Emma, Jarod, and I sat in a triangle on the garage floor. We had been studying a meditation exercise for nearly an hour now. Jarod had never practiced meditation and was still hyped up from the past couple hours, so he was having difficulty letting go for any length of time. I had studied some meditation when I was taking Tai Chi lessons and wasn’t having difficulty with what Emma wanted of us, which basically was just to let go and relax our minds for at least twenty minutes. Eventually, Jarod managed to relax his body and mind to Emma’s satisfaction. She started talking quietly at that point, saying, “There is energy all around you, tiny points of light like glitter floating through the air and reflecting the sun.” Jarod chortled a bit but managed not to burst out laughing. Emma continued speaking, unfazed by his mirth. “We call this energy residual magic, because it is brought into our world every time energy is pulled from elsewhere.”
I wondered at what she meant precisely by “elsewhere.” Was she meaning other worlds, outer space, or just other parts of our own planet. Emma continued with “Try to visualize this energy around you. Try to feel it tickling your skin, entering your lungs, and infusing your body with every breath. Think about what you’ve seen and know that magic is real.” As I followed her instructions, I gasped and said, “There’s hardly anything there, but I feel it.” As I felt outward, trying to see with my mind what my eyes could not, I suddenly knew where Emma was, her hand at very least. “Your hand, Emma. It’s coated in the stuff.” I could hear a smile in her voice as she told me “Yes, it is, James. Now imagine that when you breath out, the magic comes out as a ball of energy gathering more to it before bursting into light.” I did as she asked, focusing on the magic entering my lungs. I expelled all of the energy outward and concentrated on it forming a sphere, gathering more and more to the sphere as it moved into the air.
There was a bright flash of light, and I heard Jarod shout, “I’m blind. I’m blind!” My eyes flew open and saw Emma kneeling beside Jarod, pushing him onto his back. “There, there. You’ll be okay.” Emma laid her hands over his eyes, and I felt something happen, though I couldn’t say what. “What happened,” I asked, moving closer to them. She removed her hands from his eyes and explained “Let’s say that you’re a little too good at making light. Jarod had given up on the meditation already, and he has a bit of temporary blindness from our spell.” I hadn’t realized Emma was manipulating the energy as well. “Just keep your eyes closed for a bit, and you’ll be fine,” she said to him. “When you say ‘our spell,’ what were you doing precisely?” She smiled at me and gestured for me to sit on the ground. I kneeled down and sat facing her as she crossed her legs.
“The energy for magic requires form, which is where many beginners get in trouble from what I’ve heard.. err.. read. Let’s try this again, but do it more slowly and try not to get as much this time.” I did as she asked, slowly drawing the magic into my lungs again and then breathing out a smaller amount. I managed to create a little burst of light with Emma’s help, barely noticeable with my eyes closed, but I still didn’t see what she meant. We tried a few more times when I finally noticed that there was a pattern forming in the little ball. The more I focused on the pattern, the clearer it became. The thing reminded me of lace with each turn having smaller patterns within larger ones repeating clear around the sphere. When the light flashed once more, I opened my eyes and looked into hers, captivated by her beauty and endless mysteries. “Did you see the pattern this time” she asked, ever so patiently.
“Wait. Don’t kiss yet,” said Jarod as he pulled out his phone. His eyes were apparently working once more. “Okay. Go for it.” I rolled my eyes as Emma kissed my cheek. I heard the camera sound as Jarod took a picture with his phone. “Priceless. I like the softer lights much better. They’re fun to watch.” he announced with a wink. Emma probably couldn’t tell that he wasn’t as excited as he pretended. I knew him too well to be fooled by his grin which fell slightly short of its normal width. I’d feel down as well if I was the one merely watching Jarod help make flashes of light in the air. “Going to give it another go?” I inquired. He shook his head and said, “I’ll just stick to the meditating part for now. I don’t see how you people don’t get bored of sitting around that long.” I watched him get into the position I had shown him as he started trying to meditate yet again. Neither of us could sit quite like Emma with her legs crossed in on one another. She really was flexible.
Emma worked at showing me how to create the precise pattern she did for half an hour before I managed to pull it off myself. Then she started teaching me how to manipulate the pattern in different ways to change the color of the light and even the intensity without using more energy. After I accomplished those two tricks to her satisfaction, she taught me how to feed energy into the pattern and keep the light going, which required yet another tweak to the pattern. “Are you going to teach me how to grow plants while we’re at it tonight?” She smiled and said, “I can’t.” I was a bit disappointed and confused. I felt things were going well. “Why not,” I asked. She then told me “Let me show you.” and brought the potted plant over. I focused on the energy as she had shown me and waited for her to begin. Energy started appearing on her fingertips and outlining her hand as well as the plant.
I opened my eyes to see how large the plant had grown and was surprised by its size. “Keep watching, James.” I realized I was still seeing the energy and told her about it. “Oh. That’s surprising. Just stay focused.” I wasn’t sure how long I watched her, but I eventually saw that energy was flowing through her arm from what appeared to be her heart. “How do you create energy, Emma?” She giggled. “You can’t create energy, silly. Didn’t you take physics?” I rolled my eyes and said, “Yes, but this is magic, not physics.” She shrugged. “True, but I’m still not creating it. I’m drawing it from somewhere else. I can’t teach you how because this magic is part of my birthright as someone of fey descent.” I blinked. “Fey,” Jarod exclaimed, joining the conversation once more. “Do you mean like fairies and beautiful women who go dancing through the forest naked?”
Emma giggled and told us, “Being naked doesn’t make a woman fey, but something like that, yes. Fey were creatures that could do powerful magic by instinct. Supposedly, the world was a vastly different place when the fey were abundant, but something happened which drove them near extinction. I can’t tell you precisely how I make plants grow or help wounds to close. I can’t tell you where the energy comes from. All you see is the residual energy from what I draw into the world, a type of waste in a way. I just know I want to see a flower bloom, and it listens.” I wished I could do magic that naturally. Dealing with the patterns as Emma had taught me was vastly more difficult than what she was describing. Jarod then asked, “You said ‘near extinction.’ Are you saying there are these fey creatures still out there?” Emma nodded and said, “I’m not certain, but things have happened that are credited by some as the work of a fey, such as one man who was cured of cancer when he walked through the woods one day.”
I commented “I’m surprised we don’t hear of these things more often, say if more people walked through that area in search of a cure.” Jarod exclaimed, “How can you be surprised? Most people don’t believe in any of this stuff even when you pile evidence in front of them. If I had asked you a month ago if wolves were roaming the city, I bet you’d have laughed and denied the possibility.” I shrugged. “I’ve never been that harsh. Just skeptical. I do see your point though. This is quite a bit to grasp; werewolves, magic, and now talk of fey all discovered in one night. The world’s filled with endless surprises.” Emma hopped up and offered me a hand. “I think we’ve done enough for tonight. Keep trying to see the energy, Jarod, but don’t attempt to do anything without me. I don’t want your house blown up. James, you probably shouldn’t try anything on your own just yet either.” We agreed, but Jarod insisted on keeping Emma’s plant as encouragement. Emma agreed on the condition that he kept it alive. We parted ways with me trying to figure out how to squeeze magic lessons in with my busy schedule.