Microcosm gave us: Wizard, Refuge and Memoir.
And what did you do in the war?
‘Ob.’ I detected a sneer, I was sure of it. We Obs, or object wizards, have always been treated like riff-raff. Bods had a somewhat higher reputation; then there were the elite, the Minds and the ten Omni. Goddess all and I hated them.
‘Wand.’ The concierge held out a bony hand. I knew they’d take it; even so, it hurt like hell.
‘Potions, spells, incantations extant?’
Not a shred of empathy. They’d won, we wizards were in hiding or had given up and herded into these ‘refuges’.
I shook my head and, as if to prove it opened my cloak. It was only when she saw how translucent I’d become that she softened. ‘Why don’t you sit in the sun? Firm up a bit. I’ll get nurse to check you over.’
I’d like to say I felt grateful but by then I’d been patronised from both sides by Norms and Elite. Just because I could only cast on objects, my own kind thought me feeble. Cannon fodder. I was lucky; I’d learnt a mindblock early on; they couldn’t manipulate me like the other Obs. I’d seen too many friends fade for no reason.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ The nurse made me start. She was a Bod and yet she had her wand. As she saw me looking she said, ‘It’s allowed when you recant.’ While I absorbed a restorative, she talked. I was lucky. They had plans for me. Obs and Bods were joining with Norms to restore the balance, overcome the Omni and the remaining Minds. If I joined they’d train me to become part of a new Elite.
The sun began to set through the window. A refuge or a prison? My choice. Why couldn’t I simply fade to dust like so many of my friends?
Rather kindly this got me an Honorable Mention in this week’s judging.