The Dagoda of the Enchanter loomed in the middle of Enchanted City, so that none would forget the watching eye of the fire wizard. Close by, and a happier place was the Palace of Players. Here the people of the city, filled with weariness and heartsickness, came and forgot for a time their griefs and fears and pains.
Thespia stood in the wings of the stage brushing her long and luxuriant hair. She was the most beautiful player of all the players and even now she could hear the house chanting her name. Thespia! We want Thespia!” Many suitors sought her hand, but she turned them all away.
“Flowers from the Dagoda!” the assistant stage manager called. Thespia yawned and instructed that the gift be delivered to her suite in the Palace.
“Four minutes! Four minutes!” the callboy warned. Thespia straightened her gown and took one last look in the mirror.
Through a crack in the thick velvet curtain, she could see that the theater was full. It was almost time for the play to begin. Poor ones. Poor, poor ones. Forget for a while, then home again only to remember your empty half-lives. She whispered this hollow blessing over them……