Ignorance and The Art Of Spellcraft Tradition / Ritual in Dread Romantic | World Anvil

Ignorance and The Art Of Spellcraft

Olive walks along the wooden deck of the garden at a slow pace. She nears the graveyard and the church, eager to give Toby a proper welcome. In her hand is a notebook, her notes. All she's learned of spellcraft resides in its frail pages.   Toby sits on a Tombstone, watching the corpses explore their suddenly expanded world. Most remained inside, but one never strays too far from Toby, the one called Henry.   Another walks among the graves. She sees an insect crawling on the ground, bends over to get a closer look, then falls over.   Toby giggles and rushes over to help them to their feet. "Be careful." She turns, sees Olive, then waves. "Olive," she says as she strolls over. "Thank you. I honestly can't thank you all enough."   "Happy to help." Olive watches as Henry assists another corpse as Toby did before. She points to him. "That's henry?"   Toby looks and nods. "Yeah. He's learning so much. I'm hoping I will too."   "We're not out of the woods yet." Olive opens the notebook.
Toby brushed her jet black hair behind her ear. She then looked up and saw something in the multicolored sky. The stars danced like usual but this… this was special. She pointed and shouted with glee, "look! Shooting star." She turned to Olive and the smile faded to a frown.

Olive didn't even bother to look up from her notes. Bleach blonde hair draped over her face, damp with sweat from the southern heat. When silence replaced Toby's jarring joy, Olive looked up with her eyes narrowed. "What happened?"

Toby watched the meandering corpses, her creations. They stumbled and fell as they explored the graveyard.

"Shooting star? Is that what you said?" Olive asked. There was an urgency in her voice, as if Toby's sadness was some instability in the very fabric of reality in need of repair.

"Yeah." Toby nodded and her eyes fell to the ground. "You missed it."

"That's fine." Olive closed the notebook and let out a lung full of air. "It wouldn't work if I could see them anyway."

Toby shook her head and a nervous smile appeared as she spoke, "Why?"

"Magic is illogical. Sometimes it has a cost, sometimes not." Olive reached for the ground, grabbed her tumbler of water, and drank it dry. "I'm going to teach some to you, if you're willing."

Wonder and Whimsy

I can learn the ins and outs of magic in a way no one else can, but those little moments of wonder? Gone. Those moments when everything in life goes exactly the way you want it? Gone. Most of the touched who delve into spellcraft lose all that. No last minute rescues, no weird coincidences, nothing. Those little moments of magic are gone.     It's sad, but not something we notice all that much, mind you. Wonder and whimsy are a part of life for us but in the end, it's on us to make it happen. We have to make our own wonders. It's hard to explain. The further into magic you get, the more of that whimsy you lose.
Olive picks up a round stone and hands it to Toby. She then takes out a knife, wraps her hand around the blade, and the skin parts like butter.   Toby gasps for air, whimpering as drops of blood soak into the dirt, "What are you doing?"   "Don't freak out. I'm going to try something. You're gonna fix this."   "How?" Toby backs away, nearly trips, then falls to her knees. "I can't do that."   "I've already revealed everything you need to know."   "But if I mess up…" Toby considers this, the consequences of failure only making her more upset. "You could get cancer. I could make the wound worse…"   Olive smiles, kneels, and gestures to the rock. "No you won't."  

I haven't been entirely honest…

The problem with magic is it's so hard to explain, so hard to even comprehend that we tend to overthink it. We're always worried about the what ifs. It's a matter of perspective. The problem here, and the main reason I can teach magic and others can't, is by explaining magic the way I do, others misunderstand.   Can you explain color to those who never had the ability to see? No. You can't. Where do you even start? That presentation in the courthouse was just me trying to do just that. It's so much simpler than that.   It sounds like we have to make all these calculations, like it takes some kind of genius to even cast a simple spell. It doesn't. It's not about what could be. It's about what will be. Every touched is capable of the same things. It isn't different for everyone. How they manage to do it, however, is. My gift is helping others learn just that.  
Olive points to Toby's head with her clean hand. "As above…" she drops her hand and points at her heart. "So below." Olive then shrugs, reaches into her pocket, and holds out a glow in the dark marker. "Point and shoot."   "So you lied?"   "Everything I said about magic is true. The best lies usually are."   Toby stares at the rock in her hand, takes the marker, and scoffs. "It can't be that easy."   "It is now. This is a ritual; a transition from what you were to what you will be." Olive replies. She holds out her wounded hand.   Toby stares at the blood oozing from Olive's palm and somehow gets even paler than usual. "But how?"   "What do you think?"   "So I just draw a heart on a rock and it can suddenly heal" Toby laughs and pops the head off the marker.   "You never know right?"
Toby draws the heart and displays it for Olive to see. "This feels ridiculous."   Olive nods, a buried smile breaking through as she laughs."Magic is fucking ridiculous. Just do what you feel you have to do."   Toby starts at the base of the wound. She traces it with the end of the rock, the wound sealing up behind in a spark of blue light. Toby's eyes tear up. "This feels…"   "...calm? At peace?"   Toby nods and a tear falls from her eye, she speaks through sobs and laughter. "Oh my god."   "Like a zipper?" Olive cocks her head.   "Not a zipper." Toby whispers. "Sutures."   Olive's jaw drops. "Of fucking course. Why didn't I…" she reaches for a pen and her pad and begins jotting notes. "Damnit."   "Thank you." Toby leans back, suddenly winded. "Why am I tired?"   "Long day, and new spells do that. It won't be as bad next time. We should get to bed soon. Tomorrow is… well." She cleared her throat. "Tomorrow is the last day. If you have anything else to bring up, now's the time."

Toby spoke in rapid bursts. Her words were so honest it was a wonder she managed to survive the end of the world in the first place. "I only reanimated the body. I swear I didn't kill him."

"I know you didn't." Olive rubbed her temples and crossed her arms. It was hard to imagine Toby even swatting a fly. Olive pondered the last few days, the discoveries made, the implications of it all and what might happen if they fail. Olive shook her head. "We'll figure it out. We came for you. We won't be easily denied."

"You came for me?"

Olive nods. "We got your letter. We knew you had to be touched. No other reason to send it to us. Fuck its gonna be hard though."

"What if it doesn't go well?"

"Doesn't matter. What are they going to do? We're showing up for their benefit. Not yours."

Silence falls for a time. They stare at the sky and ponder the day ahead of them. It's Toby that speaks next, "I couldn't imagine a life without spontaneous wonder." When their eyes met, she gave an infectious smile. "I'll make sure the wish is for you."

Olive laughed. "Thanks, Toby. We could all use a wish right about now."


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Ignorance and the Art of Spellcraft

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Jul 29, 2023 11:01 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Aw, this one was sweet. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
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