“What a disappointment you are,” said Blaise. “Best Merlin candidate, forsooth! Well, They will finish you off anyway and I suppose in your dying moments—They are never that quick, They like a bit of torture and so on—you can revel in the fact that you could have saved the world and didn’t, and all because you wouldn’t steal a baby who needs to be stolen so she can grow up to be the Necessary Arthur. The Chosen One. The Hero who mostly fixes everything up.”
i like the measured expectation of the word “mostly” in this prophecy. and thanks to 2020, “mostly” seems unattainable-even-by-fantasy-genre-savior-standards, but let’s keep our hopes and dreams up up up! in any case, i don’t think i’ve ever read a free tor short that felt MORE like the first chapter of a thing, so i assume this is a test-drive of a piece being worked on behind-the-scenes in quarantine’s too-many hours. and while the part of me that wanted a beginning-middle-and-end of a story has been left unsatisfied, the rest of me would certainly read the rest of this. when it happens. if it happens. seems like a silly time to make Plans for the Future, thanks to people failing the covid-marshmallow test left and right and my unfortunate career trajectory forcing me out of safety and into the stream of their “just back from fire island/disney world” germwakes. wheeee.
read it for yourself here: