I had an itch to work a little more on my old bread wizard story, and found a minor character that took me a little farther along--ergo:
Knackering Molly was, to put it bluntly, insane.
She wasn’t dumb, though. There was a sharp, glittering intelligence inside the insanity that had learned early on that it was much easier to get away with being insane if you were also useful and had a little bit of money, and if people were just a little bit scared of you.
Molly was, like me, a very minor wizard, but her talent was even weirder. She could make dead horses walk.
This may not sound like a very good talent, but if you live in a large city with narrow streets, it’s actually quite handy. Horses are useful animals, but they die like everybody else, and when they’re dead, they’re about a thousand pounds of meat and bone that you have to dispose of before it starts to stink. The knackermen who run the big rendering yards at the edge of town will pay money for the dead horse, but they also charge money to come take it away, and they have to roll a cart in, and the cart takes up space and disrupts traffic and blocks people’s doorways. Then the people loading the horse onto the cart want to get paid, and sometimes they have to start butchering the horse right there if they can't carry it out and it’s just a horrible business with blood and nastiness everywhere, and the neighbors get very put out.
Or you can go get Knackering Molly, and for sixpence, she’ll put her hand on the horse’s head, and it will stand up and walk to the knackers under its own power. It’s still pretty horrible to watch, but it’s a lot less trouble.
Anyway, you can spot Molly pretty easily. She rides around the city on Nag. Nag’s been dead longer than I’ve been alive, and he’s mostly bones now, so she pads him with rags and straw and old flour sacks. He looks like a magpie nest with hooves.
Plenty of people beat dead horses, but Molly is the only person I know who can ride one.
I sort of know what happens next, I just have to figure out how to get there from here...