The First Task

“I guess I’m hungry after all,” I stammered, making no attempt to hide the icy fear my confusion had morphed into.

“Good,” replied the man.

He pushed a plate toward me, and I felt a deep stirring of hatred mixed with my terror.

“You can have what you ordered last.”

I stared at the plate, and clenched my teeth together to keep my voice low. “This is not what I ordered.”

“Oh,” he said softly, “it is. Your first task as apprentice will be to eat a big meal.”

My stomach lurched.

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