Magicians Lie Part 3: The Apprentice

Birds singing in the distance made Godric stir. He rubbed at his eyes. His head was pounding again. It felt warmer than usual, and his back didn’t hurt from the hard ground under his blankets. In fact, the ground wasn’t hard beneath him at all. It was soft and warm. He felt around the blankets under him. They were soft and fuzzy. He was in a warm bed that was supporting his body, not the usual wood floor of Willifred’s house. The memory of the day before came rushing back. Panic made him sit up quickly, causing his head to spin slightly, but he ignored it. 

‘Where am I?’

He put his hands to his chest to feel along his body. The clothing he wore felt the same, but his bag he had draped over his shoulder was gone. His food and meager supplies he had gathered before leaving Willifred’s were missing. He rubbed his head again, trying to massage the ache from it. The birds in the background sounded happy, but the busy sounds of the streets were gone. All was quiet except for the birds.

“Hello?” his voice cracked.

He waited a few seconds to let his head stop spinning before carefully swinging his legs off the side of the bed. As his feet touched the ground, he realized he was barefoot, the stone floor was cold against his skin. He felt around the floor for his shoes, but nothing was there. Slowly, he stood up. He leaned over and followed the bed with his hand until he came to the headboard, searching for a solid wall to guide him, uneasy in the unfamiliar space. He groped along a stone wall that was also cold and hard to the touch until he felt the stone turn to wood. 

“A door, finally.”

He searched along the wood grain until he felt the door handle. He prayed it wasn’t going to be locked. He pulled and it opened with ease. Breathing a sigh of relief, he felt his way into what he assumed would be a hallway.

“Hello?” he called, louder this time.

Silence is all that met him. He slowly emerged from the room, careful to always keep one hand on a wall. He turned left, hoping that it would be the right direction to finding the woman from the night before. He never even asked her name. He had been so concerned with losing his friends and the food she offered that his manners had completely left him. He wanted to make it up to her. At each opening he came to along the wall, the few doors he found were always locked. He wondered how long the hallway would go on. He hadn’t thought there would be such a large home nestled in the large city. 

‘This magician must be rich!’ he thought as he continued feeling down the hall, unaware that he was being watched.

“Ah, there you are my boy. Did you sleep well?” a male voice came from behind him.

Godric jumped, pressing his back against the wall, facing the direction of the voice.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, Godric. It’s me, Aldmen. We chatted a bit last night before you fell asleep from your exhaustion.”

“What? We talked?” Godric stammered. “I don’t recall …”

“I was worried you might forget. You were not making sense and were stumbling around the dining room when Sarina and I returned to talk to you. You had knocked over your bowl onto the ground, so we were worried you were intoxicated.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t recall any of that. I can assure you that I was not intoxicated, but I must have been worn from my long day. Sarina… Is that the name of the woman that found me? I should thank her for saving me last night.”

Godric turned and placed his hand on the wall, now determined to continue searching for Sarina. Something about Aldmen gave him an uneasy feeling. He couldn’t pinpoint why, but he wanted to get away from the magician. 

“I’m sorry to say that you won’t find her that way. Sarina had to step out to go pick up some supplies for me. I’m not sure when she will return. Why don’t you come with me? I can show you to the library that I told you about last night. We had talked about you joining me as my apprentice. I will help you with your eyesight and finding your crew, and you will help me with some spells as you get stronger. I can feel there is magic in you. It’s too bad you don’t know who your parents were.”

Godric listened in awe. How did this man know so much about him? He couldn’t remember meeting him before this very moment. A yearning from within him pulled him back toward Aldmen. He didn’t know where it came from, but something inside him knew exactly where Aldmen stood. As he drew near, he felt the man place his hand on his back, leading him back down the hall from where he just came. Back towards the bedroom he had woken in. He noticed his feet were getting colder. Although he walked on a carpet that seemed to stretch along the center of the hall, there was a chill in the air.

“Why don’t we stop for a moment and get you some shoes. I find the rooms can be cool when you aren’t used to it.”

Godric turned toward the voice that came from only inches from his left ear. 

‘How did he know my feet were cold?’ he thought. 

He brushed the suspicion away. The magician must wear footwear around the house as well. After pausing in the hall in front of what he assumed was the bedroom, the magician left him momentarily to retrieve his shoes. After dropping them onto the floor in front of Godric’s feet, Aldmen returned to his left side, holding him up while he slipped his shoes on. Then the pushing returned, and they continued further down the hall. Godric was amazed at how long the hallway truly was, as he didn’t recall long houses in the cities that he visited while he lived on the ship.

“I am always amazed by the lengths of these halls. We were so lucky to have found this house to call our own. Now perhaps you understand why I need Sarina around. There is much too many rooms for me to keep tidy myself. I would never have time for my magic if I did!”

Godric was confused at how well the magician seemed to know his thoughts. The eerie feeling he had from earlier returned in his stomach. Something unusual was going on. Godric felt sure of it.

“Here we are. Now watch your step.”

Aldmen guided Godric into a room. A draft passed through it, as a light breeze made a whistling sound in his ears. The chill made the hairs on Godric’s arms stand up. He rubbed at them to try and ease the goosebumps forming.

“I know you can’t see it, but this room is quite large. You may find it a bit drafty at times, as the ceiling is quite high. Sometimes Sarina forgets a window open in the upper floor that borders this room, which can let a breeze pass through. It is quite nice in the hot summer days, but feels a little chilly this time of year. I will ask Sarina to find it and close it for you when she returns. Now, let’s go over here.”

Godric was led to a large wood table. After Aldmen helped him into a seat, he left to gather books.

“But I can’t see. How am I supposed to read these books? Won’t you need to make my sight return if I am to become your apprentice?”

“Ah, balderdash. There is still plenty you can do without your sight. For starters, these books do not have words in them. Instead, they have patterns pressed into the page. I will teach you how to decipher them using your fingers. Careful now, I have put a candle on the table in front of you. We don’t want you to get burned.”

Godric heard the thump of a large book placed in front of him. Then he listened as the magician opened the book and flipped through the pages. 

“Here we are. Place your fingers here.”

Aldmen took Godric’s hands in his own and helped him to find the page in front of him. As Godric ran his fingers along the page, he could feel little bumps and lines formed into the paper. The bumps appeared random, which frustrated him.

“How am I supposed to understand random dots on a page using just my fingertips? This is ridiculous. This will never work!”

“Well not with an attitude like that it won’t! This particular book will be good to learn on. If you feel along the top, that is the alphabet. Did you learn the alphabet on that ship you grew up on?”

“Yes, the captain was adamant I learn to read. So, I am familiar.”

“Well, if you feel this spot right here. Feel it? That represents the letter A.”

The lessons went on for the rest of the morning. Aldmen didn’t stop instructing Godric until the growling of his empty stomach became loud enough to hear over the teaching.

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry, my boy. You didn’t get a chance to eat yet today! I will go see if Sarina is back. She can bring you up something to eat. I need to get back to a little project I am working on anyways. It’s rather important I don’t let it out of my sight for too long. You keep at it. I’m sure she will be up here in no time.”

Then the magician was gone. Godric didn’t hear him walk away. Aldmen was able to walk away without a sound. Gordic reached out around him and felt empty air. It was like Aldmen simply vanished.

Turning back to the book, Godric felt along the pages again. Some of the bumps were becoming familiar, but not enough that he could read what anything said. Even the line that was supposed to represent the alphabet seemed to jumble together into a mess of nonsense. He didn’t let that stop him from trying. The promise of his eyesight and finding his old crew was too important. He needed to push through this struggle until he could convince the magician to help him.

“Godric!” Sarina’s voice was loud right beside him, making him jump. 

He looked over in the direction of her voice and reached out. She was standing right beside him, but he hadn’t heard her come in.


“I hear Aldmen has been working you hungry! I am sorry that I was not here when you woke. I had to depart to gather some groceries. Having an extra mouth to feed in the house required more supplies. How are you feeling this morning?”

“I’m doing well enough. I am sorry for not thanking you properly last night. You don’t know how much I appreciate your help. I was so lost and hungry.”

“Oh, you poor thing. I am just glad I found you when I did. Now here. I have brought you another helping of the stew from last night. I hope you are hungry.”

The table vibrated lightly as the heavy bowl was placed in front of him. He reached out carefully, searching for the candle base to move over so that he could push the heavy book out of his way. 

“Thank you so much, Sarina. I owe you a great debt.”

“Don’t you worry about it, my boy. Sit down and have your meal. I will come back in later to check on you. I need to get some cleaning done.”

“Alright. I would love to chat more later!”

Silence enveloped Godric. 

‘Could she be gone already? Is she as stealthy as Aldmen? How do these people make no sound when they move?’

Something warm and petite pressed against his leg, making him jump back, nearly spilling his bowl over. He reached down to feel what has pressed against him and felt fur.


“A cat? They have a silent cat as well? Hello kitty. What is your name?”

The cat remained silent, but jumped up into Godric’s lap. He pet the petite cat between the ears, wondering what color the fur was. In his mind, he saw a black cat, but he didn’t know how accurate that was. After a few minutes of scratching the cat’s ears, his stomach grumbled again. He lifted the cat and placed it on the chair beside him before turning back to his lunch. He carefully pulled his chair closer to the table, ensuring not to spill a drop after causing such a debacle the night before. This new residence would take some getting used to.

To be continued …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: