I’ve had it four days now and there’s been no appreciable change in Harold, except that he’s switched to muesli for his breakfast. I think that’s more to do with the fact that he ate a second helping of chocolate corn flakes yesterday and used them all up. Devious doesn’t do the shopping until Thursday. (By ‘shopping’ I mean gating in after the stock check and stealing everything we need. That way they put it down against expected losses when they find things missing the following week.)
Even though I’ve dissected the thing it’s still operating. I’ve left enough of it in on piece -- including the strands of Harold’s hair – to leave the magical field around it intact. It’s quite a strong one, actually. Having looked at it, I can tell it was cast by someone quite powerful. Someone clever, too, by the design of the incident field.
I can see what you’re thinking, you know. You’re thinking that you didn’t know demons could actually see magical fields. We can’t, actually. What we can do, as can any magician worth his salt,* is use a handful of powdered blood and a simple cantrip to reveal magic, a bit like sprinkling iron filings on a magical field The blood forms into patterns and, on a particularly powerful artefact, can even be persuaded into revealing the runes used.
I took Felicia for a tramp in the woods today. You can insert your own joke there because I really can’t be bothered. The reason I mention this is because
Felicia tracked a lingering ‘lavender and almond’ scent as far as Lover’s Leap but lost the trail at the standing stone at the top of the waterfall. We had a look at the bottom but there was nothing to indicate that anyone had jumped. No blood or anything.
The mystery remains. Whose was this shoe and why was it left in the woods. It’s not like you’re not going to miss it when one leg suddenly becomes three inches shorter than the other.
I showed it to Harold when we got back to the house but he just told me to put it in the pile. He’s found lots of odd shoes in the woods. He has a theory that they slip away when their owners backs are turned and go off for a camping holiday. I told you he was a bit of a woolly thinker, didn’t I? It’s a preposterous notion. Only socks do that.
*An interesting phrase, that. It comes from when salt was valued higher than gold and in order to keep hold of his life a mortal would have to be of service to a greater value than the salt he could be rendered into. It was before my time, but I understand some gods got very rich, very quickly by virtue of conquest.