The Dark Magi (Part 2, page 1 of 59)

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Part 2

Part One


The clinker-built whaler lay trapped between the twin worlds of darkling sea and shadow-limned night. His hooded features cast in Gothic, chiselled hues, Ander stood at the tiller and raised his guttering torch in the traditional salute of farewell. In the bottom of the whaler, two bodies wrapped in sheets lay revealed in its grimy yellow penumbra. He took stock of the small contingent assigned the unpleasant task of burial detail. Death was a time for families and shared grief, not for disposal at the hands of near-strangers.

‘Will you not say a final word over them, Sir?’ an oarsmen prompted.

All eyes were upon him, causing him to feel weighted down by the invisible burden of responsibility.

Two young men lie dead at my feet, and I can think of nothing to say . . . where are the words of comfort that should spring unbidden to my lips? Can it be that the manner of their death has tied my tongue?

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