Sunday, August 12

Training Tales: The Warlock

I was more tired than usual after the 5 o'clock wake up. Fumbling into one of my usual outfits, I kept thinking there had to be more to life than this. More than long commutes, more than miserable faces on the train, more than living for the weekend.

I walked past the large man. A tower of humanity, with beautiful, light brown skin and a stature more befitting of a professional wrestler than someone who was into this 9-5 setup. We exchanged smiles before he took another bite from his meat pie. Seriously, it's at least six fucking hours before the consumption of such food is considered commonplace; should I suggest he consider a more traditional breakfast? Anyway, his smile. It was white, toothy and shone almost as brightly as his perfectly shaven head in the train station lights.

It was roughly six degrees on the platform, probably a few colder with the breeze blowing through every two or three minutes. I could feel it through my pants: cheap Carters that I'd picked up for the new job. It'd been years since I'd worn anything other than jeans to work. Like I said I was tired. Tired enough to not know whether I was just tired or desperately unhappy as well.

 As the train rocked violently towards the city, I attempted to get some extra sleep. There was little chance of success. Despite the fact it was unreasonably early, some people didn't smell as fresh as they should have. Pungent odors aside, there were also brights lights, the buzz of pre-shift conversation and the constant threat that my pint-sized bladder could strike at any given time. I closed my eyes and waited for sleep's calming embrace. It never came, so I scanned the carriage for anything that could potentially hold my attention.

I could not believe that I had not seen him sooner.

A short, old man in ominous black robes stood holding a sceptre of what appeared to be solid silver. Atop the bright, metallic rod sat a cross with the Christian Lord crucified and staring at the carriage floor. There was not a hair on his head, but his beard hung past his waist: wild, white and unkempt. What held my gaze more than any part of his ensemble though, was his necklace. A cross larger than that on the man's sceptre lay obscured by his wild facial hair. It was larger than my palm and once again, it appeared to be solid, sterling silver.

He whispered olde language under his breath. He stared unfalteringly through the carriage window; I couldn't remember him blinking. Despite the fierce shaking of the train car, the Warlock stood unmoved. Was this some kind of spell, or was I that fucking tired? I know it's rude to stare, but how could everyone here not be put under his dark magic?

There was one man who sat next to him on an Esky. He was in high-visibility clothing and he was wide awake. His eyes darted to meet anyone who was seeing what he was seeing: the white wizard in the dark cloak. At last our eyes met, and his glower told of great fears and yet untold evil. Did he know what the Warlock had in store for these pawns in their suits and ties? Was he merely trying to say "Dude, check out the fucking wizard!" with his eyes? I wish I could have asked him, but terror had rendered me silent.

Artist's impression
The announcer chimed in over the loudspeaker: "Platform's on the right." My stop was the first, and that was all the push I needed. If the Warlock was to commit great evil, I would not be there to see it.

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