Abra-Melin the mage has two rooms in his house, one unpainted and one all in black and red. The unpainted one — polished wooden floors and wainscoting, long tapers of uncolored wax, an unframed mirror behind a thin piece of muslin — has, actively, no feeling. Time passes there, and not much else.
Abra-Melin uses it when he is waiting, as now. He sits on the floor with his back to the mirror, staring at the flames dancing on the end of the candles. One of his eyes is black and the other blue, a reminder of an accident as a child that nearly blinded him. He considers himself lucky to see at all.
Abra-Melin has been waiting for two weeks now without moving. He is set to trap his angel and so has infinite patience. Though the candles burn, they are not consumed; though Abra-Melin is, he lives not. With this quietness he hopes to lure his angel.
A voice speaks from within the mirror behind him, low and reedy like a bassoon. “You are most stubborn, Abra-Melin the mage,” xie says.
“Ah,” says Abra-Melin, and slowly closes his right eye, the black one.