The ferris wheel clinked and clunked to another halt. Abel sat up in his seat and glanced down at the operators hundreds of feet below their orange carriage.
Cain rubbed the sweat of his palms onto jeans. “Any signs they’ll be getting the power back, friend?”
Abel shook his head. “They just keep talking and kicking the box like it’s gonna do something. You’d think they’d figure that out after the first twenty times.” He folded his arms. “Tch. Idiots.”
“Okay.” Cain bobbed his right leg up and down. He sighed through his nose. “Okay.”
Abel looked up at Cain. “You okay, man? You… claustrophobic or something?”
“Heh.” Cain smiled, then bit his lip. “I wish.”
“Why? What’s’a matter? What’s going on?”
Cain swallowed and wiped some sweat from his forehead. “I…” He held back a grunt as another wave of pain washed through his stomach. “I really wish it hadn’t come to this.”
Abel rolled his eyes. “C’mon, man. Things aren’t ideal, I know, but hey. We got plenty of time up here, the way things are going.”
Cain chuckled again. “True. Very true. Your honesty is appreciated, friend. Let’s see, how to explain this…” He took a deep breath. “Have you — agh — ever had to go to the bathroom very badly, Abel?”
Abel raised an eyebrow. He shrugged one shoulder. “Yeah. Once or twice. Why? You gotta take a leak or something?”
“No, not of… Not of that kind, but — Rgh!” Cain forced his eyes shut. “Something a little similar.” Pink sparks crackled out of Cain’s hand and the tip of his heel.
Abel uncrossed his arms. His mouth went slack.
“You see, dear Abel, when a mage doesn’t use their magic for a very– aghhh — very long time, it sits in the body, and it f-f-f-festers.” More pink sparks escaped from Cain’s body, his lips, the top of his head, his fingertips. He wrapped his arms around himself, but the tremors wouldn’t stop. “And when it festers, it becomes very, very hard t-t-t-to c-c-c-c-control. It’s… It’s a bit like… like, say — ”
“Having a baby?” Abel said, blinking once.
Cain laughed weakly. “Yes! Yes, that’s actually a pretty good way to describe how this feels right about now.” He gritted his teeth, feeling a single line of fuschia lightning cover him.
Abel nodded. “Sh-Should I be doing something, man? I mean, I don’t know.”
“N-No, I just… I just need to let it pass.”
“I’m serious, man. If what you’re telling me, and from what things are looking like, this ain’t business as usual.”
Cain growled and folded himself over. A single sob broke from his chest.
Abel slowly stood up from the other side of the carriage.
“No, Abel!” Cain moaned. “Please! I’ll kill you!”
But Abel ignored him. With each spark of corrupted magic that enveloped Cain, it seemed Abel was drawn ever the more closer. He knelt by Cain and, braving the sparks that felt like needles around his body, wrapped his arms around his friend.
The pain reached its peak for Cain. He screamed inside the carriage, releasing the corruption in every pore of his body. To the normal human eye, it appeared that he was merely being comforted from a terrible bout of acrophobia. To others who were more magical, the pastel pink and fuschia sparks did hardly any damage to the exterior or interior of the carriage. Most of them fluttered off like rose petals or became large, transparent carnations.
But one thing was certain.
The Mage of Flowers had finally returned.
Abel pulled away from Cain, whose eyes sparkled like rose quartz. “You weren’t kidding, man. Being a mage is serious stuff.”
Cain, breathing ragged, nodded.
Watched Abel grin slowly and malevolently as black fire swirled his hands. “Thanks for the juice, Mage.”