The large crumbling castle on top of the bluff overlooks the ocean on one side and a forest on the other. Continually buffeted by wind and rain, I work in the central tower, closest to the magic and master who is never there. He has a Wendt, which is believed to be his power, made flesh. My co-workers thought to capture him one day.
They’ve all been going stir-crazy lately, wanting to revolt in the castle; take it and the magic over for themselves, thinking somehow they’d be able to manage it all. I, typically run about, make sure the central tower staff is getting their work done (even though they may not understand it) and leaving in a timely fashion. The leaving is key. Only when they are gone do I begin to feel myself, and only as I begin to feel myself, I have to go. The Master won’t come home until he’s sure the entirety of the Tower staff has departed, this includes me.
Avoiding traps, waterfalls and slipping on cold, wet stone, I make my way through long, curved corridor leading toward the courtyard and the rest of the castle. Underneath the bridge, water falls in a sheet through a gap in the boards and every time I pass this way I am drawn to walk straight through it. Knowing that doing so would get me soaked and I’d probably catch a cold on the way to my quarters, I push this childish notion out of my mind and step around, like always. Contrary to popular belief that the tower is falling apart, it was built like this on purpose. Although why, and why I know these things, I have no idea.
Around the bend I see the Tower staff who should’ve been home by now, wrestling with a tall, dark, masked figure. By way of Branston screaming at me I am notified that they have captured the Master’s power and the castle is now ours. I ask him calmly, how he expects to release such from our dear friend, the Wendt here. Who isn’t even him really… it’s Bildy, in a mask. Removing the mask, Bildy slumps at my touch. I cannot fathom what his mind was thinking dressing up like that, when the real Wendt comes down the spiral stairs.
Wendt is tall and lean with a slick mop of chestnut brown hair, very much like mine own but cropped around his jaw line. He wears a wooden mask, stoic in expression and is covered from head to toe in black leather, form indefinable.
Wendt avoids all attempts at capture effortlessly, leaving our little make-shift mob bruised on the ground from accidentally hitting eachother rather than their target. Addressing his would-be captors Wendt clears any confusion regarding his station, “I’m not any sort of magic really, I have no control and can do nothing without my master to guide me. I am hired fire, useless alone, go home, go eat dinner, leave me be… and do let the lackwit bucket boy go.” Indicating Bildy, still tied up against a wall.
He waits, leaning against the wall at the bottom of the stairwell, while I move everyone out of the vicinity. I find myself stopped, staring at the sheet of water falling from above, again as I’m on my way. I’ve just made up my mind again to walk around when I feel the Wendt’s breath beside my ear, “You hear it calling to you, step through.” I feel him pressed against my back, walking me into the downpour, cold, saturating, inviting.
Walking through a sheet of ice-water, falling on you from hundreds of feet up feels like being sliced down the middle with a razor in a thousand different places all at once… So sharp, it’s serene and so cold that I’m warm, tingling all over from every pore in my body, which is not as heavy as I remember and being pulled, ever so gently into Wendt’s awaiting arms. Escorting me up the stairs, he whispers words I don’t understand under his breath, which at this moment is steam.
It’s not until I’ve been laid down, ever so gently on the masters’ bed in his quarters at the top of the tower that I can see straight again. However, when I look around me, at the hands softly caressing my body and the mask which is supposed to belong to those hands… I am startled to be seeing double. The Wendt is sitting on the bed, sans mask, with my head in his lap, blonde hair falling around his startling blue eyes; while also leaning against the entryway and also sans mask, with hair black as jet, matching eyes- deep and piercing my soul. It’s only after this first initial shock that I am surprised to see myself laying next to me with blonde hair I don’t ever recall having. I am solid. I smile at me, who turns to gesture at Black Wendt by the door, who comes obligingly, holding my sight the whole time.
I realize hazily that Master and I are of the same ilk, connected by some old current running deeper than history’s recent memory. By looking into his eyes I have found myself. I know that my smiling blonde me is the body- the link that ties my subconscious magic self to earth. Together, with brown hair, we are one seemingly normal person. When we shift she, a wendt holds the soul safe for me, while I- beholden of ivory skin, ink black hair and raven eyes, can slip between worlds and channel forces beyond reckoning. I too, am a Master and if my wendt dies, the silly beautiful creature that she is, I will also cease to exist.
An hour ago, less than that, even… The idea that I would be two of me, here, with two of him would have struck me as very strange, indeed… downright implausible, even. Yet, somehow this all seems to make perfect sense, except for the fact that Master is wearing what appears to be horizontally rainbow striped full-body pajamas under his black leather jerkin.
Wonders never cease.