Visions

A gust of cool air blasted through the small uneven crack which split the edge of the door from the wood panelled floor, startling Kiki out of his mind-consuming rage and bringing him back from a world of twister bitter hate to the world where he wished it could all come true. Every single day he was dictated, ordered, and pushed by his father. Not directly of course, oh no, his Ama was on strict orders from that slimy piece of shit. He despised the man who had left him parentless, the selfish and arrogant sorcerer who he would forever have to call his father. Kiki had grown up to be as cold and callous as he was today. His father had been so self absorbed in his studies that he had hired a batty old crone to take care of him. With no mother or father to learn from, he had been brought up to see the world for what it was, for what people discovered it was once they left the comfort of their homes, a harsh and cruel world. People always said that children could be vicious and cruel without meaning it, but with no parents to tell him so, the hardships he had endured tore down deep inside of him.

Slipping off his straw mattress and sliding lazily across the floor, he gazed out of the dusty window that separated him from the cold winter wind that blustered outside. He could see the small shape of his father taking the mountain track down to the collection of brightly coloured tents lit by oil lamps in the centre of the village. If he hushed his breathing he could make out the sound of the festivities beginning. The well-known tune of 'In Dayes of Olde,' an old hymn to Lurline which he had never bothered to learn to words to. Kiki had never indulged himself in the rich and exciting festival of Lurlinemas. It seemed pointless to celebrate a festival that symbolised the coming together of families when his was so battered and blustered, torn apart by the cruel storm that was fate. It seemed to him, that if he were to concentrate on his studies and earn a scholarship into the Shiz University on Life Sciences or perhaps Grammatica he would be able to have a decent life and peace in death. Up until the age of about nine his father had been adamant that he began tutorage in sorcery. Obviously with the Sorcery Act now in place, the one subject he seemed to excel in had been cruelly ripped away from him. It seemed, he supposed, that the one thing that he could thank his father for was his good judgement of what studies he would go on to do. How he missed the afternoons where he would be able to transfigure a flower into a fork without even the need for tutorage. He seemed to have an affinity for it. His Ama, Ama May, had told him it came from both of his parents. Ama May was such a strange creature. She was quadling by birth, which you could tell from the fair hair and slightly reddened skin. Ofcourse May was not her real name, but she had once known a girl called May and loved the name so much that she had taken it as her own. She had told him often that she had once had a child. Grown up and tossed into the cruel world by now, she would say. She said she had known his mother and what a wonderful woman she had been. Which reminded him of what he had to do…

Pulling back the bolt that held his wooden bedroom door in place he slipped out into the sudden gloom of the sitting room. The gust from outside had extinguished the fire and scattered black dust across the authentic Scrow-crafted rug. Pulling a splint from a small copper vessel which was still warm from the heat of the fire, he took it to the oil lamp which hung by his father's bedroom door and lit the end sending a small glimmer of light out into the late evening darkness. Piling more logs on and wetting them with oil, he proceeded to attempt at lighting the liquid which was rapidly disappearing into the many cracks of the wood. Infuriated by his failed attempts, he let out a cry of anguish and almost instantaneously, the fire burst into rapid roaring flame. Kiki eyed the splint carefully before shrugging the feeling of queer coincidence off and stubbing it out on the tiled hearth.

Dipping his hand in through a small plaster whole in the wall by the edge of the fireplace, he retrieve a small bundled of wrapped up papers he had kept hidden behind there for the whole year ever since the last Lurlinemas. Now that he was fifteen, he was a man, at least in H'yuppi terms he was. Unbundling the package he lay out a four scraps of paper inscribed with symbols of power he had copied down in his study of sorcery. Pulling a couple of candles from the mantelpiece, he lit each one in the blazing inferno that was the fire and place them in a circle around the four symbols he had arranged in a diamond shape on the tiled hearth. Looking up to make sure nobody was at the window, he unfurled the largest piece of paper and set it in the centre. Upon it, in charcoal was a sketch of a woman's face. She was beautiful at that, with long waving hair that fell over her shoulders. A prominent chin and aquiline nose, almost like the nose of a Vinkus person when so often caricatured in the many press pieces distributed from the Emerald City.

Every year he prepared this 'ritual' as it were. He placed the picture down and closed his eyes, slowing his breathing. Sorcery was illegal, but once every year his necessity had stayed in place since the time before such a ban was enforced.

As he began to chant the incantation the candlelight flickered. There was silence in the room all but the distant crackling of the fire. In his mind's eye, Kiki could picture her, his mother, he called out to her with his mind, chanting the complicated syllables of the chant.

Kiki…

The candles guttered. The light in the room dimmed slightly.

Kiki…

The sigil on the left of the diamond flitted. Was it just the breeze? Kiki's eyes flitted open, the syllables of the chant dying on his tongue. Had he just heard his name?

Kiki…

The candles flitted out. The room coldened. The sigil flitted as if on an imaginary breeze up into the air and into the guttering flames of the fire, it's scribbled lines shaped like a storybook witches had melting away into the heat.

Kiki…

He spun on his knees and fell backwards as the cloaked figure swept across the floor towards him. Eyes flaring, skin the colour of deepest emeralds. Kiki screamed out and blinked and in an instant she was gone.

Kiki…

His name still resounded on the wind. Breathing deeply, his heart racing in his chest Kiki managed to steady himself enough to rise to his feet. His eyes glazed the room, from the burning fireplace to the candles… the candles which had melted right down in the space of minutes. The charred remains of the sigils were kept close. Slowly he peered around at the room. From the chairs to the front window to his bedroom door to his father's door… which was open.