Richard started small. That was a lesson he’d learned early on, when he’d first started trying to learn magic. And then the lesson had really been driven home when he has started practicing blood magic. He’d tried to start small then too, but he had still spilled too much with his first spell and almost hadn’t survived. So, for his first gravity spell all he tried to do was lift a small plastic ball a few feet off the ground. It was tricky, and he was sweating with concentration and the exertion before he got the ball to move but eventually he managed to twist the gravitational forces around so the ball wasn’t being pulled towards the earth as much and then the moon’s gravity began to lift it up. He repeated this test several times until he could get it to happen faster and then get the ball to hover and then get the ball to spin while hovering.
The tests ramped up from there. Night after night for weeks he spent training and learning and failing and trying again and again. From the small plastic ball he started with to eventually lifting the car a few feet.
No magic comes without a cost, though. Blood magic cost blood. Gravity magic, Richard found, cost energy. He couldn’t feel it with the smaller spells. But, when he started to move the larger objects he could feel exhaustion slam into him. It took practice to build up the stamina to hold on despite his body and mind telling him he was too tired to keep going. Occasionally he did push himself too far and he passed out in the middle of working with the magic, only to wake hours later, aching and groggy, to find that whatever he’d been manipulating had crashed when he’d lost consciousness. Then, he found, he wouldn’t be able to work another spell for a couple days, until his body had fully recovered. If he didn’t push himself that far, though, he was able to work spells again the next night and occasionally he could work another one the same night.
“It’s like building muscle,” he mused while holding his car two feet above the ground and then getting it to rock back and forth to have the left wheels and then the right wheels touch the ground briefly. “I have to build the muscles to do more, to recover faster.”
Gently bringing the car back down, he released the spell, and sat down to rest. The good thing was he learned something every night. Even the nights he pushed too far he learned something about gravity or about himself. He had learned so much already but knew there was still far more too learn before he’d unlocked enough secrets to feel proficient. It was far more complicated than blood magic had been. It was far more complicated than he’d realized when he’d seen the connection that night weeks ago sitting in his car at the beach. It had seemed simple. He wasn’t disappointed that it wasn’t, though. He was enjoying the challenge. He was enjoying the process of learning.
Standing again, Richard reached out and pulled at the strings, as he had begun to think of them, until he was able to lift his car again. Once it was hovering two feet off the ground, he begun to nudge it so it would swivel left and right a few times. Exhaustion began to push against his thoughts. His body grew heavy and he felt like he could sleep for a week if he would close his eyes. He held on, though. Swung the hood back and forth in smooth, controlled, arcs two more times and then straightened it out and set the car back down. With the wheels grounded again, he released the spell and his legs immediately buckled. He managed to stay awake which he was happy about and he shuffled backwards to the chair he’d rested in earlier. There he pulled himself in and smiled. That was the fastest he’d been able to do two heavy lifting spells back to back. He was getting stronger. He was getting better.
The next night he would work on more delicate spells. He’d flip a light switch on and off. He’d unscrew the lug nuts on a tire and then screw them back on. He would work on these smaller tasks that would work a different set of muscles. For what he had in mind, he figured he’d need to be able to do the big jobs as well as the small ones.
As soon as he felt strong enough, he rose from the chair and headed to bed, a smile on his face the whole time.
4 thoughts on “Gravity, Part 2 of 5”
Always a price to pay for holding power in your hands
Yep. Excellent point.
Watching and waiting, Richard. Hopefully everything stays safe.
Two down, three to go. Though, having written all of it. There may be some more I can squeeze out of this story in the future.