Hazy, fog-filled memories
rushed to welcome me home, filling my senses with the sweet bitter
taste of recognition. "Maya," I whispered to the familiar gnarled
witch, as she unrelentingly stirred the giant cauldron, twirling my
Fate in an endless circle of Eternity.
Hideous and grotesque
as she was, I wanted so much to hug the chilly frills of her blackened
hem. I clamored forth, tripping over the mores and morays to which
I'd grown accustomed, and crashing to the ground, I lay humbled in
The Note I had harbored
in pride, slipped through my fevered clutch like embarrassed jellied
whispers, squirming faithfully towards the shadow that shrouded my
soul. The wretched-lovely face grew closer as Maya reached down and
plucked the Note like a weed that had ravaged her garden.
"Have you been to the
Wizard, again?" the witch's whispering hackle heckled hesitantly,
as she crumbled the prized possession I had proudly possessed.
"I...I..." I spouted in
incoherent ignorance, and I stared sheepishly into the solemnly solid
gaze of my grisly guardian.
"Ward...When will you
Understand?!" The Witch wiped wild wicked wishes from her weathered,
word-worn weapons of wisdom and threw herself back into the Rocking
Chair that watched over the backporches of Reality's daydreams.
"You don't need that Wizard,"
Maya muttered, mercilessly murdering my mental meanderings. "Words
do have Power, but that strength is a two-edged sword, and that Power
is allowing your mind to imprison you in the rigid structure of reason
and rationality...And I wish you'd stop Seeing me as...as a witch.
Am I really that hideous to you?"
Her sharp stinging statements
sent me stammering once again. "I..."
"When will you see the
real Power behind the Words? Oh, Ward. You are such a child and yet
you have at your command more Power than anyone has ever dreamed.
Sometimes I wonder why the Stars chose you. How long will you distort
us all in your madness before you Understand your Power and use it
for the Plan. I honestly, well, sometimes I just wonder whether I
shouldn't have left you... There."