Stories

Different Views

I touch the surface of the crystal ball, as if that could somehow reveal more about the one I stare at. Septimus Septim, the greatest mage the world has known. What does he watch so intently for hours upon hours? I had started observing him out simple curiosity, a desire to see what great secrets he was trying to plumb from the depths of eternity. Now I was content simply to watch, to trace the line of his aquiline nose and to watch his beard slowly fill in and lengthen as the months go by. I anticipate this time of day more and more; perhaps I should go to him and beg to study at his feet? No, his actual presence would be too distracting.  His mind is so enticing but my childish physical urges would get in the way.

* * *

An impartial observer would no doubt cast aspersions upon my sanity. They might even call it a disturbing fixation and assign me some sinister motive. Would they be correct? I am unsure. Why do I spend my day staring into my crystal ball watching this vision of loveliness and serenity meditate on whatever marvellous vista lies within her own crystalline orb? Who is she? Why does she rest a finger upon the surface of her orb? Why have I not seen her at the Conclave of Magi, even though she is so obviously a student of the Art?

* * *

The mistress is still there, in both senses of the term. Until I met Gavin, I had no idea what she was staring at. Now it is time for the sorcereress’s apprentice to try an experiment of her own. I bring her her tea, which as usual she ignores, so entranced is she by what she’s seeing in that crystal of hers. I massage her shoulders; she doesn’t react. I caress her arms and she totally ignores me. My left hand reaches down and begins holding and caressing her breast. She sighs deeply, then comes out of her trance with a start. “Melys,” she asks, “what are you doing?” I mumble something about getting carried away.

* * *

I watch the master’s jaw slowly open and his focus intensify. He looks like he’s about to start drooling, then shakes his head and turns to me. “Well Gavin, I can now say that perseverance pays off. The woman I have been observing has an apprentice named Melys, who apparently feels some sort of unrequited physical attraction to her. That is enough of a clue for someone less intelligent than I, that is, you, to begin researching in the mundane circles you so adequately understand. Hop to it, boy!”

* * *

At noon two figures step onto the beach far below. After a moment they spot each other and run together, followed by that odd human custom of attempting to eat each others’ lips. They confirm that their masters have indeed been scrying each other and start planning to bring them together. I flap my leathery wings and let out a satisfied snort of flame while my tail, which can smash castles at a sweep, twitches in anticipation of the game to come. The two greatest magicians on the planet will eventually mate and raise a spawn who will make their abilities pale in comparison. Just a few more decades and I will have my ultimate challenge. Very soon now.