When Alex and the Magus Magister settled gently on the broad slope of the lawn, there were three people waiting for them, two men and a women. “Who d’you think y’are?” said the woman, and scowled at the Magus Magister.
“I am the Magus Magister,” he said, “and this is Alex.”
The tall man sniffed. “It’s pronounced ‘Ma-gee-ster’.”
The thin man squinted at them and said, “I don’t think I know you.” His eyes didn’t point in the same direction. “Not in this life, anyway.”
The Magus Magister smiled his saint’s smile. “But you knew me in a previous one, you shoplifter, you sweetling.”
The woman picked them up and set them down in front of a castle nearly overgrown with greenery. For a moment Alex thought that they’d shrunk down and were standing in front of a doll’s castle, but of course there’s the highway in the background for comparison.
“It’s Castle Tristero,” said the Magus Magister. “But what’s it doing in California?”
The four of them started to argue about it, the three men and the cranky woman. Alex wandered up to the gate. “Hello, castle,” he said.
The castle opened its wide throat and sang,
WHEN LOVE MUST DIE
All five of them were shocked into silence, but of course there’s the highway in the background for comparison, all busy-busy. Dozens of cars drive past, and none of them see anything of Castle Tristero, or the five small figures grouped hopefully in front of it.