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IC:Magic and I

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So you have always wanted to be a wizard. Congratulations! So did I, and so do a few million children in our country. What's not to like? You get to harness The Power Of The Universe, don't you? Fame, respect, social standing, money and early retirement - the world is your oyster, isn't it? You know the great wizards of our time: you read about them in the papers and it seems like they are wherever the cool people hang out. The lifeblood of our country, they are also the life of the classiest parties in Treval. Sure, they may be a little 'eccentric' (which would equate to 'raving lunatics' if not for their Djed), but everyone loves them. If they take to wearing woolen scarves in the middle of summer, watch scarves become the next big fashion hit. Life as a famous wizard is sweet, dear reader!

Read that again. Life as a famous wizard. How many of them are there in our country? Five hundred maybe? And several thousands semi-famous ones. Great. Now I will gently remind you that, according to statistics, enrollment in our magic academies is in the tens of thousands per year. That many. I will count myself among those, though just barely, as I have retained precious little of what I was taught at the Academy. Speaking of which, our Academies are not that selective. They may pretend to be, but they will let almost anyone in, on the simple basis that it is difficult to tell who would make a good wizard until they start trying.

Have you ever wondered what happens to those wizards who don't get to be famous or semi-famous? I will tell you, and you aren't going to like the answer. You will be in good company, mind you. This little book was self-published out of my own pockets, as no publishing house in the realm was willing to send this to their presses. I am moderately rich from my other writings, however, and above all I am compelled to tell the truth. I don't know magic, but I know my magic, and that I will tell truthfully.

Magic and I have a long history. I will admit. I always wanted to be a wizard. I mean it. I wanted to be a wizard. I wanted to change the world with the power of my magic formulas! I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to be special. I probably just wanted someone to take notice of me. I was just a fool with a dream. Now the dream is gone, but the fool is still here. Will you listen to a fool? Make of it what you will. Put down this book and do whatever you want with it (except ask for a refund). I am sure you have a table in need of some balancing. Wood for the hearth is terribly expensive these days. And I will not be offended should you decide to rip the pages and hook them near your toilet seat. I won't mind.

But then your kid comes back from the Royal Academy of Magic on all fours, foaming at the mouth, and you have to forever keep his disgrace locked away in a dark room of your home. It can't happen, you say? How do you know? If that happens, you will not want it to be known. They say such failures are a symptom of inherited weaknesses. If you are too loud about it, people will imagine you frothing at the mouth, as well.

I consider myself lucky. I only lost the use of my left arm and my best friend. If you lack the talent this is near the milder end of the spectrum. Problem is, you don't know if you have the talent until you try.

Happy reading, wannabe wizard!

- Vuld Shaik, in the fifth year of Queen Kova's reign

Childhood memories