Trials: Part Twenty Four

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A decent bit of time had passed. Paul honestly was having a hard time keeping track of how long it was, but he felt like he’d been there a while. However long he’d been there, not once had his blindness been brought up. He meditated as they said, and he’d definitely honed his powers, but he was still blind. While that was great, the whole reason he had come to this place was that he’d thought that it would cure his vision.

He recalled how skeptical Jude had been, and wondered if he was right all along. Perhaps there was no way for his sight to be restored.

No, he couldn’t believe that. He was in a magic monastery, filled with a bunch of monks with magic powers. There had to be a way.

He heard a knock on the door.

“Paul. I believe we need to talk.” Adara said.

“No kidding. I’ve been here for a while now, and nobody has even mentioned curing my blindness.”

“I’m aware, yes.” Adara stepped into the room, and closed the door behind her. “Have we not helped you, though? You have gained a great deal of control over your powers, have you not?”

“Yes, and I appreciate that-” Paul began, but Adara cut him off.

“And would that not be immensely helpful to your friends and their cause? You have seen what is to come, and you know that they will need you. Do you not agree?”

“I know all that, but-”

She cut him off again. “Then what is the problem? Is this not enough for you?”

“I didn’t even want these powers!” Paul shouted. “I just want to be able to see, to be able to live a normal life.”

“Well which do you want? A normal life, or to be able to see?”

“They’re the same thing to me!” Paul couldn’t understand what she was doing. She was clearly toying with him, but he couldn’t figure out why.

“The closest thing to a normal life you will be able to obtain would be to return to your friends as you are. Would it be much of a normal life even if you had your sight back? Your friends already have incredible powers, would you take that away so that you could live a normal life?”

“No!” Paul shook his head. A tear began to flow down his face. “I wouldn’t do that to them, they’re happy.”

“Then you don’t want a normal life? You want sight?”

“Yes!”

“And what price would you be willing to pay? You’ve already said you wouldn’t change your friends.”

“Anything but that…”

“I can offer you sight, if you’re willing to pay any price.”

“What do you want from me?”

“You would have to stay here at the monastery. You would devote your life to studying the secrets of magic, and once you have mastered that, then you will be able to heal your eyes.”

“My life?”

“Yes, all of it.”

“Would I be able to see my friends again?”

“I cannot promise that we would ever return to a time in which your friends live. You would need to be prepared to never see them again, and not offer any goodbyes.”

“What about Anastasia?”

“Would you force that on her? I do not believe she would want to stay. You said earlier you wouldn’t change your friends, is that still true?”

“Enough.” Paul wiped his tears. “You knew I would say no, didn’t you?”

“I did.” Adara approached him and sat down in front of him. “I always believe in offering the choice, however. I do believe your friends will need you and your powers if they will see the end of this.”

“I think I have to agree.” Paul sighed. “I guess I’m just blind. That’s me. I’m not special, and there’s no magic cure.”

“I think you’ll find this is less of an encumbrance than you imagined.” She rubbed his shoulders, and stood to her feet. “If you don’t change your mind about staying, be sure to leave the monastery by sundown, or else you will lose your choice.” She went towards the door, before pausing. “Oh, as a final challenge. Try to seek out the vision of your death. Goodbye, Paul.”

“Goodbye, Adara.” He waved until he heard the door shut, then fell back onto the floor.

After that exhausting exchange, he wasn’t sure he was up to trying to see his most traumatic vision. Then again, the way that she said it was cryptic enough that he felt like he needed to. He sat back up and recalled the vision to his mind. He concentrated on what he could remember. He shuddered as he imagined Vanessa slicing his chest open, but it wasn’t a vision. He wondered if he could even do it. He shook his head. He knew he had to.

He concentrated and found himself floating in the air above an abandoned outdoor basketball court. This was strange, because before he had always been hiding behind a shrub, and seeing things from his own point of view. He wondered if this was why Adara told him to do this.

He saw Vanessa and a young hispanic girl, that he recognized from visions of Jude, ran onto the court, before briefly looking back. They were saying something, and it looked like they were arguing, but Paul couldn’t understand. It sounded like he was underwater. Jude and Anastasia entered the court and everyone was still. The girl seemed to be positioning herself to de-escalate the conflict.

This was all wrong, the girl had never been there before, but she was here now. This was definitely the same event, everyone was wearing the same clothes and standing in the same places.

It seemed like the girl was actually managing to calm everyone down. Paul considered that maybe by resolving his conflict with himself, he had managed to prevent this catastrophe.

Vanessa suddenly lunged to the left, and threw a disc towards Jude. Jude saw it coming, and Paul saw a look of resignation on his face. He looked at Jude for a moment but nothing changed. Then Jude ran forwards, with a look of agony. Paul looked around, and saw the girl bleeding on the pavement.

“No!” Paul shouted with tears streaming down his face. He was back in the monastery.


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Sorry for the delayed post. I’m quite certain I scheduled it, so not sure what happened.

(Art credit: WordPress Free Photo Library)

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