In which a man with a headache does a spell

ATTENTION! Starter serials goes dark on April 4th, 2016!

My plan is to see this as an opportunity, finish writing the second book before the 4th, then rework the books for submission to agents and after that when they’ve been roundly rejected self-publishing. If anyone wants to get an update when the book has found a permanent home my email address is crumjd @ gmail . com write me there and I’ll send you a message when the book finds its final home. I won’t spam you. It’s not a corporate account or anything and I have neither the time nor the energy to offer you ways to enlarge your genitalia. In the interim I’ll probably be doing some stories on https://www.reddit.com/r/HFY/ my username is crumjd there as well.

Kyle’s head hurt. He slumped in front of his spinning wheel and massaged his temple trying to quiet the roaring ache that had sprung up there some time a little after noon. He knew it wasn’t doing any good. The headache would only respond to two things. Rubbing his forehead, pain pills, even strong alcohol wouldn’t do any good. Sleep would help. That would come, ever so slowly, tonight when he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer. Then, somewhere around midnight he’d start to toss and turn, he’d probably feel too hot, he’d certainly feel hungry or like he had to go to the bathroom, and eventually he’d wake without getting nearly the sleep he should have to face a full day of work, but at least the headache would be gone for a little bit.  He was trying to avoid doing the other thing that could help his head.

A light on the top of the spinning wheel changed from green to amber. Kyle willed it to go back to green. That could happen. It didn’t typically, maybe only about 10% of the time, but the very nature of the sensor now being tripped meant it could easily be wrong now and again. Kyle really hoped it was one of those times. He felt he was overdue. Instead the same little light went red and the machine started to emit a low unhappy whine. Kyle’s low moan echoed that of the machine for a brief moment. He was fairly sure no one in the surrounding cubicles would hear.

When he lowered his head against it man and machine made an odd scene. Despite it’s name a spinning wheel looked very little like classic textile equipment. The device was cylindrical, flat white, about a yard tall, and around a foot in diameter. There was a door in the front of the machine that could be opened to allow for the addition of more consumables which came in packages similar to laser printer ink. The top also opened, so the carbon nanofiber cable it “spun” could be removed. An oversized power cable hooked it into the buildings electrical system. A second, superconductive, cable carried merlitons into the machine. Finally, a USB cable linked it to Kyle’s desktop computer.

He swatted his mouse, waking the computer up. The machine’s diagnostic program was already up on the screen reporting the data from dozens of sensors inside the machine. Conductivity and temperature were in the red zone meaning physics for those items was returning to normal. Hypothetically, there was a wide range of diagnostics he could have performed to figure out the precise problem with the spell. In practice, Kyle didn’t need them. He knew almost all the ways the spell could fail and he already knew what would have happened to result in these readings. With that sort of predictability the wheel should have fixed itself, only that company had raced to market with beta release junk and now everyone was giving themselves migraines to keep it working.

Kyle closed his eyes. He could have been drifting off to sleep. His breathing slowly stilled becoming imperceptible. He could have been dead. It was actually a trance, his mind floated in a meditative state somewhere outside of his body.

Somewhere near magic.

Kyle always perceived it as a river of molten gold. A flow of energy both vast and beautiful. It contained more power than anyone could ever use. Power enough to destroy and remake the entire universe ten thousand times – ten thousand thousand. Gently he reached out and diverted a handful of the flow through his own body. That energy soothed the headache. That was second thing that could fix his headache. It also expanded his awareness beyond anything else a mortal could experience.

He opened his eyes which now glowed with a cool amber light and looked at the machine. With that expanded awareness he saw deep inside it. Below its broad physical structure, beyond the fine detail of the materials that made it up, beyond even the atoms of the molecules that made it up, down into the chaotic and ever shifting froth of reality’s lowest level.

He moved his hands over the spinning wheel. They left faintly glowing trails of amber behind them. He extended one finger, willing the power out into it and making it glow more brightly as he did so. Now he wrote in the air, quickly and confidently. He’d done this hundreds of time before after all, a good dozen even today. The glowing lines spelled out the equations of conductivity. First he wrote them correctly, then he struck out terms and replaced them with better more desirable states. Finally he sealed the spell to itself and to the machine with an intricate looping symbol and threw the last of his power into it.

There was a flash; his reality merged with another, the carbon atoms being processed by the spinning wheel stopped tumbling in an uncoordinated way. Instead the mundane components of the machine were able to grab and manipulate them. They began, once again, to roll and rattle along like product on an assembly line.

As the last of the magic in him evaporated both his enhanced senses and the magical suppression of his pain vanished. The migraine from earlier returned with such a dreadful vengeance he thought he’d pass out.

The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing
In which a man with a headache falls over

For some reason I cannot adequately explain, even to myself, I'm trying to write and to write better. So if you like my story let me know. All feedback is appreciated.

Posted in The Beginners Guide to Magical Site Licensing Tagged with: ,
11 comments on “In which a man with a headache does a spell
  1. Jake says:

    Im definitely looking forward to where this is going. From what I’ve read so far I’m interested to see where you go with it.

  2. Lucie says:

    WOW. Very good start. I like how you’re taking your time to introduce the world, interior and exterior. Can’t wait for the next bit!

  3. Thaumaturgical_Support says:

    Hopefully the story will keep your interest. Mind you, I make no promises! 😉 I tend to get ideas for settings rather then plots, so I tend to write milieu’s rather then something fun with lots of explosions. I don’t know if that will work in a serial format. Heck, I don’t know if that works in a bound volume with a glossy cover…

    This is not to say there won’t be kung foo fightin’ and death magic thrown by twisted eldritch abominations once we get the introductions out of the way.

    Anyway, thanks so much for the kind words. I really do appreciate hearing how you feel about the story. Please feel free to point out my many typos, misspellings, and generalized crimes against grammar and punctuation.

  4. Interesting, that’s for sure. I like what you’ve come up with, milieu-wise. And I don’t find I’m stumbling over the technical aspects of the writing, which is refreshing for a new serial.

    One thing I do want to point out, however, is that, in your introduction, you talk about the “non-scaler principle”. I’m guessing you actually meant “non-scalar”. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scalar).

    Also, one other correction from the introduction. It’s “medieval”, not “midevil” (unless you really wanted to make up a word that suggested a medium level of evilness, in which case, you should probably hyphenate: “mid-evil”).

    Hg

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thank you! I’m the worst at spotting things like that, so it’s a great help when other people are willing to point them out. 🙂

  5. RocjawCypher says:

    A very interesting concept, and a well executed introduction. I look forward to seeing more!

  6. SgL says:

    I can tell you have a very clear picture of what is happening in your mind. Be careful though that your words are clear.

    For example–

    “The headache would only respond to two things. Rubbing his forehead, pain pills, even strong alcohol wouldn’t do any good. Sleep would help. That would come, ever so slowly, tonight when he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer.”

    In the above, the two things that the headache would respond to are ambiguous because you haven’t followed “two things” with a clear listing of those. Are the two things the headache responds to “rubbing his forehead,” “pain pills,” or not at all? In the end, you made it clear only “sleep” would help.

    He was already massaging his temple so restating “rubbing his forehead” just repeats information. You could avoid it.

    “Kyle’s head hurt. He slumped in front of his spinning wheel and massaged his temple trying to quiet the roaring ache that had sprung up there some time a little after noon. He knew it wasn’t doing any good. Pain pills and even strong alcohol were no better.

    Sleep would help. That would come, ever so slowly, tonight when he was too exhausted to stay awake any longer…”

    Also, you mention a “spinning wheel” in the very first sentence but don’t explain/describe it well until the third paragraph. This is a bit risky since usually the first time you invoke something “new” in a fantasy/sci-fi world is when you want to give us a bit more description to point out to us “hey, this is different.”

    Otherwise your first paragraph sounds like you’re focused on Kyle feeling crappy but I’m still stuck on “what is that spinning wheel? what kind of world are we in?”

    I think it would be stronger to start with your second and third paragraph to immediately establish the other world setting.

    One pronoun issue:
    “There was a flash; Our reality merged with another, ”

    For the most part you were kind of playing with a third-person omniscient point of view. All of a sudden by using “our” you shifted the perspective to “us/we” or first-person. Unless you the narrator are part of this story, change it to “There was a flash; this world’s reality ” or “his reality merged with another.”

    • Thaumaturgical_Support says:

      Thanks for the “our” catch. It’s updated.

      I also added one more line to the first paragraph to deal with what was bugging you about the “two” things that can help his head. One of them is sleep, the other is doing more magic as comes out at the end of the section. I intended “what’s the second thing?” to be a bit of a hook, but it seems like it might have just ended up as confusing. Perhaps my being a bit more explicit about not explaining the second thing will help, or perhaps the entire paragraph needs rewritten.

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for letting me know how it worked for you! 🙂

  7. Kazorh says:

    Non-scalar principle in the introduction, please, not principal. That mistake irks me.

    And you’re missing some commas.

    He swatted his mouse waking the computer up.
    mouse,

    He extended one finger willing the power
    finger,

  8. Josh Nextman says:

    Following!

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