Joseph Brad Kluge

A Few Words About Magik


“Not at all!  Not at all!” boomed Norak somewhat pompously. “I don’t mind at all you asking again!  That’s the biggest part of it after all isn’t it?  The asking.  The asking and of course the listening. That’s the key. Knowing when to ask and when to listen.  Whether or not you should really really listen or just pretend to so as not to clutter yourself up with too much nonsense but still not offend whoever’s doing the telling –“

Geoffrey – a somewhat dazed look on his face - slowly nodded as if to say that he understood and thereby proving quite the opposite. The hazy form of their guide half turned and snorted, a half concealed grin or grimace beneath his gloved sword hand. It was late summer and the air beneath the heavy canopy of the forest was stiflingly hot and humid.

“There’s hearing and then again there’s listening. Observe everything but don’t necessarily believe everything that you observe. Never confuse objectivity with opinion.  Your, mine, Bethany’s – anyone’s opinion is only that. Their opinion.  And I think it likely that the universe has an opinion of it’s own. The truth – whatever that might be - will always be something other than what anyone guesses.  With understanding we can come close but that’s about all you can hope for.  Unfortunately, understanding is not something that can be taught –“

“So why don’t you shut the hell up!” growled Sentner, the tall aging ranger.

Bethany could never quite figure it out.

Norak stared off for a moment humming softly to himself. 

“Where did I put my coffee anyway?  And the paper!  Did the paper come yet?  What’s a paper you say?  Ah yes!  Well it’s sort of like vellum but not nearly so messy to make.  But then you were asking about Magick weren’t you?  No. No. Not magic.  Magick.  You see true Magick relies on the fundamental principals known as the five “P’s” of production.  What’s ‘production’ you ask?  Well according to the sage mage Yaxter Ambrosius all that we think that we perceive – which is everything once you really think about it – is production or at least part of one.”

“So!  What about the four “P’s”? Five.  That quite correct there are indeed five, but if you keep interrupting we’ll never make it through them all before we get to the barrens and that’s not the place for metaphysical discourse.  No I would say that once we’re in the Bone master’s backyard it would be more or less time to cut and run.”

Norak gave the children a fierce look that was none too convincing.

“The ‘P’s?’”  Offered Geoffrey.

“Well persistence is certainly one of them” continued Norak.   “As with anything else worth having you have got to stick with it!  No one can be persistent for you.  That’s for sure.  Yes persistence and practice are both very important parts of the Art.”  And with that and a small flourish, he conjured a cloud of butterflies that took to the wind in the glade before them and broke into a cooling mist glittering bits of rainbow all around them.

Bethel cried “Oh!’  in wonder and sadness as the illusion momentarily washed away the heavy august air that lay over the forest.  But Geoffrey barked a short laugh at what he perceived as mere illusion and frippery.

“I see you don’t appreciate a little refreshment from these dog days.  So I see that you haven’t really paid all that much attention to what I’ve been saying.  Nothing wrong with that of course except that you let me notice.  Now that could be a problem couldn’t it?”  And with a gesture Geoffrey trotted next them a very cute and somewhat surprised French bull terrier.  “Which leads us to patience.  Now Beth stop throwing that stick!  You’re distracting your brother.”  But it was useless.  Never much fun to play with as an older brother, young Beth was quite beside herself with her new pet and had already tied a brightly coloured scarf around the poor boys head and making him dance a little gig on his hind legs as she led him around by his forepaws.  “Stop that!  Bethel!  I asked you to stop that!  I was merely making a point and it’s quite hard enough to hold your brother’s attention as it is without your making him dance around like that!”

“Oh but this is such fun!  We haven’t played for years and years!”  She laughed and with a gasp and a bark found herself sitting beside Geoffrey who gave her pearly white coat a bit of a nip and chased her the rest of the way across the glade.

“Drat it all if that didn’t quite help things as I planned!” Cried the would-be guardian and tutor as he chased the two terriers as they chased each other around under and through a bit of briar.

It took a good part of the hottest part of the day before Norak had them both rounded up.  Finally he had them sitting side by side by side, each of them panting in the shade by a small brook.   Norak rubbed his butt on a convenient tree root and lapped the cool water from his whiskers.

“Now.  Shall we get back to it?  Or have you forgotten about your quest, for it is yours more certainly than it is mine and I’ve had just about enough of being a dog for one day.  If you two don’t mind that is?  Although now that I think of it.  It is close to suppertime and I do smell a bit of day old cat somewhere around here.  Somewhere…” Norak sniffed the air vaguely while licking his chops in a most unappetizing manner.  The two children settled down properly.

“That’s better.”  He said setting off again through the trees as the surprised children awkwardly hurried along after once again on two legs.  “I think you’ve a better idea of what I mean by patience now and good idea about the next “P”.  That being power.  And by power I refer to the deep knowledge of who you are as well as where and what you are.”


Well this was a bit much to take in one bite you have to admit.  But luckily it was now meandering toward evening and Norak interrupted himself with a deep belly growl. 

Friday, December 29, 2000