Hi everyone. I'm a student going to school for mechanical engineering and I hate it. I don't want to do it. I want to be an author.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty terrible at writing and doing it consistently. That is where this comes in. By putting my work online I am going to try to hold myself responsible to you. This isn't much as an introduction goes but as the days go on I hope to be able to add more and more to this story and make it and others better and better. Please tell me everything I do wrong. I want to get better and succeed in telling stories that touch people and your reviews and advice helps make that happen. -James
Wulv's eyes cracked open just as his not-quite-girlfriend curtly pulled her way out of his grasp.
"Do you have to go?" he asked.
"I have a meeting," she said, slipping back into the silver buttoned captain's uniform that lay discarded on the floor.
"Do you really need to go to it? Can't we just lay here for awhile?"
Wulv sighed and watched with somber eyes as she lit the lantern on his desk and checked her own appearance in the mirror placed upon his workbench. Wolv admired her in a distant sort of way. Nora was the perfect image of a high nobility guard captain. She was cold, tough, and beautiful. Like a landscape painting of a desolate mountain. He wondered if anyone had fallen for a mountain before.
She looked back at him from the door and opened it to leave.
"Make sure your notes are put away whenever you go out. They weren't yesterday and I don't want to have to arrest you for unlicensed experiments if I'm not ordered too."
Before Wulv could respond the door was closed, leaving him with only the soft hissing of the oil lantern and the distant murmurs of the campus's students. The mirror mage sighed and threw his spindly legs over the side of his bed. The floor below always did look so distant. He had no classes he needed to teach that day. It was a Tuesday. All he needed to do was glance at the student assignments littering his desk and prepare for the Wednesday lecture on hard-light Illusions.
He stared at the floor and then to the workbench across the room from his desk. The apartment he had been assigned on campus consisted of only one windowless room with a cot in the corner. It felt suffocating small to Wulv, but then again, he wasn't even supposed to have a workbench in his room, let alone be using it. There were two mirrors in the crampt space, both licensed, silvered, and perfectly legal. A framed mirror leaned against his alchemy lab on his work bench and a human sized circular mirror hung from the ceiling. The one on his bench was framed in gold and engraved with his graduation date.
Wulv breathed in sharply and focused on the mirror above him. His hands danced in the sharp angular patterns required for his craft and he let out the breath with a sharp hiss. Suddenly, the mirror reflected more light than there was in the room and the gloom hanging over him seemed to lift a little.
"Turn it off," growled a familiar voice from beneath the bed. The utter disgust in the high pitched sound made Wulv smile.
"Come on, Blotch. It's just a bit of light."
The spotted white and brown ferret slinked its way out from under Wulv's bed, squinting up to meet his gaze. "I hate you."
"No you don't." Wulv said, standing up and stretching as he did so. "You love me. I'm adorable."
The ferret made a noncommittal huff before turning his attention to the closed door and the lit lantern. On other days, Blotch might have complained about his master's lack of taste in mates. How the skinny git seemed bent on finding partners that made him miserable. He looked from the door to the mage above him and his fragile smile.
"So what do we do today?" the familiar asked, scampering up the bedpost to the side of Wulv. "Nothing boring I hope."
"That depends. Do you think we need to practice on hard-light."
"Hard-light? No way! Even if it does go poorly, we haven't gotten Mr. Butt-beard mad at us in awhile."
Wulv nodded and made his way to the wardrobe in the corner of the room.
"I really wish you would stop calling the dean that." Wulv said with a sigh. " Eventually, you're going to think no one is listening and you're going to get us both in a heap of trouble."
Despite his large salary, the mage owned very little in the way of clothing. He would only be able to wear personal clothes on days where he was not required to teach anyway. He didn't see the point in it. The clothes he did choose were a comfortable pair of trousers and an old oak green shirt that he had owned for years.
"You look nice," Blotch said.
Wulv looked at himself in the mirror and smiled. He could already hear the other professors' complaints about his attire. How it wasn't fashionable or respectable for one in his station how once again he was doing the art a disservice by letting other aspects of his character fall into such disrepair. His smile grew a hair brighter as he made his way to the door and Blotched climbed atop his shoulders.
"What do you think's for breakfast?" Blotch asked.
"Don't know. Hope it is pancakes though."
Wulv opened the door and stepped outside. Immediately, the heat hit him. The pale sun hung overhead like a disapproving parent. Blotch in turn, let out a another hiss of displeasure and tried to sink deeper into the shadow cast by the hair that trailed down to his neck. It hadn't rained in weeks and the heat had began to cause the city to stink like only warm cities could.
Wulv's apartment was one of many that was technically on campus but didn't feel like it. A line of towering evergreen trees stood between the building and the rest of private campus. They guarded the elegant swoops and spires of the lecture halls from being forced to look upon the rectangular building. Oak paneled, stone rooms were placed like giant cubes along the western side of grass covered college. Twenty cubes across and four tall: the great wall of cramped living spaces were downhill from the rest of the campus and were pressed against the iron fence that separated the space from the city proper. Most of the residents were senior students that valued the lack of roommates but a hand full of professors chose to live in the cubes as well.
Wulv walked to the cafeteria with his thin lipped smile intact. He tried to take pleasure in the dirty looks from his contemporaries just as much as the bright smiles from his students. The proper attire which sat unused in his dresser consisted of a flowing black robe with heavy steel bracelets and a white hood.
The thing was uncomfortably hot when it was snowing.
The cafeteria was a stout building compared to the lecture halls and laboratories that dotted the campus like pimples on a rather ugly teenager. The landscapers the university hired tried to make the space between the silver and stone monoliths look planned but the longer Wulv lived on the grounds, the more he knew that was a sham. Makeup applied to a face.
"Good morning Professor," a student said with a smile as he held the door open for Wulv.
"Morning," replied Blotch from inside Wulv's hair. Wulv chuckled as the student flinched in surprise
The space inside the cafeteria was stuffed with long stone tables crammed full of students. Many of them packed their mouths full of waffles and argued with almost religious fervor magic. A red wool curtain partitioned a corner of the space. Behind it senior students and professors ate in relative privacy.
"Liar!" Blotched chirped, nipping at Wulv's ear.
"Hey! what was that for?"
" You said there would be pancakes," Blotch huffed.
"No you stretched rat. I said that I hoped there would be pancakes. Waffles are close enough anyway so I don't know what you're whining about."
"How dare you say such a thing! They are nothing alike."
Wulv didn't supply the ferret with an answer. Instead, he approached the counter behind which a handful of women worked tirelessly. A middle-aged woman handed Wulv a plate and tried to snuff out the smile playing at the corner of her lips.