Connections Jan 2015 - Page 17

1. MAGICIAN Copyright ©2014 Deborah Jay It’s just as well I’m not claustrophobic. Even so, being held captive in a bottle was not how I’d planned to spend my weekend. It was also one of the most undignified positions I’ve ever been in; a water sprite can be squished down pretty small, but it doesn’t mean we enjoy the process. Rainbows played across the clear glass walls of my prison, refracting through the swirling liquid of my elemental form. Taking a deep breath, metaphorically speaking, I tried to slow my agitated motion, in danger of over-heating. If someone would uncap my bottle, I’d be able to let off steam. I prowled the confined space. It stood around ten inches tall, or should that be twenty-five centimetres? I can’t keep up with the speed humans alter things. My existence had flowed serenely through the millennia without need for change until the human race invented plumbing. I’d known there might be drawbacks to living in human form but, after one too many close encounters with the local sewage farm, I’d taken the risk. It had its upsides. Elementals are solitary by nature, but I’d found that I liked having friends—not to mention the thrill of experiencing human emotions. I don’t understand them all yet, but I’m learning. Perhaps I should also have considered potential pit-falls, but I was still quite new to all this, and when Alison had come to me for support I’d wanted to help. Replaying the fateful conversation in my mind, I realised I should’ve smelled something fishy from the outset. “I know it’s not your kind of thing, but will you come with me, Cassie? Please say you will,” Alison