A Chat with Dr. Palmer

Here at the end I was expecting to say things like, “I wish I had more time.” not “It’s still so hard.”

“Pretend you were a comic book hero who could create fire from nothing. Describe to me how would you warm that glass of water?” Dr. Palmer kicked his chin toward the table and the glass.

Karen narrowed her eyes and tightened her lips, “Really?”

“I need New Karen for this.”

Karen took a slow breath and closed her eyes tight. She made her face into a rung out wet rag trying to twist out Old Karen at Dr. Palmer’s goofy suggestion. When she opened her eyes she started to take a wider stance.

Dr. Palmer put a hand on her arm before she could raise it. “Tell me; don’t show me.”

Karen lowered her arms and brought her feet back together. “OK. I suppose I would thrust my boobs and ass at the water then reach out with my fire shooting hands.”

“Good. You’re making this even easier.” He lifted his hand off her arm. She hadn’t realized it was still there and took it as leave to demonstrate the stance she described.

“Stop. As much as I’d love to see you try, we’re just talking still.” Dr. Palmer liked to talk, but Karen grew tired of talking a week ago. She wanted to start doing something. She wanted to shoot fire from her hands or spin up a whirlwind. “Repeat it to me, please.”

Dr. Palmer’s [description of demeanor]. [Made it hard for her to refuse.] [blah blah blah].

“Thrust boobs and…butt.” Karen remembered he was a teacher who require some decorum. “Reach out with fire shooting hands.”

“One by one, remove the elements you don’t need to heat the water.” Dr. Palmer grabbed her attention with his eyes and refused to release her to something less important. She could no longer even imagine the soft light of the library around her or the earthy smell of his books.


Dr. Palmer nodded her on like it wasn’t an obvious joke. She resisted rolling her eyes.


Another nod. Clearly he’d meant for her to continue. Karen broke his gaze and searched the room for help. The tiffany lamp held a pattern of colors and shapes she found interesting but not useful. The green settee invited her to sit upon it’s slick-rough velvet, but it didn’t tell her what to say next. [maybe another thing if it’s not too corny.]

Dr. Palmer waited for an answer.

“Boobs. Butt. All I have left are hands?”

Wow this simple thing is much longer than I’d expected.

437 words on day 986

A Tall and Narrow Notebook

Kera wiped the long day out of her eyes with the heels of her hands and leaned back in the burgundy leather chair. Her two lab-mates were finally gone and she could attend her spell notes in private. Relying on the clarity of their spells to convey the import, few mages kept additional notes these days, but Kera’s grandmother had given her a shingle-sized notebook for her thirteenth birthday and she had kept notes ever since. None of her notes were extensive—maybe a short paragraph or two. And it wasn’t likely they could help another mage in any significant way. But Kera liked the ritual of mixing the India ink and composing her thoughts.

Kera looked up from placing the period at the end of a sentence when a double-knock on her open door drew her out of [the zone].

“I’m sorry. We hoped you were finished.” A woman Kera had seen before but couldn’t place stood in her doorway. The woman’s blond hair was French braided into two short plaits which barely went past her ears to her neck. She wore a sea-green back-buttoned cassock and clutched a clipboard to her chest. She twined a pen, a hank of keys, and a pair of sunglasses in the same hand holding the clipboard. Kera couldn’t tell if the woman was important or just thought so.

“I was. Just.” Kera set the pen down and left the narrow notebook propped open. Looking around for the rest of the ‘we’, Kera used her phone voice to ask, “How can I help you?”

260 words on day 883

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