[personal profile] drownedinlight
 So, I'm not sure when I'll get around to posting all of this online, but I promise that I am writing my daily amount. 

Also, a little bit on this challenge for myself: I'm trying to write double what I should have for Camp write now, so yeah, I'll probably be continuing that today and tomorrow and see where I get. Peace.

Update: 

This must have been one of the secrets that she would be keeping—a secret on how to gain immorality. The author continued on not just about the ritual, but also about immortality itself.

“It is an atrocious thing to attempt to live forever. As Magicians, we live longer than an ordinary man—though never quite so long as Adam or Methuselah—and to want more from what we have been given is equivocal to a sin. It is why I took up this mantle of being the one who could know the secrets of immortality, so that I could guard them from those who would seek to use them. It shall soon be your task to manage these rituals and spells that should allow a man more time on this earth than he should need. They shall seem innocent to you, only wanting knowledge, or seeking to help those who they feel could not help themselves. But this is what makes them evil, for they attempt to hide themselves with good intensions. You must see these intentions for what they are: evil. Never be persuaded otherwise.”

It made a little more sense now, why she had to keep some things secret about how to obtain immortality. Tabitha had to wonder though if all of the immortality seekers were evil and if they mask of wanting more knowledge could really be a sin. Furthermore the fact that some magicians believed in God—specifically the one in the Christian Bible and the Jewish Talmud—that is the people who burned those who made magic.

“More thins to ask Weisz,” she muttered, writing some thoughts down in her journal. She flipped through the pages as the former Great Magician spoke on about the many rituals they guarded.

“Many of these have been lost to time as I write these words, but still too many linger in the thoughts of men. I almost fear what putting them down on this page could mean for future generations of those who will guard this priceless tome. But still too many know of these things, and so locking them away here maybe the only thing I fear I can do. It will make me a target, I know this—many will come after me, and thus I fear I will never know you, my son. But stay strong, and guard this book with your whole being, until you should pass it on to new hands, when Death prepares to take you. All my love.”

“He passed it on to his son,” she muttered. It appeared to be the Magician’s last words as the next pages were detailed spells and rituals that were for immortality—but then there was a page that began with smaller spells labeled, “Good for beginners.”

The first spell was for how to enchant a fire. “Easy to cast but not so easy to control,” read the book. “Concentration is vital and seek not to begin with a roaring blaze but a bit of fire needed to light a lamp.”

“A lamp?” she muttered wondering if he could mean an oil lamp rather than the electric lamps she knew. It was probably the case, but she knew the family did not own any oil lamps, only electric lamps. But maybe she could substitute it with a candle.

She pulled an unlit one from the box that contained hundreds of them, and set it before her. The incantation was translated into English, but the magician mentioned something about the magic being drawn from the soul, that a magician needed to bring his magic out for the words to have any power at all.

“Draw it from my soul…” Tabitha muttered. “How do I do that?” To her infinite chagrin, Tabitha never did well with simple instructions which were not explained to her. But it could never hurt to simply try. Tabitha pulled the unlit candle directly in front of her and placed a finger just above the wick, thinking about the way a small flame from a lighter looked and felt and started imagining it at the tip of her finger. She whispered, “Fire.”

Nothing happened.

Tabitha resisted the urge to sear or stamp her feet as she knew it would wake someone up. Instead, she tried to think of what it had felt like to use magic, the two most recent times she could remember doing it. Noth times she had been afraid—of Brian firing the gun and killing the pople around her, and of him misfiring and shooting her too—and of Klaus whose anger reached his eyes when he had reached for the watch pendant. She had been afraid of what they might do to her, and they had tried to think of a way to get them to stop. But there had been something underneath the fear, that had rushed through her when she did the magic. Tabitha grasped that feeling and held tightly to it, as she thought again of the flickering flame about the candle wick. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in, then she heard the sound of an igniting flame. When she opened her eyes, though, she found that mo0re than just the wick had caught fire—in fact the whole top of the candle was a blaze and melting quickly onto the wooden attic floor.

Tabitha grabbed one of the sheets covering a couch and beat the flames fervently before pressing down to smother them. When the heat dried under her hands, Tabitha pulled back to reveal sticky, melted wax all over the floor. It was almost cool to the touch when she finally dared to poke it, and attempted to scrape it up. “Good thing no one comes up here, really,” she murmured giving up on the wax.

She turned back to the book, wondering what other spell she could try without fear of her house catching fire. But the book warned that the next few spells would benefit from the control learned from making fire. Tabitha sighed, but pulled another candle out of the box and settling it onto the mound of wax and drew the sheet nearer.

This time, she focused on making the flame especially small so that she would not burn down the house, and though she took a very deep breath, she did not close her eyes. Precaution was met with disappointment as the flame which began sputtered and went out only seconds later.

Tabitha grumbled and went back through the book, searching for some hint as to what she might be doing wrong. The book had almost nothing left to offer, only the passage about the soul, but this time the passage seemed a bit different mentioning, “Above all, trust in oneself is key, for if you do not believe you can cast a spell, the spell will never be cast.”

“Well that’s only moderately helpful,” Tabitha retorted blowing a piece of hair out of her face. Did she trust herself? Of course! The trusted herself to always do the right thing and to make sure her homework was done on time. She trusted herself not to complain when Mikey or Missy needed to be taken somewhere and Reiss and Chelsea, who both had driver’s licenses, couldn’t be bothered to do it. She trusted herself not to cry or show that it hurt when someone at school or even one of her family members called her abnormal because she did her homework when she got it and didn’t hang out with many people—ever.

Why on earth didn’t she trust herself to do magic? And it was not because she had no idea what to do with this power that was running through her that she had no idea how to control. Or due to the fact that she had never before been in a position of power and had no idea what to do now that she had hundred year old magicians looking at her like she was the greatest thing to grace the earth—or at least she would be when they were finished with her—and oh God! She was going to have to change for these people, wasn’t she? She was going to have to change every part of herself and she was never going to measure up—especially not to Elba Mullins.

Elba Mullins who people loved so dearly—Elba who it seemed she kept getting compared to—Elba, who people kept saying chose her well—who trusted her to do the right thing even though they had never met at all and who seemed to be a greater woman than Tabitha could hope to aspire to.

“I’m never going to be good enough,” she thought to herself. “Not to mention I ignore my feelings so much that I can’t tell that I’m anxious because I’m because I’m being watched—and I couldn’t event ell that I’ve been this upset about being named the next Great Magician. I don’t trust myself. I shut myself off to the clearest part of my mind and just let everything bad sit in the darkness.

She had closed her eyes and leaned back in the old arm chair without even realizing that she had done so. When she opened her eyes and leaned forward, she found that tears spilled free down her face. Tabitha snapped her eyes shut again willing the tears back into the darkness of her mind, She did not want to face her insecurities—not now when she was supposed to be strong and help save everyone from the immortality seekers.

But that was, ultimately the problem, she was afraid, and the inadequate, and hse knew she could not be the next great magician, or any kind of magician at all.

Tabitha sat up, and to her amazement, the candle was lit.

Chapter Seven: An Enlightening Conversation in the Dining Room

The flickering candle’s flame had prompted Tabitha to try again, and again, until the attic was shining brighter than any electric light could hope to. She moved on to moving things on command alone—which despite having propelled Klaus across the room, she was still struggling with it when the sun began to rise. Tabitha believe out all the candles, scrapped them up from the floor, at least as well as she could, and packed everything back into their boxes before she snuck back downstairs with the book in hand.

She snuck into the shower before Chelsea had the chance to usurp it for an hour, washing off quickly and ignoring the rumbling in her stomach when. When she was dry and dressed, Tabitha trotted down stairs to the quiet kitchen only to remember she had eaten most of the fruits and vegetables the night before. Her stomach still grumbling, she boiled some eggs, and decided to leave early again to stop by the grocery store to buy more fruits for herself.

Just as the eggs were finishing, Chelsea swept down the steps and asked,

“Any for me?” Tabitha had boiled for eggs with the full intent of eating all four, but replied,

“Sure,” giving two to her stepsister. Chelsea nodded accepting them and pulled a grapefruit from the fridge.

“Want half? That’s all I really need anyway and you wouldn’t believe how many carbs and sugars there are in fruits.”

“Um sure,” Tabitha replied again. Chelsea halved the grapefruit, and dug Tabitha’s half out of the skin for her. “Thanks,” Tabitha dded as she peeled the eggs.

“No problem, it’s hard to scoop it out the first time. But, hey, do you always get up this early?”

“Not quite this early, but I’m usually up by six,” Tabitha said, feeling it unnecessary to mention that she had not gone to sleep the night before. “Why?”

“Oh, I just see why you like it, that’s all—I got so much done yesterday morning and I was even early for class. Oh and thanks for supporting me at breakfast yesterday, I mean, I know you didn’t exactly mean to, but I’ve been trying to get mom and dad to stop eating artery clogging food for a while now, especially since Mom’s a nurse and Dad’s out in bad enough conditions and he smokes…” Chelsea paused and looked right at her. “They don’t believe you, you know—about the magic. They did at first I think, but Mom went through your room again yesterday and told Dad that you probably went out with a boy you wanted to keep secret from them, or just wanted away from the house after they were joking with Reiss the other night.” A moment of silence. Tabitha asked,

“What do you think, Chelsea?”

“Jesus, Tabby, I dunno, But I know you’re not the kind of girl that really goes on dates, and you’re fifteen, so that’s totally okay. Plus if you went to school with him, Reiss would have found out and told Mom and Dad…and I don’t think you’re the type to date a much older guy either. Plus you always over think things, so I don’t think you would have run away from home, and come back after just one night. Either you would have talked yourself down or worked up the nerve to leave for good.”

“You’ve given this a lot of thought,” Tabitha replied.

“I just don’t know what to think, Tabby! I know you wouldn’t have done those things, and no offence, sweetie, but you don’t have any friends so there’s no one you could have stayed the night with and plus you don’t really have it in you to lie or play jokes. But magic is a big leap from all of those things, you know?” Chelsea paused again. “I talked to one of my professors about it and he said that you might think the magic is real which is why it doesn’t seem like you’re lying.”

“He thinks I’m crazy,” Tabitha replied wryly.

“That’s not exactly what he said,” Chelsea replied.

“But in lay man’s terms, he thinks I’m crazy,” Tabitha added. “I’m not crazy, Chelsea.”

“I know that,” Chelsea said. “I’ve been through every text book definition I could find on this case and you really aren’t. It’s just the magic that keeps tripping me up.” Tabitha nodded, and stood up from her chair, the remains of her grapefruit and eggs and took a half burnt candle from the kitchen counter that Carol used to cover up the smell of smoke. She set it on the gtable and a moment later the wick was lit.

“That’s it?” Chelsea asked.

“Like I said, I only found out about this on Wednesday, and I only just got to practicing last night.” Tabitha replied finishing off her food. “And apparently, my metabolism is a lot faster when I do magic because I am still starving. What do you think Dad and Carol will do when I go to my first magic lesson tomorrow?”

“Freak out,” Chelsea replied. “It’s not with a guy is it?” Because if it is, you are so dead.”

“That’s why I’m going to the library when it opens first thing tomorrow,” Tabitha replied. “They really don’t believe me, do they?”

“And short of you lighting the house on fire, I don’t think they’re going to,” Chelsea replied. She stood, finished with her breakfast. “I’m going by the University early to gt to the library when it opens. You want me to drop you somewhere?”

“The grocery store would be appreciated,” Tabitha replied, clearing her plate.

“Tabby, what are you going to do about Mom and Dad?”

“You mean because they don’t believe me? Nothing—I’ll just wait and see what happens, I guess, and well, try not to burn down the house while I’m at it.”


Chapter Eight: Meetings in a Loft (or in which Tabitha has her first magic lesson).

Friday passed uneventfully as Tabitha went to school, came home, did her homework (not that there was much left from the night before) and then spent the evening munching on fruits, vegetables and the occasional piece of jerky while she practiced more magic. She did, however, receive an email from Weisz reminding her to appear at his residence at nine am on Saturday morning. Tabitha wondered why he had not called it for a later time, but decided not to push her luck, especially when it coincided with her plan.

Just before the sun rose, Tabitha left her family a note that she was going to the library early to make up some volunteer hours by doing left over work from Friday and then she might stay to study or go for a walk around town. The first part was true: she had talked it over with Sharon, her boss, to make up for the hours she missed Wednesday night, and Sharon thought it would be all right especially since she liked to have the library tidy on Saturday morning when many students came in to rush through a paper and too often the library was left in disarray Friday night, leaving too much to do in the hour after closing. So Tabitha’s job would be to straighten up the place, shelve and complete other miscellaneous tasks.

The second part would technically be true too, as she as going to stay at the library an hour after it opened, until she needed to go to Weisz’s just before nine. Thankfully, he lived about five minutes from the library by foot, so it would not seem so conspicuous for her to go through downtown for a walk. Still, Tabitha found herself hoping that her parents would not happen to be in down town at the same time she was.

So, for the first few hours of the morning, she anxiously tidied the library, while she waited for 8:50. When the time finally came, Tabitha bid goodbye to her coworkers, and began a light jog to Weisz’s building where he apparently had a whole loft to himself. He also lived at the very top, on the sixth floor, in a building without an elevator. During the climb up, Tabitha muttered to herself all the things she had learned from the book so far. When she reached the landing at the very top, she knocked swiftly and read her watch one last time. 8:59 am—she was almost right on time.

“You are nearly late,” Weisz remarked as he opened the door. Apparently Weisz say every glass of milk as half empty. “Come in. There are some gentlemen who would care to meet with you.” He stepped aside for her to enter, and Tabitha found her nose assaulted by something more acrid than cigarette smoke, and say that of the two gentlemen sitting at the far side of the loft, one had a cigar in his hand. Both stood to greet her, meeting she and Weisz halfway, holding out their hands.

“Miss Walls, so glad to finally make your acquaintance,” said the taller of the two. “George Peckham, attorney and this is my associate—”

“Michael Ingram, my gel, pleased to meet you,” said the man with the cigar. They both wore crisp black suits, though Mr. Ingram’s looked like an older style than Mr. Peckham’s.

“You must forgive our intrusions into your lessons, but I am afraid we knew of no other way to contact you, except through Mr. Weisz,” said Mr. Peckham, followed by Mr. Ingram’s addendum,

“Dreadful business at the wake—fainting spell—completely natural in your case though—” Mr. Peckham nodded along and continued,

“Well, to business—we hope not to take much of your time, you see— we’re here today concerning the last will and testament of Miss Elba Mullins. With the exclusion of personal items, and some over all paltry sums, she left most of her estate to you and charities, of course, When one factors out the charities, Ms. Mullins left you with a sum of ten million dollars of United States currency, as well as properties and personal items.”

“Ten million dollars?” Tabitha asked. “Why on earth would she leave me ten million dollars?”

“Traditionally, since Great Magicians rarely marry and often die suddenly, they leave much of their estate to their successors,” Weisz explained. “Elba donated a little less than what you inherited to charities and gave other gifts to friends.”

“ We, of course offer financial services for tax filing, should you require it,” added Mr. Peckham, while Mr. Ingram grumbled in agreement.

“I think Ms. Walls will need assistance in filing her taxes as she has never done so before,” said Weisz. The two attorneys nodded quite emphatically.

“Also, Ms. Walls, if you could provide us with the account information you would like the money and deeds deposited into, we can of course transfer it there as soon as possible.” She shot a look to Weisz who shrugged at her, so Tabitha nodded and pulled out her wallet where she kept her check and copied off her account number, the bank and routing information, before handing it over to the two lawyers. “Of course, we brought with us the physical items Ms. Mullins left to you and have deposited them here with Mr. Weisz. We will see about aht sum as soon as we can, Miss.” Peckham slipped her information into his briefcase before he stood and offered his hand to Tabitha. Igram followed suite, so Tabitha stood and shook hands with them and was followed by Weisz who walked them to the door.

“Lawyers,” Weisz grumbled when he shut the door behind them. “The only people I can stand less of than immortality seekers. Thank you for being brief with them.” Tabitha wrinkled her forehead.

“You don’t think they would misuse my account information, do you?”

“Hmm? No, Ingram and Peckham are too poor of magicians to try and cheat anyone—especially someone as powerful as a Great Magician.” He opened a bottle of wine and poured two glasses. Though, he watered both of them down, Tabitha wondered if she should reminded him that it was just past nine and she was underage. “Hungry?” he asked. Tabitha nodded and replied,

“A little.” Weisz nodded in return.

“Good, it means you’ve been practicing and at least attempting to feed yourself.” Weisz brought a platter over to the table between their two chairs which had fresh salmon many greens and some cheese on it. “Eat up. I will be teaching you quite a bit today. Now, my second question for you is this: do your parents know you are here?”

“No,” Tabitha replied honesty. “I thought they believed me, but then yesterday morning my step-sister told me that they had reevaluated their stance. So I thought telling them I was going to see a middle added man might be a bad idea.” Weisz nodded as she began to eat the salmon.

“Well, then, thank you for your discretion,” Weisz replied. “And how have you been eating? And fairing in school?”

“I’ve been eating all right,” she replied. “I’ve tried to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables because then you don’t have to cook them in anything fattening. But I probably haven’t been getting enough protein.”

“What about grains?” Weisz asked. “And do drink some of the wine.”

“I think I’ve been getting enough break and things,” Tabitha replied taking a small sip of the wine. It was like drinking bitter, sour grape juice. Weisz laughed her, so she must have made a face. “But as far as school goes, I did something strange on Thursday night.” Weisz leaned in and motioned for her to continue. “Well, I had already done a lot of my homework at the library, so when I got home, I was going to try and read Elba’s book. But there was so much going on around me that I couldn’t focus so I started on my homework again. I finished all of it, but afterwards it felt like I could just keep going, but I was also hungry. So I got some food and then went up and practiced with the book until dawn. Then I went to school like it was nothing.”

“It probably was magical, if that’s what you were thinking,” Weisz told her. “Often times as young magicians are learning to focus their magic, they don’t quite realize when they are and are not using it. It can give you great stamina and focus, but it is better to do these things intentionally, because you could cause undue strain on yourself. Thankfully though, you listened to your stomach. Is there anything else?”

“I was wondering about a few things I read in the book,” she said.

“Tell me nothing specific, but asked,” Weisz said. Tabitha raised an eyebrow.

“Firstly, why don’t you, or Klaus for that matter, want to see the book?”

“That book contains secrets written only for the most humble who will always be able to resist the temptation to use them,” Weisz told her. “I do not count myself among the number of those like yourself or Elba.”

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drownedinlight

January 2017

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