Santa Sells Cars pt 1

Jessie assumed she’d miss the job out at Ralph Smith Honda. Someone needed to stay at the office to answer the phones, but on the day of the sale Kyle announced that he had forwarded everything to his cell phone and that she should come with him. He said he might need her help, she thought he just wanted to show off.

He’d spent most of the week working on illusions, and he’d put in a lot of hours. She wasn’t really sure what it had entailed, but the few things he’d shown her looked great. She felt bad about that given that probably she’d made it possible for Dwennon’s mysterious contact to sabotage the operation. She even considered making something up to put Kyle on guard. She could have told him she thought someone was watching the office, but she didn’t. She was too scared.

Nonetheless, she found the offered entertainment exciting. Illusions were cool and this promised to be Kyle’s biggest yet.

Ralph, who Jessie recognized from 10 years of poorly produced local advertising, and his advertising assistant, a skinny young man he introduced as Tom, met them bright and early at the auto lot. To work his illusions, Kyle had requested a place with a good 360 degree view. Ralph had obliged by setting them up on a small work area at the top of the four story tall billboard that advertised the dealership’s presence to the world.

The billboard was three sided. A big digital display faced I25. Two static signs were aimed at the surface streets and dealership. The work platform stretched in between them. It clearly wasn’t built for comfort, but it also wasn’t quite as terrifying as it could have been: most of the space between the signs was filled in by the platform, and the signs came up about 3 feet past it. Jessie estimated falling to her death would have required more than simple inattention. It was, however, uncomfortable. There was nothing to break the wind that high up, and by the time they’d moved the autocaster and its magical batteries to the top of the platform Jessie was half frozen.

She considered going down to ground level, or even inside, but decided against it. Kyle didn’t expect trouble, but she did. She could keep a lookout. She might be able to warn him if someone tried to hurt him. That wouldn’t be working against Dwennon in the same way that warning him ahead of time would be, not if she just shouted when she saw something. She could claim she’d done it in the heat of the moment.

That in mind, Jessie looked around for a warm spot where she could see what was going on. The wind wasn’t so bad if she sat with her back to the corner shared by the digital billboard’s power transformer and one of the static ones. The big digital board must have been pulling a lot of juice because it was pretty warm. The shelter of the billboards kept the air almost still. The billboards also blocked a lot of her vision, but she could see through the narrow gap between the work platform and the billboard to the ground directly below their perch. She’d know if someone started to climb toward them, and she figured that was all she needed

Once they were physically set up, Kyle started poking at the machine he used to cast his illusions, presumably he was loading the things he’d developed over the past week. It didn’t take him long at all until a miniature set of clouds swirled above their heads. They were perfect little thunderheads in every aspect, except they were only wide enough to shadow the platform and instead of being dark, they glowed with the color of sunset. Jessie was impressed.

Ralph was impressed as well. Or at least he said as much, “They’re a beaut. I love the detail on the little fellows, but they do get bigger, right?”

Instead of answering Kyle touched a dial on the illusion equipment. The clouds responded as though he’d thrown them. They soared off into the sky, growing as they went. They stretched and sprawled across the sky, drinking in energy and increasing in size until they were on the scale of real clouds. Their brilliant hues made them stand out dramatically from all else around them.

And then they began to snow. Little soft flakes drifted out of the clouds. Only they weren’t white. They glittered and shone with every color of the rainbow. The snowfall was thick enough that it looked like an aurora right above the dealership. Jessie tried to catch one in her hand but it passed directly through her glove making her finger glow for an instant. Still, it was an impressive effect. She’d had no idea how much light was being generated.

“And finally!” Kyle announced dramatically then punched a button with a flourish. Without any sort of transition a sleigh and 9 full sized reindeer appeared floating in the air beside them, four stories off the ground, with Santa at the helm.

“Wow,” Ralph mumbled under his breath and Tim let out a low long whistle. Jessie had to work to hold back an exclamation of her own. It didn’t seem reasonable for her, acting as staff, to coo in surprise. Still, it was impressive. Every detail of the sleigh was in place. She could see the grain of its wooden parts, wear on its runners where they would contact the ground, the breath of the reindeer, and bits of their dark skin showing through their shiny brown coats.

Behind the sleigh hung a long banner advertising “Ralph Smith Honda, Ho Ho Ho, Taxman sale.” Kyle sent it swooping out across the city.

“Well that’s impressive. I guess, I’d better get down there to deal with all the customers. If you need anything just talk to Tim, he’ll handle it.” Without any further goodbye, Ralph clumped down the ladder. Before he was even half way down they could hear him calling to someone on the ground.

Tim handed Jessie a walkie talkie. “We use these to call around the dealership; I’ll be on channel 12. Good luck!” Then he left as well. Jessie settled in to watch the ladder.

Abandoned Highways
Santa Sells Cars pt 2

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing Tagged with: ,
16 comments on “Santa Sells Cars pt 1
  1. I like that you used nine reindeer but I feel like you should mention that one has a red nose at this point.

  2. Mori Summers says:

    You know what? You should add a bonus page, like Unillustrated. I swear that half of Citadel’s votes are from the bonus page.

    • Hey, I like this story too, but Thaumaturgical Support is the enemy. Don’t go giving away my best strategies and stuff.

      • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

        Lol, I don’t have much flexibility anyway since it’s not my site. But I do want to sneak up on legion of nothing while he distracted publishing real books and stuff.

  3. Michael says:

    Just read through the archives, and I’m liking the story – the way magic is done is pretty brilliant, in my opinion. The chi punch workaround seems like someone really should have picked up on it sooner, but the real world is full of stuff like that.
    Also, Kyle seems a bit limited in think of his illusions only in terms of light. Chi punches, from your description, seem to deliver a rabbit punch to physics right where it hurts – you could ostensibly generate an accelerated antimatter beam with that kind of versatility.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s an excuse. The chi punch requires a magical martial artist. The chaos refractor requires a magical engineer with formal training tending magic machines. The application requires someone who’s been working on their own lighting project trying to break free. Getting all three of those in the same person is sufficiently rare to justify him being the first to come up with it.

      • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

        Lips sealed again because there’s more on this later then yet more at the very end of the story. I will repeat my usual cryptic statement that Kyle doesn’t fully understand what he’s doing yet. Give him about month of updates. 😉

        • I for one just love that I’m not the only person who’s thought of this cross. I for one did some dabbling in Hermetic mysticism and wicca in high school, and when I started in martial arts I found that the chi flow described with kata felt like the same kind of energy i’d feel doing other workings. (I for one yes do believe theres some kind of energy at work there. roll your eyes all you want) I likened it to some friends as, the martial arts shapes your body to make flow, like digging canals at angles to force a nice flow of water, and the western mental techniques were more like putting in sump pumps. I always wanted to see the idea of mentally forced energy flow tied to a Chi punch, but never really worked on the martial aspect enough myself to try.

  4. irrevenant says:

    Typo: “He’d spent of the week working on illusions, and he’d put in a lot of hours.” Either delete the “of” or put something before it (“all” maybe).

    “None the less”. Nonetheless (yes, I know. English is weird).

    “that advertised the dealerships presence to the world.” dealership’s.

    ““Well that’s impressive. I guess, I’d better get down there to deal with all the customers. If you need anything just talk to Tim, he’ll handle it.” Without any further goodbye, Ralph clumped down the ladder.” Not actually an error (and possibly not even necessary given context), but I suggest attributing that dialogue earlier in the paragraph.

  5. Owen says:

    (Got “it’s” where it should be “its” in a couple places. Not that I don’t reverse em all the time myself, but yeah, any typo a reader notices tends to jolt them out of the flow, so figured I should point it out.)

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      I do indeed, thanks for pointing those out. I hate “it’s” “its” because *generally* ‘s is correct for possessive so I type it out of habit.

      • Owen says:

        Yeah, the apostrophe rules are stupid… actually, pretty much *every* part of English orthography is horrible. xD

        Like, failure to do a proper spelling reform should prolly be counted as massively institutionalized child abuse. Heh.

        … Wait, that’s not funny. That’s just… true. >:|

        ANYway, I’ve been trying using a quick mental check for every “it’s”/”its” of whether “he’s” or “his” would work as a substitute (I mean, grammatically, obviously, if not semantically).

        It seems to work pretty well for cutting down on the annoyance of double-checking yourself every damn time, since the transformation is relatively straightforward “he’s > it’s”/”his > its”.

  6. Jesp says:

    Did you mean Tim?
    “…introduced as Tom…”

    Thanks for the chapter! ^_^

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