They withdrew to the limits of the room and waited for me to calm down. I did calm down, eventually. I was very full, and since further hunting was out of the question, I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't sleep while I was being watched, so I just sat there and watched them in return.
Then, as if someone had turned a light on in a dark room down the hall, it occurred to me that I knew these men. I knew their names, and with the names came memories.
"Good. We can begin now. Come to the center of the room and sit down. Make yourself as comfortable as possible; this might take a while.
I found myself shaking as I did as he asked. "I feel like I'm going crazy."
Durmas knelt down in front of me and looked me directly in the eyes. "You're not; hold onto that thought. You're not going crazy. Now, what we're going to do is manipulate the energies that flow through your body. To you, this might seem like you are hallucinating. Are you ready?"
"Hallucinating? What will I be hallucinating?"
"Most anything and very likely a sampling of about everything, just try and deal with what comes as if it were real. You will essentially be relearning how to use your magic - relearning your union, your trust. Once this starts, don't dwell on the fact that this is a hallucination. Immerse yourself in what is occurring. There will come a time when your thoughts will bring you back here. That's when this will stop. That is when you will be fully whole again."
My four teachers sat down in a circle around me. Durmas and Tsan were in front of me and Larak and Oskan were behind me. I felt my skin crawl between my shoulders at the fact that someone was behind me, but I refused to give in to the feeling. Sitting knee to knee, they joined hands with each other and engulfed my hands in theirs at the sides of their circle.
The magic of earth, wind, air and fire, stabbed through my soul and washed my present away.
I woke up early trying to breathe; I was safe. The knife was not protruding from my chest.
I made an apple and took full advantage of Brom and Carm as they held me on my feet while I ate it.
The cold was so intense; I had to be warm.
I needed food; anything would do.
I touched a table and felt it turn into an elegant vase of wood. I felt sorrow at parting with my parents.
I drew a blade blank out of the rock at my feet. I could do anything. I turned it into a real sword.
I hunted a basilisk and made it submit to my control, then I made it ride on my shoulder wherever I went.
Men broke into my home and shot me. My sword burned a fiery path through metal and the flesh behind it.
I went looking for my mother and found her cowering behind a mound of gold. The baron was throwing handfuls of it at her and telling her to make her son make more so he could throw that at her too. I turned the entire palace into gold, him included.
I went to the center of the space station and began to dismantle the substructure there. Then I remade it stronger than before.
I took the meat hanging in the freezer and turned it into a friend. I got it all wrong and he had no hands, no eyes. His face looked like it went through a meat grinder before it was smeared on the front of his head. Master Durmas took me through a thorough anatomy lesson and I made everything the way it was supposed to be. I see Colin standing in the emperor's livery; he's so happy.
I do a sword dance with a water sword in a large arena where everyone can watch. The sword is so large that it splashes through the stadium and gets everyone wet.
The emperor makes me his bodyguard and I put him in a glass bubble so no one and nothing can touch him without my approval.
The emperor's son throws a bomb at his father and the glass shatters. I... I...no... My magic surges and I put the glass back together. The emperor puts a hand on my shoulder and says, 'well done'.
I walk into my apartment. Someone...I...shredded it. I put it all back together the way I remembered it. Why was that so hard?
A girl with silky black hair and a silky gown was in my arms. "Patricia, I need you," I called out. "I need you so much," I whispered. "Please don't leave me."
I felt myself stand. I felt my hands come away from others. My magic bucked and I opened my eyes in surprise. I had never felt that before, but that didn't matter anymore. Patricia was in front of me. Or rather, I was standing in front of her. She was curled up in a big chair reading a book. I sank down to my knees in front of her. "Please don't leave me. I need you so much."
She was on the floor in front of me. Her hand was on my cheek. I felt the roughness of it under her hand. "I'm not going anywhere, Liam," she said. Her voice was gentle fingers through my raw nerves. I wilted and she caught me. Somehow, we ended up curled up in the big chair together.
I roused enough to hear "Good. I was hoping he had made it here." Durmas chuckled softly. "Love is the best healing magic there is." Then I felt a huge hand on my head. "Sleep, Liam."
Just before I drifted off again, I heard Patricia whisper from where her head rested on my shoulder. "I do love you, Liam. I have for a long time."
I was content. I was whole - so very whole, I could feel it. I was so tired.