As soon as I felt strong enough to do it, I tried to leave, intending to go home. Patricia was taking me for a walk and I just kept going.
She wasn’t big enough to stop me. I made it almost to the palace doors before she was able to convince the guards to restrain me.
I fought, but I wasn’t strong enough. While I fought, a memory stirred and it was frightening, very frightening. I remembered the big basilisk laying waste to a herd of thoppers, only this time it was different. Instead of thoppers, the basilisk was laying waste to people, these people. I stopped fighting then and allowed them to take me back to my apartment.
Back in my apartment, I spoke to Patricia for the first time. “Patricia, you have to help me. I need to go home.”
“You aren’t strong enough to go anywhere yet. You have only just been released from the hospital.”
“Believe me, Patricia; you don’t want me to get any stronger.” I wish I could explain this to her so she would understand. Perhaps the emperor would understand, but he was miles away. I suppose he was looking for his wife. I could see Haines far away, but I couldn’t tell where he was. I could point, but that wasn’t good enough, and Haines wasn’t dumb enough to stay in one place for long. The doctor, maybe the doctor would understand. I headed for the door again.
“Where are you going,” asked Patricia as she grabbed my arm.
“I need to see the doctor. I need to make someone understand.”
“The doctor was scheduled for surgery this morning. Explain this to me. Come on; sit down here and tell me why you think you have to go home. Where is home anyway?”
What choice did I have? I had to try. “Home is where I got my magic.”
“You’ve learned some magic? Can you show me?” she asked. She was so naïve.
“No. That’s just the point. You see I’ve never done well without spending magic pretty much all the time. I don’t know exactly how long it’s been since the explosion, but I do know that it’s been far longer than I’ve been able to go before. I’m spending some magic because I can see after a fashion, but it’s not enough.
“You’re talking about this magic of yours like its some kind of money or something.”
“Its not money but it is energy and it’s all pent up.” Then I had an idea. “Have you ever seen a movie where the family pet gets hurt or frightened so bad that it turns on its family?”
“No, I don’t like those kinds of movies.”
“But you’ve heard of the concept.”
“Not really, but I can imagine, I suppose.”
“Well, that’s what my magic is doing right now.”
“What? Now you’re saying that this magic of yours is like some kind of family pet. Magic is just some clever slight of hand.”
“I knew you wouldn’t understand.” I got up and paced the floor missing a small table that was in my path. “My magic is not slight of hand or clever tricks. It’s real. It’s like breathing for me and I’m not breathing very well. I’m scared, Patricia. I’m dangerous and I’m powerful. I could probably level this entire palace if I tried.”
I whirled and pinned her against the wall with the one arm I had left. “No I’m not,” and then I felt it stir again. I pushed away and leaned on the couch only to feel it fly apart in large chunks and splinters. “Go!” I yelled, “Get out of here.” Another piece of furniture flew apart and I heard her let out a small squawk and run from the room. I hope she hadn’t been hurt.
Guards arrived a few minutes later, but they didn’t dare enter the room. I was the eye of my own hurricane and I was fighting desperately to contain it within the walls of my apartment. Everything that wasn’t solidly mortared together had splintered or shattered, and was whirling around me as fast as it could go.
Five or ten minutes later, it just stopped and I was left sitting in the middle of heaps of splinters and glass; anything less sturdy had been turned to dust. I didn’t dare move.