I said I wasn’t going out much this week, but I lied. Last nigh I was out to see a presentation on Islam. Tonight I’m hooking up with the ACLU, and tomorrow I’m out for chili with Planned Parenthood. I have a recap to write tonight, though I may just push it off until Friday.
I’m so busy. I don’t know where I’m finding the time to put five hundred words into my novel.
Now that we know about the first floor at the Witch House and the barrier on the staircase, we get to see Annie handle that beast. And, in the process, we’ll learn a bit more about how magic works…
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
After two years of advanced spells Annie knew quite a lot about the creation and maintenance of enchantments, which were nothing more than self-perpetuating spells. The trick to creating a good enchantment was knowing how to visualize a stream of energy feeding the spell constantly: Wednesday once described it as mystical energy flowing over and around a spell much the same way water flowed over a wheel and forced it to turn.
Which meant the trick to stopping, or at least lessening the effect, of an enchantment was to either choke off stream of mystical energy, or somehow slow the progress of the spell wheel.
During the last two summers Annie had practiced draining and recharging simple enchantments and had become quite adept with crafting such a spell. But the enchantments she practiced with were small and powered by mystical energy. The barrier enchantment in front of her was far larger and powered by dark energy, which meant it was dozens of times more dangerous than any comparative enchantment powered by mystical energy. Continuing with the spell wheel concept, if mystical energy could be visualized as a cool stream of water, dark energy could be visualized as a deadly lava flow—
Which meant that even if she were to shut down enchantment successfully, dark energy could still harm her.
The only part of this equation that didn’t bother Annie was the fact that she knew how to handle dark energy. She’d been practicing with dark energy before she was nine years old and was now proficient into Morte spells and in the process of learning a third. Though she’d experienced a few minor incidences of Backlash, she’d never encountered a situation that made her fear her actions with dark energy would leave her hospitalized. Ergo, she felt no fear that what she was about to do would harm her—
As with so many other things she experienced at school, Helena had left another test for Annie to pass.
So much magic in my world is all about how you see magic being used to create an effect. And over three novels we’ve gotten a good idea of how this all fits together and works. We know that both Annie and Kerry are imaginative and Kerry seems able to visualize things quickly, which may explain why they are both so good with magic.
But we also know that the energies they play with are no joke and here we learn that draining some dark energy out of that water wheel of an enchantment could just burn her hard. Like lifting lava with a bucket–
Fortunately my Annie has been dealing with magical lava
She reached out with her right hand and left it hovering only centimeters from the edge of the field, close enough that she could feel the energy vibrating within the enchantment. The easiest way she knew to drain an enchantment was to pull energy from the spell and allow it to dissipate. That worked well for mystical energy, but was usually disastrous when working with dark energy.
Mystical energy lay all around, which meant once pulled out it would simply fade into the background and be absorbed through the Curtain. But dark energy was pulled from a subsection of the Astral Realm and wouldn’t return there without a bit of prodding. This meant easiest thing to do was to create a conduit and allow the dark energy to flow back into subsection from whence it first came—and Annie knew the easiest conduit she could create would flow through her. While most witches would be afraid to allow such a thing to happen, no fear existed within her as Annie was proficient in sorcery—otherwise, she wouldn’t be in the C Level class.
Annie willed the dark energy in the enchantment the flow into her body as she visualized a pipeline traveling from the palm of her right hand, through her body, back beyond the Curtain, and into the dark energy sub realm. She continued to drain for ten seconds then stopped, believing she had taken enough energy from the enchantment. Even though the black curtain remained, Annie was aware that there were ways to produce the illusion of an active enchantment even though its effectiveness had been rendered null.
There was, however, only one way to know if she was right.
After staring at the enchantment for a few seconds, Annie drew in a deep breath and then stepped forward. Within a second she would know if her actions were for naught—
They’d worked. Annie passed through the weakened enchantment and continued up the staircase to the first floor.
This is why Annie isn’t someone a regular student should screw with. She can channel that dark energy without a problem, which means she can whip up some sorcery and drop it on your ass without breaking a sweat–and then head off to dinner with Kerry with a smile on her face.
With the way up clear we’ll soon discover what awaits her in the dark…