Today I’m posting an excerpt from The Seventh Law of Power (working title) which, if everything works out as I expect, will form Book 4 and finish the Laws of Power series. When I’m far enough along to keep up I’ll likely post draft chapters weekly as I did with Power’s Shadow, but that’s still a little ways off yet.
Oh, and absolutely no context provided. It is what it is:
Tymon, sat on a broken stalagmite studying a stalactite. While he understood, in terms of geologic era, practically no time at all had passed since he had taken up residence and looking for infinitesimal differences was profoundly silly, he still felt the compulsion to do just that.
Then again, five hundred years living in a cave could have that effect on a person.
“Five hundred years a hermit? I expected you to go insane. Instead you’re as focused and dramatic as ever.”
Tymon had been expecting the manifestation. The cool air in the cave had been almost charged with anticipation for the last three days. When a Power’s attention was focused on a person, that attention always revealed itself, if one knew how to look. Now Amaet perched on a broken stalagmite, looking beguiling. One would think she was nothing more than a winsome young woman, if one didn’t already know she was neither young nor a woman, and she didn’t glow like a newborn ember. Tymon knew she chose her appearances carefully for the effect she wanted. The current manifestation was designed to keep him both beguiled and off-balance. There was a time, half a millennium gone, when it might have worked.
“Amaet. To what do I owe this honor? Or rather, what do you want?”
“How do you know you’re not already giving it to me? Oh, honestly. I’ve so missed teasing you.”
“Then why did you leave me in peace all this time?”
“I’d have left you in peace now, save that you’re becoming interested in the world again. That is, you’re combining interest with action.”
“Because you removed your curse of immortality and replaced it with the curse of knowledge, and thus I am twice punished. The Long Look. I see the future. Again.”
“Not so grandiose, spellcaster. One possible future.”
“One I have to prevent. You knew what I would do.”
She looked at him. “Of course I did, silly. What I don’t know is why.”
Tymon took a slow breath. “If I can prevent disaster and choose not to act, the lives destroyed belong to me. I cannot escape that. Now, the real question is, why did you give me the Long Look again?”
“Because I knew what you would do. Isn’t this fun?”
“Fun? To save what little remains of my humanity, you force me to serve you again?”
Amaet scowled. “Serve me willingly and you could avoid all that.”
“’You only worship a god. With a Power, you negotiate’ as a wise woman once said. I prefer to keep our relationship the way it is.”
“Fair exchange then. I get what I want, you get what you need. Why do I want it? Aren’t you even a little curious?”
“I’m curious about many things, Amaet. First there’s the Long Look, which, whatever else it may do, serves your purposes, not mine. Then there’s the Arrow Path, far more structured and yet every much as goal-oriented as my own curse which, I think it’s safe to say, did not give you everything you wanted yet or why give it back? Nor apparently, has the Arrow Path itself. I do wonder how Marta fits into it all.”
“There are many Arrow Path witches, Tymon.”
“I know. Yet none save for her mother, Black Kath, progressed so far as she has. I do know of your special interest in Marta so don’t bother denying it. I also know what she seeks, but your ultimate goal? Yes, it’s fair to say I am very curious about that.”
“You have had a lot of time to think about this, haven’t you? Still no closer to an answer?”
“I do know, whatever you do, it isn’t out of kindness.” Tymon met the beautiful, terrible creature’s gaze. “I really hate you, you know.”
“I know. And that serves me as well.”
Amaet vanished, and Tymon the Black, the most evil wizard of all time, shrugged. “I was happy when the world forgot about me. Now I have to remind them.”
©2020 by Richard Parks. All Rights reserved.