“Today is going to be the GREATEST! DAY! EVER!” I declared, flinging open the shutters of my tiny window with utter theatrical gusto. As the flushed of the morning sun came beaming upon my face, my eyes squinting in the light, I heard the frantic flapping of wings and a hysterical “Scraw!” seconds before Zazzle’s shined, buggy eyes catapulted into my face, sending me toppling off my wastepaper basket in a flurry of feathers and pages, my moment of Good-Morning-Grandeur resulting in a heap of garbage.
“Ugh! Zazzle!” I huffed, knocking my cleaning bucket from my head and pulling my discombobulated owl from out the wreckage, his eyes glazed over in a daze – to which I knew he was fine, ‘cause he always looked like that – and with some uncoordinated fluttering of his scrappy wings he righted himself, and then fell onto his back with a plop upon the floor in his regular melodramatic fashion, my morning scroll clutched in his stubby talons.
I rolled my eyes and muttered, “Always the drama queen.” and kicked my broom and other items from out my way and crawled on my stomach from the miscellaneous rubble over to my awkward, feathery Familiar, plucking the scroll from his grasp. A mess had become my morning ritual since the Sacral Spirit Manifestation Ceremonial; Zazzle was a complete klutz and scatter brain, and not really what I had in mind for a Familiar. But, at least he kept things interesting. It did get lonely over here in the far Northeastern Tower, I felt so cut off from the rest of the Observatory that I often wished I could go back to being a Novice Student. I missed my fellow peers and the classrooms, and the conjoining of ideas and the great debates I would get into with my friends and instructors. Some of my greatest moments of insight and clarity spawned from those late night conversations, had it not been for them I would have never gotten the Apprenticeship – under the Apprenticeship of the White Lily, Avaro El no less! – but all I wanted to do lately was go to the planetarium and watch the stars and planets dance in orbital serendipity. I had never had such a desire to slack-off before, and I had always been such a good student, so advanced and ahead of the classmates. And now that I was behind in all my practices and failing my assignments, I suddenly wanted to go all lazy. And my Master seemed constantly disappointed.
Though of course we seemed to have a mutual understanding of hatred towards one another.
But today was going to be different! I shook myself of my reverie and hopped to my feet, determination pumping through me with the gift of a new day! I unraveled my morning scroll from my Master with renewed vigor and read:
I will be at the quay at 5:00 am.
Do not be late.
Huh. A pause entered my mind…
At five in the morning?! I swung my head around to my grandfather clock, just as the hand moved onto the six and starting donging and buzzing, almost announcing that I was doomed.
“Oh – oh, oh OH NO!” I cried dumbfounded. It was six! A whole hour past! He had written not to be late, but I was late! What did that mean?!
I dropped to my knees and fumbled for my amulet and quills, stuffing parchment in my satchel hanging on my desk chair in large, disorganized handfuls, crumbling them in a panic rush. He was going to kill me! In quickly deciding finding anything in this pile was hopeless, I grabbed my ink bottle from off my dresser and stuffed it in my pocket, crossing my fingers in chance I would be able to find a lone feather from one of the gulls at the quay. As I raced for the door and practically leapt into my slip-shoes, I heard Zazzle hoot inquiringly at me.
“Make your own breakfast!” I shouted irritably, “I’M LATE!” and I was out my door, no doubt leaving it swinging, my satchel left dangling on my chair and my Familiar to his own devices.