Swatch – fantasy excerpt – part 1

He looked out over the ocean, not knowing he’d never see this view again.

Boy liked this tower, a lot more than the other ones. He’d learned early on which were the nicest ones, which had the best views, which ones Master tended not to frequent. Not that he was a bad Master, not at all, but sometimes one needed a bit of space, is all, and why not have a space that had a grand view?

Still, there was having space, and there was shirking chores, and the line between the two was a constantly moving thing, depending on the Master’s mood. Dusting off his robe, he made his way to the door.

He was proud of himself for nary having to glance at the sigils he’d put above the doorways in colored chalk, drawn when he was still new to the towers, to the Master. He could walk and not even think about getting back from Seaside, skirting the door the led to Castle Wastewood (foolish name, he thought), nary a glance at the door to Summerdown (no matter how much he’d like to pass through that one), and hardly a shudder at that door, the one with the skull over it. He rubbed his left arm in sympathy, glad again that you could only pass through a door if you had come out of it in the first place.

Wandering body and mind, he thought. Master’ll have one of his bug-eyed fits, he will.

He stopped in front of a large, oak door, handle so high he had to stand on tips to reach it. Master never did say why that’s is, Boy thought, then shook his head. He needed to concentrate soon, and better to get in the habit now then when it’s too late.

He pushed open the door… to find the Master standing on the other side, looking straight at him.

“Too late,” he said, softly.


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