Boredom, I can only blame it on boredom. We didn’t need money; there was still treasure left in the chest we carted about in our carriage.
We took four chests of jewels and coins out of the hole in the ground. The contents of one went on clothes, the carriage and horses, boots, hats, more clothes, weapons, a few wizard tools for me, and travelling to find a wizard capable of lifting the spell from Ally’s face. Two more went to pay said wizard—not that I’m complaining. Ally is much more appealing without the mouse face, and we were still richer than I had ever expected to be. We lived comfortably—no we lived well; we wanted for nothing, and that was the problem. After a year of idling about we were snapping at each other on those rare occasions, we were not too stuffed or drunk to speak.
“I am sorry about last night,” I said. I was reluctant to raise my head from my hands. The morning light streaming into the Inn’s common room was too bright for my bloodshot eyes, so it was more a mumbled apology directed to the table. Ally’s response was slow in coming.
“Are you sorry for being unable to perform, or sorry for falling asleep on top of me?”
“Sorry for both, sorry for falling asleep and …” I lowered my voice to a whisper, “sorry for…the other thing too.”
“You’ve lost interest in me, haven’t you?”
I reached across the table and pressed my hand onto hers where it rested. “No Ally, never. You are the most interesting, exciting woman I have ever known.”
“Your interest was flaccid last night.”
“That had nothing to do with you.”
“Considering that I was the other person in the bed, I have to believe it did have something to do with me.”
“No, no, it’s …” I searched my feather stuffed head for a word other than boredom because I was sure she would take that utterance the wrong way. “It’s this life. It is too easy, too much food, too much drink, too many good things. I don’t think I could climb a wall, let alone a tower. I am soft … life is soft. We need to do something. I miss the life I had before this. Being a wizard, even just an apprentice wizard was exciting, being a thief was even better. Don’t you miss it?”
Ally sat quietly for some time; eventually she spoke one word, “Yes.” A few days later Ally suggested we visit the wizard who removed the mouse face spell.
“He helped us before, and I met him in the market yesterday. We talked, and he said to come for a visit.” When I tell it now, the explanation sounds fishy, but that is probably hindsight, or perhaps I was a little drunk.