Thursday, March 1. 2007
Posted by Johnny Elbows in A Defense of My Life, by Jonathan Bicara
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"I'm not a liar!" My pulse was racing. I paced back and forth, flinging aside the branches that tried to brush at my face. "This isn't fair!" I turned to look at David. "Why didn't you tell me that this was all based on caprice and whim?"
David held up both hands, as if signaling me to calm down. "Can I explain? Will you listen long enough for me to tell you what's going on?"
"Explain. Go ahead. Explain. I'm listening."
"OK. It's like this. Let's see." He paused. I waited, but not very patiently. As he thought, I stripped leaves off of a nearby branch. "OK. I've got a question for you. What's the difference between a magician and a questor?" My look must have told him that I saw no relationship between my question and his. "Trust me. You'll see."
"Fine. A magician and a questor, huh?"
"Well, I guess that the biggest difference is that everything that a magician does is an illusion, but everything that a questor does is real."
"Exactly. Exactly. See, that difference is very important to the elements. The elements don't have much respect for magicians. They think of them as charlatans and cheats, probably because most of them are. The interesting thing about magicians is that they will claim to have magic when they don't. The elements never respect those who claim to have powers that they really don't have."
I nodded. I still didn't understand exactly where he was going, but I could see his point so far.
"So anyway, when you make your requests, you've got to remember that you're not requesting things from the Universe. You're requesting things from the elements. That's why you hear different voices when you make different requests. The elements that you're addressing are the ones that answer you. Now, the Universe knows everything, but the elements don't. All they know is what they observe, and what they hear from the elements that surround them. Does that make sense?"
"Yeah. But I'm still not seeing what it has to do with me."
"We're getting to that part. Now, what I want you to do is tell me the story of what happened at the police station again. Tell me in as much detail as you can."
"OK. I walked into the station, and the lady behind the desk asked me what I wanted. I told her that I was looking for you. She asked me if I was a witch. I told her that I wasn't. She told me that visiting hours were past, and that I'd have to come back another time. About that time, I just got this feeling that if I didn't try to rescue you, they'd kill you."
I paused, and David nodded for me to continue.
"So I decided to ask the walls to open up, and let you out. I imagined it, just like you told me to, and I made my request. Then something, I guess it was the walls, answered me. It said that freeing you would violate an oath, and it asked me why I wanted to free you. I told it that the police would kill you if it didn't free you. And then it called me a liar, and refused to free you. See, that's what's not fair. I didn't know that you would get away. I really believed that they would kill you. . . ."
David stalled my protests by holding up his hand. "I know. I know. But hold on. You skipped part of the story. "
"Yeah. See, you told me this before, and last time, you mentioned something else. It's really important. You said that after you told the walls that the police would kill me, they asked you something."
"Oh yeah. They asked me if I really knew that."
"That's it. That's the important thing. See, when the walls asked you that, they were testing you. Seership is a very, very rare gift. They wanted to see if you were a questor, or a magician. They wanted to see if you would claim a power that you really didn't have. When you said yes, in effect, you were claiming that you were not only a questor, but also a seer. That's why they called you a liar."
I sat down hard, staring at David. All this time I had thought that the elements were calling me a liar for saying that the police were going to kill David. But it had nothing to do with that. Nothing.
"Now," David continued, "all of the elements around here have heard. They haven't heard the whole situation, but they've heard that you claimed to be a seer, and then moments later admitted that you weren't a seer. That's why you can't do magic. The elements have no respect for charlatans."
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