Illusions begin, p.14
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       Illusions Begin, p.14

           N.L. Greene
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  Chapter Nine

  Becky let out the breath she had been holding when a forum popped up on the screen in front of her. “Seriously?” she asked into the empty apartment. All that anticipation and trepidation over a forum? She felt oddly let down. She wasn’t sure what she had been expecting but it sure wasn’t this. Disappointed, she started to shut down the site and resign herself to some mindless TV but before she could, some of the words in the discussion threads caught her eye. Words like magic, mystical, and illusion practically jumped off the screen at her. She blinked a few times, making sure she wasn’t seeing things, before clicking on the first conversation thread.

  A strand with over a hundred threads popped up and each one was about magic. She had spent a lot of time researching magic, magicians, and illusions on line, visiting hundreds – if not thousands of sites that were related to magic in some way or another. This site was unlike any of the other sites she had come across. First of all, the obviously cryptic way she entered the site and how she found out about it in the first place were much different than having stumbled on it. But the way she was able to get into the site and view some of the threads and conversations without having to log in was also bizarre.

  Worried it may be some sort of fluke and kick her out at any time, she quickly scrolled down the page, reading the comments and discussions in wonder. These people spoke about magic as if it were real. They discussed the supernatural things they had done, how they had taught other people to experience some of those things, and how to harvest the energy for the magic. The rational, educational part of her mind kept telling her how bogus this all was and that she couldn’t believe a word of it. No matter how right that side of her brain was though, the other side wouldn’t let her pull her eyes away from the screen.

  After a few minutes of scanning and reading, one particular user name seemed to keep popping up, having input on each and every discussion. MysticSeeker. She wondered at the name because it matched the name of the forum as well as the name on the card she had somehow been slipped. The logical explanation was that this person must be the creator of the site, explaining why both the name of the site and the user id would be identical. Curious about this person in particular, she clicked on the name to pull up the user profile. Disappointment struck again when it didn’t offer very much information. It only revealed the sex, age, and city of the user; male, twenty-five, and New York. She wanted to be surprised by the city, but common sense set in and reminded her that the card somehow found its way into her pants pocket, here in New York.

  Below the profile, there were threads to conversations he had led. Clicking on the first one, Becky began to read about this person’s belief in real magic. After reading quite a few of the conversations and his comments, she was able to pick up on some things that made her breath catch. He said that he had always had an affinity for seeing what others didn’t always notice, being able to reveal secrets that were hidden well, and as a child he was able to perform magic tricks like a seasoned magician. It all sounded pretty familiar and made Becky’s heart rate pick up. She read about how his grandfather began to teach him how to recognize real magic when he was a teenager and taught him how to use the elements of the earth and the power contained within himself to invoke real magic.

  She was totally getting sucked into his story. It all sounded so believable. He wasn’t talking about witches and wizards or faeries and unicorns. He wasn’t trying to get others to believe in alternate universes or magical realms. He was talking about using the magic that was already around us. The natural magic that comes from the earth and the universe and combining it with the power within a person to do things that were beyond what a normal person could do. If Becky ever believed in any sort of magic, this was what she had envisioned. She had always felt that there were special people that could connect with themselves and with the world around them on a level others couldn’t. She always believed that nature, space, and time were magical in a way that was beyond what science could explain. The idea of combining the magic in the world with the strong inner power of a human seemed possible. Right?

  Becky shook her head and chuckled at herself. Why was she buying into this craziness? Just because this guy wrote so passionately about it and it played to every whimsical thought she had ever had, wasn’t a good enough reason to believe in the existence of bona fide magic. She had read some pretty well written vampire and werewolf books as well, the writer was so vivid with their descriptions that she felt like she could just close her eyes and be in the world that the author had created on the pages. But she didn’t believe in vampires and werewolves did she? No, not even remotely. So why was she yearning so desperately to believe in this?

  She knew why, because deep down inside of her, there was still a little girl who wanted more than anything in the world for magic to be real. That was why she still solved the tricks she saw other magicians do, why she went to every show she possibly could, and practiced the tricks on her own. She even chanced someone discovering her secret by doing her own little magic show in Central Park. She was subconsciously hoping that one day she wouldn’t be able to solve one, because if she couldn’t solve a trick or illusion that a magician did, then it meant there was a slight chance there was more to the world of magic. She wanted someone to prove to her that magic was always real. After all these years of researching, discussing, and watching all she possibly could regarding magic, it looked like maybe she had finally found the first real sign of hope for undiscovered magic.

  Except she hadn’t actually been the one to find it…it or they had found her.

  How did these people find her anyway? And why were they so persistent that she locates them? They couldn’t possibly advertise this sort of thing or encourage others to find out about it; especially if it’s real. No, if these people really know true magic, they would want to keep it a secret. Evidently they’d done an amazing job so far. Becky had spent hundreds of hours on the internet looking up sites like this and never had she even come close to discovering a group such as this one.

  Sure she had stumbled on many sites and met various people that believed in magic. But they also believed in every mythical creature she had ever heard of and some she hadn’t. They were usually pretty crazy and fanatical about what they believed, turning Becky off from them immediately. This was different. This was a belief in something that, although still seemed impossible, was totally plausible.

  Deciding that she needed to know exactly what this group of people was all about, she began looking for some contact information. Maybe a phone number or address would be provided somewhere and she could just call them up. Once she actually spoke to someone she would know if they were crazy like all the rest. But there wasn’t anything. There wasn’t even a place to join the site or any way to send a message or e-mail to inquire about more information. She may have been given the site information, but she wasn’t given any sort of access beyond that.

  This whole thing was bizarre. Why would someone want her to see this, not only sending her an e-mail but also seeking her out and slipping her a card, but give her no way to contact them? With that thought, she remembered the e-mail. Giddy with excitement, she quickly pulled up her account and found the e-mail. She opened it up and hit reply. Fingers flying across the keyboard, she typed a quick e-mail asking for further contact information and then hit send. Her excitement quickly turned to disappointment and frustration when almost immediately her computer dinged; alerting her she had a new message. In her inbox there was an error message telling her that the action failed and the message was undeliverable.

  Becky let out an irritated sigh. She felt like she was being teased. Being so close and yet so far away from everything she had ever dreamt of was beyond exasperating. Having no way to contact these people, she knew that her only option was to wait and hope they would attempt to contact her again. Knowing there wasn’t anything else she could do abou
t it now; she slammed her laptop shut, cleaned up her mess, and stomped off to bed.

  Before drifting off to sleep, a thought floated across her mind…if there was a group of people that knew and practiced natural magic, of course they wouldn’t have contact information readily available to the public. They would be the ones seeking out others, deciding who could know their secret. And they had sought her out…

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