He strode down the street, magic following in his wake. It is a strange thing, this magic. Abstract yet very visible in its effects. It is also not in his control. The first time he had nearly jumped out of his skin; producing a fireball out of nowhere. That ball of flames had hovered in front of him and none of his hand movements could do anything to it. Then seemingly of its own accord, it moved straight, and crashed into a wall, dissolving into nothingness. Later he thought about it. He hadn’t touched it, felt it or gone anywhere near it. He soon gave it up as a dream.

The second time it was water. He managed to raise a ball of water from the commode. Repelled and curious at the same time, he froze. The ball of water hovered there, as if waiting for a command. He dared not speak. Tentatively he held out a finger upwards. The ball still stayed there irresolute. He half thought of leaving it there and making a run for it. What would anyone else make of it? And just like that the ball crashed into the commode splashing everywhere.

Concentration, that’s what it is , he thought to himself. Maybe focus was what kept up those elemental balls (why only those shapes though?) up in the air. Convinced that it was not a dream anymore he started looking for signs of magic more consciously. He concentrated on mundane objects for log times, unblinking till the tears came unbidden. He wiggled his stubby fingers in various motions. He mumbled nonsense words and one fine morning, a fine ball of dust rose to meet his face. He was terrified. He ran, not once pausing to look back. Only after he turned two corners did he pause for breath. But it is magic! he thought to himself. Surely it could turn corners. Apparently the dust ball could not turn corners. In a daze he spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly.

He knew air was next. Air or what was the fifth element? An air ball wouldn’t scare him, but the fifth element bothered him. He had given up trying to control whatever this magic was, yet he wished he knew what he was doing. Somehow when the air ball came, he knew it would. He was wandering, and between his hands air began to whirl about. He felt a tightening of his gut and moved his hands. The air ball moved with it. Not believing, he gave his hands a shake. The ball wobbled. In a moment of excitement, he raised his right hand and forcefully pointed the palm outwards. The air ball whooshed out, eager to do its bidding. He expected it to crash into a wall and … the ball went straight for the wall, but instead of exploding, it split into two in with the impact. Every surface it hit, it split again. Within minutes there were a dozen small air balls the size of marbles, whirring around. He watched them with a dazed fascination. He came to consciousness suddenly and the air balls dropped to nothingness with a dozen tiny swooshes.



Filed under fiction

6 responses to “Practice

  1. epdi da ipdi?

    Also, fifth element reference not needed. Apde utturkalam 😛

  2. liberalcynic

    Very interesting…why is it that only the air balls behaved that way? Maybe I’m missing some underlying pattern, but I desperately hope there is a sequel to this post!

  3. kusublakki

    Don’t know what to say on this one except — I liked it!

  4. Well written! Kindly unravel the underlying theme in ur next post 🙂

  5. Held my attention throughout. Well written!

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