The Other Way Around -3-

Part -3-
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The Octagonal Universe

The next day I had my first encounter with Master Twizt. He was of a different set of humanity than me or for that sake Emilia. I later learnt that he was an Humerian. His homelands were in a different aspect of our universe and please don’t ask me to explain that. He was just an inch under six feet, of a yellow complexion, thin with a somewhat elongated head. His ears had a arrogant tilt forward and they were also, as I learned with time, very good humor meters. When he got irritated they twitched and yes, I admit, they twitched a lot under our time together. Emilia introduced him as my tutor in the arts of esoteric and hermetic lore’s that I would need to master if I wanted to get a grip of this ‘affinity-thing’. And of course I would do it, for her I would do anything, as well I knew. The first thing he had me do was to stand, I know what you think, how hard can that be, right. But to stand on one leg for one hour is actually quite painful, I assure you.

And when I asked him what good that would do me, those ears of his started to twitch violently. So I stood, but then he told me that I thought too much, now what’s wrong with thinking I ask you? Now I had to stand on one leg and then simultaneously stop thinking... Try it, I dare you to stop thinking, if you can do it for five minutes, feel proud. And this was only the start. I feared for his sanity, never a smile from him, or for that sake, some small ‘well done boy’. Just those damned ears twitching. After a time, when he found me sufficient enough, he went on to more esoteric disciplines, like watching a candle and willing it to light. At first I only had to do it in my mind, which I found quite easy actually. I just used my memories of Emilia undressed to help me light those candles so, you know, that I could appreciate her the better.

I don’t know how he found out, but after a visit of his cane on my head, and his further dressing down of me, my ancestors, my future prospects etc etc, I found it almost impossible to see anything at all for a long time. It was only when I started to imagine candles in the shapes of cringing scared ear twitching Humerians, all anxiously watching me for that lightning moment, that it came back to me. While he taught me we seemed to vanish into some another time stream. I know for sure that the Ships journey only took about ninety Ships days, fifty of them training with Master Twizt but for me, those days might as easily have been years. I could tell as I had started to grow a beard, in a vain attempt to impress Lady Emilia, and after just a fortnight it had came to a respectable length. What was even worse was that when I wanted to trim it Master Twizt refused me.

He, in a most condescending tone, told me that 'if you're barbarian enough to want a beard', he would very well see to it that I got one to be proud of, that's when I heard him guffaw 'And a real beard my boy, a mans, no! A warriors beard, one to be truly proud of!' He smiled at me, a devilish gleam in his eyes. And it wasn't until I found it reach to my waist that he at last relented, giving me allowance to shave. And as if that wasn't enough, every night as I went to bed, tired to my very bones, I got visited by those strange dreams wherein Master Twitch, sorry.. Twizt lectured me on other things, it was as if I never got a free moment, asleep or awake. Taken all in all it was a most chastening experience. Somehow I lived through it though, and at last the day came where my Master informed me that, however disappointed he was in my progress, he had decided to give me a final test. ‘But don’t let it go to your head boy’ he said giving me a meaningful look as he swished his cane. 'The only thing that goes to your head’ and here he gave me another, chillingly meaningful, look, ‘ is this’ swishing his cane in a downward stroke making me jump. "An infallible learning tool that." I heard him mutter sounding quite satisfied.

As he explained it to me, considering my stupidity, the test had to be a simple one. "To simple by far." he explained that it was what I had trained in the beginning, and that I just had to show him where my possible progress "Not much hope for that though, young pup, but there's always the market for stable-boys, don't despair." So there I was again, standing on one leg in the middle of the night, trying very hard not to think of anything, waiting for his further instructions. After what seemed like a very long time I felt that weird voice inside me, ‘light a candle.’, so I did, hearing him go ‘Hurrmph. Levitate it boy, don't stand there looking stupid, levitate I said.’. That was a thing I just recently had mastered, and I was quite proud over my newfound ability. ‘Hururrmph..' came that voice again, ‘And now boy, follow it’. That was really difficult as I now had to keep both the candle, the Ship and my self in my mind, and then make us all levitate together, but in the end I thought I had succeeded. After a while I heard his voice again, instructing me ‘Now lift your left leg.’ which I did, then ‘And open your eyes’ he said sounding slightly gleeful. Well, open them I did, only to fall straight down to the floor.

While we had studied it I had mostly considered it a manipulation of the mind, you know, concentrating, chanting, that sort of thing. Imaginative thinking if I may, helping me to develop my, or as I felt it to be, Master Twizt's goal. But as I opened my eyes I had found that I actually was floating, suspended in thin air, with the candle floating and burning just above my head. Yes, I burnt myself when I lost my concentration. It hurt my head in many ways, that one did. The explanation I at last got out of him was that the simplest way of looking at it as if most everything we know are inside our heads. And that we, if we find the affinity for it, all can change our surroundings by changing our perceptions, or was that preconceptions? Anyway, after that harrying experience my real education started. Master Twizt called it 'Twisting Ones Head '. And you had to have the proper mindset for it too, able to assimilate those more complicated lore's. And so what I had hoped to be the end turned out to be just the preliminary.. Little did I know.

Of those lore's I can not tell much more than they was mostly about different ways of 'seeing', adapting as it were to different situations. As master Twizt once said 'Our world, me lad, just a random seed of points that is pup, wherein thy consciousness acts the catalyst, explorer, and redeemer of it all. Different mindsets finds outlets of expression, as even your, as simple as it might be. It's all in your choice of interpretation me lad, that's what creates your reality.' He finished triumphantly. 'Well' he added. 'That and my sturdy cane.' And it seemed all to be depending on your ability of rendering it true? 'The importance me lad being that our universe rule of sentience only seems to allow precisely one such rendering, one, at each location of space and time. Herein lies the true power of the magician's lore, and you better remember that.' At this he came as near to be exited as I ever had seen him, agitatedly swishing his cane, making me quite nervous.

'It may also be said, as we see our selves falling down the line of entropy, yes entropy me lad.' Looking meaningfully at me as if i should understand that strange word. 'That only our consciousness travels, all else is still, allowing us our illusion of freedom and time.' I'm still not sure what he really meant by it all, but it was interesting, and sometimes downright scary too. Although by now I had learnt to trust in myself and those things I never would have believed before, so finally it all resolved itself. Master Twizt cautioned though, that this 'time bending', as he called it, I had became part of while studying was real, and quite dangerous too. Fortunately there were ways to keep one both in and outside of time at the same time, so one didn’t necessarily have to age, even when becoming into thin 'bent time'. But he made one part very clear to me. There was no way of going backwards with my body in time, forward it was and damn the cannons, forward until my death! Backwards? Uh uh, no way. And he made use of all assets possible to make me not forget, cane included.

Summer Festival

I hadn’t seen Lady Emilia for a long time now, my movements had been restricted to the quarters of Master Twizt and his octagonal Universe. That place felt so small that a grain of sand would be a veritable mountain compared to it, but while in it, there were no boundaries to it displacement. Sometimes I wished myself back to those younger days where my only problem had been to remember where I was. Nowadays I wasn’t to sure of anything, neither myself nor anyone else.

What once had seemed a simple and sensible universe had now turned out to be a quagmire of twisting modes, more often than not, at opposite directions with itself. I couldn’t help but finding it overly complicated.

I said something of that kind to Master Twizt once, he reacted by telling me of those countless Magicians before me that had felt the same, there was a long scholarly tradition before me he said. Masters and Mistresses of erudite and profound knowledge, but alas, not even one of them had found an inkling of how to unite those different modes. ‘But for you, young pup’ and then he smiled for the first time I could remember ‘life is still simple, you just have to watch out for this’ and here he swished his cane.

It seemed that we just was some month out From My Lady’s home now, and somehow under my studies I had learnt what propelled this craft, it wasn’t so much a ship as a living entity. It had desires much alike to a simple organism, say, like a worm. The trick was to give it the right implications, or if you like, the right longing for movement, but once created that longing would move us through the Planes at high speed.

One needed great subtlety for moving large objects, as our ship, trough the infinite Planes. The contractions I had seen were only visible to people with an affinity for wizardry. Most others didn’t notice it at all. They only appeared when the ship transits trough the world Planes in its search for its ‘home’. As I said, we were now almost there, and the lessons I had been given were coming to an end, that is, ‘for now, my young pup, only for now. No things ever finish.’ Master Twizt nodded wisely ‘ Keep that in mind now, young pup’.

So at last, with some free time on my hands, I could start to explore the ship. It was a large vessel, with lots of corridors and, for lack of a better description, twisted alleyways. I loved it, it had everything, from fountains and small parks to what seemed to me as a real lake, just swishing around inside it enormous hull. Further investigations showed me that My Lady came from a large family of Trading Princes and Princesses. This was her own ship and as she had done some very lucrative deals, she had at last found it possible for her to join the great family gathering that would occur at the Summer Festival. For me that only had known my Mother, it was a strange and intriguing concept, to have so many siblings and relatives. It seemed that both her parents would be there and you could feel the building excitement and expectations running through the Ship.

The Servitors and all her other retinue came from the same world, a most wondrous one too, filled with exotic fauna and flora and with many different life forms, all succeeding in peace. Remembering my book I found that somewhat overstated, my book talked constantly about wars, lots of them. When reading certain chapters of it, the only thing surprising me was that humanity had survived at all. Mostly it seemed that those wars were fought trough will for greed and power. As I now considered myself quite grown up, with a somewhat world wise and, I must admit, almost cynical twist in me, I waited for those dark revelations that would explain this contradictory condition of harmony. There are none so wise, and none so ready for applying instant solutions, as those young, and heedless, as my mother used to say.

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