The sun turns the world from night into day. Colors turn from a cool gray-purple to a warm pink-orange of the beginning day. Kallan is valiant and trying not to drown in her tea or face plant into her breakfast. It is a waste of a meal if she did and mornings are never easy on Kallan.
Here, she’s sitting on the wooden floor with a bowl of oatmeal and a mug of black tea big as a Stein. She’s glad she remembered the floor cushion. The last time she forgot it, the cold seeped into her bones and they ached for days. At least the sunlight is pleasant on her skin, it’s a cool yet warm balm. But the light is shining in her eyes and she needs squinting to look at everything. Kallan is not a morning person and continues with breakfast. At least Oria is happy.
Oria always wakes before the sun. She gives Kallan a few minutes before nudging, kneading, and tapping her awake. She has physically dragged the blanket off of Kallan before, to wake her up. Kallan heads for her bathroom and uses a strong mint toothpaste to give herself a jolt. She changes between a mint and a cinnamon one, so it is a surprise every morning.
Breakfast, today is a thick oatmeal with whatever toppings she finds on hand. Paired a whole pot of black tea and a touch of milk in a mug. Kallan sits near the east window as Oria waits for the Dawn. So Kallan has her picnic breakfast as Oria plays in the light. Oria shuffles, scampers, and pounces, playing with the sun’s rays. Her scales and furry feathers glisten and glow in the light . Kallan thinks Oria playing in the light is cute when she is awake enough to focus. This is the schedule for almost two years and Kallan is still not used to it, dreams or no dreams. Kallan is definitely not a morning person.
After Oria finishes with playing, Kallan chugs her tea down like it was nothing. Oria wobbles over to her tired and happy. She cuddles into Kallan’s chest and under her chin as she gives a happy trilling purr. Kallan hugs Oria close for a while before letting her go. Oria needs to eat breakfast.
Oria eats a mixture of herbs, flowers, roots and fresh meat. She will also take a treat of honeycomb and raw nuts. A lot of trials and error happened when she weaned off goat’s milk. Kallan only knew she needed milk because she was all gums and Kallan was lucky that goat milk is what she needed. Because the only other milk on hand was cow’s milk that Oria spits up. Yup, a lot of trials and error involved.
She looks over to Oria and a pang of guilt blooms. Oria stares out of the window, into the garden longingly. Kallan knows Oria wants to run around in the garden. Kallan doesn’t want to her to be in the garden by herself, not yet.
Kallan takes Oria’s breakfast to her and sets it down next to her. Oria stares at Kallan with a sorrowful look and the guilt grows. Kallan gives her apologetic pats on the head.
“Soon Oria. I promise. I’m almost done with the harness and then you can go into the garden anytime you want.”
Oria nudges Kallan’s hand and starts on her breakfast. Kallan goes into the bathroom to rinse and hang yesterday’s shirt and trousers. She takes out a mild toothpaste and brushes again. Kallan puts on a navy blue button down and a pair of dark trousers. She takes Oira’s bowl and sets in the sink to soak. Kallan also refreshes the spell on the food and water bowl, to make sure it feeds Oria on time.
Kallan looks around the apartment. Morning light gleams on the various gemstone baubles and talismans around the apartment. The apartment is a fortress with powerful magical wards, powered by the various items, while ornate glass orbs hang on the windows. Even the garden even has hidden wards and traps among the greenery. Some would say Kallan has paranoia. Kallan would probably agree but at least she isn’t sleeping with one eye open.
Kallan slides on her blazer and slips on her wingtips. She grabs her keys, bag, and overcoat. Oria shuffles over and Kallan crouches and kisses her on the head.
“I’ll try to come home early to work on the harness and the day after tomorrow, I’ll be off.”
Oria gives off a pleased trill. She walks over and hops on the couch to watch the garden. Kallan smiles at her and turns her attention at the various wards. Each item glows alive, pleased, Kallan shuts the door.
Kallan looks at the sea of cars at headquarters and prays to any passing gods or spirits for a parking space. She finds one thankfully and her moss-green car blends in the mosaic of colors of the parking lot.
She walks into the building dreading her fate. Because on the drive over she realized that her friend would have her medical file today and will chew her out for not getting an evaluation last night. A growing dread fills her. She walks through the doors and not two feet inside she hears it.
“Kal! Are you out of your magic using mind! Why didn’t you come in yesterday after the fight? You know procedure! I am a Healer, not your PA!”
Yup, that is who Kallan’s afraid of, James but Jim to her. The look of anger, worry, and disappointment on James’ face is knee buckling. She can’t help but follow him into the exam room. She puts her things on the spare chair and sits one the exam table. Kallan unbuttons her shirt, she knows the drill. James shoves a clear crystal into her hand and its inside begin swirling. Checking if her magic is flowing properly. He takes out his stethoscope and warms in his and the check-up begins.
Kallan says, trying to figure out how to not be in trouble and get James’ blood pressure down. But he cuts her off before she should say anything else.
“Don’t ‘Jim?’ me. And be quiet and breathe. I’m making sure your lungs don’t have small magically created lesions. That will cause your lungs to deflate like balloons.”
They both say silent. James doesn’t actually have magic but is one of the best healers at headquarters. He separates physical and magical healing in two procedures that complement each other. Usually, in healing, magic is a priority to most magic users and the body second. But James doesn’t believe in that method of healing. He was vocal on that point with a cantankerous patient and said:
“ I don’t give a flying shit how magically endowed you are. If you bleed out on this floor, you will be a damn corpse. And then let’s see how magically endowed you will be then. Now shut up and let me sew.”
James doesn’t have the best bedside manner but he cares. But James has often wondered why he chose a profession where he needed one.
After checking Kallan’s ears, nose, and eyes. He feels her lymph nodes and checks her joints, especially her hands. James measures her heart rate and begins again.
“Just follow the rules Kal! You’re damn lucky you’re okay and that crystal is not turning gray right now. Because if it was even a little cloudy I would put you on medical leave for a month. You know how dangerous demon hunting is. Especially how you do it.”
Kallan knows and hates that James worries. She never means to but it happens.
“I’m sorry Jim. You know I don’t mean to but you know.”
Kallan says defeated.
“Dammit Kal. I not trying to guilt trip you. I know you don’t mean it. That it’s what happens in the field but I’m worried for you. ”
“I know and I will try harder.”
“Please do. Physically you are good, no major injuries. Magically you are okay. But if you are feeling physical off tell me. We will look into it and I will refer you to someone. Now do you need any pain medication? That fight wasn’t easy on you.”
“No. I’m good. I still have the meds you gave me last time and they haven’t expired. So I’m good right now.”
“Alright, but tell me if you feel the slightest bit off.”
Jim gives medication sparingly and at lower doses for magic users. Addiction is a high possibility. Something about the way the medication reacts to the body and the magic boosts the effects. While the magic causes the constant need for stronger dosages if not strictly monitored.
“So, am I okay to go Jim?”
“Yes Kal, the magical healing you’re doing afterward is working well. But if the nightmares get worse or if you magic feels off let me know. We can think up another ritual and if that doesn’t work out we can get a second opinion. Sound good?”
“Yup sounds good. And are we still on for Saturday?”
Kallan grabs her things and takes a candy from the jar.
“Yup, I’ll be there.”
James smiles her. Kallan is one of the few people who takes candy. And he only got it because Kallan whined about how all doctors had a candy jar. He caved and got one.
“Cool! Later Jim!”
Kallan walks out of the exam room and James looks at his next case and can’t help but sigh. Why did he ever decide that being a healer is a good idea?
Kallan works on the paperwork she didn’t file last night. She needs to include every possible detail she can think of and it’s turning into a long report. She doesn’t notice someone standing next to her desk until she hears her name.
She looks up, and it is her supervisor and stands.
She looks at Kallan’s forms.
“Is this the report for last night?”
“Good. When you’re done. Take it and report to the counsel.”
Kallan’s supervisor nods and walks away.
Kallan sits back down and all Kallan can think is, Dammit the duel!