Searching For Magic
Chapter 1

So you remember when I said that I'd planned to learn magic some point, and how my search led me to finding some interesting people. This is that story.

I didn't get to start looking as soon as I would have liked. The owner of the bakery where Omar worked sold the place to retire, and he had to get a job somewhere else. We decided we might as well leave Union altogether and moved down to Peekskill. Omar found a job doing dry cleaning, and I wound up with a theater company who desperately needed their building fixed. I ended up working a lot of overtime so it would be done on schedule.

During what free time I had, I kept my eyes open for books, classes, or anything else. But unlike now, where you can find nearly anything of that nature on the Internet in moments, it took a little more time and effort. And often as not you'd find... well. I'll tell you what I found and let the story speak for itself.

One cold winter night after work, I was coming home from work and stopped in at a local cafe to get a hot drink. There was a bulletin board inside where people posted ads, notices, or whathaveyou. There was a paper advertising a Mystical Dimension Academy, which claimed it would teach me powers beyond my dreams. I thought it was a little melodramatic, but I figured I might as well take a look. I wrote down the address in the small notebook I always carried in my pocket, and on my next day off I drove out to the place. It was a suburban home with a festive wreath on the door, complete with a couple of bells hanging from the middle. I knocked and waited, and soon a young man who couldn't have been older than twenty five opened it. "So are you here to learn the mystical ways?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "Are you a student?"

He frowned at me. "I am the teacher," he said, in a voice trying too hard to sound powerful and important. "And for your insolence, I should make you leave. But... I feel like you have great potential. Please come inside."

He led me into the house and down into a basement that had been done as a lounge, and invited me to sit down on the sofa. I did and looked over. Overall it looked pretty normal; it was probably built in the early sixties for the kind of people who liked feeling normal and modern. On the wall was a hand-made poster with a magical diagram of some kind, and the coffee table held few books on mythology, religion, and mysticism. He sat down in a large recliner like someone who wished that it was a throne and he was a king.

"What is your name?"

"Adry," I said. "What's yours?"

"I am Melchizedek," he said. "Tell me, have you heard of the Age of Aquarius?" Again, his tone had a kind of deliberate, forced intensity that was impossible to take seriously.

Far be it from me to judge a man for naming himself after an obscure Biblical figure, but Melchizedek wasn't giving me a lot of confidence. However, I was morbidly curious and I didn't have anywhere else to be. "There was a song the radio a few years back," I said. "What about it?"

He scoffed. "It's more than a simple melody on the radio, you know."

"Is that so?" I asked.

"Oh yes," he said. "It will be a glorious age, where the filth and misery of this one shall be swept away and shall be no more." He looked at me and frowned. "You don't believe me."

I shrugged. "You're making a pretty big claim," I said.

He glared. "Why are you here, if you don't believe?"

"Because I was under the impression from your flier that you were teaching magic," I said.

"Uh, yeah. To bring about the Age of Aquarius," he said, eyes narrowing into a glare. "You did read it, didn't you?"

"I might've skipped the fine print."

He continued glaring at me. I decided I wasn't finished with him; there was probably a little more entertainment to be had. So I shifted to a more submissive posture. His glare faded a little. "The Archangel Michael himself came to me in a vision," he said. "And instructed me to train spirit warriors in the mystical ways so that the new age can come to pass."

"I don't remember that in the Bible," I said.

"Only because you're a fool," he said. "It's right there in Revelation - the Archangel Michael and his soldiers fight the great dragon, Satan. We are to be those soldiers."

"I think it said angels, not human soldiers-"

"Enough!" he snarled. "We do not need doubters and scoffers here, nor those who lack wisdom and understanding. Get thee hence, Satan!"

I snorted and stood up, figuring that I'd taken this as far as it could go. For a moment I was going to just walk out. But then I realized there was one more thing I could do. I spread my arms to the side and levitated upward a couple of feet. Melchizedek's eyes went wide and he stared.

And then I put my Shakespearean training to good use. I tilted my head back for a second, then stared down at him with a furious expression.

"Thou art a presumptuous and blasphemous child, speaking of things you know not. No prophecy was ever written about thee, nor shall there ever be. Practice thine art as thou like, but do not dare claim yourself to be acting on behalf of the divine, for divine justice shall be swift and merciless."

I let myself fall and land on the sofa, pretending to be passed out. Melchizedek came over and shook me by the shoulders, then gave me a firm slap on the face. "Hey, man!" he nearly yelled. I opened my eyes and looked at him. He was shaken now, fearful.

"Oh..." I said. "I... what happened?"

"I dunno, man! You just... you..." He pulled back away from me, though he was still staring.

"That happens sometimes," I said. "It just... comes over me... this force. I can't control it..." I stood up and walked to the stairs with a drunken gait. "Bye, Melchizedek."

I dramatically stumbled up the stairs and reached the top just in time to see an older couple walk in - his parents, going by the resemblance. "Oh, are you one of Jerry's friends?" his mother asked.

"Not especially," I said, and hurried outside. Once I was back in my car, I let out the laughter I'd been holding in.

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