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How Was Your Day? - Chapter 15.3

by Que


Finnley still wasn't entirely sure what to think about Sylvie, but he needed to focus right now. He was going to work, which really just meant he was going to face Mr. Vaughn. There was too much he wasn't being told, and he needed answers. He also needed a job, so he was going to have to be somewhat careful. Mr. Vaughn didn't seem like the type to get angry, but he could never quite tell.

Even though it was a beautiful fall day, and people were out in the town, they never seemed to be down this street. And despite the colorful sign declaring that Mr. Vaughn's antique shop was open, no one was inside. Finnley stared around at the chaotic collection of objects, getting ready to confront Mr. Vaughn.

The old man came down the stairs momentarily, a bright smile on his face which fell when he saw Finnley's expression. He stopped half way down the stairs and beckoned for Finnley to come up.

"We need to talk," Finnley started, ready to hold his ground. Mr. Vaughn held up a hand.

"I'm well aware of that, Finnley Bale," he replied. "That's why I want you to come up with me."

Reluctant to leave the familiar lower shop behind, Finnley ascended the stairs. On the upper floor of the shop were Mr. Vaughn's living quarters. There was a bathroom off to one side, and a bedroom to another. In the middle, there was a sofa and a few chairs and a table. Mr. Vaughn seated himself on the sofa with a sigh while Finnley took a wooden chair.

"Finnley Bale," the man said again as he settled deeper into the flower print sofa, folding his hands in his lap. "I took you on, not as an assistant for the antique business, but to be my apprentice in other matters. Every once in a while, the store opens in an... unexpected town, a place I did not tell it to open to. That is because there is someone there who I might train in my art- in this case, it was you."

"But sir-" Finnley began, then broke off when Mr. Vaughn again raised a hand. He was frustrated of this.

"There are strange happenings here, so you know that there must be magic- something unexplainable going on. And you know that my shop can be in several different places at once, yes? So the impossible is, in fact, possible. I'm the reason for, shall we say, my peculiar shop. You see, I'm a magician."

That stopped Finnley in his tracks. He passed a hand over his brow. "A... a magician?" he breathed, not sure how to feel about this.

Mr. Vaughn just shrugged. "A magician, a wizard, an enchanter, whatever name you prefer to give me, it is still the same." He leaned forward, eyes laced with concern, bushy white eyebrows drawn together, making wrinkles of his forehead. "I don't mean to alarm you, Finnley," he said cautiously, "but it's the truth. I know many things magical and mystical, and I practice my art with care. Henry, that young man you met the other day, he was my apprentice. I would like for you to become one too, if you agree."

"I don't know what to say," Finnley gasped, clutching at the arms of his chair. Mr. Vaughn being a magician was one thing- he certainly looked the part, ancient and white-haired and wise- but learning magic himself? Wasn't there some sort of consequence? What did that even entail? "What do you even do?"

"I help to keep the world in balance," Mr. Vaughn replied. "Magic is not about cheap tricks, but rather about order and nature. My sister- you saw her that day- came to tell me that something had happened. The balance has been shifting of late, and not for the better. There was another event... the danger is becoming greater." Mr. Vaughn frowned to himself as if in deep thought as Finnley mulled over his words. It made sense, a little. His life had been normal before now. He'd thought it was just the move, but perhaps it was more than that? Thinking about it too much only made it worse.

Mr. Vaughn started once more as if he realized that Finnley was still there. "Ah, yes. I keep an eye on things as well, try to help out. I know all that happened on your weekend escapade."

"Like looking in a crystal ball?" Finnley asked, amazed.

"Indeed," Mr. Vaughn replied with a knowing smile. "Crystal, glass, anything reflective, really." He walked to a corner of the room, picked up a large silver plate, and set it on the table. There were markings all around the edges that piqued Finnley's interest. "See the writing? That's the spell. But it doesn't constantly work; you must activate it with an incantation and use your own power."

Mr. Vaughn chanted a few short words and a light flared up in the plate, sending Finnley scrambling back. When he looked again, the plate was showing Mia in the hospital with her mother, father, and uncle.

"Ah, Fred," Mr. Vaughn said to the plate. "He would've made a good magician. But his path lies with that of his family, and I am glad of it."

"Can it show me Monica?" Finnley asked.

Mr. Vaughn answered, "I know of no such person, but it could show you anything you wanted."

"She helped us defeat the demon," Finnley said, worried that Mr. Vaughn didn't know her. If he had been watching them on their adventure, wouldn't he have seen her? But the man was muttering again, and suddenly the image turned black before disappearing completely. The room filled with silence, and nobody breathed. Mr. Vaughn looked up at Finnley and they locked eyes.

"What does that mean?" he asked in a low voice.

"It means," Mr. Vaughn returned slowly in a voice just as low, "that I'd very much like to meet your friend Monica."


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Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:42 pm
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Panikos wrote a review...



Hiya, Querencia. Can't get rid of me.

Finnley still wasn't entirely sure what to think about Sylvie, but he needed to focus right now. He was going to work, which really just meant he was going to face Mr. Vaughn.


This definitely reads like the opening of a new chapter rather than a continuation of one. I think that, because this is an LMS novel, each instalment you post tends to feel quite standalone, even though it's obviously only a segment of a larger whole. Probably an inevitable part of the process, but something to think about when it comes to redrafting.

"I took you on, not as an assistant for the antique business, but to be my apprentice in other matters. Every once in a while, the store opens in an... unexpected town, a place I did not tell it to open to. That is because there is someone there who I might train in my art- in this case, it was you."


Methinks wizard Finnley is imminent. I kinda knew this was coming because I've seen a few summaries of more recent chapters, but I'm still excited.

Henry, that young man you met the other day - he was my apprentice.


"I don't know what to say," Finnley gasped


'Gasped' is a touch overdramatic. It makes me picture him literally gasping for air like he's been running or something, which just seems...odd.

Mr. Vaughn answered, "I know of no such person, but it could show you anything you wanted."


Well that's not creepy at all.

(On a more serious note, that kinda seems like a deus ex machina. Just make sure you cap the capabilities of your magic system somewhere so that it's not just a fix-all).

But the man was muttering again, and suddenly the image turned black before disappearing completely. The room filled with silence, and nobody breathed. Mr. Vaughn looked up at Finnley and they locked eyes.

"What does that mean?" he asked in a low voice.

"It means," Mr. Vaughn returned slowly in a voice just as low, "that I'd very much like to meet your friend Monica."


Ooooooooh. That's a good end. Is she a ghost? Is she some kind of demon? Or is she just magical enough that she can cloak herself and not allow anyone to track her? I don't know. I'm looking forward to finding out.

Pretty solid chapter. I'm glad to see Mr Vaughn come back; I always like the gentle, ponderous sort of scenes we get in the antique shop. I really like the revelation that the shop was actually attracted to Finnley's magical potential. Even though I knew that Finnley was going to get into sorcery at some point, I didn't expect the shop to have actually been drawn to him.

It does seem like a convenient coincidence that so many magic-related people would end up banding together. You've got Mia and her monster-hunting family, Monica and her spookiness, and now Finnley with his magical potential. It seems a little odd that everyone should be tied to magic in some way. Then again, maybe it's more fate than coincidence.

I think you could make Finnley react a little more incredulously to Mr Vaughn offering to teach him magic. Yes, he's pretty acquainted with the concept of magic now, but it's still going to be pretty disorientating to learn that he himself could master it. He adjusts to the knowledge quite quickly.

Still, I did enjoy the chapter. I'm somewhat concerned about the originality of your magic mechanics. So far, you've not really used anything that I haven't seen in other fantasy novels - we've got crystal balls, incantations, all the usual suspects - so I do hope that you flesh out your magic system and give it its own je ne sais quoi. It'll just at a sparkle of uniqueness to the story.

Anyhow, I'm getting super tired now, so I'll draw this review to a close before I start babbling nonsense. Well, more nonsense than usual.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




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Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:01 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, Querencia! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

Give me your soul.

With that aside...

STOP! Grammar time!



That is because there is someone there who I might train in my art- in this case, it was you."


Change the dash to a semicolon or put a space in front of it.

"There are strange happenings here, so you know that there must be magic- something unexplainable going on.


Same thing up above. I will not point this out again.

magician was one thing- he certainly looked the part, ancient and white-haired and wise- but learning


Put spaces before and after all dashes unless a dash is connecting a word. I won't point this mistake out again either.

Suggestions:



He was frustrated of this


Reword this. It seems... off-worded.

You see, I'm a magician."


Just to keep in mind for your next draft, I really doubt that anyone would say outright that they are a magician to just anybody. I haven't read the other chapters but so far the character doesn't really seem like he would just... outright say that. Maybe have Finnley figure it out? Also, the rest of the monologue doesn't really seem like somebody would say that outright...

Confusing things:



Mr. Vaughn didn't seem like the type to get angry, but he could never quite tell.


Who could never quite tell?

Other comments, reactions, and fangirling:



No other comments, reactions, and fangirling.

Overall:



Pretty good. Very short, and a lot of dash issues... you probably should fix those. I, a grammar Nazi, wanted to tear my hair out at the dash issues don't worry, I've seen worse pfft. There were also a few confusing things, such as how Mr. Vaughn just outright tells Finnley that he was a magician. That doesn't seem realistic to me.

Give me your soul --

Kara

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:56 pm
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BluesClues wrote a review...



OKAY I'M HERE. I read this days ago, but it's my first week back to tutoring so I've been using my spare time at my first job for paperwork instead of reviewing.

(Plus, let's face it, I needed a bit of a break after all the reviewing I did this summer.)

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH cool what's the deal with Monica? Like we already sort of knew there was a deal with her, but this is even more intriguing. I'm so excited to find out more about Monica. You have no idea.

Mr. Vaughn frowned to himself as if in deep thought as Finnley mulled over his words. It made sense, a little. His life had been normal before now. He'd thought it was just the move, but perhaps it was more than that? Thinking about it too much only made it worse.


This part was a little strange to me, because Finnley thinks about how he'd thought the strange things had "just been the move," but...like...right after the move he immediately encountered much *theme music* Stranger Things. So it was weird to me that at this point in the story we would find out he'd thought "maybe it was just the move," even though I realize he's not thinking that at this minute, if that makes sense.

Otherwise, the only other thing I wanted to see from this chapter was a little more questioning from Finnley about magic. Like, okay. I know he's found out that monsters exist, so for some people that would open up an "anything goes" attitude, but Finnley has always seemed pretty level-headed, logical, skeptical. Mia's definitely an "anything goes"/Luna Lovegood type person, but Finnley seems more like a Hermione - think about how, even though she was Muggle born and then found out magic existed, Hermione still didn't just accept every new piece of information without evidence. (Which was the main source of tension between her and Luna.)

I do accept that Finnley is a little less Hermioneish than that, but I was still sort of surprised that he just accepted magic so easily. And not just magic/the existence of magic/the fact that his boss is a magician or whatever, but also the idea of learning it himself! He just kind of had a "hmmm, that might be dangerous" in passing, but that was it.

You know your characters best, but it was just something that sort of bugged me.

Otherwise, I was glad to see Mr. Vaughn again and how he was just immediately like, "Ah, yes, I do owe you an explanation..." AND THE PART ABOUT MONICA. Like dude seriously what is up with her??? We kind of already knew something potentially magicky, but...wow, this is shaping up to be awesome.

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Que says...


Thanks for getting to this! And yeah, you%u2019ve been doing a heck of a lot of reviewing. O-O Congrats on that!

Oh yeah, the moving thing. Maybe I should say, %u201CHe%u2019d been starting to realize lately that it wasn%u2019t just the move%u201D or something like that??

And thank you so much for using HP analogies. You%u2019ve no idea how much that helps. :,) I honestly didn%u2019t include too much questioning because it would take a really long time and I didn%u2019t want to explain all the magic stuff right away? And also because I%u2019m still figuring out a little bit how the magic system is going to work. I%u2019ll work on it to try and make him more skeptical! Although, Finnley doesn%u2019t really agree to be his apprentice. He%u2019s still thinking about that. (But really, who can say no to that?)

And I am also very excited about Monica. ;) She%u2019s mysterious enough to fit in with the rest of October. Hopefully we shall learn more about her soon!



BluesClues says...


I dunno, I feel like the "lately" is the problem, because so much zany stuff has been going on that I'm like, "...you're only just recently realizing it's not just the move?"



Que says...


Okay. Also woah, I totally didn%u2019t realize that all the apostrophes did that? How weird.



BluesClues says...


Lol yeah, not the first time I've seen it happen but it always seems to happen at random.




Maybe I should say something quote-worthy, like, I dunno... "You can only be happy if you decide to be happy?"
— Necromancer14