My Life As A Magician – Prologue and Chapter 1

My Life As A Magician is a novella that I am releasing in chapters. I expect to release chapters every week or so. It’s currently free, but at some point future chapters may require payment. Patrons will receive a complete e-book at the end. If you notice any typos, please point them out to me!

Prologue

I come from a magical time. A place and time of  magic and mystique. Where things that may seem out of the ordinary to  you happened as regular everyday occurrences.

Back then I was a  magician. I could conjure up all sorts of things. If you wanted it to  rain so your crops could grow, I could make it happen. If you wanted to  learn new languages so you could travel, I could add them to your  tongue. If you wanted to have more food on your plate, I could expand  what you’ve got.

Back then magicians all had their own specialties, and only practised within their scope.

My specialty? Reading people’s minds.

One  could say I was a black magician. Reading people’s minds is not a noble  trick. It was my belief that our minds are sacred and not for the free  reading of others. This was, however, my specialty. My gift. My talent.  The magic ability that came most naturally to me. It was my burden. My  demise.

And so it was. I, Arcadia Guzmata, was a black magician who read people’s minds.

Chapter 1

I’d like to share with you the story of my apprenticeship.

I was pretty young – just a girl, really. As young as a girl with two pigtails and a little red dress could be.

I  was apprenticing with Mr Bishop. He worked out of his shed making all  sorts of boxes and sticks and tricks. Mr Bishop’s speciality was making  people disappear. He spent a lot of time creating props so that his  magic was very theatrical. I think you would like it, as it is much like  the magic you know today.

One day when the air was still and the  light was golden, the birds had suddenly gone quiet. I was lying on the  grass by Mr Bishop’s shed that looked out over the hills of beyond. I  was thinking about all sorts of things, as you do when you peer into  other people’s minds. When the birds went quiet I sat up. I looked  around, heightening the senses of my eyes, amplifying the senses of my  ears, and I saw that nothing was moving and nothing was creating any  noise. Everything was unusually and remarkably still.

I got up and head towards the shed.

“Mr Bishop!” I called out, “Mr Bishop! Are you still in here?”

He  was at the back of the shed rummaging around some wooden boxes and old  material. I couldn’t see exactly what he was doing, but I could tell he  was not quite right.

“Pass me a spanner, would you,” he said, and I  quickly pulled one off the wall mount and ran it over to him, careful  not trip over anything.

“What’s going on, Mr Bishop? Everything’s quiet outside. The birds have gone!”

And that’s what happened. That’s why he was stressed. That’s why he was out of sorts.

“What have you done, Mr Bishop?”

He  turned to face me, a rare bead of sweat dripped down his brow, and in  his old man voice said, “Arca, let this be a lesson to you. You must use  your talents for good, do you hear me? You can only use your powers for  good. Because if you do something like this – if you do the equivalent  of make the birds disappear – people will be onto you. They’ll know that  you’ve done something wrong.”

Now I could see what he was doing.  He was putting his clothes into boxes. I looked into his eyes. He had to  leave town. Immediately. It was not just that the birds were no more.  The town councillor would be after him. He did this in an act of  revenge, and he had to leave before things got worse. Before he made  more things disappear.

“Arca, you can come with me if you like, or you can stay. You’ve got until I’m packed to decide.”

I  was just a girl with two pigtails and a little red dress. I had nowhere  else to go. There were no other magicians in Abbotsford that I could  apprentice with, and few people were sympathetic to young magician  girls.

So it was then that I gathered my belongings into a small cotton bag, and decided to leave my pastoral hometown.

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My Life As A Magician is also being published on Wattpad, Substack, and Royal Road.

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