Bread Machine

Center yourself, close your eyes if it helps. Know that there is a Grand Machine, and that you are in its clockwork, its cogs and escapements whirling and ticking in the dark. Believe with feverish passion unto total assurance that they all tick about you; that you are its prime and fundamental axis, unmoved and unchanged but at the centre of every motion. It is only from this position, this fixed and powerful stance, that magic may be worked.

Or so my book tells me. I’ve never worked magic any other way.

If you’ve done it right, and if you were born with the knack, you’ll feel a place of power somewhere deep within you. It is the knot where all one’s energies join, and to the unfortunate it is hidden away. But dig for it and you will find its warmth, like a live ember buried in the ashes of a fire. I hear that it’s in a different spot for everyone, but mine lives in my chest, nestled atop my heart. Heave ‘pon its power, hold its heat in your hands, and that knot will fray at the edges and open up fibers.

Tease out as many of those fibers as you can handle, and hold each one fixed and under your control. Then you say the words if there are words, and you make the motions if there are motions, and you hold those tendrils in your mind, and you think as hard as you can about the force you are trying to summon, and you focus all your concentration on your magic talisman, and if you’ve done it right you can take those fibers and twist them together and spin them into a thread of spell-magic.

Five days ago I challenged myself to light a candle with magic, but not a drop of wax has melted from it. I’ve burnt all the hair from my arms, and from both eyebrows, and the curls that used to hang to my waist barely reach my shoulders, but the candle is untouched. The whole house reeks of burnt hair. I’ve still not gotten used to the stink of it.

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