The Undoer

15 Jan

Few individuals with my unusual ability are born in our land of spellcraft. There are many times more charmcasters and enchanters than persons capable of removing hexes and curses. That is what makes me and my gift so unique.

Once I finished schooling in my village my fate took me to Central City to make a life for myself. Here I encountered enmity and opposition from the professional Guild of Ensorcelers. They were the holders of an exclusive monopoly in the field of spells. Harsh warnings were addressed to me by veteran practitioners versed in creating entrancements. Do not attempt to throw off what we impose on persons chosen as targets, I was told. Severe fines and punishments will fall upon you if you operate contrary to the rules of traditional gramary. Do not stand against the currents of your betters, they advised, again and again. How little they knew what strength resided within me!

Rumor spread about my reputation as a genius master able to remove even the most potent and long-lasting of spells. My inner power was superior to the best and tightest of magical formulas placed on those made into targeted victims. As the number of satisfied customers increased for me, fear of my services declined. An eerie popularity came to be rewarded me by underground popular opinion. I was a person who could accomplish what was rare and exceptional.

But one bright summer day, a squad of uniformed guards in judiciary purple appeared at my garret and placed me under arrest. Immediate imprisonment in the metropolitan thaumaturgical bridewell occurred. I was informed by the jailer that a court trial could only be scheduled for a year in the future. Meantime, I was to sit in jail with the criminal spellcasters who were being held in the dark, dank, and damp bastille of stone.

No one could have foreseen the opportunity for me to learn more under these circumstances.

Without thought, I was put in a wonderful university of the art of enchantment.

Up to this point in my life, all I knew and was competent to perform was the negative act of undoing the spells and curses, the charms and glamours, imposed by craftsmen of that field of magic. Now, though, I could expand my skills into territory unfamiliar to me.

Over and over again, the jailed masters told me the same thing.

“You are a fool for being what you are. Instead, you must become one like us.

“Yes, we are punished when we are caught in the commission of so-called psychic crimes. But our lives are packed with adventure and excitement. We are never bored in practicing spellcraft. Our customers are many and our rewards very generous.

“You must learn how to cast illegal curses and unconventional enchantments the way that all of us do. The official guild hunts, chases, and punishes us, yet our practices can never be stamped out or abolished.

“We can teach you how to become a supposedly criminal caster. All that has to be done is to turn your unspelling talents upside down, inside out. You will have a year in here to acquire all the knowledge that we can bestow.

“Do not turn down such a promising opportunity, do not let it pass you by.”

All such offers were refused by me. I did not realize at any time how stupid these denials of mine were.

At last, the day of my trial before the Runic Judiciary arrived.

Five magistrates sat on a high platform, behind black oaken desks. They wore dark robes and wigs with white curls. The public prosecutor glared at me with sharp evil eyes. A youthful official in blue clothes came up to me from behind and announced he was to act as my barrister.

The indictment against me was read by an old clerk, his voice squeaking with advanced age.

Then the huge, hulking prosecutor defined the charges against me in a harsh, merciless tone.

“Full punishment must fall upon this enemy of all legal spellcasting,” he finished in a shout.

The Chief Judge, sitting in the middle with his colleagues on each side, spoke to the two attorneys arrayed against each other.

“This case is in need of immediate, direct resolution. I therefore command both the officer of prosecution and the defense counsel to meet together in our rear quarters so that some sort of joint resolution can be reached. I myself will be present to preside over the negotiations.”

With that, he gaveled the session to an end.

I was led by guards back to the prison building that held the circle of criminal enchanters.

“How did it go?” they asked. “What is going to happen to you?”

All I could do was to shake my shoulders in ignorance. “I don’t know and can’t say,” was my reply.

The following morning, I was taken not to the court room, but to the Chief Judge’s private sanctum. My own advocate sat at a long table, across from the prosecutor. Once I was seated opposite the black-robed judicial official, my lawyer turned to me and spoke.

“The court and the prosecutor are offering to drop all the charges if you agree to become an undercover psychic agent of the police. Your function will be to reverse illegal, anti-social curses and criminal enchantments. A salary will be paid you for your services, but you must never reveal to anyone your hidden employment. Your work must remain secret and clandestine. It should be clear why that is necessary.

“If this should ever become public knowledge, it will be denied and your post abolished.”

I was speechless. My brain felt frozen in sudden astonishment.

What should I say? What course was I to take?

My jail comrades had offered to make me one of them, but the Runic Judiciary promised me the opposite future career.

Which road, which role was best for me? My confusion was colossal.

But then a kind of inspired revelation struck me.

Why close off one alternative? Why not combine the pair into one?

And that is where I remain today. I accepted what the Chief Judge proposed, but I also agreed to become an illegal enchanter. So far, neither side has caught on to the game that I am playing. Dual deception has been the result. My success in both spheres has been incredible. I have been able to keep both sections of my life separate and unconscious of the rest of what I do.

I remain a undoer, but I also have become quite a doer as well.

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