I was just passing through this town, but when I set up my campsite I noticed the huge black tunnel in the mountainside, just across the town square from me. Ordinary townsfolk didn't see it. It was the secret meeting place for the coven of witches that had enslaved the whole region. I couldn't let that continue. With a casual gesture I threw a beam of intense destruction at the tunnel, erasing the illusion that concealed it. Perhaps the townsfolk would get suspicious and wander in.
The next morning as I sat hunched over my camp stove, a demon walked up to me. He looked like a red-tinted Peter Pan. We struck up a conversation and became friends. Sensing that I was a powerful sorcerer, he pleaded with me to destroy the witch coven entirely.
We waited until dusk, hunkered down in the empty town square. Just then, a troop of creatures, clad entirely in black, marched in from the main road and went into the tunnel. We got up and ran in after them.
Inside was a storage room, crowded with shelves of junk. In the back of the room was a glowing rectangular portal, suspended within a doorframe of steel bars. The witches were having their meeting in another dimension. I stood on runes of power in the floor and threw a mighty blast at the portal but it was undamaged. "Perhaps I am getting too old", I said to the demon, and hung my head, feeling morose.
I began a reverie about my life as a young child, competing with my siblings. I solved a challenging puzzle, and ran to my mother to present the answer. My sister raced to catch me, but she was too slow. My mother was in the dining commons, standing over a wooden bench, with puzzle pieces spread out before her. She looked up at my grinning face and knew I had found the answer. My sister was running just behind me, still struggling to catch up. Suddenly I realized that my power had nothing to do with my age, and that feeling young was not dictated by my age. What really guided both was this: My enthusiasm.
Lesson learned, I looked up at my mother. She was the Peter-Pan demon, wearing a wig, grinning at me. Surprised, I turned around to look at my sister. She was the Peter-Pan demon, dressed in a blouse and a skirt, smiling with her arms crossed. This whole reverie had been his idea.
"Now I understand!", I said, and walked over to the runes of power and stood on them again. "I know I am young. Because young people glow; like THIS." I leaned forward and ripped open the front of my shirt and drew up the sleeves on my arms. Rays of light shone from my skin and battered into the portal. The demon nodded in approval then walked across the room and stood next to me, and stuck his own hands out, adding additional rays of light to the attack.
The portal exploded and light enveloped me. I woke up.
I put in eight hours of work on six hours of sleep. Generated about 10 pages of diffs. Made some build images, fixed some bugs, and made the very first successful run through my new machine-management code. My office-mate offered excellent conversation, as usual.
At home I surfed the web and ate leftover taco salad. Craigslist, vintage-sierra.com, a2central.com, easynews, livejournal, homestarrunner, amazon, the bank. Made plans for a hike tomorrow. Wrote this. Had a lot of thoughts but didn't write them down. Perhaps tomorrow, after a good 8 or 9 hours.