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“The Demi-Arcanist’s Will” by Jakob Drud
(Originally published in The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume 2.)
The cabinet was all but invisible in the fumes, except in the spot where Jarn Dinaris wove his grounding seam into Master Elosivan’s seam of transmission. There the metal hissed and glowed in dark purples as they wove the commissioned refrigeration pattern.
Jarn’s focus on the pattern was so complete that he didn’t immediately detect the failure in old Master Elosivan’s concentration. He only became aware that something was amiss when a searing whipback knocked the old man down. Deep pain wrenched the old man’s kind wrinkles, only to be replaced by a look of utter confusion that made Jarn’s own chest hurt as if he’d been the one struck by the whipback.
Twenty years of routine kept Jarn from cutting off his grounding seam, which would have resulted in another whipback aimed at himself. He slowly let go of his grounding source and sought a push flow to open the window, venting the stench of molten metal into the city.
Jakob Drud lives in Denmark with his wife and children. It’s a good life, but his stories are probably more exciting than he is. They’ve met aliens, lived in the Sun, fought monsters and flown between the stars. They also travel more than he does, and so far they’ve appeared in magazines in the US, Canada and Australia.
About the Narrator:
Alex Weinle lives in a cottage just outside Cambridge where he writes science fiction and narrates stories. His new fridge is bigger than the cottage itself, somewhat like the TARDIS but containing far more calories.