn’t just let it sit on my hard drive, so here’s what I had with this unfinished book.

Ladenrehu, Vertgates

I was off work again, so I had to kill my boredom at all costs. Come on, I was the best hydrokinetic and cryokinetic in my village. Okay, I was the only one with those powers, but that’s still more than what I can say about most of the people in Ladenrehu. It was late in Summer as everyone was outside swimming, getting some early crops in the farmlands, or vacationing to the other towns in Vertgates or somewhere else. I was wandering around to see how I can best use my powers around here. It didn’t matter that it was warmer than what I was used to since the humidity never bothered me or my powers, that’s for sure.

There were some people at a bistro who were busy eating some fancy food outside and it looked like they were finishing up their glasses of wine. I kept a low profile as I did my best to blend into the other passersby around here. This was going to be fun. I saw that both of their glasses were lacking in the beverage department, so I decided to put my fingers up and some cold water was aimed perfectly at those glasses that probably cost as much as two of my paychecks. One of them was about to take a sip and they tasted my fresh and semi-frigid water instead of the wine. I was like a reverse Jesus in that way. Once they noticed, I bolted out laughing my way out of the area. I thought about who else I could punk around here with my awesome magic powers.

It was amazing learning those abilities back then when I took some magic classes. The teachers thought I was a natural in learning two similar elements. Okay, my water magic was on the colder side, but I didn’t care. I was a cool girl anyway. Some of them started regretting it whenever I’d use my powers for pranking others when I wasn’t at school or work.

“Why did we teach that Lumi girl again?”

“She’s using her abilities for the wrong reasons even though she was an eager learner.”

“Lumi better get her act under control.”

Those were things that the magician teachers would say about me even though I aced their classes. It was something about controlling water and ice that made me feel powerful and like I could do something life-changing if I really want to. Well, it’s not like there was going to be any kind of imminent threat to the people anytime soon, but if I have to, then I might do it.

There was a statue outside of a penguin. This was a joke that wrote itself since no penguin would want to be there in warm weather. Let’s make it more appropriate. I put my hands out and a small blizzard came out of my digits. In seconds, that bird looked more at home as its black and white body became bluer and it eventually became encased in my cryokinetic powers. It’s not every day where you see an ice sculpture in late August, am I right? After I made my little renovations to that birdie, I just whistled while walking away. Some people who know about the statue had some nerve to call me out on what I just did.

“Hey, Lumi! You froze that statue!” One of them shouted at me.

I Just looked back and said. “Yeah, but I made it better. So what? It’s not like I spray painted it or anything like that.”

“Why you–”

Before they could finish their thoughts, I just laughed and bolted off to see what else I could do on this boring day.

There seriously wasn’t anyone who can tell me what to do since none of them would be able to see me with how much power I had. I’m not going to do stupid stuff like freezing people to death or drown them even though I certainly had that capability. I looked at other things I could do around here and I found a nearby skate park. There weren’t any skaters around, so I thought this was my chance to do something funny. I ran past the street sections in the park where the skaters would do their grinding moves or some basic kickflips, but I finally found the perfect spot. There was a graffiti’d up dip in the ground that had to have been eight feet deep at most. Since nobody was going to practice their vert tricks like ollies, nosebones, or even daring to try and pull off the nine hundred anytime soon like that one guy whose last name is like a bird, I figured that I would turn this non-existent skate party into a pool party. With a snap of my fingers, I started filling up this gap with cool water. I knew it would take me a while, but I was in no rush to get everything done. Oh, look at me. I’m starting to impress myself by doing something like this. Maybe I should get all my friends to bring their bikinis and tell them that they don’t have to go to the local rec center around here. This was becoming too much fun.

Then the sirens came. Crap!

I stopped what I did as I had about a foot and a half of water already at the bottom before I tried to make myself scarce. A couple of squad cars followed me and I thought they were being way too persistent. One of them had some speakers on the vehicle and it blurted out the following things: “Lumi Ranta, surrender now!”

Shouldn’t those boys in blue be doing other things like saving cats from trees or maybe convicting some rich criminals suffering from affluenza? I didn’t bother heeding their commands, but they sped up towards me and one officer shot something from the passenger side window. I’m glad it wasn’t a bullet and it’s good the feds out here had enough sense not to kill unarmed civilians, but what they shot out was a negater. Those things are like little hockey pucks that don’t hurt when they hit, but they make people with magical abilities feel all woozy. I got hit by that negater and I immediately wanted to go to bed.

Once I woke up, I was sitting in front of a couple of cops as I kind of expected, but there was a big timer sitting directly in front of me.

“Lumi, are you feeling alright now?” He asked.

“Still waking up, but I’ve dealt with worse. Aarne.” I responded. I then caught my tongue. “I’m sorry. Master Aarne. Pardon my manners.”

“That’s better. You know why we’re here, right?” Aarne continued questioning me. This Aarne guy was the top mage in Ladenrehu. He’s got light blonde, yet graying hair with a huge beard to go with it. He must have been in his fifties or sixties, but I might be underestimating that geezer’s age. When I say he’s a big-timer, I didn’t just mean about how important he was in town. Aarne is definitely a pudgy man that needs to lay off some cake, donuts, or whatever high-calorie dessert he eats when he’s not around here. His voice was quite scholarly and sounded more concerned than angry when he talked with me.

“It’s because of the little pranks I did,” I answered. “Why should they be a big deal? It’s not like I hurt or killed anyone.”

“No, but it would still qualify as magical vandalism in the skatepark, the statue, and the bistro.” Aarne corrected me. “You can’t be doing those things whenever you please.”

I crossed my arms before giving him some lip. “Yeah, and you’ve never done anything like that with your magic, Master Aarne? Don’t lie. I know you must have pranked people with magic when you were my age.”

Aarne nodded. “Yes, I have, but I was punished for it a long time ago before getting my act together. But this isn’t about me right now. You need to take responsibility.”

I just laughed. “Really? What are you going to do? Send me to jail, so I can spend years there? Please, I’m too young to be punished like that and those punishments are reserved for guys only.” I thought that logic showed them while I just grinned with my little comeback.

“Lumi, you’re eighteen years old, so you can be tried as an adult.” Aarne destroyed my comeback with a tone as cold as my powers can be. “I will tell you that you won’t be sent to prison since technically your actions were misdemeanors and you didn’t injure or kill anyone.”

Whew! I really felt like I dodged a bullet there. At least they were going to give me some mercy despite what I did is not all bad in the grand scheme of things. Maybe Aarne and the boys in blue saw things my way. I was about to leave my seat to go back home and maybe make myself a sandwich before things came to a screeching halt.

“I wasn’t finished.” Aarne stopped me as I was about to leave the chair. “Just because you’re not being incarcerated it doesn’t mean that you’re going unpunished.” The police came in and they restrained me.

“Hey, let me go! You’re going to assault a girl like me?” I pleaded as they were holding me down, so I couldn’t escape.

Aarne just sighed before getting up and raising his hand towards me. I then started to squirm a bit more since I knew about what that mage was capable of. There were racing thoughts of what kind of spells that old man was going to put on me. I wondered if he was going to fire some enchanted missiles at me. Maybe he was going to make me disappear. Or what if he turned me into something ugly like a frog or snake? That would be too old-school and it would be a sign that he read too many fantasy books in his spare time. Aarne shot something invisible at me and I closed my eyes to avoid seeing something I didn’t want to see. I didn’t feel anything, and I slowly opened my eyes. I certainly didn’t feel different or looked any different. All I did was laugh again. “Seriously? That was the best thing you could do to me? How rich.” 

He just shook his head and facepalmed when I boasted about how he couldn’t do anything to me. “Lumi, if you really believe that, then feel free to freeze me into an ice sculpture like you did with that penguin statue.”

I wasn’t going to turn it down. How often does anyone get a free shot at attacking the top mage in town? The police let me go and I put my hands out and smiled. Aarne even stood still, so he certainly wasn’t playing around and I doubt a man of his body type would dodge my powers so easily. I concentrated my energy to give him a good freeze. With the power of my hands, I was going to chill him with the best blizzard I could muster.

…And nothing came out of my hands.

Maybe that was just me being unprepared. I tried again and still, my magic was nowhere to be seen.

“Where the heck did my magic go?” I shouted. “This has never happened before!”

The master proceeded to give me a little explanation. “Until you get get your behavior right, your magic abilities will be stripped. In addition to your powers being erased, you will be doing some community service hours at Helka’s Dairy Castle. I know it’s different than the cafe you normally work in, but Helka has partnered with us for situations like this.” He handed me a business card for that place. “Even though they have some ice cream and other frozen confections, you will get to make them with your bare hands and with whatever machines are there.” Dang, Aarne. You really know how to make a cryokinetic suffer since I could make ice cream in seconds if I had my powers back. “You’ll be there for an entire month starting next Tuesday, Good luck, Lumi.”

What? This was totally bogus with them taking away my water and ice powers, but they’re going to make me work at an ice cream joint. Great. Just freezing great. I knew this punishment was lame, but there was a part of me that should have been punished in a different way like a day in jail. At least I’d still keep my powers, right?


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