Bob sucked his stomach in while his assistant busied around his waistline.
Bob exhaled. “Are you quite finished?” he asked with a sigh.
“My lord, please trust me. This is the grandest meetings of wizards in the land. They’ll all be in attendance with their finest attire. You shall want to thank me several times over before the night is through.”
Bob tapped his foot and adjusted a hideous ruby perched on his middle knuckle. The edges were jagged and harsh, and strange symbols lurked within the dark red stone. “I need a hat,” he said. “I wish to wear a hat.”
“My lord, a hat is so cautious, so passé. You mustn’t be see in such a thing!”
Bob tugged on the long braid of black hair that hung from his chin while his assistant hurried laps around him. “Lustmord won Most Dashing Sorcerer last year. He had a hat.”
His assist screeched to a halt before him. He fidgeted with the round spectacles hanging in front of his beady eyes and chewed at his bottom lip. “My lord, I beg of you, no hat.” He popped back to work as quickly as he stopped, wrapping Bob in silks of blood-red and shimmering onyx. “To wear a hat is to admit defeat!”
Bob looked over his fingernails. They were long and thick and gave just a hint of curling at the ends. He smiled a wicked smile. They were certainly the most evil nails he’d ever seen on a man. It had taken months to grow and prepare them for the contest. He knew now, it was worth the wait.
“There. Finished. Please turn, my lord.”
Bob turned to face the mirror. His narrow figure was wrapped in layered silks of black over red over black. His boney hips and haggard ribs showed plainly through the tight cloth. The knobs on his aging elbows were like knots in the oldest oaks. The circles under his soulless eyes were like bags of sand pulled from the banks of the blackest shores. “I look fantastic. Absolutely evil! I shall win this contest for sure.” Bob smiled at his assistant. “You have served me very well.”
The tubby little man clapped his hands together with glee. “Thank you, my lord. Thank you so very much. Please,” he begged, reaching with his hand, “allow me to help you.”
Bob motioned to take a step and stopped. He gave his assistant a glare. “You’ve made the weave of silks too tight!” Bob shouted.
“Are you sure, my lord?”
“Harken! I can’t fucking walk!”