Black Magic - Chapter 5

Chapter 5



Bret decided that he finally wanted to show his face right before I got to take a bite of this awesome club sandwich I had put together.  He really needed to work on his timing issues because the way things were going, I wasn’t sure I was going to relax at all or get any of my homework done.  Too be honest, at that point I wasn’t really feeling him, but lucky for him, he actually looked good in athletic clothes.  When I opened the door he was empty handed and had a huge smile on his face, in which I got to see every tooth in his mouth.  My mom called that type of smile a Kool-Aid smile.  He wasn’t covered with sweat or didn’t look like he had otherwise exerted himself in anyway.  What ever physical activity he had planned on doing, he hadn’t done it yet.  I didn’t return the smile.  Even if I was mad at him, I wasn’t, there was no way that I would have stayed that way.  I think the big lug meant absolutely no harm, and it’s hard to hold a grudge against a person like that. 

“Well it’s nice to see that you’re alive,” I said to him before he could say a word.  I wasn’t about to let him off easy.  I turned and headed back towards the kitchen.  He followed uninvited. “Where have you been all day?” I asked him when we got to the kitchen. 

“Man, that looks good,” he said ignoring my question.  He sat down at the kitchen table right in front of my club sandwich, and eyed it hungrily.  At any second he was going to start drooling on top of it.

“If you value your life,” I warned. “You’ll keep your dirty hands far away from that plate. I don’t know where they’ve been.”

“Why is it that sistahs get all violent over their food?” he asked.

I was about to say a totally smartass remark, then I remembered his sister in law.  He might actually know what he was talking about.  That didn’t change the fact that what he said was incredibly gross.  I walked over, and stood directly in front of him.

“Droll on my sandwich, and I’ll show you violent.”

“Give me your best shot.”  He quickly jumped up and wrapped me in a big hug before I could react.  He then kissed me, and it was good, but I wanted my sandwich.

“Ew! You need a shower,” I joked as I pushed him away.  He sat back down in the chair trying to look embarrassed, but he couldn’t resist the lure of the club sandwich.  His eyes went right back to it.

“Jeez, if you’re that hungry, I’ll make you your own,” I said quite exasperated.  I was already inside the refrigerator.

“Oh cool, I’ll take it with mayo and ketchup.”

“Ketchup? On a Club? That’s trifling. Why not mustard like normal people?”

“I hate mustard.”

“Aren’t you going to get cramps going to work out after eating?” I asked as I worked.

“I’m not going to the gym.  I just left the batting cages.”

“Wow, pretty serious are we? Are you trying to get drafted out of high school?”

He waited a bit before giving me a response, long enough that I stopped making his sandwich and looked at him. 

“Why do you say that?”  I didn’t get why he was trying to be coy about.  I was oly joking. 

  “I didn’t know. At my old school they never went to the cages in the fall.  Maybe they did during the winter sports season, but never in September.”

“That would explain their record last season.”

“I guess.  I’m usually busy during that time. Winning races will do that.”

“So I noticed.”

I finished making his sandwich with blasted ketchup and handed to him.  “So are you going to answer my first question?” I asked as I sat down at the table and grabbed my own food.

“Which question was that?”

“Where were you all day?”

“I was there today,” he said.  “You looked like you were too involved in your own head, so I left you alone.”

“Okay, so what about after that?”  I was really glad that he figured out that I didn’t really want to be bothered and that he kept his distance.  It makes his stalkish behavior from last week not seem so bad.   

“I went to the dentist, so I left school early.”

“See what happens when you leave early?” I asked him.  “Everyone seems to think something is going on.

Bret regarded me closely.  “Like what?”

“Stop trying to act like you don’t know what is going on.” I said to him.  “I’m not that stupid.”

“Who cares what everyone else thought?” he asked.  “The only thing that really matters is what we think.”

Now that was, cliché, as much as it might be true.  However things weren’t that simple.  This was high school and it always seemed that all that matters was what everyone else thought.  I told Bret as much.

“So then why didn’t you say something?” he asked in response.

“How do you know I didn’t?  Besides, I’ve only been at this school for a week.  No one is going to believe what I say.”

“Well I’m not worried, so you shouldn’t be.”  He still hadn’t taken a bite of his club, but then I hadn’t either.  “If it makes you feel better, I’ll be all over you tomorrow.”

I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing regardless of what Angel had said.  “I’m sure that will make Caleb very happy as well as some others.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Too be honest I’m not sure.  He seems to have taken in interest in what goes on between the two of us, which I don’t get. It’s kind of cute actually.”

“That’s my buddy.  He saw all the horror I had to go through with Kendra.”

“Aw.” I joked while he took a big bite of the sandwich.  This guy was a beast when it came to food.  I mean, he was through a third of the sandwich in one bite.  “That’s so cute.  Did he lean on you about the whole Blaine thing?”

I wasn’t really expecting an answer to this question, but I got one anyway.  “Not really but he didn’t need it.  I’m surprised you even know who Blaine is.”

“He’s my lab partner.  He’s a nice guy.”

Bret didn’t disagree, which, considering what Blaine had supposedly done to his best friend, surprised me.  I still had problems with the whole story because it didn’t make any sense to me.  I asked Bret about this.

“I don’t really know him all that well,” Bret answered. “But from what I did know about him, it seemed weird.  I basically took the tone of he didn’t do anything to me so I wasn’t going to start hating him.  Angel was madder about this that Caleb was.  He was surprisingly calm, even though he wasn’t happy it.”

The fact that he basically agreed with my initial assessment, and he was a lot closer to the situation then I was, made that whole story even less logical.  Why was Caleb so calm about it?  He did have a certain disconnectedness to just about everything, but in our setting this was absolutely one of worse thing that someone can say if it’s not true.  It’s pretty bad when it is true.  I wish I had his kind of attitude about stuff.   My life would have been a lot easier that’s for sure.

“One question.” I didn’t know why I was about to ask him this because it I was sure that he didn’t know anyway.  Besides, it didn’t make any difference to my current situation.  “Why didn’t anyone ever ask Blaine if he actually said it?”

Bret shrugged in response.  “I never asked.  I don’t think that it really changed people’s view of anything except for the three people involved.”

That was an interesting statement for a number of reasons, and for the most part it was mostly true.  Bret had said that there were three people involved when really there were only two.  The actual issue only involved Blaine and Caleb, but the most interesting was that it seemed that of the three people he said were involved, the one that was the most affected by it was one with the least to lose, which was Angel.  However, I wasn’t really sure what Blaine thought.  We’ve never really spoken on the subject.  We always spent the time always talking about Bret and me.  I’ll have to bring that up in conversation.  I was curious about it, and here I was getting mad earlier about people not minding their own business.

            Bret leaned in closer to me.  “Why did you want to know about that?”

            “I don’t really know.”  I paused a second before continuing.  “It just struck me as weird when Angel told me about it.  It didn’t make any sense.”

            “We’re teenagers,” Bret responded.  “If you talked to our parents, I’m sure they would say that a lot of things we do don’t make sense.”

I couldn’t really argue with that.  I heard that constantly from my parents.  Speaking of my parents, Dad just at that moment had gotten home from work.  He was home a little earlier than usual, which meant that there weren’t any major crisis going on at the hospital.  He would have walked right by us, if he hadn’t looked in the kitchen at the last second.  He stopped, and Bret and I quickly got up from the table walked over to him.  The introduction was rather easy, and I could tell that my dad instantly liked him.  Dad probably had the benefit of a thorough briefing from Mom.  Bret, of course, was very polite.  Before I knew it, Dad had invited Bret to come over on Sunday, to watch football.  I wasn’t sure what to think of that.  Bret gave me a glance; I was non-committal, before quickly accepting.  If anything, my dad knew that I would be home on Sunday, watching football.  It was a father-daughter tradition in our house.  Having Bret there would be weird, but the fact that my dad invited him said a lot about what my dad thought of him based on what my mother told him, and this first meeting.  I was able to rescue Bret from the claws of my dad and get him out of the house with little damage.  Leave it to my dad to complicate things.  Bret took it all in stride, and promised to see me the next day, not that he needed to make that promise.  He then left, driving off in a pretty nice truck.  That was the first time I had seen it.

I went back inside and quickly cleaned up the mess I had left in the kitchen.  God forbid I left the kitchen a mess, and I knew well the results of making that mistake.  It didn’t take long because I didn’t make much of a mess to begin with.  I had learned at an early age to make as little of mess as possible and to clean as I went since I had to clean up whatever mess I made.  I then quickly left the house.  I wanted no part of the grilling that Dad was about to give me.



I had decided after I had gotten into my car to make my way down to the city.  It was easy to make that decision since the spare tire had been replaced with a brand new tire.  Actually my dad, who had driven my car for the day, had all four tires replaced.  Since I was supposed to be responsible for the upkeep of my own vehicle, he was going to have to explain that one to my mother.  I made a mental note not to be around for that conversation.  The drive wasn’t that relaxing.  I think San Diego was rapidly becoming Los Angeles as far as horrible traffic was concerned.  Someone was always getting into accidents and clogs up the freeways for miles, and if it happen to rain, the whole city became a standstill.  I made the mistake of taking the 805 Freeway in which the traffic was even worse.  It took twenty minutes to go three miles, and it was starting to get dark when I got off the freeway at University Ave going towards North Park.  I had always liked North Park.  For some reason, I had always felt at home there even if I could not explain the reason why.  It was nice area that always looked clean.  Of course it hadn’t always been that way.    I could remember when I was younger; the area looked like south San Diego just not as violent.  The area had really changed over the past few years.  It seemed to be a trend in the city was to replace apartments with condos that no one could afford and then wonder why they didn’t sell.   Even Hillcrest was considered a ghetto about twenty years ago.  I didn’t believe it when my parents first told me and that hadn’t changed. 

I ended up turning left on Thirtieth Street making my way more toward Upas, when  something had caught my eye.  There was a palm reading place that I had never seen before.  That wasn’t unusual since I wasn’t normally looking for those types of places.  However, there was something different about this place particularly.  I parked a little farther past the place where I could find an open spot and lucky for me there were not any parking meters.  Southern California is such a rip off that you have to pay for parking just about everywhere.  I got out of my car and walked towards the place.  From outward appearances, it didn’t look any different from any place like this that I had passed by on many other occasions.  As a matter of fact, the building fit in perfectly with all of the other buildings on the street.  However, that wasn’t saying a lot because it wasn’t like there was any kind of uniformity to the buildings here.  It had a rather simple black and white sign hanging nicely off the building that advertised palm and tarot card readings with a simple phone number.  The sign itself perfectly matched the building with black trim, and I was a little impressed with the color coordination. Having said that, it wasn’t what I could see that got my attention.  It was what I couldn’t see, or more to the point, it was what I felt.  There was a certain kind of vibe that I got from the place.  It was like it emitting a certain kind of energy, an energy that I had felt before.  As a matter of fact, I had felt it less than twenty four hours earlier.  It was the same energy that had left me with that feeling of intoxication.  It didn’t have the same feeling for me now.  I felt as normal as I had all day long, and even though energy definitely wasn’t coming from any other place, it didn’t feel out of place.  It felt entirely natural-or at least as natural as it could.  There didn’t seem to be anything wrong about it regardless of it being out of the ordinary. 

I walked up to the front door and stopped.  I had no clue as to what I was doing there.  I’m not really into the whole new age, physic reading thing.  It just seemed so illogical to me, that I just didn’t understand it.  I thought it was all a hoax.  Things like that just didn’t happen in the real world.  Of course, after last night, I was probably going to have to rethink my feelings on this whole esoteric thing. 

Since I wasn’t one to balk at doing things, I opened the door and stepped inside.  A bell inside announced my presence.

“John, I’ll be out in a second,” a female voice said.  I didn’t think that she could possibly be expecting someone. 

I took a moment to look around, and it was nothing like I expected.  There were no potions or crystal balls.  It wasn’t all dark and foreboding, and actually it looked more like a very nice living room.  There was a lot of light in the room, and pretty nice furniture.  It wasn’t as nice as the furniture in my house, but it was still good stuff.  The color scheme was nice, and I started to suspect that who ever owned this place actually lived here also.  I could sense the energy all around the room, and as before it didn’t have any effect on me.  However unlike earlier, I could sense it coming from all directions.  Just about everything in the room had the energy coming off of it. 

“I’m sure you are not John,” a female voice said catching me totally off guard. “So how can I help you?”  I didn’t even hear her enter the room.  She was pretty, and about my mom’s age, and was just as every bit as young looking as Mom was.  She had long grey hair that was in incredible condition, and some of the intense eyes I had ever seen.  They were like a mixture of blue and green.  I had never seen anything like it before. She even dressed nice, and that meant that she must have been really good at her job, or she made money some other kind of way.

“Hi, my name is Valerie,” I said stammering over the words.  “I’m not really sure why I’m here.”

She regarded me closely.  She seemed to think a minute and then responded.  “That’s a real good way to introduce yourself.  Look I only see clients on appointment only, so go on home and set an appointment when you figure out what you need me for.”

Okay that appointment only crap was just that, crap.  She was testing me, to see how I would react, even though I couldn’t see why she would want to do that.  I wasn’t even sure how I knew that, it was just a feeling I had.  I was never one to ignore my instincts, so I told her exactly what I thought about her appointment only bull.

Her response was a laugh.  “Okay you got me there.” She flashed a smile.  “So Val that is what your friends call you right?  My name is Debra.  Now, why don’t you tell me what really brought you here?”

“You’re supposed to be a mind reader, aren’t you?  Why don’t you tell me?” I could play games just like her, since she liked them so much. 

“I’m a palm and tarot card reader, and that has nothing to do with reading minds.  I guess you could say that I’m more of a spiritual advisor, but you don’t believe in that stuff anyway.  Have a seat.  I can’t help you if you aren’t willing to admit why you’re here.”

Hmmm…obviously she knew how to read minds or how would she know I didn’t believe in this stuff.  I decided to play along anyway.

“Why is this crazy vibe coming off everything in your house?” I asked as I sat down on a black couch.  It was a lot more comfortable than I thought.

Again she smiled.  “Okay, that was unexpected.  It’s no difference than the vibe you give off.”

I had no clue of what she was talking about.  I didn’t give off any vibes, and she didn’t hesitate when I told her as much. 

“How would you know if you gave off any vibes?”  She didn’t wait for an answer.  “Besides, I’m not the only one who’s felt this particular vibe coming from you, but we’ll get to that later.  Tell me what happened last night.”

Since she had already proven that she could read minds, I was sure that she already knew what had happened last night.  However I told her everything.  It was rather easy, probably because she was the first person I had told about what had happened the previous night.  It felt good to actually not have to hold it in for once.   I even told her about the detective, and a large weight was lifted off my shoulders.  I finished with how I ended up here and then stopped.  She didn’t say anything but just sat there and waited expectantly. Even after a couple of minutes she still didn’t say anything. 

“Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked her.  She was looking at me like I was stupid.  “I’m trying to figure out what happened here.”

“You already know what happened,” she said.  “You just told me what happened.  I think what you want to know is why.”

“Actually, I would more like to know how I stay out of jail.”

“The detective is not you enemy.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”  I really hate people who just speak in riddles. 

“Jail is not something you are going to have to be worried about. You have other problems.  However, first you must understand why those things happened.”   

Now it was my turn to look at her like she was stupid.  I was too busy worrying why I didn’t have to worry about jail. 

“First off, the vibe you feel is basically arcane energy.  It is mostly undetectable to humans.”


“Some humans, even though they have no ability of manipulating arcane energy themselves, can sense it on others.  You boyfriend has that kind of sensitivity to the energy, and he was able to pick up the arcane energy on you.  He told you as much even though he has no clue what it is”

“Bret is not my boyfriend,” I protested on impulse.

“You might as well say that he is.  It’s only a matter of time before he is anyway.”

I totally ignored that last statement because I basically deserved it anyway.  What was more interesting to me was that he was able to sense whatever she said that I was giving off.  I didn’t take long for me to remember what was she was talking about, and she was accurate.  He had mentioned to me being different right before we parted ways after he took me home from the baseball game the previous week.

“That arcane energy is what allows the use of magic,” she continued.  “Some are able to manipulate the energy through a focus point.  Others are able to do it innately.

“I don’t understand what you mean by innately.”

“Some, you being an example, are able to absorb arcane energy and able to mentally focus the energy as needed to produce magic.  That is known as an innate ability.  The type of magic is different depending on the person.”

“How different?” I asked.  I was curious, and what she was saying seemed to confirm what I felt last night.  I could almost feel the focus of the energy as I remembered it. 

“It differs for each person,” she answered. “However, it is not unique. It seems you have the innate ability to use black magic and most likely you are not the only person who can do that, even though you will probably never meet that person.  If you are familiar with role playing type games and fantasy novels, that is the ability to using magic to physically damage or destroy basically just about anything.”

“Is the type of magic random or is there some rhyme or reason to who was what ability?”

“Actually, it isn’t really known.  It is a common belief that it usually has something to do with the personality of the person.  You seem to seriously consider violent thoughts when dealing with conflicts.”

“Are you saying I’m a violent person,” I said shocked.  “I beg to differ with that assessment.”

She didn’t miss a beat.  “I would think wanting to slam that one girl’s head into a locker is pretty violent.  Her name was Kendra right?”  I frowned at her and she continued.  “You really shouldn’t try to lie to a mind reader.”

“Oh so you finally admit to being a mind reader?” I retorted.  “It took you long enough.”

“Yeah, I guess I did give that away a while back.”  She changed the subject.  “I wasn’t saying that you partake in violence, just that you consider it.  Even though you don’t usually use it, you don’t condemn it either.”

I wasn’t really sure how accurate that was, and I wasn’t really in the mood to argue with someone who knew what I was thinking.   “What’s the second thing?”

She didn’t answer right away.  It was as if she seemed to choose her words carefully.  “Well, the next part has to do with why you were even in a position to have to use the magic in the first place.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “I thought he was just some whacked out guy that I happened to run into at the wrong time.”
            She dismissed my statement with a wave of her hand.  “You know I wouldn’t bring this up if it was that simple.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.  “I don’t even know who he was before the detective told me.”

“That’s true,” she agreed.  “But he knew a lot about you.”

“How is that even possible?”

“Well obviously he had help, but hear me out.  He knew that you are just as interested in Bret as Bret was interested in you.  He clued you in on that, and there was no way that he came up with that information on his own.”

I thought about this for a second, and I suddenly realized something that I had ignored at the time.  Scott had made a comment about me liking rich white guys that were out of my league.  That statement had gone totally over my head thanks to me being disgusted with the fact that he had said that I needed loving.  He was a jackass.

“That jackass,” she said reading my mind again.  “Was given information by someone who you think is your friend.  As a matter of fact, that supposed friend had actually asked Scott to basically make you life miserable.”

“Why don’t you just tell me who this person is?”  She was a mind reader.  Actually she was more than a mind reader.  She was telling me things that obviously she didn’t get from my thoughts, so she must also have some real physic ability. 

“Because,” she said, “there are some important choices that you have to make and you figuring this out on your own will be a very important part of this process.”

Why was it that all the people who are advisors or teachers always have to speak in riddles?  It was quite annoying.  “That was helpful,” I deadpanned.

She didn’t seem to care all that much.  “Here are a couple of things to remember.  There is only one person you can trust completely, and he is indirectly the cause of everything that has and has yet to happen.”

I could only guess that she was talking about Bret here.  That was the only thing that made sense.  Considering that the whole reason why Scott was after me anyway, was because of Bret.  He had let that slip while he was taunting me.  It was the only thing that she had told me since I’ve been here that was in any way logical.

“What else?” I asked.

“Basically the person you’re looking for basically gets everyone else to do their dirty work while appearing helpful to you.”  It didn’t escape my attention that she went to great lengths to not specify a gender.  That would seriously narrow down the list of suspects, and for some reason, she didn’t want to do that.  I felt like I was in a cartoon where I was the student, and the Xaolin Monk was always talking in riddles instead of just simply stating their point.  Her vagueness continued with her next statement.  “Also your enemy has a couple of ears feeding them information.  One person is feeding the information on purpose, and the other is doing it on accident.”

“I don’t understand what this has to do with the magic?” I asked confused.

Before she could give me an answer, an older gentleman walked through the front door and into the living room.  She nodded in his direction and said to me.  “Unfortunately, that is my next appointment, and unlike you, he is actually a paying customer.  Come back tomorrow and we can talk about the magic.”

We got both and walked to door.  I was totally confused about what was going on, and when we had gotten to the door, I asked, “What if I use the magic and killed someone else?  It wasn’t like I had any control of it the first time.”

Her answer didn’t make me feel any better.  “You are a lot more of a danger to yourself than you can ever be to anyone else.”



kt6550   kt6550 wrote
on 2/13/2009 8:43:29 PM
This, I think, will turn out to be a really interesting novel. But don't publish it here. No one on this site likes to read anything over five hundred words except me. :) If you decide to post the novel in its entirety, and I hope that you do, The Den of Amateur Writing has an excellent set of editing and posting tools. They will allow you to post the entire novel all in one setting, and insert chapter breaks at the proper areas. Since my material is fairly long, I post there as well. I do hope you post the entire novel.

Novel / Novella
writing ajodom
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The cryptic mind reader