Once more Christopher and Dyvian sit, facing each other, gazing at each other, reflected colours swirling and gleaming in their eyes.
Christopher: NaNoWriMo is almost over.
Dyvian: So little accomplished on the part of our scribbler. She was far too preoccupied with reacquainting herself with our story.
Christopher: So much was happening in other stories, she had to remind herself of the events in My Tool, My Treasure. Such as how much…inspiration…you drew from Danyel and Tayel in concocting your schemes.
Dyvian: Just as you drew inspiration from me. Our scribbler never reached your happy conclusion to your own plots. They still bubble in her imagination.
Christopher: She had too much to do this month. Edits and a new release aside, there were all those notebooks filled with things she had to transcribe, crowding her shelves, leaving no physical space. We’re lucky she spent any time with us at all.
Dyvian: Now she’s three quarters of the way through another notebook. A life of notes, quotes, blogs, book reviews, and random spurts of writing don’t leave her enough time to carry out her own plans. Or ours.
Christopher: Planning her time effectively is one of the regular challenges she faces.
Dyvian: Oh, she’ll find time for us. (He smiles, the cold glint in his eyes brightening as he does.) Quartz isn’t the only one who can be…persuasive.
Christopher: No, he isn’t. (He shakes his head, trying to keep it from turning into a shudder.) Do you really think you can win?
Dyvian: I have as good a chance of victory as Duessa Ashelocke has.
Christopher: I doubt Duessa will win in the end.
Dyvian: No, but she may savour the exquisite satisfaction of a satisfactory defeat. Just as you may suffer the pangs of an unsatisfactory victory.
Christopher: Just what are you implying?
Dyvian: Duessa and I may be villains, but our scribbler gets bored with basic villaims. We must have layers, signs of humanity, and even virtues to keep us interesting.
Christopher: You and Duessa both had good intentions at the bottom of your schemes, for all your sinister appetites. You’re sign posts for people with good intentions, warning them where they can go wrong. You may have have wrong, but you still show compassion even as you manipulate and sacrifice people for your own ends.
Dyvian: Ah, but your appetites are no less sinister than ours, my dear. You give into them, endangering the very people you want to help and protect.
Christopher: You mean the twins.
Dyvian: I do mean the twins, but this could also apply to Damian. Your little scheme may well be going against his wishes. I wonder if you understand this?
Christopher: He offered me my life in the Navel in exchange for the Shadow Forest. Yes, I understand.
Dyvian: And now you’re destroying your life and taking the Shadow Forest from him.
Christopher: Am I? He’d had the Shadow Forest and it’s had him. You saw to that.
Dyvian: Ah, so I’ve made your little pact null and void, have I?
Christopher: I never agreed to Damian’s exchange, not really. He expected too much of me.
Dyvian: Perhaps he did.
Christopher: And you? Do the Followers of Seraphix, the little cult you’ve formed expect too much of you? Does Seraphix?
Dyvian: Perhaps. I’ll leave you to wonder about that while you entertain Grace and Theodora next week.
Christopher: It will be a relief to see them again after your games.
Dyvian: Ah, but will you be seeing them again? There’s more than one Grace and Theodora in Wind Me Up, One More Time.
Christopher: What do you mean?
Dyvian: I’ll leave you to wonder about that as well…