the time has come

She woke to the warm kiss of the sun on her cheek and fluttered open her eyes to see that a new day had begun while she was finally getting the restorative sleep her body and mind needed.  She could feel its presence without looking, but she turned her eyes away from the lighted window to search the shadows for the demon anyway.  It was in the far corner of the room, as far from the window as it could be, and only visible as a slightly darker shadow among the remaining traces of dawn’s gloom.

Stretching luxuriously, feeling better than she had since the night she had found herself betrayed by her former apprentice, the sorceress took a minute to relish the energy that coursed through her and the crispness of her rejuvenated mind.  Then the call of further power gently coaxed her from her bed and back into her study.

Standing over her desk, she shuffled the top parchment to the bottom and glanced at the words written on the page that now resided in the primary position.  She half expected the dragon’s laugh to return and the spell to elude her, but she had already passed that test and the spell again dripped easily from her lips as she quickly spoke it aloud.

After the final incantation, her eyes lifted from the page to the demon, who had followed her from her chambers to the study to take position in the corner again, and she watched as it strode forward to bond with her own shadow, cast by the morning light streaming through the window behind her, and stretching across the floor.  It shimmered for a moment as it passed through the sunlight and moved to hide within her shadow and she felt a cool chill as it took its place.

Experimentally she contorted her arms and swayed her body and watched appreciatively as the demon seamlessly followed her erratic movements.  Her new guardian could now follow her wherever she went.  It would be her first line of defense and a secret attacking option should she ever find herself in a dire situation again.  Its power and immortality rivaled those of the dragon as it could not be killed through normal means and could only be parted from her upon her death, at which time it would be sent back to its normal plane, and that was something it did not want to ever happen so it would do everything it could to protect her.

The sorceress smiled as she gazed into the depths of her shadow, and that smile remained even as the dragon’s voice returned to her, “You have done well, witch.  You continue to surprise me, but now that you have begun to conquer the magic I have given you, it is time for you to begin upholding your end of our arrangement, too.  I’m ready to leave my cave.  I’m ready for the world to know true fear again.  Spread the word of my coming.”

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