Our Story, Part II

To his credit, he did not seem to doubt my credentials—only his luck. Where I was known by many names, he was known only by Shalidor. He’d heard tale of my accomplishments in whatever far-flung corner of the world he’d come from. He had sought me out to bear witness to my magic.

I knew of Shalidor, of course. Who didn’t? What he’d said about the swamp being a glacier suddenly made sense. He was many lifetimes older than me, and yet still fool enough to land himself in my little garden! I laughed about that and eventually, over tea, it got him to crack a smile as well.

All through the storm we spoke, stopping only to top up the kettle. I interrogated him about his magic, and he mine, as we charted a map of our differences in method and practice.

All that winter, we talked and wrote and read and shared companionable silences. When I was summoned for my skills as a witch, priestess, or healer, he would follow to observe. Never butting in, helping only when I called for it. When others asked about him, I joked that he was my apprentice. He never refuted it. I think he preferred his anonymity.

And so, he stayed. We did not share a bed then, but kept each other warm through our constant conversations. He seemed more interested all the details of my comparatively short but eventful life than expounding on all the places he’d been, the people he’d met, the things he’d seen in his many years of life.

He could have left at any time, and I’d have had plenty of cause to send him away. But I’d grown fond of him. He must have felt the same, for he didn’t speak of leaving until the snow was melting with spring fast on the way.

It was then that he broke the ice, so to speak. He told me that he knew the secret to a life everlasting, and that he wanted to share it with me.

Scroll to Top