Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6.10

Posted by harmony0stars on May 17, 2010

“What are you doing?” Robert asked quietly after about an hour.

“I’m looking for this stupid symbol online,” Glory replied, flicking the slip of paper by her side with a finger.

“Is that like, your job?”

Glory glanced at him curiously. “I’m making it my job. I don’t have a ‘job’ per se. I have investments.”

“Huh…” Robert replied. He’d set his controller down and was watching her. “Cause it always seems like you’re busy working on stuff.”

“I keep house, cleaning and cooking, and I do stuff with you guys,” Glory said defensively.

Robert ignored that. “I just was wondering what you were always working on… because you did say you’d teach me… magic.”

Ah…. She continued to click through Google as she spoke. “There are laws of magic, just as there are laws of science. These are usually called axioms. They don’t tell you how to do magic, but they do tell you how magic works or how it should work depending upon the circumstances surrounding an event. Science governs the perceivable universe, but while magic borders on the physical world, its connection to the physical world is more tenuous, symbolic. I’ve documented twenty-seven laws so far, not including their sub-laws, which would bring it up to thirty-nine. These amount to passive and active interaction within the framework of magic. You don’t have to believe in magic for it to have an effect on you, and you don’t necessarily have to believe in it to use it. What you do need is a strong will and a clear idea of your goal, both to work magic and to resist it. By clear idea, I mean you must be able to envision it fully. Magic is energy harnessed by the mind to a specific purpose, but it’s as dangerous and eager to be free as an electrical current with less to ground it than your typical live wire. That means it’s incredibly chaotic and if you are not very specific about your purpose, it can easily get out of your control and do things you did not intend. There are tools you can use to get a better handle on it, but it is always chaotic and will always try to go its own way like an eel.”

“Should I be taking notes?” he asked hesitantly.

Glory looked up from her computer with her mouth open. Is that why I put off telling him anything about magic? Not that she’d done it consciously, but… she did realize she’d been procrastinating. She really didn’t want to tell him about Lori and her missing book. Though he should know he was in danger just by being around her. Even if he’d forced his way into her life, he still deserved to know.

She scowled, and Robert scowled back. “Sorry I asked,” he grumbled, picking his controller back up.

“Someone stole something from me once, a book that I had written… on magic,” she blurted, unsure of where to begin or even how much to say. Robert paused, controller in his hand, still frowning slightly. “It was hardly what anyone would call a definitive collection, but it had my theories in it, and so it’s something that could end up doing a lot of harm in the wrong hands. This person would probably kill me if she could, and anyone living with me, which is why I tried to say no to you when you showed up on my doorstep. But, I figured you’d be in more danger camping behind my house than in it, so I let you stay.”

“Um… thanks, I guess?” he replied, looking uneasy. “You couldn’t have told me this before I moved in?”

“Do you want me to find you someplace else to stay?”

“No!” he said huffily. “I… it just would have been nice to know.”

“If you start keeping a notebook, just make sure it never leaves the house, and that it’s well hidden,” she replied, going back to her search. “Don’t even let anyone know it exists.”

“Is the house safe?” he asked after a moment. “I’ve seen you turn on the alarm at night, but I mean… this is magic. An alarm’s not going to stop that.”

“We’re fine, Robert. I have spells all over the house to keep people out if they mean anyone inside harm, and counter spells to prevent evil magic from getting in. The only way something could get inside is if it was brought inside by one of us.”

“Didn’t stop that guy from shooting at us,” he grumbled. Dropping the controller once and for all and leaning back on the sofa, arms crossed.

“No, we weren’t in the house then. I still wonder how he got you and Edgar from the motor home though. I didn‘t have much time to put up protections, but you should have been safe enough inside short of him setting fire to it.”

Glory looked up from the computer at his silence, but he stared at the floor, his cheeks and even his ears flushed red. “Well…” he said after a moment. “We weren’t inside.”

“I figured you must have been outside playing or something.”

He chewed on his lip and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. Clearing his throat awkwardly, he announced, “I wanted to help out, like before… I, uh, didn’t expect the guy who picked us up to be the same guy who shot at us! I mean, what are the odds, right?” He laughed, but quickly fell silent when Glory didn’t join in. Glory had closed her computer and sat staring at him, a mixture of anger and disbelief on her face.

“You took Edgar hitchhiking? You… I can’t believe you! What were you thinking?”

“Well, what if you’d been in trouble again, like when that lunatic tried to strangle you?” he demanded.

Glory shook her head. “Go… You go to your room, right now. I’ll bring you dinner later. But you’re going to stay in your room for the rest of the weekend. No video games and no TV for the rest of the week. And the first thing I want to see in your notebook is an essay on responsibility.”

“But I…”

“Robert, the only reason you’re getting away with a week is because you’ve been extremely responsible otherwise, so I know you know what the word means. Do you have any idea how worried I was, especially when you wouldn‘t talk to me? I want an essay, one page minimum. You have until the end of the week to finish it. I suggest you take full advantage of your time. Now go.”

Still red faced and hands clenched, he stormed up the stairs. Despite his room being on the third floor, Glory still heard it when he slammed his door shut. Maybe he felt he’d been wronged. Maybe he felt that since he’d come clean, he shouldn’t be punished. She didn’t know what to do really. It wasn’t as though she’d ever been anyone’s parent before.

Edgar chirped curiously, puzzled by the whole fight. With a comforting pat on his curly little head, Glory slid onto the floor and played blocks with him for the rest of the afternoon. This was just fine with him. He had plenty of blocks to go around.

to Book 6, page 11

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6 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6.10”

  1. here2read said

    kids… LOL

    • Robert really is a good boy, just headstrong and a little too certain he’s right. Coming up on 100 bonus points faster than I expected, but I have his essay all ready as the first entry. Glory’s going to find it a slightly bitter pill to swallow, I think.

      • here2read said

        My son averaged a 3.4gpa, and never wore baggy pants. He is a navy medic now. But man, he still drove me insane when he was young.
        Even the good ones, give you gray hair 🙂

        • Oh, I’m sure I drove my mom nuts too (just not as much as my brother and sister! heh). I have a feeling Glory and Robert will have a constant battle of wills. Not in a bad way, but Robert is always going to be second guessing Glory’s actions because of how he feels he failed his sister.

  2. Fiona said

    Ha – more points 🙂 – I found a typo – it’s a classic!:

    You don’t have to believe in magic for it to have an Effect on you

    Or

    You don’t have to believe in magic for it to Affect you

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