by Clarissa Janeen

Dear Thindelus,

By now you must realize I am not at home. What was so pressing as to merit you breaking into my tower eludes me, yet here you stand. If you were dedicated enough to spend what must have been at least 30 minutes dispelling my door enchantments, then I must assume that either someone has fallen gravely ill (If it is Mrs. Quiggleby, I send my deepest condolences. If it was Harold Rootwhisker, good riddance to him. The man couldn’t recite a spell properly if the spellbook read itself aloud for him to repeat—I would know, I saw him try.), or you have come to finish me off yourself. 

Oh, now, don’t look so offended. We’ve both tried to slip each other the occasional poisoned scone. And don’t think I’m unaware of the time you tried to enchant my shoes to carry me off the nearest cliffside when we were both eyeing that Council opening. (And if anyone asks, I was not responsible for dear Eggsmith’s unfortunate curse which opened the position in the first place.) 

But that’s all water under the bridge now. We’ve each risen well in our respective stations as highly appraised members of the Council of Mages. You know I could only ever hold you in the highest of respects and lowest of tango dips, though I expect I lost my ability to execute the latter several decades ago. My back never fully recovered after that incident with the griffins—which of course I needn’t rehash since I’m sure you remember it all too well, as I do. Your nose certainly hasn’t been the same since.

If you absolutely must know where I am, I’m afraid I must say I shall not be found at my tower again, nor do I expect shall I be found in Stanthion ever again. I daresay, though I reached a lucrative position on the council, I shall not miss Thornard’s endless babbling about how we ought to allocate a team of mages to look into the mysterious phenomenon of Leprechaun mucus.

So if you were hoping to get back the bottle of troll dust I borrowed, I’m afraid I had to take it with me. As you know, it makes for an excellent portal conductor. For you see, I have left this land entirely and have gone off in search of what may well be my final expedition. My search for the wonders and mysteries of this universe have led me to investigate another realm entirely. Even if I survive, I doubt I shall endeavor to make the journey back to Stanthion. These woods have few remaining secrets to me. But don’t fret, my friend, I have no doubt the woods will continue to elude you for some time to come. 

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Author Bio

Clarissa Janeen is an author, illustrator, and editor from San Diego, CA. She has a BFA in Creative Writing with a minor in Illustration from California Baptist University; she is currently pursuing her MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing at Emerson and will graduate in 2025. Her writing has been published in Alethia and multiple editions of The Dazed Starling and she is the illustrator of the picture book The Squirrel and the Moon. You can find her online at