The young boy looked across the room to the woman sitting at the ancient, dark-wood desk. Her silver hair curled around her shoulders and he couldn’t help but think it had been silver from the start. Her eyes, purple, amazed him. Since he’d met her he’d been drawn to how they looked like they could hold a universe of swirling stars and memories of all things gone by, and how they made her face look both ancient and young at the same time.
How old was she?
He couldn’t tell. She was ageless with a strange energy he’d never seen before. The boy insisted it was the magic. She was probably as old as the moon but magic kept her young forever.
The boy hoped he would learn as much magic as she knew, one day. He wanted to stay young too.
Next, he looked at the robes she wrapped around her as she read, keeping the chill of the fresh air off her as it wafted in from the open window. He remembered how it looked like an ocean swirling around her as she walked, glistening purples and greens like the rock pools he saw at the coast. He could imagine merpeople dancing on the waves of the woven fabric of her cloak and wondered if merpeople existed at all.
He couldn’t believe this was his new teacher.
When his father told him he’d be learning magic, he pictured an old, grumpy wizard with odds-and-ends stuck in a beard charred from too many mistakes in magical experiments. The wizard would bark orders at him and work him to death. That’s what everyone said wizards were like and, being so young, he had no experience of the contrary.
Then he met the sorceress.
Magic tingled in the air around her and she had a kind smile and eyes that glinted with a history of adventure. And, though she promised to work him hard, he was no longer scared. He wanted to know everything she knew, go on all kinds of adventures, and would work as hard as he needed to to make that happen.
So the boy looked back down at the book she’d put on the desk he’d been assigned and tried to focus.
Her office was huge. The old, wooden desk she used was giant and still looked tiny in the room they sat in. The walls towered above him and were covered floor-to-ceiling with books and magical tomes and scrolls and documents that must have taken her hundreds of years to collect. He wondered if she’d read them all. Probably.
If you were as old as the moon, you’d have plenty of time to read.
His own desk looked miniscule in comparison, but there was plenty of room for him to spread out his book and parchment and ink. This particular book was huge and old and he tried to turn the pages carefully.
His first magic book!
As the young boy leafed through the pages, he admired the carefully-inked images of magical creatures from all over the world. Under each image was a handwritten description of the creature (including where it originated from, the habitats it lived in, its diet, and the history or mythology about it). The sorceress would test him on them regularly so he had to remember them all. She’d said she thought it was a good place for a young boy to start.
He’d never admit to her that half of them looked terrifying. She wouldn’t let him go on an adventure with her if she thought he was easily scared.
The boy wondered if she’d teach him any magical spells he could fight with. He’d need to know them if he was ever going up against any of these creatures. He was sure she knew loads.
Well, whatever she was going to teach him, the boy swore he’d be excited for it all. He couldn’t wait to see what his new life would be like as the apprentice of a sorceress.
The Sorceress and her Apprentice follows a young boy in a series of short stories and anecdotal pieces about his education with a powerful sorceress. Join him on his magical journey as he learns about the wonders of the magical universe.