Practical Exercise

“You seemed to be busy yesterday,” Gail said.  She was solidly built, gold-blonde, with pale complexion. “I was in Tad’s living space, refinishing the wood panelling for him, and I kept hearing water running in the drain pipes.”

“Cleaning spells,” I answered. “Spells backing soap and water.  That place was filthy. It’s now decent.  More work is still needed. By and by I need to oil the wood panels. I’d consider refinishing, but you have to do that right or it turns out poorly.”

“Ask me if you want advice,” Gail said warmly. “Though you’ll likely need a couple days of cleaning spells, letting things dry in between, to get the place truly clean.” 

I nodded appreciatively.  “This is surely the best time of term to get it done,” I said.

“And your course of study?” Richard asked.  His amber-brown hair was cut short in front, very long in back, so that it spilled over his collar and down his back.

“General Magic. Not construction; magical theory.” I went on to explain my interest.

“Wait. General Magic.” Theo looked up in surprise. “Isn’t that the Winterhold crew that spends their time at White’s Beach?” The other five of them laughed.

“I met a Janice Winterhold at the General Magic table,” I said.  “She didn’t seem to like me.  But where is White’s Beach?  And what does it signify?” They all thought my question was funny.

“There are three regular beaches,” Tad said, “Gold, Electrum, and Silver, running north to south, with high, moderate, and no surf.  If you like distance swimming, Silver Beach is the best. The water is almost hot, with walls at each end for diving and turnaround.  There are marked lanes.  To the north, beyond Gold Beach, is the New School; their beach is rocks with high surf.  Gold Beach is the one place where you are likely to meet their students or faculty; we share beaches.”

“Dodging the question again, you are,” Gail said to Tad.  “To the south is Barlemnon Peninsula, Aqua Bay for fishing, then two high peninsulas, and in between the hills, masked from outside sight, is White’s Beach.  Intermediate surf. Water very warm. Clothing extremely optional.  By tradition, other clothing-optional activities only from twilight to dawn.  Then the coastline turns to head due east…that’s where Harmony is located. ”  The picture became clear.  The interest in tampering with your unaging spells became clearer.

About George Phillies

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