Hi, Hey, Hello!
So on Wednesday I said that today I would come bearing something that had previously only existed in my neatest handwriting (I just learned this, it surprised me slightly). This is that. (also I have a guest post cropping up over on Silver Threading’s great blog which is a little Disney inspired thing, if you wanna check that out).
Little bit of context, I wrote this in mid-December (dating things in my notebook continues to prove useful to me) and was partially inspired by the idea of magic or the fantastical existing in the modern world. Then I kind of went with it. There are probably (almost definitely) holes in it because this is THE most disjointed narrative I have ever written, and I haven’t ever actually gotten around to fleshing this world out properly. Fantasy is a genre that I am not fully comfortable with, so honestly I don’t even know if this is any good, buuuutttttt here it is anyway…
Myla Wynex was an anomaly. Not so much in the grand scheme of things, but in his family of born and bred magic carriers he was an anomaly. There was no real physical manifestation of his talents. He couldn’t conjure impressive firework displays or shift his form or bewitch household objects to work for themselves. No, instead he was left with the noise. A constant static that ran in three separate frequencies that he was always tuned in to.
Coming from magic meant that there was no one around when he was 4 and breaking out who could help him shut off the noise. They tried spells and incantations and old family herbal remedies, but none of them stopped the him of voices that invaded his every thought. For a long time he was never sure whether he was thinking something completely original to him or whether he was borrowing the thought off someone else. It always made him seem smarter than he really was in school and that made him a target. The truth is, he could always just hear what the teacher was thinking. Teachers were fascinated by his intelligence, his fellow students weren’t.
Him being a target didn’t turn out to be all bad in the end, when he met Loughlin aged 12 and things finally started to make a little bit more sense.
Loughlin Noates had manipulation of the elements mastered before he reached double digits. He had other elements of magic under his control before his teens arrive. He could disappear from one place and reappear in his intended location in one piece by 16, making him one of the youngest people to achieve such a thing in nearly a century.
(His DNA helped him greatly, as did the fact that his family had always been a mismatch. His parents knew what to do with him because they didn’t expect him to be one thing and get another. The Noates family were not the Wynexs. But back to the DNA thing, Loughlin’s father was the highest esteemed warlock around, had been for years. If you needed anything done then he was the person to do it, as far was everyone was concerned he was almost impossible to beat. He wasn’t around for a lot of Loughlin’s life, but his existence in his veins helped him considerably.)
Loughlin was simply bored when he helped Myla for the first time. Manipulating wind molecules so they resembled something more solid is what fascinated him at the time. And, well he saw the boy towering over Myla rearing back to throw some kind of punch before Myla did. The boy started wailing about how Myla had hit him but there were enough witnesses to vouch for the fact that the boy had hit air and Myla hadn’t moved a muscle. He hadn’t even twitched at the incoming fist.
Loughlin’s mother, Amethyst, pinpointed what Myla was the second he stepped over the threshold on the same day as the incident. She pulled him into a messy hug instantly, where his arm was caught awkwardly between their bodies. In that hug though Myla heard silence. A deadly quiet where he could only hear his own thoughts and the song he heard on the radio going into school that morning. A song he thought he was borrowing from someone else.
He cried in relief and happiness and utter surprise into her arms and took comfort in her jumper that smelled like a gingerbread cookie.
Amethyst has magic pumping through her veins and oozing out of every pore. Her hair was always a mess of purple or blue frizz held back with a silk headscarf and she lived in soft jumpers and cardigans with frayed sleeves. She put everyone around her at ease instantly in a cloud of gingerbread and vanilla with an underlying smell of pine.
Art was her thing. Tattoos especially. She worked out of an office with walls covered in intricate black ink designs and realistic floral patterns. In amongst that there are normal everyday symbols and they are the most interesting. Those are the ones laced with something special. Locators, protection, summoners, temporary magic, she could cover all bases wrapped up in a neat little bow (sometimes literally). She was one of the best and was never without an appointment with people travelling from all over for the chance to enter her tattoo parlour with the incense and the self assured movements of her needle across skin. She thought in tattoo patterns more than she thought in words or magic, Myla knew that to be a fact. And she welcomed and loved like no one else Myla had ever encountered.
Myla took comfort and refuse in the Noates’ house with the green lit candles and the freshly baked goods resting neatly on a plate underneath a clear closh in the kitchen. There was usually always the gentle buzz of the tattoo needle and the soft melodic hum of music drifting through the walls. There was a silence, a dimming of the noise, that came with stepping through the archway of the door of 13 Madison Close that made finishing school the best part of Myla’s day.
In between appointments while he was tucked away in the corner of her office doing his homework Amethyst would teach him ways to shut everything up when it got too much. She tried to understand what he was going through and be a shoulder to cry on. She made him feel like he was one of the Noates and sometimes it made his heart ache that his own mother couldn’t do that for him.
It got simpler after a while. The noise became easier to silence the longer he worked with Amethyst. His own thoughts became easier to distinguish and he learned how to hone in on individual minds. Loughlin let him practice that skill on him, to the point where Myla almost knew all his deepest thoughts and hidden secrets.
Myla knew he went too far when one day he tried to hear Loughlin’s sarcastic remark in class about a teacher and was pushed out. He didn’t get an explanation then and he tried to avoid going into Loughlin’s head after that, mainly out of fear that he would lose his only friend, but also because as he sat eating his lunch on his own for the first time in nearly 3 years that Loughlin had let him know things about himself that no one else knew. He had trusted him and Myla never even thought to return the favour, he had just taken. Loughlin was a better friend than Myla and that hit him hard in the middle of the school day.
He got better after that. Opened up a bit more and perfected narrowing in on specific people’s thoughts while they were unsuspecting. He wasn’t proud of that, but it felt less intrusive than working on people he knew.
He ascended at 17. It wasn’t a complete surprise, Amethyst has warned him it would happen, but nothing really prepared him for it. He was in Loughlin’s room when he woke up on his birthday and the grey lit room was ablaze with colour. The red on his Rolling Stones poster opposite his bed was bright. The lamp on the table just below that tongue was all the shades of yellow it was when it was alight. The duvet tightly wrapped around his waist was purple swirled with black and he could see the strawberry shaped birthmark just below Loughlin’s shoulder in all its cherry red glory.
He could smell the oak tree in the Noates’ garden strongly through the tiny crack in the window and the breeze gently swirling the bottoms of the curtains was bringing with it the smell of rain and daffodils. He could hear the microwave working in the kitchen and the tattoo gun stuttering it’s way across skin and the soft humming Amethyst always makes when she’s concentrating on the outline of a design as if he was tucked away in the corner.
He heard Loughlin stir and turn over blinking his eyes open and Myla noticed that they encompassed of all the blues available on the spectrum.
While he was smiling sleepily and watching Loughlin wake up properly the noise started again. Louder than ever before. He tried all the techniques he had perfected to no avail and started panicking. Loughlin pulled him into a messy sort of half hug, with Myla pillowed on Loughlin’s chest, and Myla heard silence again. The only thought he could focus on was Loughlin’s voice telling him ‘it’s gonna be okay’. And it was the only thought he needed as he listened to the thudding of Loughlin’s heart.
Later that day Amethyst tattoos an ‘X’ behind his left ear. It lessens the noise instantly as its etched onto his skin and when she’s finished Amethyst tells him it’s laced with a magic that he can control. That he can only control because of his bloodline. With three small strokes he can make it all go away, the heightened sight and smell, the hearing of everyone’s thoughts, it will all be gone unless he reverses it. He always sees in colour though and some nights he takes to falling asleep focusing on that cherry red mark on Loughlin’s back, that moves with his deep breathing while he sleeps, as it’s the only way he knows how to shut the colour off and drift.
When Loughlin masters the art of tele he won’t stop doing it. Moving from room to room with ease and sometimes just moving from one end of the sofa to the other. Myla starts filming him on his phone just because he can. Loughlin notices though and starts playing up to the camera. He disappears from one end of the sofa and reappears wearing a reindeer onesie at the other 3 seconds later.
Loughlin never actually said it aloud out of fear that Amethyst might hear, but the more he played up the more Myla knew he was baiting him into putting it on the Internet. Loughlin disappearing doing backflips got 4,372 likes Instagram and earned Loughlin a cap ring being fused to his pinky right finger by Amethyst for a week.
When she got over the shock and accepted it was the world they lived in she gave them a long list of rules to follow, mainly for their safety. Myla and Loughlin wasted a whole afternoon doing stupid things until Loughlin was too tired to do anything but lie on the sofa once they got that go ahead.
They never really planned anything after that. It kept it fun. One day he filmed Loughlin tele-ing because he wanted a digestive biscuit Myla noticed that the air where Loughlin once sat smelt of spearmint. It was purely by chance that one afternoon as he was walking past Amethyst’s office he overheard her talking to Olive, her daughter, about the fact that the smell must mean something to Loughlin. The scent being left behind only exists when it means something important. Myla doesn’t think much else of it until one day the smell mutates to include cinnamon in amongst the spearmint.
Myla’s favourite smells.
Loughlin never talked about it, the same way Myla never talked about how he slept better on the nights that he fell asleep looking at cherry red birthmark.
This is messy and long and I may come back to these characters and make sense of them all.
Parentheses count: 5. See you on Wednesday!
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