I have been mistaken for a student of dark magic by people who don’t know better. The honest truth is I stumble into the subject occasionally, coming across it in a professional capacity as a paranormal investigator. A student pursues mastery of knowledge and technique. If I were more courageous, I would pursue the students before they could obtain mastery. But in most cases I end up cleaning the messes or putting up the equivalent of a Caution: Slippery When Wet sign.
In almost every subject, a student requires a teacher. But there are a special few among us who are self-learners. Autodidact is the more sophisticated name for them. Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, and Frank Lloyd Wright are a few of the more famous ones.
Dark magic is a dangerous force. Students of the advanced forms don’t learn how to cast a spell. Instead they learn how to protect themselves from the consequences of casting one. “Protect” is the preferred term for those who practice this variety of magic. The only real protection is to transfer the cost of a spell to another individual. These “protective measures” are what distinguishes advanced dark magic spells from simple ones, which offer no effort to protect the caster from any side effects. The individual accepts the entire cost of the spell on their own in exchange for the benefits offered. The bargain struck between magic user and magical source never results in a fair trade for the mortal creature.
I have taken it upon myself to tell the truth about dark magic. At least, the truth about simple spells that anyone can conjure. Knowledge is a powerful cat to let out of the proverbial bag, and it goes against centuries of tradition.
I consider it my job to inform people of dark magic’s existence, availability, and dangers. One I fulfill by sharing cautionary tales taken from my cases to enlighten the uninformed.
So, here are the truths you need to know. First, magic exists in several forms, and anyone can cast a spell using dark magic. You just have to want something strongly enough to accept an extreme personal cost. Which brings us right into the second thing you should know. Anyone using dark magic incurs an unknowable cost at the time the spell is cast. The form and timing of payments is always determined at a later date. Third, there are some other minor requirements to make a spell work. No special skill or knowledge is necessary. To safeguard against readers from performing a spell, I have omitted details on how a spell is all put together.
The people I know who have gotten caught up in dark magic have told me the last steps of a spell are intuitive, and they were surprised they didn’t figure it out on their own. It’s like looking for the glasses that you’re already wearing. Or finding the house keys in your pocket after turning your home upside down looking for them.
Which brings me to my point. There are certain people who are capable of figuring all three things on their own. To the best of my knowledge, I have never met one. However, on one occasion I was hired by the family of someone who did. To aid me in the investigation, her husband made some of her personal possessions available to me. Including several years’ worth of personal journals. They paint a detailed portrait of her life but hold very little information about how she obtained her more arcane knowledge.
Copying the journals verbatim feels wrong, so I’ve adapted them into a more palatable format. Just like I do with my other case files I share publicly. There may be some omissions or embellishments.
I first paged through the journals in the solitude of her apartment, with the permission of both the property manager and her husband (whom the property manager was surprised to learn about). My first impression was that she wrote as if she were trying to get perfect marks in a penmanship course. Her letters were well crafted and her words well thought out. At the beginning, the entries flowed and never stumbled. Toward the end, it was as if someone else entirely was writing them.
Mage was a woman torn between the family she chose and the family she made. In order to understand the predicament, I walked backward through the entries. Her life hadn’t always been split, and it hadn’t always been out of balance.
Her first life was her career for Dynamic Marketing Solutions Inc., which she began as an unattached college intern and carried forward into a successful career after graduation. Her second life came later with her husband, Henry, and their children.
Mage was a person of extreme talent and immense inner turmoil, who used the former to overcome the latter. A tireless leader, she would go to lengths that surprised even her in order to solve her problems.
As before, I have taken the liberty of changing names for everyone’s protection. Although, there is one individual who never volunteered his name at all.