It’s good that no one believes in magic. I hate the idea of giving people false hope. Magic can do anything, magic can fix any problem. Just like everyone in the world could stop being an asshole. The reality is more complicated.
I almost chickened out. I told Dany 50 times that there was no guarantee that it would work. She’s not magic like me but she’s magic enough that I was hoping she’d know how it does with magic. She did, but I could tell he was getting her hopes up anyway. That crushed me more than when the spirit was actually crushing my lungs.
It seemed strange that Dany had to make an appointment to visit her brother. Long term care facilities must be very regimented. It also seemed heartless that the staff weren’t thrilled about the idea of Daniel getting to sit in the cab of a semi-truck, as we claimed was a dream of his, but one nurse was sympathetic and set it up.
I was sweating through my clothes on the way over. I think I was on the verge of having a panic attack. This is not a good frame of mind for working magic. Ruth tapped me on the shoulder. I thought she was going to say some bullshit about God or prayer or something but she said “you got this”.
That helped way more than it should have. I was able to block out the fact that Dany was gripping the wheel of the truck like a venomous snake she was strangling. I thought she was going to break her own fingers. I was able to ignore that she had the most forced fragile smile plastered on her face I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve seen a few.
I’ve learned three different healing spells give or take two. I’ve merged bits of each them into a few new ones. Not to get all jazz up in this shit, but when I heal sometimes I’m not even using any of those spells exactly. You have to feel your way through it.
One of Royale’s merry men was a healer. In dumb Lord of the Rings House of Dragons shows magic healers are quiet pacifist virginal women in white gowns. This guy was a hard fighting, hard drinking, hard fucking SOB. There isn’t much from him in Royale’s papers but I studied everything that he wrote.
Such as – “Healing ain’t for sissies. You’re going in a cave with a hungry bear, you got to throw everything you got at that fucker. You want to be a healer? Get mean.” He didn’t say fucker that was me, he said some old timey word that means the same thing.
His theory is that if you want to be great at healing a broken arm two things you needed to do are bust someone’s arm and have your arm busted. Understand it from the inside out. I think there’s some truth to that. I think I might be an okay healer because I’ve felt a lot of stuff happen to me.
On my own I can only heal things that can be healed. Does that make sense? I can’t regrow a finger because fingers don’t grow back. I can heal a bullet to the gut because that the body can handle that if you get medical attention. I don’t think I’ll ever be powerful enough to do more on my own.
That’s why magic is so popular as a cult activity.
Dany was so concerned about the orderlies taking Daniel out of his wheelchair that I thought she might pass out. I don’t know if me stepping in to pick him up made her feel any better. I doubt he weighed 80 pounds.
“This is a little fast for a first date” his voice was barely more than a whisper. If my ear hadn’t been right next to his mouth I doubt I would have heard him.
I wish I had my wits about me to banter with him but I was too busy freaking out about what I was going to try to do. “I just couldn’t keep my hands off of you, don’t hold it against me” was the best I could do. I’m not good at banter anyway. He favored me with a chuckle.
Once I had him settled in the driver’s seat belted in so he wouldn’t fall I jumped around to the passenger seat. When I asked him what he knew about what I was going to do he gestured with his eyes towards the dashboard where the Spirit of Route 66 had manifested as a little Hula Girl-dashboard Christ amalgamation.
“I bet it has something to do with that” he gasped.
“You can see that?!”
He gave me a look that said “of course I can see it, what kind of question is that?”
“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked the plastic Hula-Christ before me “If you hold back we could both be destroyed.”
“I’m afraid of going away” its voice was the mildly robotic mildly British tone of the Google maps lady “How can I not be afraid?”
I was thinking ‘I wish I fucking knew’ when Daniel managed to raise his voice to a barely audible level “Whenever I’m afraid of what’s coming I think about how no voyage has an end, only a new beginning. A native American told me that so you know it’s true.”
Route 66 chuckled a British robo-laugh.
I’ve said a bunch of times that magic is very dangerous. I’ve said that you have to be certain of what you’re doing before you attempt anything. Which is true. What’s also the truth is that magic is always risky. No matter how hard you work at it you never know what might happen. There are no rules, as much as we want there to be. Every time you cast a spell you’re closing your eyes and jumping off a cliff into the water.
I was going to plagiarize some erotica I listened to here to describe what it felt like to channel 66’s power. Because there’s no way to describe it honestly and I thought it would lighten the mood of this post. I didn’t do that though. Just imagine this part here is funny.
What I can tell you is that its power was immense, it was almost too much for me to take. Okay, that does sound like erotica. But I could also tell that it was a hollow shell. That enormous power was a fraction of what it once was. It was such a vacant empty sensation that I wanted to cry.
“I don’t know what you’re going to feel if this works” I told Daniel through clenched teeth, feeling like I might explode “but it’s probably going to be really fucking weird.”
The look in his eyes said ‘I’ll take any feeling I can get at this point.’
I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t worked. But it did. It did work. The orderlies and the nurse didn’t react at first when Daniel carefully climbed out of the truck all on his own. It took them a minute to comprehend what they were seeing. Can’t blame them for that.
“What happened?” one of them squawked.
“A miracle” Ruth said, winking at me “they happen every day if you look for them.”