Written by George Sanders

"How much can you trust your senses?" With a smile the dark haired gnome made her tunic change colors from a dark grey to a light purple. The children around her enjoyed the show. Mica said "Show us some fireworks again!" A small bang went off behind him and he jumped. Everyone laughed.   The gnome wasn't much taller than the children when she hopped down from the table. "Ok, I got another good one for you." Everyone crowded around. "No, no. Everyone turn around and don't peek!" Mercy had a good trick. She wrote a few words in the dirt. Then she cast a spell that allowed her to hide the words. "Ok. Turn around. Who wants to cast the spell to get the dirt to speak to us?" Everyone wanted to. "How about Wil!" Mercy decided. Thom let out a sigh. Bridgette stomped her foot. "Here is what you need to do. Take your hands like this, move them up and down twice. Aim at the dirt here then say "ara-durn-a-don".   That was the command word she had set for her spell to reveal the word in the dirt. As Wil spoke "ara-durn-a-don" the magical energy in the illusion was released and the word was revealed. Everyone leaned closed to see the writing. At the same time Mercy cast another spell to alter her voice and make it sound like it came from the ground. "Stop starring!" She said. Everyone jumped back in amazement. Mercy laughed.   She laughed until she felt she was being watched. She turned around slowly and saw Lavani watching her thoughtfully from across the market. Lavani put her hands together and brought them to her lips. Mercy repeated the same gesture. She turned back to the children "Whew. thought I was in trouble there." They chuckled.   Before she could start her next trick, a cart pulled up to the guard barracks by the market. Four guards got down along with a young girl and a red skinned woman with horns. Those two were new. The girl was holding a large house cat. That's 4 cats now, thought Mercy. She watched Lavani's gaze move from her to the new woman. These must be the people the champions rescued.   In the background Mercy could hear "Wil! Wil Holmes!" The children started to scatter toward their homes. Mercy called to them "Tomorrow I'll introduce you to Belle and Lynx." The children waved as they ran between the buildings, taking the shortcut home.


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