Today the chamber had the appearance of holding the profile of a person within it. Shoulders, neck, head, and some basic features of a face. I was not perturbed to see it, but regarded it as just one more optical illusion caused by the reflection off the polished brass and refraction through the glass front.
After summoning the spirit, I realized I had no pressing questions to ask him. So I fell back to the skill I have had no luck with: Idle chat.
“So… We have today and two more to complete the challenge.”
«We do. Will you survive the month?»
I wasn’t angry at his snark. I’ve learned to expect it. “I will. Thank you.”
«I was summoned for a purpose and I have done all in my power to fulfill it. I only gave you tools for you to use to save yourself. Thank you for using them. Having said that, you still have wounds I cannot touch.»
I’ll have wounds until the day I die. “And the care of those wounds are beyond my reach. I did what I had to do to survive then, and now. That I will change is part and proof of surviving.”
We sat in mutual silence for a moment.
“So. Am I chasing a cedar box for you? A small one, just large enough to hold the amber and some cotton for cushioning?”
«The case with the oil is enough for me. I am not so vain as to require you to focus on my wants to the detriment of your other requirements, including yourself. If you wish to gain my favor, continue your prayers and meditations after this month has ended. Restore your foundation and secure your footing. I have no needs that you must fulfill. Even the ring, though I greatly desire it, will be obtained on your schedule.»
“Foundation? Funny how you use the same word and meaning of that word that [the cosplaying angel] used. Again, I am hesitant to involve myself with more entities. Besides, I already have [Wit] to get used to and to learn how to work with.”
The spirit nodded. «You will always be wary, but work with her anyway. She has made herself available to you and is willing to assist you. As will [Wit]. As will the other aspects of yourself, should you allow it.»
The silence that fell between us felt less like a boundary and more like a space.
“[O Patient Caller], why are you helping me?”
«You asked me to. And, my master commands it.»
“And that’s a fucking cop out answer if I ever heard one. But this isn’t the time for falling into that rabbit hole. I’ll let you get away with it, for now.”
As he spread his hands in a gesture of openness while lowering his head in a gesture of secrecy, I spoke the license to depart and ended the ritual.
feeling comforted: 6 minutes.