The Frying Pan (pt. 4)

Supreme Sorcerer Grant King admired his three piece suit before a full length mirror. “Supreme Sorcerer” wasn’t a legal title. Yet. Once he became ruler of the world, he would make it legal and give it to himself. 

He leaned into the mirror for a better look. Hair, perfect. Smile, perfect. Black dress shoes, as glossy as glass.

A knock at the door disturbed his preening.

Daniel Hansen, King’s personal assistant and occasional business partner because King refused to personally interact with poor people, poked his head inside the door. “Sir. Ten minutes.” Hansen ducked back out. 

Despite having been so rich all of his life that he found money boring, King loathed seeing anyone who wasn’t him get more if it. Hansen was the exception. Hansen was a millionaire, thanks to King’s connections, but he wasn’t a threat. Hansen did whatever King told him to. Didn’t complain. Although he talked about his snotty, drooling two-year-old way too much… King knew Hansen would never betray him because, if he did, King could destroy the man with a single phone call. 

“Speaking of phone calls.” King sneered at his reflection. 

Eighteen hours ago, he’d received an anonymous phone call. The call occurred on air during a televised press conference. It wasn’t a press conference by any functional society’s standards. Members of the press who disagreed with King weren’t permitted to ask questions; all they were allowed to do was transcribe his rants in a favorable light for the general public—or suffer the consequences. Most reporters deferred to quoting him word for word since he generally made their case for them by simply opening his mouth. 

During that conference, a magic-based phone-call spell connected with King’s subconscious as a very specific jingle. Content to ignore it, he continued talking and accidentally answered the call which was cleverly voice activated. 

Basic phone-call spells had limited range, clarity, and didn’t support magical-conference calling. However when King answered this call, every member of the press and every microphone in the room instantly heard the caller. What’s worse—King, even with his godlike magical powers and wealth, found himself unable to disconnect or take it off of ‘speaker.’ 

After a flustered moment, King remembered that he was better than everyone else and confronted the intrusive voice. 

The voice challenged him to a battle of wits—not intelligence or academics, but wits. The stakes were the highest imaginable: King’s world domination spell. If King won, his spell carried on unimpeded. If he lost, his spell would be terminated. If he declined, he would be scorned as the coward he is. 

The slick delivery of the challenge and accompanying taunts had its desired effect. Amusement, snickering, and smothered grins permeated the press. One reporter even held a clipboard over her nose and mouth because she couldn’t stop giggling. King felt his face and ears burn red. 

Unable to end the call or regain control of his audience, King accepted the challenge in a rage. Promised to crush the challenger and hunt him down in the real world and make him pay. The caller set the terms, location, and rules, and hung up. 

King glanced at his $1,000.00 wrist watch. His world domination spell would commence in almost six hours. 

“A challenge of wits,” he scoffed. He walked to the door.  “Why wits? Because he’s too stupid to challenge me in something smart.”  

King exited his designated dressing room to a crowd of massive bodyguards who conducted him backstage at the concert venue outlined in the challenge. 

A lame last ditch effort, he thought as he ignored venue workers who had scrambled to comply with the challenger’s demands within the last eighteen hours. None of the presidents or prime ministers have said anything about it. They’re too embarrassed at how they’ve failed to stop me. Just like Mr. Mystery Challenger will be when I beat him.  

The managers of the concert venue, which had a capacity for 20,000 spectators, had pulled every string in their arsenal to rally every company they had contracts with to safely wrangle enough people to fill the number of seats required by the challenger. 

Four referees loitered backstage wearing black-and-white striped uniforms with whistles hanging on lanyards around their necks. One mopped his brow. One looked ill. One looked pissed. The last one was looking around like a gaping tourist. 

Three announcers lingered nearest the edge of stage left, bouncing and chatting excitedly like sprinters ready to run a race. 

Lighting changed, music filled the house, and the announcers rushed out on stage to wild cheers from the audience. Two podiums stood apart on stage, angled to face each other and the audience simultaneously. A camera operator was stationed on a tripod inside front of house at center stage; behind the operator a figure wearing a headset sat in a pit encircled by screens. Two more camera operators were posted downstage to capture the action behind the podiums. 

Lights dimmed in the audience and brightened on stage as the announcers took turns giving an introduction to the event and the guests. 

Hansen watched the stage manager who signalled him to signal King, who refused to lock eyes with anyone unworthy, to walk out from stage left to the nearest podium. 

There he is. Stepping out, King saw someone approaching the other podium from stage right at the same time. There… he… 

The person who stepped up to the opposite podium was a teenager. The kid wore denim pants, a black t-shirt with a silhouette of an open book inside of which said Books 4 Life, and a red zippered hoodie, unzipped. His face was as white as the lettering on his shirt, making his brown eyes seem to pop out. In his hands was a massive cast iron frying pan. 

King stepped confidently behind his podium and was promptly jolted by raw magical power from the challenger’s spell as it locked into place. Showing up was the agreement to the terms. Upon agreement, the spell automatically bound King and his own spell with such ferocity that uneasiness crept into his chest. 

He’s just another insect to be crushed, King told himself. He tried not to glance aside at the other podium with too much interest. Seeing that their mics were still muted, King hissed across to the teenager, “I will destroy you.”

The teen looked startled, as if not expecting to be spoken to. 

The reaction pleased King. I’ve already won

The teen’s mouth didn’t move but a voice replied, “Talk to the kid like that again before the refs say ‘start’ and I’ll bludgeon you.”

King’s wide eyes dropped to the pan. Then back to the kid. The kid nodded an affirmative to his unasked question.

“That’s right,” said the frying pan. “And when you lose, it’s not gonna be because of an ace politician or a magical special ops team, it’s gonna be because you’re dumber than food prep equipment.”

[to be continued…]

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Prompt: Frying pan defeats sorcerer and saves the world.

Source: The misinterpretation and miscommunication of a prompt from an online random plot generator.

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