Quies was paging through a new-old dreaming guide when there was a knocking at the door. He closed the book on his thumb and looked down the length of his story curiously. It continued, now sounding more like tapping than knocking. Piqued, he bookmarked the page with a receipt stub and crossed the floor, pulling the door open.
A large black crow was perched on the door handle, and it eyed him studiously until the doorway was wide enough, before fluttering in. The crow landed on his counter-top and peered at the book. Quies closed the door and returned to the back of the store.
"How can I help you?"
The crow cawed and ruffled its feathers, clawing gently at his wood counter.
"Sorry. Hold on just a moment." Quies stepping into the back room and picked up an empty tray, threw a few handfuls of white sand on it, and carried it back onto the sales floor. "Will this do? I have ink, if you'd prefer, but..."
The crow interrupted his by climbing delicately onto the edge of the tray and starting to write. Quies stopped his tongue and waited patiently.
No, thank you. Ink can be so hard on my claws.
"I understand fully, and you're quite welcome. How can I help you?"
The crow brushed the message clear and started clean.I have an owner in need of a chemist.
"That isn't quite my speciality, but I'll help how I can. What seems to be the matter?"
She is convinced I am a hallucination.
"Huh." Quies blinked his eyes thoughtfully. "Is she gifted?"
To a small degree. But she also suffers from a mental disorder.
"Alright. I should have a book in the back. A few minutes please."
The crow nodded. I will wait, and leapt from the counter, fluttering to his selection and perusing the planters.
Quies returned to his storage room, this time to his bookshelves. Though they were meticulously organized, they were cramped and overflowing, and it took him some time to find what he was looking for: a heavy tome with dark lettering wedged sideways atop his mentalism shelf. When he came out once more, there was a message waiting for him in the sand, though the crow was still among the merchandise.
There is a dying, mildly-diseased snail in your farm. I will dispose of it with your permission. The rest of your stock is healthy, and prompt disposal will keep it that way.
Quies quirked a smile, and set the book down, the mild thump bring the crow's attention but not the crow itself. "I would be most grateful. Go ahead."
A quick snap of its neck and the deed was done, and the crow joined Quies at the counter, paging through the book.
"It's a copy of the MDSM-XLVII1," he explained, thinking and muttering aloud through the pages and passages. "Ah, here it is." He scanned quickly through the article, dragging his fore-finger down through the entry. "Well, I'm afraid I don't have the knowledge to treat this; I market supplements more toward creating illusions and hallucinations than dispelling them. However, I can provide you with the business information of a customer of mine, and he may be better educated to help."
"Do you have the means to carry a message or..."
I am photogenic.
"Ah, wonderful." Quies drew out his address book and wrote Mr Curo's information in the sand.
The crow was polite and did not try to peer into the pages. When the information was memorized, the crow brushed it clear and wrote, Thank you. I will seek Mr Curo. If you should be so kind to help me again with the door, I will be on my way.
"You are most welcome. Have a good day."
After the crow had departed, Quies briefly checked on his snails, put the book, the sand and the tray back where they came from, and settled back on his stool, picking up the dreaming guide once more.
Character: Quies | Umayyad Corvus
1. MDSM 47th edition, the magical community edition of the DSM.