Sayl was working in the library. Her husband didn’t do much research these days unless he needed a fact for his book but those of her children and grandchildren who had magical ability also called on her for help. Sometimes she simply read for the pleasure of a new story or new facts. That in itself had proved useful in the past.
There was a cough behind her followed by, “Excuse me, Mother?” It was a voice she hadn’t heard in years.
As she turned on her chair and stood she asked, “Gaius?”
An image of her third son floated over the floor. Wherever he really was, it looked sunny, hot and already afternoon. “I’m sorry I’m not really there,” regret tinged his voice and he seemed greatly aged since she’d seen him last. “I’m near Ctesifon. I hoped you still spent most of your time in the library. I’m sorry to impose after so long, but I need to check whether this glyph work,” he held up a drawing, “Is the same as the one in the second chapter of the brown book on the extreme right of the third shelf on the right of the window. Please?”
“You’re not still – black magic, Gaius?” He’d had to leave Constantium twenty years ago just ahead of the magistrum’s vigiles.
He shook his head. “I wouldn’t have the time if I had the inclination. Too busy cleaning up other people’s messes.”
She got the book and checked it against his drawing, chattering all the time to catch up twenty years and unsure how long the spell would last.
Finally, “Four wives? Do you have children? Yes they’re the same, I can show you.”
“No need. Thank you. I have a demon to bind before it’s embloodened, excuse me.” He was gone.