He trudged through the mire, his boots soaked, a duffel slung over his shoulder. A ball of light floated ahead, guiding him through the dark.
Eventually, it stopped before a tree. It flickered curiously.
He studied the tree, then nodded. "Alright," he said, waving a hand. "Come back later, I'll need you to get me out. After that, we're quits. I promise."
The light flashed once and vanished.
He started rooting through the bag. One by one, old books were taken and placed gently onto the roots. Halfway through, one fell into the mud and sank.
He stared. Then, with a groan, he turned the pack upside-down and emptied everything into the muck. He picked a knife from the quickly sinking pile and stabbed it into the tree.
Orange mist streamed from the crack.
The djinn smiled. "Back again? What do-?"
"I'm done with it."
The smile faded. "You what?"
"You heard me. I'm done. I'm out." He glared. "You know what I want."
Kaleidoscopic eyes shifted. Rings of triangles turned into spirals, which turned from red to blue. . .
He looked away.
"You would forget?"
"Yes," he said, eyes on the ground.
"The names? The spells?"
"Yes, all of it."
The smile was gone. "As you will, so it is."
And then he was alone in the middle of a bog.
Anthony winced and rubbed his head. He was feeling strangely lightheaded. He looked around.
Where was he?
It was dark. Had he been sleepwalking? Was his house nearby? He didn't recognize this place.
He checked his pockets. Damn, no phone. He squinted. There was a light up ahead, maybe it was a house.
For lack of other options, Anthony turned towards the light and set off into the mist.