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The low murmur of voices pulled me from sleep. Blinking, I fought to keep my eyes open as the world swirled to life around me. I was sprawled out on a black floor mattress in a small, dark room. A couple of candles were lit on a dresser under a window, through which I could see the night sky. Groaning, I raised a hand to my forehead. Ugh, what a headache. Did I fall down somewhere? Where was I? Forcing myself to sit up, I glanced down at my body. Yeah, those were the same jeans and t-shirt from yesterday. Something must have happened, but I just couldn’t sort anything out. Maybe once my head stopped pounding.

The bedroom door slid open, and I turned my head despite the pain that followed. The silhouette of a tall, twig-like person stood in the doorway. I blinked rapidly, trying to clear the haze. “Who…?” I croaked, before breaking into a cough. When was the last time I had something to drink? It felt like days.

“Whoa, wait, don’t move,” a light, male voice urged, and the figure walked toward me. I tried to scoot backwards on my hands and feet, feeling panicked. Everything here felt so strange. Was I being kidnapped? Breathing felt more difficult.

“Stay back!” I squeaked, my back bumping into the wall.

“Calm down, it’s okay,” the boy urged. He was getting closer. I could see him in the candlelight now; he was dressed in black slacks and a button-up white shirt. Was it a uniform? Where was I? He reached out with his right hand, and I realized he was holding something – a cell phone? The screen lit up, and I froze. My headache, my anxiety, my blurred vision … it all began melting away. My eyes glanced from the cell phone to his face, back and forth. What …?

“You’re okay now, right?” he asked, sliding the phone into his pants pocket.

“I … yes,” I said, taking in a deep breath. Relief flashed across the boy’s face.

“Good. It’s a good thing I checked on you. Sorry for rushing in on you like that, but I was worried you were going to dive out of the window.”

“I … was thinking about it,” I admitted. “Where-”

“Listen,” he interrupted, “we don’t know where you came from, but you’re here now. And all you brought with you was, well, your wand.”

“My what?” I asked. Feeling lulled into a false sense of security, I tried to gather the strength to get on my feet. This was wrong, it didn’t matter how much better I felt. This was not right.

“Your wand,” he repeated. Fishing into his other pocket, he pulled out my cell phone. “I apologize for taking it, but we didn’t know who you were, or what you might do with it.”

Stumbling to my feet, I took a couple of steps toward him and snatched the phone out of his hand.

“No need to glare, honest,” he chuckled. “We can’t use it or destroy it. You know that, don’t you?”

“You’re crazy,” I said, taking a step away from him. “This is a cell phone, and you are dead once I make this phone call.”

“Wait, we aren’t out to hurt you, so don’t, all right?” he said, raising his hands in the air. “You know a lot of spells, we saw them. You don’t have to prove it. Seriously.”

“Spells?” I looked down at my phone screen. I was at the home screen, but the phone layout was unfamiliar. There was no battery icon in the notification bar, and the time was missing, too. My apps were all lined up on the home screen – several pages worth, as they weren’t grouped – in alphabetical order. The apps were all there, it was just … different.

“The spells, listed in your wand?” the boy repeated. I looked up at him with a blank expression. He sighed. “You seriously don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?”

“I understand,” I said, suddenly feeling hopeful. “I’m dreaming.”

“No …” he replied, his voice trailing off. “Here, let me show you, and maybe you’ll remember. Cast Maps, you have that.”

I raised an eyebrow at him. “Cast?”

“Just humor me for a minute, and use Maps,” he scowled.

With a sigh of resignation, I flipped through the pages until I saw the Maps app. I tapped it once, and the phone screen lit up in a rainbow of colors. Energy seemed to coarse through my body, as if I had just been running. And then … then it materialized a foot in front of my face, the white outline of a map. Streets and buildings began to be filtered in, followed by icons representing various destinations – a fork for a restaurant, a gas can for a gas station. Eyes wide, I reached out and touched the surface of the holographic map with my free hand, and it rippled. I dragged my palm across, and it moved.

“Do you understand now?” the boy asked. A smile slowly spread across my face.
Aside from writing a blog a day for the month of January for the Ultimate Blog Challenge,  I am trying to commit to one short story a week. This is the second product of that project. You can find the prompt here. This piece is also posted on my blog.

© Jessica Marello (Dream-howl) and deviantART. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this piece's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jessica Marello (Dream-howl) and deviantART with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2016-06-02
Casting Apps by Dream-howl throws us into a world where a most common possession is more magical than we can imagine. ( Featured by TheMaidenInBlack )
:iconmymakersdaughter:
MyMakersDaughter Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I really like the concept! I hope to see more, it's very intriguing! congratulations on the DD! :D 
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional Writer
Ah, thank you! I should turn it into something more, like a short story at least.
Reply
:icondawningdropsofrain:
dawningdropsofrain Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Yes, you should!!! I like it!!!

:D
Reply
:iconouroboros-armageddon:
Ouroboros-Armageddon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student Digital Artist
This story has a rather interesting concept. I hope you go further with the concept.
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional Writer
I'm thinking about it, especially now!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
Lintu47 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Congrats on the DD! :DALove: by Ikue
Have a nice day! :love: by CookiemagiK
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional Writer
Thank you, and have a nice day as well!
Reply
:iconlintu47:
Lintu47 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
My Pleasure (1) by daniya-ART Thank You (16) by daniya-ART
Reply
:iconzazabelle9200:
ZaZaBelle9200 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student General Artist
Amazing work I couldn't stop reading until it was over but I really didn't want it to be! Great work and congrats!
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional Writer
Oh my, thank you! Maybe I can expand upon it someday.
Reply
:iconzazabelle9200:
ZaZaBelle9200 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student General Artist
Ya definitely it's really cool! But only if you're feeling up to it, an uninspired piece isn't as fun to read.
Reply
:iconrainbowfoxdragon:
rainbowfoxdragon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student General Artist
Congrazzles on the DD :D
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional Writer
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconrainbowfoxdragon:
rainbowfoxdragon Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Student General Artist
No problem :)
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016
Definitely an interesting concept - I was a bit sad when it ended... wanting to know more about where the main character had come from and how she was going to figure it out.  Very successful world building.
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Professional Writer
Wow, thank you so much! I'll definitely aim to develop on this more in the future, maybe with a longer story, or chapter format.
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016
Should be interesting!  I'll look forward to that.

Do you feel like the story is already kind of waiting there, or did this part just sort of occur to you "in the middle?"  It can be pretty interesting to get an idea and then need to figure out the origins of the characters' story.
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Professional Writer
More like in the middle. It was born from a prompt, so I think the idea just came across, and less of the world and character's beginnings.
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016
Interesting!  I always enjoy hearing how stories originated and developed.
Reply
:iconbornwiththesun:
BornWithTheSun Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I really like this concept! The idea that magic is something that can be harnessed by a phone rather than a normal wooden wand. I'm curious as to whether or not everyone's wand is a smartphone, and how the characters are going to deal with the main character's appearance.
Reply
:icondream-howl:
Dream-howl Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Professional Writer
Thanks! Maybe this is something I will come back and expand upon at a later date. And I didn't think of a phone not being a smartphone. Maybe the lack of functionality would hinder their magic, or what they could cast?
Reply
:iconbornwiththesun:
BornWithTheSun Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! :) I'd love to read more if you do decide to write more. Yeah, I imagine a flip phone would make a really bad wand. Unless you wanted to spend five minutes for the internet spell to load? Haha.
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016
When I read your first comment, I immediately thought of the comic possibilities of a flip phone wand.
Reply
:iconbornwiththesun:
BornWithTheSun Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, it didn't really occur to me when I was writing it, but flip phone wands would be amazingly anticlimactic. 
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016
It would *seem* all dramatic at first.  Like: point, flip - click!  Phone extends!!  And then... what?  You take a picture or something.

Part of me misses when my phone was just a phone, though.
Reply
:iconbornwiththesun:
BornWithTheSun Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I feel like the one poor kid who's still stuck with a flip phone would be even more jealous of all his buddies and their high-tech smartphones. Talk about the odd one out, haha.

The last phone I had before I got my smartphone was absolutely terrible, so I can't really relate. What do you miss about it?
Reply
:icondc-26:
DC-26 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016
I just worried about the old phone less, I guess.  I wasn't at all dependent on it, because it acted only as a phone... not as a GPS-camera-calendar-email-phone.
I like to think I'm not dependent on my smartphone, but I do rely on it for lots of stuff, from waking me up to my daily schedule.
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