The Last of the Magi
by Robby Sparks
With steady hands, the watchmaker inserted the tiny cog into the back of the timepiece. Clocks of various shapes and sizes occupied the workshop around him. Outside, the winter storm blew.
Amidst the cacophony of ticks and tocks, the occasional chime and bell, came a knock at the cottage door. The watchmaker paid it no mind, but continued to work with unyielding concentration on his most intricate design. Meanwhile, a cold draft gusted in as the door opened and a tall, heavy stranger, wrapped in burlap and furs, hunched down to enter. Snow dusted his clothes. Ice clung to his lashes and beard.
"Are you not the Mage?" the stranger asked. "The Wise Man from yore?"
Without glance or concern, the watchmaker spoke. "If that were so, I would be ancient and older than Christ himself."