The magician wore a very large pointy hat with a wide brim like an umbrella and he carried a staff that was almost as tall as the hat. His navy robes flowed loosely behind him. “Better than trousers,” he would say. “Can’t go back to trousers now. Too tight. Constricting.”
His new apprentice would nod. She just hoped Gandorn might actually teach her a spell or two between all his awkward, highly ineffective flirtations.
“Come, my dear,” said Gandorn, sweating under the heaviness of his hat, staff, and robes. He was old and frail, but trying to prove something, Vesper thought. She was keeping up just fine.
Gandorn led Vesper to an open field not far from his woodland hut. Somehow, she was not concerned. She could easily best the old man physically, and she had a feeling even his magic would be ineffective. But she was an eternal magical understudy, so she apprenticed with whoever she could.
“You’ll need a wand,” said Gandorn. “Carved at midnight from the toughest ironwood. Don’t worry–I’ll help you.”
“Not a staff?” Vesper asked.
The old man laughed. “For a witch? Nonsense.” He banged his staff into the dirt a couple times. He seemed to strain to pick it up. This couldn’t have been his usual magical implement.
“Behold,” said Gandorn at once, spreading his spindly arms and fingers grandly. “From the barely-contained power I hold to the frail earthly branch, I transfer my power. Behold!”
And he thrust his staff at a hanging branch of an ironwood tree, only to lose his grip and let his staff fall limply to the moonlit grass–but not before it launched a bolt of lightning streaking harmlessly into the sky.
“Oh, my,” said Gandorn, puffing in exhaustion. A tiny, twisted little wand fell from his pocket and landed next to his staff. “Oh, my.”
Vesper couldn’t teleport out of there fast enough.
Today’s three random prompt categories were, “Overcompensation,” “The magician,” and, “Under the stars.”