The Swamp – Day Three

With my roof and table repaired, life as planned could resume. A good thing too, I had finally received word from a contact in the Capital that one of my special orders had come in.

I started the day early, the Capital was in the middle of a heat wave and I wanted my business done in time to be able to spend the heat of the day in some cool, shady spot with a chilled drink.

I dressed in a flowy, diaphanous thing currently all the rage in the cities. Completely impractical for anyone who had to do anything for a living but that was probably the point. At least it was cool.

I stepped through the portal and emerged a short and woozy moment later in the main portal hub of the Capital. I moved away quickly, the portals here cycled quite rapidly and I had no wish to be trampled by some sight-seeing family from the Northern Ranges.

The sun was still low enough for the streets to be mostly in shade, so I walked to my destination. It was about half an hour’s amble, and I was only a little flushed and sweaty on arrival.

Thankfully the witch I’d come to see was the practical sort and simply produced a cup of cool water and a chilled, damp cloth. The cloth was wonderful, she kindly shared the cooling spell.

Then it was down to business, she’d managed to get her hands on a pocket dimension. Something I’d been after for longer than I care to think. They’re so useful, the problem is trying to decide what to do with one when you can get hold of it.

Of course it took a certain type of spellworker, with a certain type of skill, to be able to do anything at all with them, so for all they were rare, they weren’t cripplingly expensive.

There is one element alone that determines the use to which a pocket dimension can be put, and that’s its size. Smaller ones worked well as portable cupboards, larger ones could provide a hideaway room and the largest of them all can be formed into entire households, complete with garden.

The witch unlocked the box and carefully eased the lid open. There’s no way to know the size of the pocket from the outside. You had to go in. And on going in, you had to be able to deal with whatever the previous owner had left behind.

I think she expected me to dive in right there. I’m not quite that reckless. I checked its resonance and confirmed it was what she claimed it to be, then settled down to discuss price.

“But you know nothing about what’s inside, or the size.”

I shrugged. “I don’t need to know the size, I’ll find a use for it, regardless of the capacity, and I’d rather take my time in dealing with the contents in a properly warded space.”

She looked a little disappointed.

Eventually, we settled on a price. I may have been a little generous, that cooling spell really was a lovely bit of magic after all, and I left her shop with the box under one arm and a warm glow of satisfaction in my chest.

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