Maddy Dune's First and Only Spelling Bee

 

A dozen of the best young spellcasters in the land. The heir to the throne, determined to beat them all. And Maddy Dune, a half-human enchanter who’ll settle for getting through the competition without killing anyone.

This story was first published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 27.

 

Uncle Leo caught her sleeve. “You don’t have to go in there.”

Emma brushed a tear from Maddy’s cheek. “You’re as human as the rest of us.”

“I’ll look for you in the audience,” Maddy said. She squeezed her uncle’s hand. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed her sister’s cheek. She ran her fingers through Madame Aubergine’s luxurious fur.

Rookhaven caught her earlobe and pulled her close. “Kill them all.”

“I’ll settle for out-spelling them,” Maddy said. She didn’t have to listen to that little voice inside of her that whispered loud enough for her brother to hear. She didn’t have to kill them all.

—Maddy Dune's First and Only Spelling Bee, by Patrick O'Sullivan