Divestiture of Power

Angry wordless shouts. The sharp hiss of pottery shattering.

I opened the door, pushing back a mess of debris that had piled up against it. Using my most authorative tone, I addressed my host. “Robert! Stop this madness.”

“I cannot, not when it is the world itself that is going mad.”

In a very calm voice, I said, “Robert, you’re scaring Catherine.”

My oldest friend dropped the inkwell he was cradling. Spilled ink formed black clouds against the dark wood of the floor.

With stained fingers Robert clutched at my lapel with both hands. Face to face, he whispered hoarsely, “I mustn’t do that, must I? But she doesn’t understand. You do. YOU DO! I ask you where is the power that once filled these hands? Why won’t the simplest cantrips work? Where did the Fair Ones go?”

“Robert, I told you the paradigm is shifting. Our Work has been divided up between the fanatics of the monotheists and the butcher-engineers of science. Where there was once three, now there is two. Someday, I imagine, there will only be one.”

View this story's 4 comments.