Become a Fan
A Fool's Journey, Chapter 1: Searching...
By Wes Cloven
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
This is the start of a story following a mans self discover, his journeys through other worlds, and the evil trying to stop him. A story of magic and discovery.
He walked down the sidewalk deep in thought, barely aware of his surroundings, brightly lit by the street lamps. Wearing black jeans and a light leather jacket, he seemed to be young, perhaps mid to upper twenties. He was fairly tall, maybe around 6’2”, and looked to be slightly overweight. A light breeze ruffled his long, wavy, dark brown hair. Although he would have looked at you uncomprehendingly if you mentioned it to his face, he had a solid presence about him. Any thief or mugger looking for easy prey would skirt a safe distance around him. Not because of how he looked, but because of how he made you feel. It radiated out from him, this feeling of “Don’t mess with me!”
It seemed fall was finally starting to beat back the oppressive heat of summer. The cool, light breeze was like a godsend. He was walking through a residential area that could belong to any small Midwestern town. It was late, as it always was after a lodge meeting. His mind kept wondering back to this evening’s ceremony. Their goal tonight had been the healing of one of the member’s relatives. During the ceremony he was sure he felt something, a tingling warmth flowing through him, but he was disturbed that he still could not see the energy they had called up. He had been meditating diligently twice a day for the past four months. As far as he could tell, it didn’t seem to be helping. To be honest, a twinge of doubt constantly haunted him.
Six months ago he had been reading anything he could get his hands on. He had a solid understanding of setting up and performing a ritual. He had a sharp mind and was able to quickly learn these things. The problem was that self doubt constantly plagued him. Was anything happening during these rituals or was he playing out some fantasy? This self doubt caused him to keep searching, reading more and more searching for answers. Many of the books seemed to contradict each other. After all, there could only be one true path, right? Finally he came across a notice posted in a new age bookstore that read:
Are you looking for what exists beyond the boundaries of what you can see? Have you always wanted to develop psychic powers? We may have what you are looking for! We are a Magical lodge based off the Golden Dawn tradition and are currently seeking a new member. To learn more, ask for Sherri at the register.
He had always felt there was more than met the eye in the world around him. It was not something that he could describe or point to, but he believed there was a whole world waiting to be explored, if only he knew how. Perhaps he couldn’t learn from the books alone. Maybe he needed to work with a real person, a person with the answers to all of his questions. He decided to give it a try and talked to Sherri. She had asked him several questions about his beliefs and what he did for a living. He could tell she was feeling him out to see if he was relatively sane. She must have liked what she heard, because she put him in touch with someone from the lodge that quickly became his mentor for the past four months.
What he had learned in those past four months was that nobody had all the answers. He had seen enough to know that something was happening during the ritualistic ceremonies. Most of the people in the lodge had admitted to him that they intuitively knew what was happening in the rituals, but did not actually see anything. The lodge leader always seemed to allude to more, but he was not a person you could easily approach. Perhaps he had just read too much fantasy books and expected too much.
Picking up on the associations certain colors, smells and symbols had with emotions, energies, and archetypes had been fairly easy. The rituals supposedly used these associations to speak to the subconsious of each participant. He had always had a good memory, and he had a good head start because of all the books he had already read. The problem was never with his memory. One thing that seemed to always hold him back was his Christian background. Part of him was always wondering if he was going to burn in hell for participating in the ceremonies. Another, more reasonable, part of him kept insisting that there had not been a ceremony that did anything remotely “evil”, if there is such a thing.
The people in the lodge all seemed sincere and truly believed in the work they performed. It just seemed to him that something was still missing. Trying not to be too discouraged, he looked up to see he was standing in front of his apartment.
After entering, taking a quick shower, he went to bed.
The images came fast. A young woman picking berries, dressed in an old fashioned dress; a city with strange looking buildings taller than anything he had seen before, with cars flying through the air; a dark cliff, with the sound of the sea unseen coming up from the darkness below; an old priest kneeling in reverence in front of an altar depicting an unknown god; a well dressed, middle-aged man looking right at him.
“How did you get in here? Get out!!!” The man’s eyes were dark, open wide with a look of surprise and perhaps a hint of fear in them. He raised his hand and produced a darkness that seemed to swirl and pull in the surrounding light. The swirling ball of darkness grew larger and seemed to start moving in his direction, as an evil smile spread across the man's face.
He sat up in bed suddenly, breathing heavily, sheets soaked in sweat. The terror of seeing those eyes was still fresh in his mind. The cold hatred in those eyes, mixed with fear puzzled him. Why would anyone with the power this guy seemed to have be afraid of him? It had seemed so real and he felt that his life had been truly in danger, but how could that be? It was just a dream. It was a very strange dream, but still just a dream.
Looking at the clock he noticed it was 5:38. Deciding he may as well get up, since his alarm would be going off in twenty minutes anyway, he started going through his morning hygiene ritual.
Thirty minutes later, feeling better, he walked into what would normally be the second bedroom in this department. The walls of this room were lined with books. In the center of the room was a single small table, with an incense burner resting on top. Beside the table was a simple wooden chair. After lighting a stick of incense, he sat in the chair and, closing his eyes, let the familiar smell pull his mind away from the sights and sounds around him.
Starting by letting his body relax, keeping his breathing slow and regular, he slowly was able to let go of his thoughts. For a while he drifted in calm silence with only a few ripples of thoughts disturbing his peaceful state of mind. He had only recently been able to achieve this level of meditation. The trick, he had found, was to try not to think about what was happening or what should be happening, but to take everything in stride. It was difficult at first, because every time he thought he was getting somewhere he would get excited and suddenly be back in his chair, disappointed once again. After a while, he was able to experience without thinking about it. He was just there. He was a silent observer, not influencing anything, but experiencing everything.
An image drifted in and took shape. He almost lost his focus and the image wavered, but he was able to recover and the image became solid once more. As the image grew, it surrounded him in sight, sound and smells. This had not happened before. He could see the thorns on the bushes in front of him. The red berries shone in bright contrast to the darker green leaves. The air was fresher than he remembered ever experiencing, the scents of the plants around him almost intoxicating. It was warm with the sun shining down on his face, unlike the cool autumn days he had been experiencing lately.
A gasp startled him out of his silent contemplation. Jumping up he saw the same young lady from his dreams, staring at him. She was holding a basket tightly to her chest, looking as if she wasn’t sure whether to scream, run, or both.
I must have fallen asleep and started dreaming again, he thought to himself. Looking around, he saw a large village in the distance. It seemed dominated by a large towering building in the center, reaching several stories into the sky. The tallest buildings around it seemed to be only two stories tall.
Confused, he turned and looked at the woman once again. She was looking at his clothes. He had slipped into a comfortable pair of grey sweat pants and a sweat shirt to match. He was wearing socks, but had not put on any shoes. He thought it was odd he was still wearing the clothes he had on when he started meditating. His dreams never seemed to mimic his waking life.
“I have never seen such clothes, good sir. You must be one of the Magi,” she said, averting her eyes and looking very nervous. “Only one of the Magi could appear from thin air as you just did. May I be of service to you?”
Feeling even more confused, he replied, “Where am I? What town is this?”
“This is Malyard, home of the Arch-Magus Lorrien. He has formed a small school to teach those that wish to become one of the Magi.” Frowning suddenly she said, “Please forgive me sir. You must already know of Arch-Magus Lorrien. If you wish I will take you to him immediately.”
“Please, call me Randal. I would very much like to meet Lorrien.”
“Of course, Magus Randal. My name is Althea. Please follow me.”
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