Man, I should have just stayed in bed!
A Boy and his Dog
Copyright© 2013 Landing
All Rights Reserved.
Image Credit: Modified from Quizilla.Teennick.com - Eden. ~Landing
Author's Note: There is no connection between the novel by Harlan Ellison and my story except perhaps that we both just chose something simple that describes the story. :)
This is a fan fiction, the Whateleyverse and all canon characters are the property of their respective writers. If you find your life being depicted in this story you it is purely accidental and you have a hell of a lot more to worry about than suing me. No canon characters have been hurt in the writing of this story...yet.
Many thanks to GinnCaster5 for the editing help, without Ginn this story would probably be unreadable. And to Pmanpman and Rozarius for their read through.
This is a Whateley Academy fan fiction story, you can find the Whateley stories at http://www.crystalhall.org/ I highly recommend them. ~Landing
As we pulled into the underground parking lot of the Watchers HQ, Harvard let me know that his bladder needed relief, and he wanted the door opened right away.
“Hold your horses big guy; you’ll get out just as soon as we park.”
-I’m not holding horses, I just need to go!-
I slid out of my seat as we parked and hurried around to the back to let my impatient friend out. I had barely gotten the door open when he was out and running back towards the entrance to the parking garage.
“Hey! Where do you think you’re going?” I called as I hurried after him. I had just got to the entrance in time to see Harvard disappear into the wooded area that started at the base of the small mountain that the Watchers headquarters was located in. I sighed with frustration. It happened every time, without fail, if Harvard was in a new area he had to find just the right tree to do his business against, even if that meant exploring for a hundred yards.
I followed him into the trees hoping to regain sight of him soon enough to keep him out of trouble. It was a little eerie how, once you entered these woods, all the sound seemed to fall away from you. It was like the trees themselves were listening to every footstep you took.
“Okay, this isn’t at all creepy or anything. Maybe there needs to be some deep noted music playing to set the tone better,” I said sarcastically while wrapping my arms about myself. “Harvard, where did you go? We don’t have time for this!”
I heard a faint noise up and to my left, so I hurried in that direction thinking that I was going to strangle my dog when I found him, or at least withhold doggie biscuits for a while, which he seemed to think was just as bad.
As I pushed through the woods, the trees seemed to get closer together and their branches started trailing on me like the hands of old blind women. At last, I found Harvard. He had his leg cocked against a tree and an intent expression on his face.
“Finally, there you are Harvard. Did you really have to go that far just to pee on a stupid tree? This is a frickin forest after all. There are trees everywhere!”
Just then, one of the branches of the gnarled old tree he was doing his business against shot down and grabbed Harvard tightly around the middle! He gave a startled yelp of surprise at the sudden interruption of his concentration and struggled frantically in the tree's wooden grip.
Of course I didn’t just stand there; I ran to Harvard and tried my damnedest to get the branch, which was as tough as steel cables, unwrapped from around him. This might have been a technical mistake because it brought me within range of the other branches of the trees, and before you could say Treebeard, I was hanging upside down by my feet alongside Harvard.
“You really had to pick this tree to pee against, didn’t you? With all the trees in the forest you had to pick a frickin' Ent!”
Harvard just whined and struggled more in the tree's grip. Out of the foliage, another branch swung down, only this one seemed to have a large eyeball attached to the end of it. Okay, consider me freaked out. The eyeball moved around examining us from all angles, and after it seemed to be satisfied, a mechanical sounding voice seemed to come from the trunk of the tree.
“Intruders, identify yourselves.”
“I’m Emily Elizabeth, and this is my dog Clifford, only he’s on a diet, now let us the hell down!”
“Analyzing. Likelihood of deceptive answer ninety-two percent. Initiating alarm system.”
It was only ten minutes later that Steelfist showed up, a huge grin on his face. “I see you’re in a spot of trouble!” he yelled over the blaring of the siren.
I gave him my worst glare, all the while keeping my arms crossed over my chest. This was mostly done because it made me look less helpless and more in control of the situation, but it was also because my breasts felt weird while hanging upside down, and they seemed to stick out more.
“Do you suppose you could turn off that damn siren and let us down now?” I asked in as icy tone as I could manage.
“Cancel alarm program and release intruders,” Steelfist said to the open air, and with a thud, Harvard and I dropped to the leaf-strewn floor of the woods.
“I guess you couldn’t have told it to let us down gently, could you?” I said as I got to my feet and brushed the detritus of the forest floor off my clothes. Harvard just shook himself and stared balefully at the large twisted tree that had held him.
“Sorry, it seems to be a little touchy for some reason; usually it doesn’t just drop people,” said Steelfist, still grinning.
“What is it anyways? It looks like a tree but sounds like a robot.”
“Cyborg trees!” he said proudly. “I created them myself. This whole forest is full of them.”
“Cyborg trees? Really? You know that just sounds crazy, don’t you?
“You would be amazed how effective they are. Most people who hear about the forest on top of our base assume that they're some kind of magical trees and come prepared for that. No one expects cyborg trees,” Steelfist said, his deep voice sounding slightly hurt.
“Well you could at least warn visitors not to go into the forest. Spending ten minutes upside down with that alarm sounding off in my ears wasn’t fun, I can tell you.”
“There are signs posted every twenty feet or so all around the woods warning people to keep out.”
“Oh,” I said, a little less certainly. “Uh, I must have missed them somehow. Let’s go ahead and get out of here; these woods creep me out. Come on Harvard.”
I looked back towards Harvard, gesturing for him to hurry up and saw he had his leg cocked against the tree again.
The branches in the tree seemed to twitch as if they wanted to go on the attack again, but they stayed sill. Harvard finished up and, with ‘so there’ expression, kicked some dirt at the tree with his hind legs before trotting to keep up with us.
I shook my head in disbelief, “No one expects cyborg trees.”
It turned out there were signs posted all along the forest perimeter warning in big red letters not to enter, in three languages. Some of the signs even flashed with colored lights. Yes, I know, seems kind of hard to have missed them. My theory is that Steelfist pressed some button and they popped out of the ground just to make a fool of me. What? It could happen. Someone who thinks up cyborg trees has got to be twisted in the head anyways. Of course, my mom was not happy when she saw us.
“Eden William Oakson, what in the world do you think you were doing! You had me worried to death when the alarm went off. I thought for sure something terrible had happened to you!”
“I’m okay mom, really,” I said rolling my eyes some. “I just had an encounter with a tree, nothing to worry about.”
My mom then turned to Harvard. “And you! What do you think you are doing running off into the woods like that! I thought you were better trained! Are we going to have to start putting a leash on you to keep you out of trouble?”
Harvard hung his head at this tirade and crept over to my mom’s side, where he laid his head against her leg and gave a low, piteous whine. My mother immediately softened and started petting him.
“Just don’t do it again, okay?”
I swear Harvard winked at me while he was getting his ears fondled. Did I ever tell you how sneaky my dog is?
“Why don’t we go started on this testing,” I said. “I’m sure Steelfist has lots of other things he could be doing besides helping me with them, so I don’t want to use up his time.”
My mother quickly agreed, and Steelfist led us into the Watchers' official mutant testing center. I was happy to see that Cardshark was also there today. She was waiting for us when we got to the section of the base where the testing would take place.
“Hey Eden! How is it going today?” she said cheerfully and she even came over and gave me a hug.
If I had still been a boy, certain parts of me would have been ready to salute the flag pole after that. Luckily, that wasn’t a problem anymore, so all I had to show was a silly grin on my face.
“Uh, um, g-good, today is good,” I managed to get out, still lost in the feel of Cardshark’s breasts pressed against me.
Cardshark gave me a strange look over my stuttering but seemed to dismiss it. “We have three parts to the testing we are going to do today. First is the physical. This is running, weight lifting, that sort of thing, to see if your body has changed. We will also do a medical exam in this part. Next, we see about testing you for any powers. And finally is the written part where we test your mind. So to start off with, you’re going to see Dr. Mathous. He’s right down this hall here,” she said, showing me the way to the outer office of the doctor.
Dr. Mathous was an average looking fellow, maybe in his late thirties with black hair. He greeted me with a firm handshake and a warm smile.
“Good day Ms. Oakson, if you will come with me, we can start your examination. If you like, your mother can come with you or she can stay out in the waiting room, whichever you prefer.”
“I think I’ll be alright by myself,” I said and then followed him into his back room.
It was a typical medical room like I had seen whenever I had gone to the doctor before except for some odd kind of pedals or something on the end of one of those benches a patient lies on. He took my blood pressure and other vitals and asked me a series of questions. After that, we did an eye exam since that was obviously something that might be different, what with me having glowing copper eyes. My eyes were pretty normal except for the fact that I had a kind of night vision. Dr. Mathous seemed to think that my eyes shouldn’t work like that since they actually glowed instead of just reflecting light like a cat’s might. He mumbled something about rods and cones and took a few pictures for the records.
The hearing test went about the same way; everything was normal. He drew some blood from me to do some testing on, and I thought that was all for this part of the examination, but he gestured for me to get on the table with the pedal things at the end and asked me to undress. I looked at the stirrups with dawning apprehension as I figured out what they were used for.
“Uh-uh, no way, there is no way I am getting in that thing, you damn pervert!” I was out of that room as fast as my feet could carry me and slammed the door behind me. I think I might have hit the doctor as he tried to follow me, but I didn’t care.
“Eden what’s wrong!” cried my mother as I stormed out into the waiting room.
“He wants, he wants to, he’s a damn pervert is what he is,” I said in indignation as a shudder at the thought of what he wanted me to do went through me.
I light bulb seemed to go off over my mother’s head and she got a sympathetic, if slightly amused, look on her face. “Dear, this is something every woman has to go through. It is unpleasant but necessary.”
“No buts dear, your sister has had to go through this before and if she can do this it won’t kill you to go through with it as well.”
I scowled at her. I was just glad that Steelfist and Cardshark had obviously gone to do other things while waiting for the medical part of my tests to be finished. I could just imagine Cardshark laughing at me being put in this situation, and as for Steelfist still being here… No, best not to ever thing about how embarrassing that would be. Harvard was studiously pretending to be asleep while lying down at my mother’s feet. He obviously knew when the best part of valor was to pretend to be a lump on the floor with no opinions on any subject. I scowled at him too just on general principle. Was he snoring or was that a laugh? Hmm, must plot revenge.
I stalked back into the other room where Dr. Mathous was rubbing at a swollen spot on his forehead. I knew I should have felt sorry for giving him that bump on the head, but I didn’t in the least.
“Let’s get this over with,” I said grimly.
It was humiliating and cold and a little painful, and I was really wishing I had slammed the door harder by the time Dr. Mathous was done. One day, I swore, I was going to find Bathrobe Dude, and I was going to do some pretty unpleasant things to him as a thank you present for what he had done to me.
Dr. Mathous’s warm smile was slightly dimmed as he gave us the news of what he had learned while holding an ice pack to his head. “Medically speaking, aside from the eyes, Eden seems to be a normal young woman. You can probably expect her period to start sometime within the next month and…”
I briefly choked on the air as my windpipe constricted at his words. Period? Period! Oh sweet baby Jesus, I had not thought about that. It was rather unpleasant news to be confronted with, and I again wished I had slammed the door harder in the good doctor’s face.
Mom patted my hand as I regained my breath and whispered that it would be okay and she would tell me everything I needed to know later. The doctor went on with his explanations after that, but I didn’t really pay attention. Most of what he said had no real meaning to anyone that wasn’t a doctor anyway. Period. Oh man, this was so wrong. Now I wished I hadn’t made fun of my sister when she first started having hers. Karma can be such a bitch sometimes.
I was lost in thought when Cardshark showed up. It turned out it was time for some of the more physical tests. She led us down several different hallways and one elevator to what had to be one of the weirdest gyms I had ever seen. There was what I took for a bench press machine that had thousand pound weights on it, and there was a really heavy duty treadmill that looked like three people could run on it at the same time. It was only after gaping at all the strange equipment that I noticed Steelfist was in the room as well.
Steelfist chuckled. “It’s not your typical gym, is it?”
“Not unless you’re Bruce Wayne. What is all this stuff?”
“This is where the Watchers work out; some of us need special equipment if we are going to get a real workout. But don’t worry, regular people can use it too. And I, with my lovely assistant Miss Cardshark, will be your torturer, I mean tester for everything we do in here. So are you ready to feel the burn?” he said with an evil grin.
“Okay,…this…totally…sucks.” I wheezed while on the oversized treadmill. I had only been going for fifteen minutes, and already I was getting winded. This was NOT what I was used to. I was used to being able to go on for hours. It wasn’t fair that along with my normal body my ability to run was also taken away from me. That was something I had worked at for years to get to the point I had been at.
I went on for twenty more minutes, but that was just determination pushing me, and I had to stop since my body was starting to give out. This really sucked, and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I was going to get this new body into shape if it was the last thing I did.
The tests so far had been grueling, and I was finding that my new body didn’t do as well as I had hoped. Totally not fair. When you became a mutant, weren’t you supposed to be able to dead lift a ton and have reflexes like a cat? I dead lifted less than a girl my height and weight should have been able to and as for reflexes...
They had had some kind of obstacle course set up. At first, it had been like one of those fun houses set up at the fair, moving floors and stairs that would shift under your feet. But it got progressively harder as you went on, with padded poles randomly shooting out from the floor, ceiling, and walls along with areas where you could only stand for a little while before the floor dropped on you.
My performance was a little bit under what a base line should be able to do. So taking into account my newness to my body, I didn’t do too badly they told me. Tell that to my backside. I might have more padding back there then I had before, but it still hurt when I fell on it, and I fell on it quite a few times going through that obstacle course.
It didn’t help that Harvard got farther than me on it; I’m still not sure if having four legs instead of two was a help or a hindrance. The mutt had insisted on getting to have a turn at the obstacle course, and since he had been being fairly good and probably needed to run off some energy, I let him give it a try.
I was feeling rather miserable by the time I was finished. Miserable and sweaty. It’s funny, but before my little gender bend, when I worked out, being sticky and sweaty wasn’t as noticeable as it seemed now. Now the sweat made my skin feel all dirty. I was overjoyed when Cardshark told me I could use the showers to clean up. Even though it meant I would have to get back into dirty clothes afterwards.
The showers were in a large open area that was attached to a good sized changing room. All in all, it wasn’t that much different from the boy's changing room back at school except maybe a little bigger and cleaner. I felt vaguely disappointed that the stage for so many of my fantasies was so ordinary.
Most of the red painted lockers had name tags on them, but there was one bank of them that seemed to be open. These had keys stuck in the locks with a rubbery strap attached to them that was obviously meant to go around your wrist while you were in the shower. I gratefully stripped down and shoved my clothes into the locker before heading towards the showers, grabbing one of the little hotel-like soaps they had in a tray on the wall along the way.
The shower felt great. I closed my eyes and stood under the showerhead, letting the warm water massage my sore body but remembering enough not to get my long hair wet. I tried to clear my mind of all thoughts and just enjoy the hot rain of water. Considering everything that had happened, I decided I was going to do my best to enjoy the little things in life to their fullest; after all, you never knew when something was going to happen that turned everything upside down. Who knows, next week I might wake up as a fifty foot tall Japanese lizard who had whole the whole city population running away in terror; it seemed just as likely as turning into a girl had been.
I suddenly heard the sound of another shower turning on. My eyes shot open, and I whipped about to see another woman in the showers beside me. A very naked woman. She was a tall black lady, well endowed in the breast department, with thick dreadlocks held back with a white band. Naked woman. Woman naked. Oh my God. Quick hide your erection! Wait, you don’t have that any more. What do I do? Do I say hi? Do I ignore her? What is the proper etiquette for the girls shower?
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, I just got off shift, thought I would have the showers to myself,” said the black woman.
“Aurraugh,” oh, that was smooth. First naked woman you ever see in your life and you sound like something the cat dragged home. Wait, isn’t that supposed to be looked like something the cat dragged home? Never mind, more important things to think about. Boobies! No, keep your mind focused. Don’t look down.
“Are you alright?” she asked with the rise of a quizzical eyebrow.
Think! Damn you, think! “Ah, yeah sorry, bit of water went down the wrong way. I, ah, thought I would be alone in here too.”
She smiled at me. “I don’t think I have seen you here before. You look a little young to be a new Footie.”
“Um, I’m here to get some testing down. Cardshark and Steelfist just put me through the wringer with the physical aspect,” I said. I wasn’t really sure what to do with my eyes. Did I look at her? Did I look away? What was I supposed to do? I decided to keep them on her eyes while we talked. Hopefully, I wouldn’t give away that I wasn’t a real girl.
“Ah, that explains it. I should have guessed, what with your eyes. So you’re a new mutant? Do you have any cool powers?” she broke eye contact and took a bottle of liquid soap and squirted it onto one of those poof things.
Right soap, I had some soap too. I turned my eyes away from her, not without some regret, and started to scrub myself with the soap bar. When I rubbed it over my nipples, they were hard little nubs that tingled pleasantly. I also felt a hot little warmth at the bottom of my stomach. Was this what it felt like to be excited as a girl? “Yes, I’m a mutant, but I don’t really know about any powers,” I said, not really wanting to explain what I did know about my abilities to her.
“Well, I’m sure Cardshark and Steelfist will get you sorted out,” she said, then went silent as she washed her body.
I hurriedly soaped up my body, then rinsed it off, occasionally sneaking glances at the naked beauty beside me. My feelings were mixed as I hastened out of the shower and into the locker room to change into my unfortunately still dirty clothes. I was relieved to get out of there. I had been certain that at any second she would just know that I wasn’t used to being a girl or that I thought she was smoking hot and she would start screaming and yelling that I was a pervert. On the other hand, it was my first chance to see a real live naked girl, well, if I didn’t count myself at least.
She came out of the showers just as I was finished getting dressed and I snuck a few last looks at her putting her clothes on as I left. I knew what I was going to be dreaming about tonight!
I hurried to Cardshark’s wizard lab or whatever you call it, where I was supposed to hook back up with my mom and Cardshark and start on the powers portion of my testing. I must have had a silly grin on my face, because they gave me some strange looks. I tried to compose myself, but I’m not sure how well I did since my mother’s expression didn’t change much.
“Eden,” my mom said, then paused as if she wasn’t really sure of her own words. “Would you like to meet up with Kent after your testing is done? He’s here meeting with Sergeant Earth Mover about what happened yesterday and your father thought… That is your father and I thought you might want to get a chance to talk with him. You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” she hastily added.
Is there some kind of universal law that anytime I start to feel cheerful, something bad has to come along and ruin it? Well, maybe not bad as much as complicated. Either way, the happiness I had been feeling since leaving the showers was definitely killed. In fact, it was taken out back, force to dig its own grave, and given its last cigar. Did I really want to see Kent again? I could just say no and never have anything to do with him. I could pretend that last night had never happened. That dad was my real dad and I had never heard of Kent. Did I want that? I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure I wanted to have anything to do with him either.
“D-do I have to decide right now?” I asked a little uncertainly.
“No, you can wait and decide later,” my mom said lightly. I could tell she was trying not to influence me and I was glad of that. I was confused enough without getting pressure from my mom.
“Right, then…later,” hey, that was me, putting the pro in procrastination. “So what about these tests?”
Cardshark cleared her throat. “Yes, I am going to go through a number of magical tests since you have already showed some signs of wizard talent. First, I want you to step into the pentagram.”
I stepped into the pentagram and waited, not really sure what to expect.
Cardshark sorted through a large stack of cards she kept in an unadorned wooden box until she found one to her liking. She then muttered over it, flicked it once with her finger generating a bell like sound, then flung it at me. It dissipated into a mist just like the card from yesterday had done except this time the cloud of purplish vapor grew, traveling back along the path of its flight to Cardshark and forwards towards me until there was a smoky band connecting me to Cardshark.
Well, almost connecting us. The cloud stopped a few inches from me and seemed to roil expectantly. How a bit of smoke could look expectant I don’t know, but it did. I guess magic is just freaky like that.
“Do you, Eden William Oakson, give me your permission to perform my arcane arts on you?” Cardshark asked in a distinctly formal tone.
“Uh, I guess so?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes or no please.”
“Yes, yes I do,” I said a bit nervously. I wasn’t volunteering to be turned into a toad was I?
Cardshark looked at the cloud, expression a little puzzled, then abruptly asked as if just remembering something. “Uh, you haven’t had your period yet have you?”
I rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth. “I have been a girl for less than two days. What do you think?”
“Right,” she said, then turned to my mother. “Do you, Veronica Oakson, give me your permission to perform my arcane arts on your daughter?”
“Yes,” said my mother, sounding less nervous then I had. Well, she wasn’t facing possible toadhood, so I guess she could afford to be.
The purple smoke band surged forward and made contact with me and… seemed to do nothing. I checked my hands anyway just to make sure they hadn’t suddenly become green and webbed. I seemed to be perfectly fine except for an itch behind my left ear that I absently scratched at.
I cautiously waved my other hand through the smoke band and watched as it quickly reformed.
“Stop that, you’ll muddle the connection,” Cardshark warned. “Now, I want you to close your eyes and try to still your thoughts.
Still my thoughts? I tried my best but it was about as effective as if she had asking me not to think of pink elephants. My mind was full of pink elephants doing the tango when Cardshark spoke next. Hey, if you’re going to not think of pink elephants, you might as well not think of pink elephants doing something interesting.
“I’m going to do something that might make you feel weird; don’t be concerned,” said Cardshark.
The itch behind my ear seemed to intensify and I tried to reach up to scratch it, only to find my arm wouldn’t move. “Cawdsawk was go’n on!”
“Calm down, I’m just using your body for a moment, don’t get too agitated or the spell will break,” Cardshark said in a strained voice.
My eyes opened and I saw my hands rise. I was going to freak out, there was only so much I could take, especially with my nerves shot to shit from yesterday, but I suddenly felt a very strange sensation. It wasn’t anything physical. It was as if there was some kind of warmth inside me, only it wasn’t really warmth. Hell, it wasn’t even really inside me, only it was in some strange way. I felt myself start to pull on this energy and in my hands a light appeared. It started off pretty dim and had a faint reddish orange color but steadily grew larger and brighter. It was about the size of a beach ball and as bright as a spot light when it went out, and I seemed to stop feeling that strange warmth inside me.
I gained control of my body again and I blinked my eyes a few times, clearing the purple after images from my vision. “What was that?” I exclaimed, my voice a little squeaky.
“That was a basic spell to summon light. I was testing your magic to see how much Essence you had available.”
“Essence?” I asked, puzzled. Wasn’t that some kind of perfume? Wasn’t there a perfume commercial with models in togas dancing with cats while someone whispered ‘Essence’ over and over again? At least it was something weird like that; it was a perfume commercial after all.
“Essence is what powers magic. There are all kinds of ways to collect it. But since you have wizard talent thanks to your mutation, you kind of generate it on your own. You’re about at the high end of wiz two,” said Cardshark.
“Is that very high?” I asked.
“The scale goes from zero to seven, seven being the highest. You won’t be riding any zombie dinosaurs anytime soon, but you’re not bad. You’re way better off than any baseline wizard around, at least when it comes to being able to generate Essence.”
Cool. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t the super ultra mega powerful wizard who could blow up mountains with a single spell, but being able to do magic at all was a step up from where I was before my eyes changed. Besides, being the world’s most powerful mage was probably a lot more trouble than it was worth.
“What can a wizard really do anyway?” I asked curiously.
“It’s kind of like science in some ways, you have basic laws you have to follow, but if you work with those laws and know the right way to do it, magic can do practically anything, in theory at least. When it comes to practice, it generally isn’t as easy as all that. Don’t expect to be able to do what you read about in comics,” explained Cardshark.
“Well, can you at least tell me how it works?”
She rolled her eyes. “Good goddess, again that’s like asking how science works. There are all kinds of different paths in magic, each working in a different way. One of the things they do have in common, though, is that you need Essence if you want to do anything. When you get to Whateley, you will learn all you could hope to. That is if you are going to Whateley, of course,” she gave my mother a questioning look.
“Most likely, yes. We want to look into it a bit more, but we will probably be sending her there,” said my mother.
I fought back the urge to do the wild monkey dance. I was going to be going to mutant high. This was so cool! Heh, I wondered if I would need a costume. I thought of all the costumes I had seen superheroes wearing. Tights were definitely right out, but maybe a cape? As I was mussing, an annoying part of my mind tapped me on my mental shoulder and pointed out that I would not be wearing the costumes of the muscular and dashing male supers, but the ones that the beautiful and vivacious females would be wearing. A mental inventory of the female superheroes costumes I remembered returned a rather disturbing trend towards skin tight bodysuits and what would be described as lingerie if it wasn’t worn by someone fighting crime. I cringed back from the idea. No thank you, you would not be seeing me in something like that!
“I have a couple more things I want to try out; they aren’t really needed for you testing but they should tell you more about your power,” said Cardshark, interrupting my thoughts.
I nodded, just as curious about my new powers as anybody.
“Okay the first thing we’ll do is see what kind of sight you have. For most people, the magical sight is basically the same, seeing magical energies, spell forms and the like, sometimes seeing ley lines. There are plenty of people whose sight is a little different though. They may see in to the astral plane, or see through glamours to the true heart of things, or spiritual energies, or any number of other ways. If we figure out what your sight is like, it might give us a clue to any aspects of your magic.”
She rummaged around in her cluttered shelves until she came back with two small cut crystal bottles, one having what looked like an open eye carved into it and the other a closed one.
“I want you to take these,” she handed me the bottles, “and step into the pentagram.”
“Do you do everything in this pentagram?” I grumbled while doing so.
“A pentagram is the magical equivalent of safety glasses and a hard hat. I always use one when I am able to. Now take the bottle with the open eye and put a drop in each eye. You can set the other bottle down on the ground,” she said, as I fumbled with the bottles, trying to open one while juggling the other.
I was greeted with the sharp smell of pine when I opened it. The lid of the small bottle ended up having an eye dropper in it, so using that, I leaned back my head and put one drop of the clear liquid in each eye. Well, I tried to at least; I kept missing my eye, but eventually I did get it.
My vision was watery for a moment and I blinked rapidly to clear it. The first thing I noticed was that everything looked to be lit up. No, looking closer I saw that everything wasn’t glowing, but instead seemed to be filled with glowing symbols. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed intensely bright light, but it seemed to wink out when I turned my head to look in its direction. Instead, what I ended up looking at was Harvard, who strangely enough was the only thing that didn’t have glowing symbols in him. I rolled my eyes at him. Like I wouldn’t figure out that he was the thing that had been glowing so brightly, what with him being the opposite now. He just winked at me. I was going to have to ask him what was up with that later.
“What do you see?” asked Cardshark.
“I think I have seen like this before. Everything is full of glowing symbols or something.”
Cardshark frowned. “I’m not sure what that means, but then I don’t know what all the different kinds of sight are like. Are you sure you’re not seeing a glow of magic around some things? If you sight was the most typical kind, there are several objects in this room that would seem to glow to you.”
“No everything is glowing, and there are definitely symbols or letters or whatever inside them,” I held up the crystal bottle to get a better look at the symbols floating in it. The more I looked, the more symbols I could see. I seemed to be seeing deep into it but at the same time I didn’t see any further than the thickness of the bottle. I tore my eyes away from the entrancing vision and back to Cardshark. “Lots of symbols.”
Cardshark shook her head. “Well, like I said there are lots of different ways in which the sight can manifest, though this is a new one for me. Hmm, maybe it has something to do with runes? You did mention drawing something in the mud before it came to life and attacked you. Is there anything else that you notice as different?”
“No, just the symbols. Uh, I take the other eye drops to turn it off right? It’s kind of hard to see things this way.”
“Yes, one drop in each eye, and please try not to miss this time. I had to spend two hours doing spell work to make it.”
This time the bottle had a soothing fragrance to it, maybe lavender or one of those floral scents. I never was really big on smelling the flowers so I guess it could have been anything. I tried my best not to waste any of the liquid as I put it in my eyes, but I still missed a few times. I heard Cardshark sigh at my ineptitude.
When I could see again, everything was back to normal. I picked up the other bottle and handed both of them back to Cardshark. “So what do we have next?” I asked.
“Next, I want you to look at some runes in one of my books. I don’t know much about runes or runic magic, so I don’t really have much on it. It seems that your magic might lay in that direction,” she explained as she sorted through a large stack of books in one corner. She finally came up with a large dusty tome with a black leather cover and an intimidating looking lock keeping it closed.
“About all that I do know is that runic magic is related to nomentheurgy somehow; I think I have even heard them used interchangeably a few times, but that might have just been because the person talking was just as ignorant as I am,” she said as she set the book down on a table she probably used as a work bench. She pressed her thumb to the lock and with a small pop and tiny flash of light, it unlocked itself.
“Can I get out of this pentagram now?” I asked.
“Oh sure, there shouldn’t be anything dangerous about what we are doing now; I’m just going to have you look at some pictures of runes in this book and tell if you sense anything.”
She made room for me at the table as she rifled through the pages trying to find the one she wanted.
“Here it is, look at these two runes and tell me what you think.”
I look down at two of the kind of symbols I had been seeing lately. My eye was drawn to the first one, and everything around me seemed to go still, almost in slow motion. I looked deep into the rune in a way I can’t really describe. There was more there on the page than just an inked in symbol; it had the quality of another dimension. I felt like a cartoon character would feel if it suddenly went from its own two-dimensional world into our three-dimensional one. I didn’t just see it, I was Seeing it in a way that felt totally foreign but at the same time exactly right.
I reached out and brushed my finger gently against the rune. I knew. I knew what this rune meant. It was a rune of fire. It wasn’t like reading a word or recognizing a letter. It was as if I knew with all my heart what this fire was. I could feel its warmth, smell the hot scent of its smoke. I knew what was to consume a fuel and turn it into more flame, to breathe in the oxygen. I Knew.
Everything around me was still as if it was in slow motion, so the exclamations of surprise and startlement seemed to take minutes as flame blossomed from the page. The small flower of flame danced on the book, its hunger reaching out to consume what it could.
But as my mother rushed towards me to jerk me away and Cardshark to try and do something about the fire my gaze was already traveling to the next rune, and I Knew it as well. I felt is chill in my bones, saw its crystalline structure form, and smelled the scent of ice on the air. It too had a hunger. It sought the warmth, it leached it away and left cold stillness in its wake. It was the rune of frost.
I snapped out of it as the book and part of the table were covered with ice crystals, snuffing out the flame in the process. Mom clutched at me, and Cardshark stared in amazement at her work bench.
To Be Continued...
that you feel needs improving within my writing, I'd love to get a PM from you. ~Landing
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