Magic School Mystery is a recently funded Kickstarter, who did something I thought was neat on twitter. They held a flash fiction contest, 250 words or less, asking for folks for original stories combining an easily recognizable IP with a fantasy wizard school for teens. They plan to take the winning entries and use them as inspiration for an adventure hook in their game. What a great way to get some extra ideas for plot hooks. My entry, Teenage Wizard Secret Kappa was one of the ones selected to serve as inspiration for the book, but I retained the rights to it, and thought I’d share. If you want updates on MSM, check them out on facebook.
April rushes to make divination class before the bell. As she sprints across Griffon Quad, she slams into Casey, the broomball lineman. “Monsters! In the sewers!” he blurts. “Skip class, I found one. On the trail. Need to record. You’re the best holographer.” catching his breath, he resumes “the best who will talk to me anyway.” If I’m to be a diviner, why not start now, April thinks.
“It’s pizza day, so naturally, I was catching them before they toss the leftovers when I saw kappa taking boxes.” Casey says approaching the sewers. “I trailed them here, but realized I’d need proof. While we battle, you can record.” April jumps into the sludge, holding out her hands, “Up you go”. Casey climbs, gags, and pulls her after. “Luminosity” April’s wand glows with a flourish. Immediately, she spots an empty box. “Pizza!” April exclaims. “Totally” Casey murmurs sickly. “I’ll sneak ahead”, she says.
As April follows a trail of discarded crust, she spots them. Four kappa, surrounding a prone figure. They’re going to eat him! “Engorgeous” April shouts, doubling in size, and shoving them back. Rising, they plead with her. “Master’s been wounded.” said one, “While we were out” bemoaned another. “We don’t want to hurt you,” said a third, brandishing his weapon defensively. Noting their concern, she relaxes, “I know some healing.” The leader nods, “Cura” says April, brushing him with the wand.
“How can we ever repay you?” the leader asks, relieved, “An interview?” April replies, grinning.
A 250 word story is a challenge, if you haven’t tried one. My original plot outline had a ton more. My first draft came in at 1,000, and that’s after I did some pruning at the outline phase. The stuff that got cut is kind of interesting, if you like the idea and want to know more.
- I cut a horror element from the story. April was supposed to track the kappa through the sewers, and the kappa would act as shadowy figures doing jump scares for a bit.
- The kappa were originally trying to scare her off for in a misguided “keep her safe” effort from mysterious monsters.
- The Krang, redone with a fantasy spin as opposed to sci-fi, were originally down below and the original ending would reveal the Krang were the ones to wound the master, leading to an invasion threat from Yuggoth.
- Casey was originally more involved, and bounced in and out as a comic relief. A sort of air-headed, good-natured jock who bites off more than he can chew played against April’s level-headed and practical “get things done”.
- The fight between April and the kappa was a little more back and forth and dynamic.
- the master is obviously Splinter, and there’s a bit where April thinks hes a were-wolf… no were-rat? and is horrified before helping.