Printed from WriteWords -

Situation Vacant Chapter Three and Perspective

by  Gabbie

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Word Count: 1470


London. Monday 21st December Tempus Terra

She was apprehensive as she approached the offices of Thomas Dextermann for the second time, expecting to feel that same sense of unease as she had on her previous visit but nothing happened. There was no sign of the bizarre Madame Fey as she passed the second floor landing. The door to the fashion house was firmly closed.

Amariel smiled as she ushered Ruth into the reception area.

“We are so glad you came back. Just have a seat for a moment and I’ll tell Mr Dextermann that you’re here.”

Ruth glanced around the reception room. It looked a little bare. Then she saw the stack of boxes behind the desk. Were they planning on moving offices? Or were they leaving? She didn’t have time to think about it further as Thomas Dextermann appeared in view. Where had he come from? She hadn’t seen or heard him come in.

“Mrs Watson, thank you for coming back. I can’t tell you how grateful I am. It has become imperative that we fill this position as soon as possible and you are the perfect candidate. Do please follow me and I will explain what this is all about.”

They went down the same long corridor again to the room where she had had her first interview.

“Please sit down, Mrs Watson. May I call you ‘Ruth’?” He raised an eyebrow and gave a slight smile. “ I would like us to be on comfortable terms as we will probably be working together when you take up this position.”

Ruth was bemused. “By all means call me ‘Ruth’, but I think you are making a rather large assumption if you think I am ready to accept this job. You still haven’t told me anything about it.”

“I appreciate it must seem that we have been overly secretive but I simply couldn’t tell you anything until I knew that you were the right person. Now that we do know that, I will be frank with you. The only thing I would ask is that you let me explain fully before asking any questions. What I am about to tell you may seem extraordinary. I want you to listen with a completely open mind.”
He seemed nervous and kept playing with the crystal paperweight on the desk.

There was a quiet tap at the door and Amariel came in and handed Dextermann several documents. One was a standard typed report on the results of the questionnaire similar to those she had seen so many times. The other was like nothing she had ever seen before.

On a sheet of shimmering silver material Ruth could see a set of diagrams and complex symbols, which seemed to shift and coruscate whenever the document was moved.

She looked from Dextermann to the document or whatever it was, and back again.

She heard her own voice as though it was coming from a great distance.

“What is this Mr Dextermann? What’s going on?” She couldn’t take my eyes off the strange document.

“This, Ruth, is a chromatic personality and magical aptitude report”

“A what?”

She was trying to interpret what Dextermann had just said when reality began doing some very strange things around her.
Amariel appeared to have an area of shimmering light around her back and her clothes suddenly looked like wisps of cobweb. Ruth shook her head to try to clear her mind. The last time she could remember feeling like this was after some very good quality cannabis, many years ago when she was still at university.
For a moment things seemed almost normal, then she looked back at Thomas Dextermann. His resemblance to a large dark, green-eyed feline was even more marked.

Briefly, she wondered if she had been drugged. In the next few seconds she convinced herself that she was dreaming, supposing that if she could rationalise all this as the work of an overactive subconscious, then she could accept was happening as normal and go along with it a bit longer.

Her efforts were interrupted by a loud thumping noise, accompanied by muffled yells from the direction of the reception room.

“Damn it. Zerifey has caught up with us,” hissed Dextermann, “Amariel, did you bolt the outer door?”

“Yes, of course, and I’ve put a simple ward on it but I don’t think it will hold very long, she’s too powerful.”

Ruth could feel herself teetering on the brink of hysteria – on the surface of her mind she didn’t understand a word Dextermann and Amariel were saying and yet in a part of her consciousness she wasn’t familiar with, everything seemed to make perfect sense.

“We’ll have to go now, we can’t wait any longer,” said Dextermann. He turned to her. “Please trust us, we mean you no harm but if you value your life you must come with us and do exactly as we say. I promise I will answer all your questions as soon as we are safely back.”

Ruth hesitated. She felt paralysed. It wasn’t fear; it was complete confusion.

“Amariel! Help her. Now.” Thomas Dextermann picked up the glass paperweight and walked to the door.

Amariel took Ruth by one hand and touched her temple with the other. Once again another part of Ruth’s mind took over. She heard a small comforting voice telling her that of course everything was all right and going with these people was the best thing to do. Besides it was a dream so she would go along with it. That’s what you do in dreams after all.

“Back where?” Ruth asked calmly.

“I can’t explain now.” He opened the door and peered down the corridor then gestured to them to follow.

Dextermann and Amariel were walking so fast that she had to jog to keep up. After what seemed like hundreds of yards of featureless white walled corridor Dextermann turned abruptly to the left into a doorway that Ruth could have sworn wasn’t there a second before. Once she was through the doorway she turned to look behind her She faced a blank wall. She turned back to Dextermann with a question poised on her lips but was immediately hushed by Amariel. Dextermann held the glass paperweight.

“OK, Amariel. You go first to and be ready to catch Ruth when she arrives.”

Chanting softly, he walked around Amariel. She vanished as the circle was completed.

“Now you Ruth.” Once again he began to chant.

“Wait……I..” She couldn’t complete the sentence. The circle was complete and the breath was squeezed from her lungs as she felt the world shift around her.


London. Monday 21st December, Tempus Terra

“Nothing! Nothing but dust. We needed that stone. How did he manage to destroy it so thoroughly and still escape? I hope the bastard is lost in the transitions. I would have given all the slaves on Selador for a major crystal.” The woman with the hennaed hair kicked the boxes piled behind the desk in the reception area.

“Zerifey, we don’t know that the woman was a real candidate. She could just have been another hopeful.”
“I think she could be, Catta, I know. I could sense her when she arrived. She is the one who came a few days ago. The one who was so susceptible to my aversion hex. The only reason she would be back is if Dextermann had discovered she had real potential. We should have dealt with Dextermann and his prissy faerie days ago. They would have provided some much needed power for the new acolytes.”

“What do we do now?”

“We find out who she is. That’s what we do. You look in these boxes. I’ll check the other rooms. They left everything behind. It shouldn’t be too difficult to work out who she is.” She walked back down the corridor towards the nearest open door. Catta began rummaging through the boxes.

“Ahh. Look what we have here.” Zerifey walked back into the reception area flipping over the pages of a stapled document. “It says at the top that it’s a Magical Aptitude Test Report.”

Her breath came in shorter and shorter gasps as she read the report.
“This says that she is the one.” She shook her head. “ No. No. It’s not true. I won’t have it.” Letting out a dreadful scream she flung the report to the floor,

Catta picked it up.
“It’s got a CV pinned to the back of it for a Ruth Watson. Now isn’t that helpful of them. Interesting…”

She read for a few seconds and then turned to her companion, her eyes alight with malice, “I think we have a way to stop them in their tracks. Ruth Watson has a son and this piece of paper tells us where he lives.”