Thursday, May 1, 2014

Matt Grawitch "The Box of Death"

The Box of Death is an artifact that allows creatures from the abyss to freely enter the natural world – our world – and Malo has control of it. To work, it requires seven magical fragments, but Malo possesses only six of them. It is up to Nikko, Summer, Jolie, and Reece to stop him from locating the seventh and final fragment. If the Wizards of Light Magic fail, the natural world will be overrun by hellhounds, zombies, skeletons, and other even more powerful creatures.
And what will happen to Balthazar, the Sentinels, and the next Wizard of Lightning? What role will they play in the battle to come? Will they be consumed by the power of the Box of Death?

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Chapter 34

This is Going to Get Ugly, People

It seemed like hours had passed since the three seekers had disappeared. Malo could feel the energy they sent out across the natural world. He could feel the magic as it penetrated everything – searching, seeking, hunting for the sensation of the fragment. His eyes focused straight ahead as he concentrated. He was wearing his bone armor, his helmet clutched in his right hand, his bone sword held firmly in his left. As he stood there, he sensed, waiting, wanting to know but trying to force himself to be patient, to allow the knowledge to come to him. Soon, he thought to himself, soon it will all be over. Soon the natural world will belong to me. Dr. Bones eyed Malo intently. He could feel the dead magic as well, and he, too, could sense that the moment of victory was at hand. He waited patiently and silently, not wanting to disturb Malo as he allowed the dead magic to subsume him. Finally, Malo’s face contorted into a malevolent smile. “It’s time!” he exclaimed joyfully. “It’s time to end this!” Moments later, the seekers were standing at his side. Malo closed his eyes, concentrating on the location of the final fragment while chanting the magic words that would bridge him and his small army there, and slowly they all disappeared.
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Nikko provided a makeshift battle plan for everyone to follow. If they encountered Malo and his powerful minions, the normals were supposed to serve only as support. Nikko didn’t want to have to worry about any of them getting into trouble. That meant that although Michael and several of the other normals would be allowed to go along, if things got too difficult, they would be forced to pull back. This was a battle for the wizards – it was a battle against the dead magic. Jennifer, Randall, Tasha, and Riley would be under Michael’s direction. Though Cassie was technically a member of the new Advocates group Michael had formed, she had only made that choice because she had feelings for Nikko, and the battle was going to be a dangerous one. At first she tried to argue that she should go along as well, but Balthazar and Michael both made it clear that she needed to stay behind. Nikko did not need any distractions. Once they arrived at their destination, Jolie was going to be responsible for dealing with any flying creatures, including the flying golem. Summer’s job was to fend off the other two golems until Jolie had managed to injure or restrain Stanley, and then, her job would be to heal him. Reece and Darius were assigned to find a way to destroy Dr. Bones because that would end the threat posed by the husk walkers. That left Nikko and Balthazar to handle Malo and retrieve the final fragment of the Box of Death. “Would you like to take the necklaces of protection?” Brian Johnson offered, but Balthazar shook his head. “They will not work,” he explained. “We have to bridge to get to the Tree of Magic, and the necklaces will not permit bridging to occur for someone in possession of them.” That meant they were on their own. Only Summer would have the ability to heal and to truly protect anyone who needed it.

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“Well, then take the bridging potions,” Maggie suggested. “I know you made them for us, but there are six of them, and there are six Sentinels going off to battle.” “Hmm,” Balthazar said as he stroked his beard, “that may be a good idea. You never know when they might come in handy.” Maggie opened up a small backpack and handed out the potions. She gave one to each of the Sentinels, who would be otherwise fully dependent on Balthazar and his ankh to help them escape if things got too much out of control. If something happened to Balthazar, the normals would be stranded if they did not have the potions. Each of the Sentinels took one of the sports bottles containing the potions and clasped it onto some part of their clothing. Balthazar took the sixth potion and clipped it to the inside of his trench coat. Though he would likely not need to use it, he figured it would be helpful to have one, just in case the wizards managed to heal Stanley. Once the potions were handed out, the normals completed one final check on their equipment – shotguns, handguns, and magical stakes. Michael removed a pair of sunglasses that were resting atop his head. He cleaned them with the dark, camouflaged shirt he was wearing and put them on properly. After checking with the others, he turned to Nikko and said, “We’re all set.” Balthazar removed the ankh from the pouch on his belt, and as he tapped into the power of the ankh, he concentrated on the location of the Tree of Magic. The normals and the wizards then all disappeared.

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Matt Grawitch is a Ph.D. in Psychology serving as a faculty member at a university in the Midwestern U.S. He is also the father of two wonderful girls who served as the inspiration for some of the characters in the Three Wizards series. He currently lives in New Baden, Illinois with his fiancé.  





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