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    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Wizard Part III



    Part III

    I sit on the edge of the bed in the hotel room staring at the envelope. The writing on the back is gone now, which means I can read it. If only I could make my hands move to open it. It's not magic keeping me from doing it, it's something else. I'm not sure I want to know what's in here. I guess I'm afraid that it might change what I thought about him, or what I feel about him. It's silly and very real at the same time. I laugh at myself, then finally find the courage to open it.

    The key tumbles into my hand. Pretty standard lock key. I thought it might be for a safety deposit box. I hate when I do that. I hate when I get ahead of myself like that. All it does is confuse the reality. I put it in my pocket.

    The letter is three pages front and back in my Uncle's uniquely small and precisely spaced hand. When I try and read it though it doesn't make much sense. It feels like filler copy in a newspaper layout. I'm an idiot.

    I put the letter down on the table on walk out to the car. I rummage through the spice jars until I find what I am looking for. I should have been prepared. I think he probably knew I wouldn't be.

    It took me too long to figure it out, but it was the first chemical illusion he ever taught me. It was an old trope, invisible writing. It could be done a number of ways, including with Lemon Juice, but that was too easily resolved. He'd used babel root and wrote between the lines. Trite for sure, but the chemical encryption was more difficult to decipher than the obvious placement of the text.

    I hovered over the pages uncertain now that I wanted to read what they had to say. Even dead, my Uncle had me feeling unsure. I used the aluminum tray from my carry out dinner. I set it on the wire frame from the lamp shade, so the flame from the candle licked its underside. As the powdered root burned, I passed the pages over the smoke until the writing relented and showed its face.

    Using the side of a legal pad as a straight edge I crossed out the original writing with a sharpie so I could skip unbroken between what I wanted to read and what I knew was useless. When I was done with all three pages I popped the top on a mini bottle of scotch and sat down for my last lesson.

    My Nephew. My apprentice. My erstwhile son. I am sorry.

    There is a great possibility that I have doomed you. If

    you have found this letter then my past has intercepted

    your present. I ask you now that if you ever felt love

    for me that you will walk away. You will find happiness

    and shed what you knew of me and what I taught you.

    Put this letter down now. burn it and walk away.

    There is nothing but pain from this point on.

    No, really, stop reading now or all you knew will be

    torn apart and you will most likely die a horrible and

    useless death.

    How's your hand?

    Please tell me you didn't leave all of the silver.

    Did you find the book by Crowley, the one he wrote under

    the pseudonym of Madame Ponte de Flore?

    Are you really still reading this?

    That's my boy.

    I knew I could count on you.

    The last page leaves me stunned. I read it twice then drink myself to sleep and dream of Pirate Jane.


    tnbonairediver said...

    I love this.

    Brad said...

    A great beginning.