“Welcome home, my love.”
Wizard was greeted before his foot was even through the doorway of his abode. The sugar sweetness of his wife’s voice filled the entry. She commonly used precognition to offer the instant greeting. He placed his briefcase in the same spot as every evening, the soft dirt floor created a crevasse to hold it upright. The love and affection that his wife, Witch filled the house with was immense. She created it as a curtain of warmth to melt his woes he might carry from his day. It brought a lustrous smile to his greyed fox face.
“Hello, my wife,” replied Wizard as he walked through the pristine room to find Witch. Dressed as a proper lady and elegant as a queen, she stood waiting his embrace. He smiled seductively and walked to her, welcoming the instant lovers hug.
“How was seminar today?” Witch pushed a loose strand of grey hair from his face. It had turned salt shaded since he had become a professor and she loved the new look. Her finger tips grazed his chin before she moved her lips to meet his.
Wizard embraced his wife, a strong show of passion. He held her back to admire the soft tones of her face. His own face, strong and handsome, had begun to show profound age lines. Carved from long nights of study, deep even to hide dust. Witch’s face appeared to grow more radiant, more youthful with the passing of years. Her hair of Embelance, a hereditary power, faded and shifted between the subterranean black that she loved and the ginger honey kiss shade that he loved. She enjoyed showing it off to Wizard. A swift nick of her head and the strands flower free and colorful. A snap of blonde and she turned back to continue the preparation of their evening meal.
“Wonderful,” Wizard answered his wife’s inquiry, “the adepts are learning well.”
“They have a brilliant professor,” she winked with a flick of hip, her petite frame not lost beneath layers of crinoline. The embossed apron clung to all the right curves and Wizard envied her grace. She touched nothing as the buns rose and the butter browned, Witch simply touched her thumb and forefinger together, as if to pinch the ingredients together.
Wizard smiled at the compliment, “one is shining brighter than average” he commented as he recalled the fair faced girl adept.
“I have considered gifting the knowledge of my ability,” Wizard began as he positioned himself at the dining set, “it may enhance her direction of energy, it could turn her mage. It may be in her, those powerful enough to become mage are rare. They are far too scarce, adepts are becoming weaker as the decades pass. Too complacent to create protection spells for the city. Adepts use more energy than create. It could happen that one day all the energy will go back into the Earth and thaumaturgy may be gone forever.” He had spoke, so engulfed in his own out loud thoughts. Using his own power to set the table around Witch as he spoke but he had failed to notice the demeanour of his wife change. The words he had said stung her.
“Why would you gift it to a neophyte in your class?” Her voice caught on the emotion. Anger apparent but a deep sorrow hid below. Highlighted by the fact her husband was considering gifting his thaumaturgy away. As if he had given up already.
Witch dropped her hands to snap her gaze to him, her hair reflected the crimson anger that boiled up. Wizard swallowed, regretting his words before they were out, “I have no infant, there is no other to conceive my knowledge on.” He dropped his eyes at the immediate guilt he felt. The decades that had passed, hard trials of attempts. Wizard had risked losing his career, his abode, his everything to surmise an infant. They had tried well past the suggested time frame for an infant. The possibility of it occurring had been deemed impossible by the physician. All avenues spent, all incantations of common knowledge attempted. The physician had signed off, stated it futile for Witch and Wizard. That was word. There was no going back.
“You could still…” Witch stuttered, all cooking behind her abandoned. Her words interrupted by Wizard moving from the table to her, grabbed her hands into his own. Her skin so soft, she smelt of fresh cut flowers and smoked amber. Witch’s lip quivered as the depression welled up once more. It had taken several years for Wizard to work Witch through these feelings. To accept the fact they would not have an infant. He didn’t realize she still clung to the off chance.
His hands were warm but they did nothing to prevent the flow of tears. Her hair failed to a desperate almond, her eyes sunk with grief. She had not thought Wizard had given up. Witch gulped back the well of emotion and corrected her wording, “We could still have a chance at an infant. I found another invocation, stronger…”
“Witch, it is not to be. Physician has said it.”
“I need a stronger quartz…” her eyes fell to the coral colored amethyst held in a tight metal tooth claw on their dining table. Witch had spent all of her energies day in and day out for years to trade for that amethyst. Many evenings spent sleeping long before Wizard due to her conjuring of garden days for the lesser powered neighbours. The rogue neighbours that could hardly yield a lettuce harvest free hand. The amethyst seemed to swirl and reflect the attention, brightening in response to a crazed lilac. She reached her fingers toward the powerful stone that she had put so much hope into and yet, it still failed her.
Witch dropped her eyes, misery wrapped dark fingers around her heart and squeezed it. She choked as stood just before the dining table where her husband sat, holding her hands.
“There are only so many years to impart my wisdoms, to share the teaching of thaumaturgy is necessary. My love, you cannot bare an infant. It has been deemed futile.” Wizard watched as Witch’s hair turned from the mouse brown of a passive wife and grew to a fiery coal. Not her typical black but an ashen shade that threatened Wizard to stop talking. Her eyes trained on the gemstone in the middle of the table, “it is no use for us. We must give up.”
Instead of his words comforting Witch, her face darkened. Understanding was gone as the emotional wipe snapped.
“You would accept no infant in our family?” Her voice rose as did meniscal dirt particles from the Earth below Wizard’s feet. He could feel the electricity crackle, without even a whisper of an incantation from Witch. She was so powerful. Wizard had secretly placed trinkets of understanding under her pillow in the evenings. To try to woe that need for an infant that she had. He knew it was useless and she was only torturing herself to continue to pine for one. It was so engrained in her soul.
“My love, Witch,” he tried to appeal to her but as a clay mask finally cracking, she pulled away and the sadness dissipated to a more intense emotion. The raw anger, contempt she held for her husband for giving up hope.
The air in the room changed. It charged with electricity from Witch’s growing fury. Her ability to pull energy from Earth was strong. Wizard felt the crackle of current in the hair on his arms, the strands of hair tucked behind his ears stood outward from the charge in the room.
“You give up, on us! To turn your power to an adept at your seminary!” The words smelt of venom in the room. Her lips set in a line. The peach hue in her cheeks darkened to blood rose. “I am not going to give up,” she snapped. Her emotional being spiraled out of control and the hair of Embelance shattered to an unearthly lava red. She interlaced her fingers to attempt at holding control but Wizard knew it was futile. The burst was coming.
“My love,” Wizard reached out for her but she pulled herself onto a plane higher than him, lifting her body off the dirt Earth. Bringing a cascade of molecules below her naked toes, falling as a continue waterfall beneath her.
“I tried the goat’s milk with honey suckle as you suggested!” Dagger edged words smacked across Wizard’s face, fueled by Witch’s tears. The green in her eyes lit as her hair danced around her head, creating a demonic crown forged of rage.
“There are other incantations we can try,” Wizard compelled her to come down. Desperate in the wake of his wife’s outburst, he spun his fingers as if encircling an invisible ball in the air. Dread sat on his chest, if she heard him whisper the binding spell…
“I tried the incense in my seed carrier!” She lashed out and burst the small weaved basket to straw. It blew in mid air and flitted back to the dirt floor in splinters. An echo of the grass explosion was soft but there, all the same. Wizard insisted harder, coaxing his wife down from her turmoil. The dirt below his feet began to shift, pulling up like a rug under his feet. The emotional mayhem Witch was suffering darkened the room. It was pulling the abode into a singularity if Wizard couldn’t stop it.
The glass became pliable in the windows from her power.
The lights snapped off and blackness rolled in to encase her.
Witch shrieked a warrior’s cry and the table that Wizard had been sitting at burst into toothpicks.
“I tried the wine distilled from orange cloudberry!” She screamed.
The wall of pristine bottle wine wavered, the integrity of the building itself shifted and the glass burst. Created a wave of sangria to the dirt earth floor. Witch hardly flinched.
“My love,” pleaded Wizard as the binding spell fell away from Witch. Soft wisps of failed thaumaturgy, as feathers, floated to the dirt. The broken calm blanket of his incantation fell away from her body. She grew in power fuelled by desperation, depression and infuriation. The power of electrical energy in the room was choking Wizard, “Witch,” he gasped. Collapsed to the dirt floor, Wizard watched his wife become over taken by grief.
“No!” Witch wept her desperation loud into the pliable windows, the shriek then echoed quickly as they shatter. “You want to just give away your thaumaturgy! You want to give up!”
Wizard pulled the energy from the dirt waterfall beneath her feet. He pulled as a tug line, solidified them with a hard clap of his hands. The sand turned to binding ropes, hard as rock but supple as silk, he willed them to wrap around her body.
Stronger than a calming spell, they would absorb her fury as they pressed into her flesh. There was the potential for them to cut the skin but only slightly and it was a risk Wizard had to take. If they worked, they would stop her, dissipate into the atmosphere and take all memory of the fight with them.
“Mar ròpa, ceangail i,” as if that fair faced adept were with him now, words powerful spoken in English to add to his energy, her tiny voice echoed in his mind, “as a rope, bind her.”
“Mar ghaol, socair leatha,” echoed again, “as love, calm her.” Wizard was so tired, it took everything from him to pull the energy from the Earth. His palms cramped as they whirled the circular motion to create the snap of the ropes. Umber laces built of Earth grew faintly but he was losing his breath. His hands trembled from exhaustion and Witch stood bold and powerful still.
The framework of the ropes formed, created an outline of warmth around Witch. Ghosted up around her arms, then spread to her legs. The enchanted dirt ropes darkened as they absorbed her temper. The mass intensified from the weight of her internal turmoil. Wizard sighed in relief as he watched the rage melt from her body. Solidified calm ropes sat around her body as she slumped forward. Witch’s hair, a moment prior electrified with rage to a macabre red, darkened with the spent emotion back to calm black. Her eyes sunk, dissipated and a glint of embarrassment. Slowly, an ash grey produced balayage lined through her thick strands of pitch black Hair Embelance. The grey a metaphor for her acceptance of the inevitable, no infant.
“No,” she sobbed and broke the ropes to fall to the floor, “I will not allow you to continue to soothe my woes as an adept.” Witch’s words sharpened once more this time with profound resolve. They cut deep scratches into her husband’s skin unintentionally. Her face to the dirt floor, she was unaware of the force of her words as they pushed him across the earth and slammed him into the wall. The thin wood caved under his weight. A second whimpered, “no,” was softer, full of agony. The dirt around the torn lovers littered with glass shards and splintered wood from their dining table. A graveyard of such, an epitome of their crumbling union.
Wizard traced her silhouette as an hour glass with a wobbled finger tip. A last attempt to cut away all remnants of mayhem. Aired out the space and tossed the emotions to the dirt. Although not a colour or material to them, tufts of dirt still sputtered up as the indiscernible sentiments crashed from his wife.
“We have taxed all options, my love” exhausted of her energy, Witch drifted back to touch the dirt floor with her toes. Wizard collapsed his head forward, he too was fatigued. Witch cried soft as a mouse and knelt across from Wizard. Her posture slumped, hopeless breaths were the last sound in the broken abode.
“My wife,” Wizard pulled himself from the cracked wall, splinters of wood fell around him as he crawled his fatigued form to her. Witch proved to not allow him to her, immediately she pulled her own body across the floor with a silent chant and built a wall made of fallen emotions and broken glass to block Wizard.
She stood and turned from the haphazard wall, the one that hid her husbands sullen face from her. The devastation of the kitchen and their marriage that she had inflicted. A part of her anger, depression and inability to produce an infant. She stepped to enter the next room, the one that sat undisturbed for many a decade. Before she closed the empty nursery door, she could hear his parting words, “we will not give up.”