It is said the magician imbued the empress’s soup with a secret elixir that granted strength of mind, of body, and of character.
“I have a story to tell you that you will not believe,” the fly said.
I listened. Because if I believed that a fly could speak, then I was more than ready to hear what she had to say.
And I did believe, after a fashion, when I realized that the tiny voice I’d heard whispering my name was coming from the fly that was perched on the edge of my mantel.
“You must be Captain Vasquez.”
“And why, madam, do you presume that?”
“Because judging from their expressions, none of the people at this table believe a word you’re saying…but they’re all listening anyway because the story is just that captivating.”
“How much do you know?”
The man in the long dark maroon coat swept toward Mick. The visit was expected, but not at that hour. Mick thought the man would show up the next day. That was, in fact, why he was in the lab at that late hour in the first place. He wanted to get some things done so he would have time for the new project that his boss had dropped on him that day. Said new project being the man in the dark maroon coat.
In those days, there was a magician who could cast a spell on a candle and link that candle to the life of a single person. So long as the candle burned, there was hope.
Those families who had the means engaged the magician to cast this spell when husbands and sons went off to battle. So long as the candle burned, their loved one was still alive. The highest winds would not snuff out the flame. But even on a quiet night, if the soldier died, so too would the flame on the candle die. Those families would know of their loss long before word came to them from the battlefield.
The Horn of Plenty it is also called, for in ancient times, when gods walked the earth and magic was as common as pebbles are now, it provided a never-ending supply of fruit and grain.
Rare is the bard who knows and can sing of the Cornucopia’s true legend. They would sing that after his victory against the Titans, who ruled the earth before him and his kin, Zeus was in such high spirits, in such a mood to celebrate his triumph, that he turned to one of the great golden rams who served to draw his chariot and he broke off one of their horns. With his godly powers, he hollowed the horn and commanded it to produce fruits and flowers and nuts and grain for all the gods and all mortals on the earth to eat and enjoy. For Zeus had just become king of thunder and lightning and sky. King of the heavens.