// THE MARSCAPONE SCHOOL OF MAGIC //
In those days, I was sleeping more than I had in ages past. It was not easily something I could help. The rest filled me, the rest sustained me. I could not bear the living world for much more than small portions of time.
I was sleeping when my son was abducted.
Every night, sometimes for days at a time, I laid in rest in the basement of the school. Lonely, I wandered Elysion looking for answers to my many questions. Each day I came back with more questions than answers. My kingdom had fallen into despair and ruin. But who was responsible? And how? How had the destruction spread so quickly and without recourse?
VINCENT! WAKE UP!
My wife bangs on the top of my casket.
VINCE! WAKE UP!
Her voice is so often that which rises me in the morning. Or evening, as the case may be. But today the sense of urgency is something different.
I open the coffin lid and spy my wife, still in her dayclothes, wearing a haggard, frantic expression. Her salt and pepper hair is untidy.
She uneasily holds the candle in her hand. She wants to put it down but thinks it uncouth.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘HE’S GONE’?
KEVIN IS GONE. HE’S NOT IN THE HOUSE.
UNLESS HE’S FOUND A MOST SPECTACULAR HIDING PLACE.
MY SON IS GONE?
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
I TOOK THE CHILDREN OUT FOR THE DAY –
AND YOU DIDN’T THINK TO WAKE ME?!
Myrtle so rarely took the children away from the homestead that it was an opportunity I encouraged her to indulge in from time to time. She did so love her role as Matron. And I wanted to give that to her.
But I never expected her to shirk the most obvious of responsibilities. She cowers in embarrassment.
YOU SEEMED SO TIRED LAST WE SPOKE.
I THOUGHT HE WOULD BE FINE!
WE’VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM BEFORE!
HE’S GETTING SO OLD I DIDN’T THINK HE NEEDED TO BE SUPERVISED!
Countless excuses. Again, I repeated my question.
I DON’T KNOW.
THE DOOR WAS OPEN WHEN WE GOT HOME.
SO HE RAN AWAY?
I DON’T KNOW.
I DON’T KNOW.
WOULD HE HAVE LEFT THE DOOR OPEN IF HE’D HAVE RUN AWAY?
I DON’T KNOW.
SCRY FOR HIM!
The two of us scramble upstairs to the child’s bedroom.
Though I could hardly call him a child anymore. The boy was twelve, just two months shy of his thirteenth birthday. He was small for his age, but what was age to the son of a sorceress?
Each day I managed to stir from my coffin, I marvelled at his growth both physical and mental. He was a wise boy, obedient and reverent. So very unlike me when I was young. He was a bright point in a very dark time of my existence.
The room was as I recalled it being, peaceful and warm. I cannot be entirely sure how long it has been since I joined the boy here. A day? A week? But nothing has changed. A thick red patterned comforter sits atop a wooden framed bed.
USE THE BLANKET, I SUPPOSE.
WHAT ELSE CAN WE EVEN SUSPECT WILL WORK PROPERLY?
I did not like relying on the magic-users for their services but what choice did I have? It has been many moons since I was able to commune with the ley.
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HIM?
Running away seemed unusual for him given his calm disposition. But it was my first suspicion regarding his sudden disappearance. What young boy wanted to be kept like a pet caged?
Myrtle smooths the blanket, half making the bed, mentally preparing to sink into a scrying ritual. She is trying to keep steady and mask her worry.
I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING TO HIM.
SOMEONE WALKED UP TO OUR HOME AND TOOK HIM?
IF I WERE HIM, I’D HAVE RUN AWAY A LONG TIME AGO.
Myrtle takes a two-handed grasp of the blanket and closes her eyes. She mutters nonsense under her breath.
The room is very empty while she communes with the weave. I am reminded of the last time I was in the room with Kevin. I was reading with him.
I lamented that his childhood has been spent within these walls. I lamented that the only adventure stories he knew were someone else’s.
HE IS NOT RUNNING.
HE IS CAPTIVE.
When she came out of her trance, the fullness of the situation was beginning to hit me.
But she had no answer for me.
HE’S TRYING TO SLEEP, BUT SLEEP IS EVADING HIM.
IT’S A SMALL BEDROOM.