10 ♦ Aleria

47 7 2

CURRENT LOCALE

Wizardhood

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Chante

I must confess, I only found five of the six who would accompany me to the Melody-Harmony Engine; and even then, perhaps only the first four counted. For even as I selected the twins from the center of the crowd, I felt a spell compelling me somewhere else. Yet I kept going, and this exhausted me incredibly; my vision blurred under the enchantment's power.

I can think about how the spell felt, but then I can't. Enchantments aren't meant for their victims to touch, to observe too deeply.

Then the elochild, the first Violet Mage I selected to accompany me to the Melody-Harmony Engine—the curly-headed elochild who bid me to leave the stage, head into the masses—turns her chin up to me, saying, "I'm Chante."

From her perspective, I must seem like a towering wizard of unimaginable potential. Or maybe not. Elochildren are quite perceptive. It's possible she sees right through me. As I tilt my head down to speak with her, it feels like my whole body arcs up, like the way a cat might bow its head as it raises its spine, like I am suspended by a thin thread to the heavens.

"Hello, Chante," I whisper. "Tell me; who do you think our seventh should be?"

Chante nods without pause and wanders into the thicket of the neon-shawled, lavender-robed crowd. The twins follow behind me, murmuring to one another, while the shadowy man and crackling young women linger on my other side, in my peripheral vision, perhaps as curious about who the elochild will choose as I am.

Chante zigzags through legs and ankles, stopping at an elderly woman of blue.

I exhale a suspended breath;

I'd hoped the child would choose an elder;

I may have felt too paralyzed by them to choose one myself.

The blue woman is striped with indigo and cerulean skin tones, and cyan flows through her hair, as well as in the many circles within her eyes; and her hands and feet look as if stained with dark blue paint.

"Will you come?" Chante asks.

The elder nods. Of course she will. If she wasn't interested in the Melody-Harmony Engine, she wouldn't have attended the stage; though there are many here, there are threefold more locked in their dorm rooms, or else barbecuing outside, only willing to celebrate the seventh technological advancement from afar.

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Double-Room Cottage

Later that night, when I return to my double-room cottage, alone and exhausted, my two tabby cats greet me at the mouth of my stained-glass-accented door. They swerve their striped bodies in infinity signs, around and round my feet, as I read the folded, silver-leaf letter Ovelia sent on the last iPigeon.

Why does my sister still harbor doubts?

After burning Ovelia's letter on candle flame, I brew iced tea and spins my sister's words in my head, trying to figure out heads or tails.

I can't wait to see if Lord Alistar, Chosen of the Verdant, selected Ovelia as one of the seven wizards visiting the Melody-Harmony Engine from Third Street; it'd be a shame if my sister didn't at least have the opportunity to see the Melody-Harmony Engine with her own eyes.

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Aleria sees the world in patterns, repeating cycles—inevitability

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Aleria sees the world in patterns, repeating cycles—inevitability. She earned her Masters of Wizardry in Emergence Theory two years before Emergence No. 7, when she was only twenty-two years old. Now she is the Lady of Violets. Currently she is researching the Alpha Simplicity and Omega Complexity.  

First draft: July 18

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First draft: July 18

Second & third drafts: August 18

Fourth draft: September 18

Word count: second draft 537 / third draft 600 / fourth 620

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