Homunculus

Gary S. Watkins

Gary S. Watkins is a middle school teacher living in the Arizona desert. He has been published by Nevermet Press, 5×5 Fiction, Trapeze Magazine, The Story Shack, and Nail Polish Stories. The long, searing summers of Phoenix will almost certainly inspire additional fictions, and not all of them fever dreams.

Homunculus

Scribblings in a diary, crudely bound in calico cat fur with oddly shaped parchment pages, recycled scraps scraped clean and free of palimpsests. Two tiny, clawed handprints adorn the first page.

. . . took loss of ‘prentice hard. No longer trusts me. Sideways glances, servants run errands I done before. His thoughts are curtain of shadows.

7th day, Reaper’s Moon

‘Prentice’s damned cat hissed at me when I opened root cellar door. Didn’t know it was still here. Slammed door. Mustn’t let master see. Two long pins do for it.

8th day, Reaper’s Moon

Summoned to inner sanctum today. So eager for forgiveness, I not notice broken vial inside doorway. Cut my foot, but master said no worry, he clean up ichor and glass. I limped off, forgot to ask what he wanted.

10th day, Reaper’s Moon

Master worked in sanctum all day. I make binding for notes. Cat good for something after all.

11th day, Reaper’s Moon

Great pain today. Tried to tell master, but doorway warded! Master gone mad! Spoke ritual of unmaking.

Master forgot other way in: scrying pool and cistern fill from same spring. Wyvern blood and long pin do for master.

I master now.

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