The Burn

Laura’s friend is going to visit in a couple of days.  I assumed he was coming in person because you can’t teach someone a spell over the phone but she grinned and said “he’s not really a phone guy”.  Her smile is blinding.  I can’t be mean about it though because she’s letting me stay at her apartment. Based on the lack of everything, I don’t think she spends much time there.

She didn’t ask me to help out at the shelter, she just told me when to be there.  I had terrifying visions of trying to counsel some poor woman and her kids but that’s not how that works.  They’re not stupid at these places, they don’t send untrained people to do things they can’t do.

I spent my time helping out their facilities director, fixing stuff and changing lightbulbs and cleaning, shit like that.  He was an old geezer who didn’t have much to say other than giving me orders which suited me fine.  It would have suited me better if his pants covered his ass all the time but you can’t have everything.

Laura isn’t a complete saint, she does have one vice – she loves old cars.  We went for a drive around the lake in her ‘57 Nomad.  It was a bit cool to have the windows down but she didn’t seem to mind.  She said that she likes the chilly wind, that it makes her feel alive.

She said to me “Freedom is an illusion, but it’s an easy illusion to buy when you’re rolling down Lake Shore Drive.”  

I asked her, if freedom is an illusion, how does she keep doing everything she’s doing?  If all our plotting and scheming and planning and hard work amount to nothing, if the rich and powerful make all the real decisions and we’re just along for the ride, what does it matter?  

She said that she keeps going because decisions matter.  What we do matters.  It matters to the people we help.  Or hurt.  

I asked her what had happened, why she couldn’t do magic anymore.  I know from Royale’s notes that very powerful, very, very, very powerful, mages can sever someone’s connection to magic but I had never heard of someone losing it.  

She told me that her magic skills were very minor to begin with.  She tried too hard for a spell too far outside of her ability and that was that.  The spark was snuffed.  Burnout, she called it.  

So that can happen.  Good to know.

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