Volume 3, Issue 2, June 30, 2008|
|The Other Magic|
by Gere McClellan
Meriadme stared at the tiny gears, her brow creased in bemused irritation. Why wouldn't the silly spell run its course? Granted, its works were ancient. But she'd spent the better part of the last week disassembling it, cleaning every delicate tooth, repairing every worn piece and oiling every moving part.
The spell had worked yesterday, when she'd finally finished putting it back together. But it had frozen up overnight, quite inexplicably, and that wouldn't do. Lios wanted it ready today, and he had all the patience typical of youth. None, that was to say.
It should have been vexing, but Meriadme smiled ever so slightly as she slowly, carefully began tracing the power train with an expert touch.
Ah! The chain on the counterweight had slipped slightly, probably when the mouse tried climbing it. She ought to have thought of that. She straightened the chain with the slightest touch of her forefinger and the spell spun back into life.
"Wonderful! You've got it working again!"
Meriadme glanced up as Lios rushed across the room, grinning at the tiny flakes starting to fall from somewhere just below the ceiling. "You said it was impossible, but I knew you could fix it. You can fix anything."
Meriadme bowed, brushing the creases out of her long, embroidered robe. "It was impossible, my lord; that's my specialty," she said, smiling at her own bravado. "Actually, it was more a matter of cleaning than of repairing, though," she admitted. "These old works can be rather exacting."
The flakes were bigger now, and falling more rapidly.
"How long will it take to fill the room?" Lios demanded. "Will it be ready tonight, for the dinner?"
"With the proper adjustments," Meriadme said, carefully closing the silver door that hid the spell's inner workings. "Someone will have to monitor the humidity levels so it doesn't end up dehydrating your guests. One of your mages should be able to manage it."
"Can't you?" Lios entreated. He brushed snow from his smooth brown hair. "Won't you stay?"
"My time is costly, Lios," she told him.
"I mean... as my special guest?" he tried, smiling shyly.
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