The Illumination of Karen 

​                                                     Epilogue

​It was early morning one day in the month of Borea, six months later. Karen lay sleeping, wrapped in her thickest duvet, with Katarina comfortably snoozing across her feet. Moonlight glittered in a beautiful pattern of ice-crystals along the window-frame and nary a sound disturbed the soft silence of winter. Suddenly, she was woken by something falling over in the kitchen, followed by a quite elaborate salvo of Sikhrodian invective. Thisha making breakfast? Karen had provided her with boarding ever since their harrowing adventures, in exchange for housework. Further sounds emanated from the same direction; drawers being pulled out and cupboards opened. Then a series of approaching steps heralded the arrival of the young woman into her room.

“Thisha, what’s going on out there?”

“It’s the matches, I can’t find any. So, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind…”

“Sure, sure, just show me the candle.”

Thisha extended a hand with a candle towards her, guarding her face with the other. Karen, in turn, reached out with her hand from under the covers and snapped her fingers. A large flame sprang out of thin air, consuming a quarter of the candle in a mere second.

“Ow! You’re such a show-off!” Thisha complained, brushing hot droplets of candle-wax from her forearm.

“What’s that?”

“Thank you, Karen” answered the girl, rolling her eyes while walking back to the kitchen.

“Could I have hot chocolate for breakfast, Thisha?”

“Yes, Karen.”

Snuggling into her covers again, Karen reflected on her current life. Both she and Thisha had had a very hard time of it, the first three or four months. Disappointment, injury and sorrow had been the defining aspects of their existence. But as they began to emerge from their shells of mourning and self-pity, they had found each other to be good company. Happily, Thisha had an open and generous personality that could put up with, and give space to, Karen’s asocial and egocentric traits. Thisha, in turn, seemed to enjoy the excitement of living with a wizard in training. She revelled in every new achievement almost as much as Karen did, the odd incinerated household appliance excluded.

They had gone from being shackled by past experiences, to enjoying the present and just beginning to look into the future. For them it was full of promise and, at the moment, only bright.