Writing 2014-03-25



Thim looks shocked, and opens his mouth.

Coldwillow interrupts, “No talking during the exam, even to me.  Light the candle.”

Coldwillow waits.

Thim struggles with the problem.  Everyone can see him thinking hard, and can see him start to concentrate.

The room is quiet, each student thinking about how to solve the problem.  No one speaks.  People barely move.

It seems like an age where nothing happens, but it is really only a handful of minutes.  Most students first notice a smell, familiar, the scent of hot wax.

Thim is sweating and looking at nothing but the blackened wick of the candle.  He can see a little pool of wax melting at the base of the wick.  The pool spreads a little, then catches fire, a tiny flicker of flame.  That flame surrounds the wick, and fire spreads up it, suddenly burning on its own.

Thim collapses into the seat, from the edge he was perched on.  He lets out a big sigh of relief.

Coldwillow says, “You pass.  You are now a junior apprentice mage.”  She blows the candle out, and moves to Haoys.

Haoys looks pale, and nervous.  She is fretting that she has not studied the right things, and does not know how to light a candle.  The worry is clear on her face.

Her worry is not relieved by Coldwillow reaching into her bag and picking out a prism.  The professor tells Haoys, “Use magic to make this shine with green light.”

Haoys is shocked, and then looks blank for a while.

Coldwillow waits.  Everyone watches the angled glass.

A few minutes into her test, Haoys picks up the prism, and holds it in her cupped hands.  She looks through it.  She taps it on the desk, listening to it.

Coldwillow watches impassively.

Haoys wraps both hands around the prism as if it were warm on a cold day.  She bites her lip, concentrating.  Green light begins to stream between her fingers.  Still concentrating, she puts the brightly glowing glass on her desk.

“Very good,” Coldwillow says, “you pass.  You are now a junior apprentice mage.”

When Haoys looks up to beam at the instructor, the green light fades away.

Coldwillow stands in front of Larrikan’s desk.  He looks up at her, eagerly.  She produces a small, straight sided glass, which she sets in front of the fox.  He watches avidly as she fills it with water from an earthenware jug.

“Use magic,” Coldwillow says, “to freeze the water in the glass.”

Larrikan looks at the glass, cocking his head, and examining it closely.

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