Chapter Six: The City on the Hill (1)Mature

Chapter Six:
The City on the Hill


Despite the fact that he had been up until three in the morning, and despite the amount of alcohol he had put into his system in the process, Seymour de Winter awoke at dawn, as usual.  Sure, he didn’t exactly feel fresh and rosy, but that was beside the point. 

              Internally cursing the sunlight and all that it stood for, he snatched his pillow and pressed it over his face to block out reality.  He wished he could fall back asleep, but it was too late now.  His brain was beating a tattoo on the inside of his skull, his stomach had crawled out of its proper position and seemed to have wrapped itself around his heart, and his bladder felt fit to burst.

              He rolled out of bed, relieved himself, and dragged himself, stumbling and groaning, into the kitchen.  After one shot of whisky, his pounding headache diminished to a throbbing one and he was able to move around without inspiring his internal organs to dance a jig.

             Digging through his cupboards, he found half a loaf of bland brown bread with only a little bit of mold on it.  He managed to choke down a few bites of it and washed it down with another swig of whisky.  Then, aware that he was achieving little but to dehydrate himself, he dressed and trudged down to the neighborhood well to fetch a pail of water.  This he brought back to his flat and boiled for tea.

              By midmorning, he was fully conscious, although nowhere near chipper.  He packed what he would need for the trip, and since he’d been left with time to kill, he made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning his flat.  At half past ten, he shouldered his bags, locked up, and departed.

             He met the mages near South Caligard Street Bridge, where they were waiting alongside their carriage, to which a team of winged horses was harnessed.

            “Good morning,” Alt-Mage MacQuarrie greeted him cheerfully.

            “Is it?”

            Henry seemed to share Seymour’s sentiment.  There were dark circles around his eyes and his complexion was paler than usual.  He didn’t speak, merely grimaced in acknowledgement of Seymour’s presence.

            “It’s as good a morning as you want it to be,” MacQuarrie informed him.

            “I see,” Seymour replied.  He was not in the mood for an argument.

            One by one, they climbed into the carriage and settled in for the voyage.

The End

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