PodCastle 168: Zauberschrift

by David D. Levine

Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers)

Originally published in the Apprentice Fantastic anthology.

Ulrich had barely recognized Agnes when she had first appeared at his shop in Auerberg.  The ample, jolly woman he had called “foster mother” during the three years of his apprenticeship had become thin and stooped, her face lined and most of her teeth gone.  Behind her, the young man she had introduced as Nikolaus the pastor clutched his hat to his chest; he was as thin as she, and his shaven cheeks were sunken.  Ulrich was keenly aware of their worn and smelly clothes, and hoped they would leave before any of his more prosperous customers saw them.

“Why have you come all this way to ask _my_ help?  I am no wizard — I never even finished my apprenticeship.  I am just a dyer.”

“I know,” said Agnes, “but Johannes always said you showed great promise.”

Rated PG: Contains some violence.