Practical Exercise

and Merry Christmas!

“You really should transfer to the New School, Dairen,”  Courtenay said. “If you don’t object, I will contact your parents.   Their standards are the same…their library is less-than-well-organized at advanced levels. The transfer process is transparent.” 

Dairen nodded agreement.  “Whatever my parents say,” he said.

That wasn’t what I wanted to hear about Dorrance, that it had lazy students, but you have to live in the world that is.  A better library, the one here, sounded to be the right choice.  “Thanks for explaining where lectures are,” I said.

“Most everything you actually need to know about taking classes is on bulletin boards,” Courtenay said,  “someplace or other in the Hall.  But Dairen and I need to take care of something, something good for you, young man, something your parents paid for, namely faculty advice.”

We all stood. 

Housecleaning and Harmony

Practical things first.  My apartment still needed a considerable amount of cleaning.  I changed into work clothing. Several hours later the test-for-clean charm finally said that I’d actually cleaned the place, many buckets of water later.  I should have done the drains first, and took care of that.  Yes, the bath and shower were now working, and I certainly needed them, no matter I’d used spellwork for cleaning. It was remarkable how much dust and grime came out of my work clothes when I put them in the shower and cast cleaning spells.

Grandpa Worrow always said that preliminary reconnaissance of the battlefield was good.  I’d deliberately arrived a solid week early to see the lay of the land, explore the neighboring market town, and enjoy using the Grand Library.  By and by I would meet some interesting, good people.  The General Magic people might grow on me with time, or perhaps not.  I put on respectable, not dress, clothing, my soft walking shoes, and a hooded cape, of which I fortunately have a considerable supply.  Gnothdiar went under the cape.  In a strange place, it is best to be inconspicuously over-armed.  That was Grandpa’s aphorism, true even before I started a feud with this Fourbridge fellow.  If he didn’t want me to end the fight, he shouldn’t have started it.

I could gate back to my personal arrival pad with purchases, but reach town I had a solid two-mile walk in front of me.  The obvious main path cut across the base of two peninsulas, a much shorter stroll than following the beaches all the way.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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