Once upon a time…
…there was a wizard. He was neither a very old wizard nor a young wizard, but somewhere in between. He had worked hard to earn his wizard’s staff and cloak, but found that when he was made a wizard, no one really wanted wizards and, after a brief spell at a very good magical university, he ended up living in the dungeon of a deranged old witch and her ogre of a son for several years with no prospects of ever escaping. Eventually, the old witch made good her threat to sell her ruinous, but centrally located hovel, and the wizard was forced into exile in a distant land where the customs were strange, and the people ruled by vampire necromancers.
It was in the distant land of Cathay that the wizard got a job teaching imps how to speak, but they were impish, which is to say that they weren’t remotely interested in what the wizard was trying to teach them no matter how many Spells of Interest he cast on them. In fact, they were completely resistant to such magics, and the wizard knew full well that what he did actually didn’t matter at all since the course he taught was, metaphorically speaking, tied on to the rest of the imps’ education system with a piece of damp string, although some conjurers had persuaded themselves it was really an iron band.
After three years, the conjurers asked the wizard to go to a village in a remote part of the country, to which he agreed because the imps at his first school had grown worse by the generation. The imps at the new school were really not too bad, even the annoying ones. But long before the year had passed, the wizard decided to move on. The vampire necromancer who was in charge of the school ran it like a prison, and the warders were emotionless robots who made some of the wizards teach implings. Besides, the place was dull and interesting, and a long way from anywhere anyone might actually want to go.
The wizard now found himself in South Cathay where it was always warm and tropical except in winter when it was neither. And there were the same old imps again whose impish behaviour so annoyed the wizard one day not long after he had started trying to teach them that he felt compelled to comment about it, but, lacking an immediate audience, decided to publish his frustrations in the vast lands of Cyberia where no one ever found anything unless it was by chance; or someone else told them; or there were naked women. There the wizard could write what he liked without interference from outsiders who had no say in the editorial content.
Thus it was that three people discovered the imps that the wizard was teaching in Cathay were a bit dim and couldn’t be motivated no matter how hard anyone tried. Of those three people, two had not bothered to read the whole article because so many words made them dizzy, and the third, who had been hoping for naked women, had departed soonest.
© The Wizard of Cathay 2006.
All events, people, and incidents in this story are wholly fictionalised.
I really love my job. No, really I so do.