I am not a good storyteller; I never have been. It’s not for want of trying though. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t come to me easily. Kinda like singing.
But I am a good wizard and I don’t need a certificate hanging on the wall to help me prove that. Oh yes, I do have a certificate that says “Mr Rock, Wizard”. All practitioners are expected to complete their training in the powers, choose a specialization, a six month internship and then finally clear a viva voce test conducted by the senior members of the Council. Only then can you get away with calling yourself a wizard.
Witches go to a different school. Though I didn’t appreciate this during my formative years, it was on hindsight that I realized the wisdom of this practice. When one lives for a really long time, it’s not healthy to pit the genders together. Especially since witches are known to bear grudges longer than even human females. Not to forget that they are also equipped with the powers necessary to make their most sadistic fancies come true.
I come from a line of extremely powerful witches and wizards. Making rules, or breaking them, has been our super-specialty. My ancestors have been part of so many historical events that the weight of their powers always seemed to shadow the rest of the family. My family tree reads like the who’s-who of both sides of the coin. The greatest Super Heroes and the most terrifying Super Villain share the same roots. So the only way I could go wrong was by going neither ways. Staying neutral. Walking the middle path.
My earliest memories as a child is not a fond one. It couldn’t possibly be when you were the youngest in the brood. With seven sisters, five brothers and a handful of cousins to throw in the mix, there was always someone planning to ruin my happiness. I still can’t look at a candy without fear. Or a teddy bear for that matter. Forget the story behind that. I did tell you I am not good at storytelling, didn’t I?
A young wizard wasn’t allowed to move out of home till he was an adult. Since that happened after forty years of existence, I spent almost a quarter of my life in abject misery. The big four-oh couldn’t come fast enough. I had my bags packed and wand out the moment the clock struck midnight. From the trail of letters that followed my disappearance act, it seems like several plots failed to see the light of day. I had broken my mother’s heart and ruined the horrendous surprises that had been planned for the day of my coming of age. Thank God!
As a “under-age” wizard, I had consumed literature like a box of dark rich velvety-smooth chocolate. Gulped them down like there was no tomorrow. Unwilling to share the experience or the feelings it evoked. Needless to say that my mind was filled with all the nonsensical stories that would give any righteous witch mother nightmares. Not that I ever gave her reason to suspect that I was anything but the most ordinary boy ever. Just for the record, even my perfectly obedient good boy act didn’t go down well with her. I think she would have liked it better had I shown a little more spunk (like my second eldest sister who had magically transformed the private parts of a certain pesky gentleman into a frog when she couldn’t persuade him to take his hand out of his pants every time he saw her) or a little more initiative (like the fifth from the top brother who had invented the “Puff of Heaven” spray which would immediately put a feeling of well-being and love between feuding families). I, on the other hand, was perfectly normal. I would follow her instructions to the “T” and color inside the box. My boundaries were set pretty tight and I was not venturing out. At least not until it was at my own terms.
It came as a huge surprise (or shock) to all when only my projection walked down the stairs to announce my absence from my party. Nobody had believed I could do it. There had been the standard balloons, streamers and the occasional spiders decorating every wall. The cake was green and black just the way it was supposed to be. Even Uncle Prod had been woken up from his hibernation to join us. Everything was as per expectations. Not to forget the pasty smile of doom painted on everyone’s faces. I had failed to show my true colors and they were resigned to the fate that they had a “normal” wizard amidst them. Hah! That ruined their disappointment for them! The party really did carry on in full swing once the shock wore off. Everyone was relieved I had chosen a side a last. I was a rogue.
Or was I?
Now that would require another bout of storytelling which I don’t feel up to right now. I have had absolutely zero drop of acid in my veins ever since I started telling this sordid tale and all the memories are making me too morose to get up and pour myself another round of fortification to start up again. So till next time…