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The Tower Chapter Seventeen
Rinkle said goodbye with a kiss and flew off, leaving her with the warmth in her heart like a blanket as she explored the abandoned North Tower. The ghosts who shared their love making had repaid her for their unbidden company by reinforcing the pleasure of their own memories of passion. She had loved her husband well enough, comparatively to other men, but the sex had never been as amazing as last night, and she still felt the after glow.
She looked for the perfect room for her glassware, plenty of space, plenty of windows. Unfortunately the sun would pass on the south side of the Tower, so the shadows cast by the main structure meant losing daylight.
Along the way she passed lots of portraits, mostly as husbands and wives or groups of siblings, but no individual portraits, as if they only saw themselves in relationship to each other. She found a library with a nice wide window but too many shelves and tables to move. Stills, she marked the pace in her mind.
One door she couldn’t open, she couldn’t even budge it despite her manly grip. Then the door knob warmed to her touch and she let go, realizing the ghosts didn’t want her to go in. “Oh, you get to piggy back while I’m love making but you get your secret room,” she muttered to the haunted door.
Eventually she found a ballroom with windows on three sides and half the ceiling. The rest of the wall space had been painted with a forest scene with foreign, half-human creatures dancing and playing musical instruments. She stomped about the floor, stirring up dust but finding the floor solid.
So she retrieved supplies from the kitchen and swept the room. The windows faced away from the Tower, but she merely swept the dust up to them. Later at night, she would risk opening the maid’s windows at the bottom and sweep the dust out into the open air. Then she started cleaning the windows. They swiveled, so she cleaned both sides. Eventually she needed a ladder, and went looking for one.
When she ran into Magnix, she gave off a quick, sharp, cry. “What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you.”
“It’s day time.”
“My careful use of verbal choices implied to the calligraphy master that I would be at the hospital and to the doctor that I would be returning to the monastery, but without actually lying.”
“Aren’t there guards in front of the connecting hall?”
“At the moment, only one, chosen for his lack of diligence as the rest of the guards have been dealing with a riot.”
“A riot? Was anyone hurt?”
“Yes, but I didn’t see your family name on the rolls.”
“Well, as long as you’re here, you can help clean the ballroom.”
They found a ladder, collapsed it to its shortest length, and began carrying it back to the ballroom. “So why are we doing this?” asked Shyla.
“I have hopes that your light structure will attract a spiritual being far more powerful than you realize. “Could you walk a little slower, please?”
Her heart jumped even as her feet slowed. Despite the swelling of pride, she worried. “Is that a good thing?”
“I believe so. You see, the Tower’s magic is enabled by a captured being trapped in the foundation. I want to free it, but that requires a more powerful being than even the dragon.”
“A dream dragon is in the foundations of our city?”
“Holding it up, actually.”
“But the only thing more powerful than a dragon is a god.”
“I’ll settle for a demigod.”
She stopped on some stairs and twisted around to face him. “You think I will summon a demigod?”
“Well, yes.”
“How can you know that?”
“Because the Church has done so in secret. They are using this demigod to suppress the dragon as it tries to claw its way out of the magical cage we set around it. The demigod isn’t happy about it, but the runes enforce compliance. The magical struggle is making the quakes worse.”
“But the priests are controlling a demigod. I thought it would be the other way around.”
“Well, yes, in theory. Now could we move along? I don’t want to hold this forever.”
So they hiked up to the ballroom as she struggled with a world turned upside down. The Church was controlling the demigod? What happened to worship?
Once they put the ladder in a good place for window washing, she faced him again, this time much closer. “So what happens if we free the dragon?”
“Then we evacuate the Tower.”
“You mean it will fall down? On us?”
“Not right away. It’s very well built, but without magic the next major earthquake will shake it down. What I fear is that the struggle between the dragon and the demigods will shake it apart while we’re still inside.”
“Why don’t you tell anyone?”
“The former inhabitants of the North Tower tried to, and the Guard slaughtered them, then the Church hushed it up. I’m just one man with two friends, three if you include the griffon.”
“And the ghosts, apparently.”
“And hopefully a demigod.”
“But my glassware doesn’t have any runes to control a demigod.”
“I know. I don’t want to become my enemy to fight them. Hopefully a spiritual being of such power, being a spiritual being, will see the need to help us.”
“Don’t the gods know about all this?”
“It’s a big world, and the dream world is even bigger.”
“You make my head hurt.” She gave him a bucket of dirty water. “Go get me some clean water. Fortunately, the water basins have been filled to the brim by rains.”
As he left, she sat down under the burden of his revelations, frightened and awed by their intentions, and yet excitement grew, too.
Will I bring a demigod into this world?


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