A Cool Blue Mage’s Cassock

This follows the Crainstock, LTD. stuff you’ll find somewhere else on 1000 Days

The extended warmth of the traverse and the uncanny sensation of being piped like frosting onto a cake told Kera she’d stepped through a portal and not just a door. There was a déjà vu hiccup mid-trip she wondered about, but soon forgot as she was deposited onto the black sand of a broad flat beach. The sunglasses in Donna’s pocket made sense now.

Twenty-five mages circled a great metal band and hummed a low continuous monotone. Kera had expected a torus instead of a band. The band was…

Donna roughly twisted Kera around, placed her free hand in the center of Kera’s back and guided her without apology to a white tent. Kera got her hands up in time to part the flap as Donna pushed her through. Magic cooled the air inside and flattened and packed the sand to a black gloss. At the back—in a ring of padded folding chairs—Mr. Balasubramanyan sprawled across a pair of them with his head in his knees; he didn’t look up. Donna pushed Kera behind a tri-fold. “Get undressed. All the way. Earrings, contacts, patches. I’ll get you a cassock.”

Kera heeled off her sandles, shuffled out of her Levi’s, and quickly unbuttoned her blouse. She hesitated a moment before unclasping her favorite flower bra, but then continued and stacked that neatly on her growing pile of clothes. Donna returned and tossed a blue mage’s cassock over the top of the tri-fold.

“Tattoos too?”

“Don’t be flip, Miss Woods. All. All your ink was natural or you wouldn’t be in our employ in the first place.”

Donna’s repeated word struck just as Kera slid her panties past her knees; shame…

xxx words on day 879

Not Just a Warm Body

Presuming the door was older than the ones she used in the newer building G, she tried a more emphatic approach. She placed her foot on the glyph and her hand on the wall. When she pushed she felt the door there this time. It felt found but locked. She tried again, still locked. Donna would have to come back out and get her.

The older woman appeared back in the hallway looking more frustrated than apologetic. “Sorry. Give me your wrist,” Donna said.

Kera offered her right one, but, shaking her head, Donna snatched up the left instead. The MPM stripped the backing off the end of a one-use Tyvek wristband with her teeth and looped it snuggly around Kera’s wrist.

“Is there anything I need to know, or am I just a warm body?”

“That’s tight. Sorry. Mr. Crainstock just spelled it. Let me know when it’s warm, huh?”

“Crainstock?” Kera didn’t know if that added or subtracted from the strangeness of the evening, but it was unexpected.

“Mr. Crainstock, Miss Woods.”

“He…ooo!…it’s ready.” Kera held up the wristband.

Donna smiled, “Juiced it, huh?”

“Just a little.”

“Kera?” Donna asked permission to use her first name and Kera assented. “Kera, I know this is all very unexpected. It’s not how I’d planned this evening to go either as you can imagine. This is real magic in here—not the mundane stuff you’ve been doing on the bench. It will feel the same, probably, but it isn’t. And, yes, you are a warm body, but you don’t have to be just a warm body.” Donna pulled her through the door.

215 words on day 581

Still in the Bowels

“Why didn’t you mention that earlier?” Kera skipped to a backward jog further down the corridor expecting Donna to match pace at least some. The MPM pushed her face to a flat grin, pointed to a glyph on the ground then at the featureless wall with her clipboard, and stepped into it’s surface.

“Right.”

Kera hopped back to the spot Donna vacated. She stepped into the featureless wall banging her nose on the masonry block just a little before getting her hands up. Kera used doors like this every day, so finding one she couldn’t get through surprised her.

Presuming the door was older than the ones she used in the newer building G, she tried a more emphatic approach. She placed her foot on the glyph and her hand on the wall. When she pushed she felt the door there this time. It felt found but locked. She tried again, still locked. Donna would have to come back out and get her.

119 words on day 580

Into the Bowels of Crainstock Ltd

http://1000days.douglasblaine.com/20090818/crainestock-ltd/

Kera had never imbued an [engine ring] before.

“How many is your most?” the hurried MPM asked. She swung open the next door and held it for Kera while encouraging her to walk faster with the clipboard her other hand.

“Nine of us blessed a sword with accuracy and ever-sharp in school,” Kera said.

“OK. This’ll be three times that.” The door shut behind Kera like a prison gate.

Kera frowned to the MPM despite her excitement.

“It’s a much bigger ring than our usual.”

“Oh,” Kera said. “Dana, right?”

“Donna.” Anything else the Magical Project Manager might have said was lost in her attention to the contents of the folder attached to her clipboard.

“Donna, what happened?” Kera didn’t need the late night rush down unfamiliar hallways to tell her something had gone wrong if she were being snagged off her own project to imbue a ring with twenty-six—twenty-six!—other other mages. If she’d applied for one of the infrequent junior mage roles, did two layers of interviews, waited 90 days, and then was accepted to imbue a standard [engine ring] she’d have been astonished.

“That son-of-a-bitch Ajit…sorry, Mr. Balasubramanyan…threw up all over my…the, the [engine ring] during tuning. I guess he’d gotten the flu or something but didn’t want to recuse himself.” Donna stopped short. “You’re not sick are you?”

Kera considered the question, even pushing her thoughts out to her extremities like a mental MRI feeling for everything from sniffles to cancer. All she found was excitement.

“Maybe I ought to be?” Kera joked.

The MPM whispered as if she gripped Kera by the collar and jerked her face to face. “Don’t fuck with me. Is there any reason—any at all—you can’t do this?”

“None.” Kera swallowed as silently as possible. “Did you say during the tuning?”

“Kera, do I seem like the kind of person who enjoys walking fast?”

“Why didn’t you mention that earlier?” Kera skipped to a backward jog further down the corridor expecting Donna to match pace at least some. The MPM pushed her face to a flat grin, pointed at the featureless wall with her clipboard, and stepped into it’s surface.

367 words on day 579

Eventually From The iPhone

I wrote and now those words are gone.  This loss matters very little as I regularly move on fromt he work I place here on 1000 Days but I’m bummed because it means I’ve still not got my WordPress iPhone app working properly.  Some day this may matter.

For reference, I’m capturing a few blurbs from the piece I lost because the effort felt like something worth returning to at the time and I at least owe myself that possibility.

The name of the magical company is Crainewood Ltd.  Their policies regarding mage counts are loosely governed by numerology because the founder’s grandson’s mistress was a numerologist.  A recently hired mage finds herself knocking on the door of the Chief Executive Mage in order to have the proper number of mages for a mundane little enchantment.

Day 406

Crainestock Ltd

I need a new place to write for a while. Maybe I’m being childish but I’m just not finding much motivation siting at my desk. What I am finding is more than a little distraction and more than a few excuses. Today I’m giving the WordPress app a third shot. Maybe this time I’ll get something up online.

Leaves fell from the trees much as they always do in the early part of my feigned writing. This action reads like an ending but writes like a beginning. Leaves fall to the ground from autumn soaked limbs, from winter frozen branches, and from dampened vernal buds. We all know this.

No idea where that was going but on the iPhone I’m not deleting it since it proves I wrote at all. Let’s try again.

Crainestock Ltd loosely enforced a policy established so far back in company history that most old Crainers took for granted the story they passed on to the new Crainers: Edward Crainestock III’s mistress was a Numerologist. Of course none of the company’s documentation captured this detail and certainly the veracity was never tested by a deep or even scant perusal of the company’s less official papers either. Everyone employed in those early days knew it to be true, therefore it was now true.

The policy held that no spell, not the smallest charm to power a child’s trinket or the most secret enchantments used to imbue legendary class weapons, shall be carried out by less than a Triad. That in all cases a prime number of mages was preferred to just an odd number and that any odd number was preferred to an even number even when it meant less mages be employed.

Kera found herself in the strange position of not only begging the crusty Bookman to help her but also waiting outside the door of the Chief Executive Mage’s office while he finished a phone call so she could finish her last enchantment before heading off on vacation.