The Saga
Castle Window


Chapter 8

The lady puts a steaming plate of breakfast in front of you and says as you enjoy the aroma of fresh eggs and bacon with all the trimmings, "My father used to say if your stomach was full, you could tolerate a lot of other unpleasant things, like being tired or cold, or having a roof that leaks rain." She filled your cup and said in a motherly tone, "Eat before it gets cold!" and you dig in.

You look up from your plate and notice that the wizard has vanished. You didn't hear him leave. "Where did he disappear to?" you ask the lady who has finally stopped cooking and is sitting with her own plate of food at the table near you. "One is never sure." she replied in a mysterious tone, "He has perfected one spell in all the years I have known him and that is disappearing whenever he decides to do so."

You decide not to comment on the fact that in hundreds of years even the most inept person would surely learn something and then finally remember what you were going to ask the lady. "By the way," you say casually while pushing back from the long oak table, "I wanted to ask last night how you made the tray appear with the hot chocolate on it." Solitaire smiled softly and said, "When you hear magickal words repeated often enough, you learn a few that are useful."

"Could you teach me some magick?" you ask, hoping you don't sound too eager. The lady sipped her coffee and considered your request for a long moment before replying. "Learning any new skill is a matter of learning it's responsible use." she said, sounding a lot like a textbook. Then she smiled and said "I can teach you how to begin to learn, for you must begin at the beginning." To which you reply you are a willing student and ask her to be patient for a moment while you get a notebook and a pen from your car so you can take proper notes.

"You won't need notes for what I'm going to teach you." she said smiling. "It's very simple." Disappointed that it sounds clearly like you are being put off and won't learn anything useful, you try to compose your face so it won't reveal how you feel about this turn of events. But the lady seems to be able to read your mind.

"The beginning is very important, but also very simple." she said again patiently. "It is only three words: Desire, Belief, and Expectancy." You give her a puzzled look. "That's it?" you ask. "What does that have to do with magick?"

"Everything!" she said leaning forward and pushing her plate aside. "Without those three things, there is no magick." "You need desire first, for obvious reasons, and then you need to believe that a thing can happen, and then you must go about getting it as if you expect it to fall into your lap." "Okay," you say hesitantly, "Say I want to know who is on the other end of the phone when it rings. How do I learn to do that?"

Solitaire grinned and then said with all seriousness "You get Caller ID." and then she reaches over and squeezes your hand and says "That takes training to teach your mind to know things, but you can do that if that is what you want to do." " How you do that is to practice. When the phone rings you concentrate on who you think it is and write it down on a paper next to the phone."

"How does that help?" you ask. "It helps when you are right because you make a star beside that name." "If you consistently get one person right and always mistake say Tom for Chuck, then you can make corrections to your thinking." "There is nothing magick about it."

"So how do I make a table with food on it appear?" you say rising to the challenge that you started too simple. "You don't at first." she said warmly. "You need to start smaller than that." "How about learning to always get a parking place right next to the door of anyplace you go?" she said with a huge grin on her face. "Well, now you are talking!" you reply.

"Okay, that is simple enough for starters." Solitaire replied and began clearing dishes. "Don't I need to write down the magickal words I'll need to do that?" you say, thinking that now you need your paper and pen and don't have them. "Nope." she replied running water over the dishes in the sink. "You think the empty parking place there."

"Yeah, sure you do." You begin to think this is a crazy place and you need to go now.

You take your dishes to the sink to put them in the soapy water and there is not only no soapy water, there are no dishes. "What happened to the dishes?" you ask. "I put them away." she replied.

Shaking your head and thinking you clearly have no chance of ever learning magick from her or the crazy old wizard, you try to think of a way to get out of this conversation and head for your car. Solitaire seems to understand you are doubtful and she tells you to go try using what she taught you about parking places.

"Go find a parking lot where you always end up walking a long way to get to the building," she said patiently "and see if you can think a place in front of the door for yourself." "You may need to do this a few times before it works reliably." she cautioned.

You take your leave from the Castle, waiving to Aganon who is outside flying high in the sky above the parapets. You get in your car and head for civilization thinking to yourself it was fun, but you didn't learn any magick. "Oh well," you say outloud to yourself "I need to stop at the store anyway so I'll see if this works when I get there."

While you are driving you do exactly what Solitaire explained to you to do. You picture the front of the building you are going to and directly in front of it is an empty parking place, regardless of how full the rest of the lot is.

You note that it has started to rain and you have no umbrella with you. "Well, that certainly gives me the desire part of the magick!", you think to yourself.

The belief part is tough at first, but you have seen a lot of amazing things in the past couple of days, so you are ready to believe.

As you pull into the outer edges of the huge lot you see a lot of cars parked clear out toward the edges and think to yourself there is no point in driving up to the front of the building.

Then a voice in the back of your mind says "Expectancy" and you drive right up by the front door. There in front of you is an empty parking stall. "Well, I'll be!" you say out loud as you park your car.

You vow to return soon and tell Solitaire what happened. Perhaps she will teach you more about this magick of the mind.

"I know what I'll do, I'll go back on Halloween." you say out loud and then glance around to see if anyone was listening. Then more quietly you say to yourself "That drafty old castle will be the perfect place to go for a spooky evening."

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