A Not Flying Castle
I’ve always loved the image of a castle on a hill (flying ones too, but that’s beside the point.) I’m not saying there is the least thing original about that, but not everything has to be original. People love touch stones. Comfortable ideas. They seemed a good wrapper to play with more complicated ideas in.
One of the oldest lines written of the world was of a young woman ‘working subtle magic to profound effect,’ in the high western tower. The high tower of the castle we glimpse here in all its glory from far below. That a young girl who once saw this aspirational sight, would one day attain position over that high tower, in retrospect was kind of lovely. A book end from where I started the story, and where the story starts. I hope that’s not too much of a spoiler, after all, there is a prophecy coming, that will hint at the same.
There are a lot of little details that I wove in here from the start. Little glimpses of a world that is not nearly so primitive as it appears. The castle kitchen’s enchanted cookware replacing conventional stoves. An industrial scale refrigerator – which has long been my intention, also provides some of the heat for the ladies bath. Smart enchanters don’t waste perfectly good energy.
The ladies bath has become an odd obsession over the years, trying to capture this regal room that is the fusion of grecian bath house, and some juxtaposition of European or middle eastern royal luxuries. We never see the queen bathe, but that honored tub, clearly exists for some function.
Mercu sprang into being nearly fully formed. A chance late night radio show offering the inspiration for my flamboyant artist, ladies man, and his secrets just in time for him to be written. His initial dialogue a mixture of in jokes, mostly with myself, but which stand well enough on their own.