It's just past midnight now, and all is quiet. Except for Hermin's snores, which sound like a herd of dragons with sinus problems.
I am presently perched on a windowsill in the shape of a small green imp, quill in one hand, and nursing a bruised rib with the other. I sit staring out of the small window into the dark night sky, watching the stars drift lazily across the black expanse of the night.
And thinking of ways to get my own back on Stinky in the morning.
I sleep in a draughty room at the edge of the castle's right side.
And yes, I live in a castle.
No, not one of those magnificent, turreted, silver-spired castles you read about in stories! This castle is what can only be described as a large stone shoe-box perched precariously on the edge of a large lake, surrounded by a dirty green moat that's so stagnant nothing dares to live there any more. There's only one tower, protruding like a broken finger from the left side, just above the low, wooden doorway. There are two floors, the lower one is the dining hall, servant's quarters, storage space, the infirmary (a.k.a my second home) and various other small rooms that don't appear to have any purpose at all.
The second floor is a whole different affair.
This is where the various affluent sorcerers live, each with their own set of rooms. All are lavishly decorated with furniture carved from finest wood and rugs that are hand-made with fine silks and velvets.
Most of the djinn who serve these magicians have their own quarters in their Lord or Lady's apartments.
All but one.
This unfortunate individual has an incredibly cramped space at the very edge of the castle on a bit that sticks out just above the moat. The walls are mouldy, the door-hinge is rusted and there are holes in the ceiling through which the rain pours with great enthusiasm on wet days. And there are a lot of wet days in this part of the world. There are also plenty of mangy black rats in here, feeding off the centuries-worth of muck that clings to the walls, floor and just about every other surface in the frigid cold of the room. The denizen even shredded his straw matress in the hope of keeping warmer.
The only result of this was that he now sleeps on the bare boards and has large quantities of straw stuck up his nose.
Guess who this poor sucker is.
Yep. It's me.
Just another day in paradise eh?