A gust of wind blew over the full green fields of summer grasses, rustling the foliage and filling the air with a crisp, fragrant aroma. A runner, his face running with sweat, approached and stopped, bending over with a pounding heart and a dripping-wet forehead. His breathing was shallow and his muscles ached. It had been a long run, and he had covered a lot of ground, but he had none of the energy he expected to have gained from such a run. The man struggled to catch his breath, panting loudly under the blazing sun.
“78 … 79 … 80 … ” he counted in between breaths . “Darn it, I’ve still got a ways to go! Maybe I should just stand here and wait for my energy to recharge.” So saying, the man stopped running.
Nils, dressed in a light-blue running suit with a matching cap, was once a top athlete but had fallen on hard times. In the late thirty-something year-old man’s prime, he had competed in the Olympics, and gone on to compete in the regionals and the championships thereafter. He had won all the golds and received acclaim. His success had, however, come at a heavy price—his health .
Nils was no stranger to competitions—he had competed in everything from Pokémon battles to track-and-field events. He was good at them, and he won most of them. He was a champion in the region for fifty years during a time when he was healthy and fit, running marathons, swimming, and many other events. Many of those same people who saw him win gold medals now gossiped about his poor health and called him a has been. Still, Nils did all he could to continue winning—he persisted running, swimming, jogging, and even juggling . He would have done anything to stay fit and healthy, including going on a diet consisting of solely of vegetables. Nils managed to keep his poor health a secret from all except his closest friends.
“I guess that’s not an option. At least not for now, I’m not giving up quite yet.” the runner announced to a squirrel as he took a step into his run again. The runner was determined to keep pushing through his early fifties; however, he was not as young and fit as he had once been. He was getting close to the end of his life and had accepted that he was living in the later years of his life. Those years were also his most productive years.
Nils knew he could no longer compete in the Olympics, the regionals, nor could he even compete locally. He had broken many bones, damaged many muscles, and even disfigured his leg after falling down a small hill while trying to run. He would have given anything to be able to surpass the world-class level of his past glory years, but he had made peace with himself regarding his life. Although he was still young, he was fast approaching the twilight of his life. It seemed certain that leaving this world was the best option for him.
“Getting old sucks.” he said to himself as he continued his run. “Running is most definitely my best option.”
Nils ran home a lot of days. The rest of the times, he ran because his legs were asking him to. His body’s feeling were more-or-less the same as they had been when he was his prime. Although he was not being chased by wild animals, he still ran because his legs and his heart told him too.
The wind returned, and he was filled with his snores as he continued his run. He came to the end of a long, winding stretch of road that led to a bluff overlooking the ocean. He reached the edge of the bluff and quickly stopped in front of the cliff. The ocean was an eerily beautiful sight. It was an azure blue, and the rocks that broke the surface were a stark contrast. The ocean was calm and rhythmic, and the serenade gave Nils a pleasant chill. He stepped off of the gravel road and stepped onto the green grass before the cliff’s edge. He began to relax as he gazed over the beauty of the ocean. He only stopped running to come here sometimes, but he never came without conviction that he should stop.
“This would be a nice place to stop and wait for my magic to recharge.” he told himself as he sat down. Nils began to practice his magics by focusing on the ocean. He focused hard, but he was no good at different types of magics, especially those that used words or that were meant to be heard. His magic was an internal energy that was focused by concentration. It was meant to be used by him, and by him alone.
As Nils sat, he gave in completely to his magic as it was his only way to escape the pain and anxiety he had felt over the last fifty years of his life. His legs, his knees, his arms, and his heart all ached. Even his lungs and his mouth complained, and his legs and feet were always heavy.
Nils focused on his breathing and his feelings, trying to find a way that he could use his magic to instantly relieve the pain he felt. He opened his mind and his heart completely, but the only magic he could use was transforming his emotions into flashes of light. His magic was mostly useless to him , and he knew it. Unless he could focus it, he would never be able to use it to his full potential, and he had never come close to that.
Many times in the past, Nils had gotten his body to shifting and change into animals. He had even managed to lift a small tree off of the ground. He had even made a tornado in a small field after being inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. At the same time, though, he was completely oblivious of how to make water appear from thin air. Also, fire only responded to him if it was burning and close enough to him to ignite . He had remembered how to do the most basic of magics , but they were not too useful to him, and they were even more difficult to control with him being so out of shape.
While he was thinking of Fire, his most used magic, he felt a blanket of warmth creeping up from the ground. The warmth was not due to the sun, which was just behind Nils. Since he was on top of a bluff, he was facing the sun, but he did not feel any heat radiating from the orb.
The warmth became stronger, and it felt as if it was reassuring him and making it seem as if someone was beside him . To his surprise, a voice spoke to him.
“Do not worry, Nils.” the voice said. “I can help you.”
Nils started in a little, as he had never had a voice speak to him before. The voice was gentle and soft, with traces of echoes that made it seem as if many voices were speaking. The voice was loud enough for him to hear, but it was almost silent to him.
“Who… who are you?” Nils asked.
“I am here to give you strength, Nils. Do not be afraid.” the voice responded .
“Who are you?” Nils asked.
“My name is Heather. I am a fairy, and I am here to give you strength, Nils.”
“Why am I not sensing you?” Nils asked.
“Do not worry. I will not hurt you, Nils.” Heather said. “You can sense me because I am trying to reach out and touch you.”
“You are touching me?” Nils asked.
“I am. I am reaching out to you to give you strength , to inspire you, and to help you to fly.” Heather explained to Nils. “Your magic is ready to use, but you must learn to control it before it overwhelms you. Do not worry; you will reach your goal. You will do great things as a magi after you learn to control and control yourself. Just relax and don’t be afraid. Even though you are young, you do possess great power.”
Nils smiled and closed his eyes. He felt as if he took a big breath. He felt like if he never did this magic again, he would never be able to go back to his old life again. He wanted to live in a different world. He wanted to be someone different. He wanted to be something great.
Nils closed his eyes and relaxed more. He changed into a fox, then changed back into a Sage. He transformed into an eagle, then came back to being a Sage. He felt the warmth that was caused by Heather, and to his surprise, he suddenly felt lighter than the air. He felt like he was floating, even though he was not on fire and sitting on solid ground.
“I just did it.” Nils told Heather, who he could sense near him. “I cast magic. It worked. It worked!”
“Yes, it worked.” Heather said to Nils . “And to think, all I had to do was call you to me. You will be a great magi, and you will do great things for others. I hope that you are happy. You need to do this because you think it will give you happiness, but it will actually make you happier.”
Nils felt himself growing lighter; his magic seemed to be burning up his energy stores and putting him into a sort of mental and physical relaxation. He was tired of feeling so heavy all of the time. The feeling of the warmth was comforting and soothing to him.
Nils felt like he was in a little bubble, where he was safe from worries or pains. He felt like the pressure was off of his chest, and he felt like he had more air to breathe. After he looked at his surroundings, he noticed a few trees and realized that he was in a forest, up in a cliff somewhere in Scandinavia.
He felt really weightless, as if he was nothing more than not being supported by gravity.
“I’m not floating. ” Nils said to Heather. “I should be sinking. But I’m not. I still feel lighter than the air.”
“You are floating because of magic.” Heather told Nils. “Your magic is making you lighter so you can fly.”
“I’m not a baby anymore, and I can fly now, so it must be time.” Nils smiled. “Am I a little kid?” Nils asked. “Is it normal that I can do magic and fly?”
“No, you are not a baby , and you are not a small kid anymore. You are in the early stages of puberty.” Heather explained as if to comfort him. “Your magic has not reached maturity, but your magic is ready and it will stay ready for you to use whenever you need to.”
“Why is it so different now?” Nils asked. “Before, I wasn’t mature enough to do magic, but now I can do it. I can cast it, and it doesn’t kill me. Why is that?”
“It might be because of your new nature inside .” Heather said. “It has been made of magic because of your love for your family. It has been shaped by your heart. Your nature is connected to your heart. Your heart knows what it wants, and your magic is saying that you know that your life, your happiness, and your future are worth the risks and sacrifices that you will have to make. Your heart knows that you will go on with confidence and your heart is saying that you will become a great magi, and you will help the ones who need your help the most.”
“And what is that like, being able to fly?” Nils asked . “It feels really light, and I feel a burning sensation in my head.”
“The feeling is caused by the magic. That is why you feel light. It is a result of the magic.” Heather said. “Your head is aching because you are shedding your cocoon, your shell, your skin. Your magic is revealing your new form without you noticing it.”
Nils wanted to know more about flying, but he knew that what he learned was enough. He did not want to make Heather angry. He knew that she was going to show him how to fly sometime in the future . But for now, he supposed there was no reason to be quiet; he was safe and he did not feel heavy.
He was already floating, and he wanted to feel the feeling of flying.
“I think I know what you’re doing.” Nils said. “The floating thing is because my magic is so powerful, like yours. I can fly without needing magic and I don’t feel heavy. I’ve been doing it a long time now.”
“Then that means you already know how to use your magic, and you already have understood why your magic works the way it does and how it can be used.” Heather informed Nils . “I will be proud of you if you use it wisely.”
“I will always use it wisely because I just want to help the ones that I care about.” Nils said. “That way they won’t be sad anymore.”
“That’s right.” Heather said. “Use it to help others.”
“Thank you , for helping me.”
“Is it time for you to do this on your own?” Heather asked.
“I want to, but I don’t think I’ll be able to unless I do it myself. I’m not tired anymore .”
“I need to spend some time with you.” Heather explained. “In fact, I need to teach you one of the most important things to use magic. Do you trust me?”
“Yes. I trust you.”
“Good. Then hold out your hand.”
Nils did so, and after a few minutes, a white light appeared in his palm . He felt a warmth coming from the light, and it was becoming stronger. He felt a little tired, but he knew it was from magic.
“This light in your palm is your light from inside. It’s inside you, but it is also part of you too.” Heather explained. “It’s a piece of your soul, your heart. It’s what makes you magically alive .”
“But why is the light coming from inside me?” Nils asked . “What does it mean?”
“When you reach the level of true magic, your soul shines, and your heart shines. That is when your relationship with magic is a deep love.” Heather explained . “That is what it is now . You would know for sure when you reach that point.”
“I can see my heart shining now.” Nils smiled .
“Then that’s my cue to open your mind and take away your shell, your skin.” Heather told Nils. “You are able to do it. ”
Nils continued to hold his hand as the light appeared to spread throughout his entire body. He felt little heat going on all at the same time.
“Ooh, it feels good .” Nils giggled. “This is my first time.”
“We’re almost there.” Heather said to Nils. “It’s time for you to shed the last layer of your shell.”
Nils obeyed , and when he did, he felt a painful sensation all over his body, but it also felt really good at the same time. It was painful because he was losing his shell, but it was strangely pleasurable at the same time.
“What’s happening?” Nils asked, his voice trembling .
“It’s okay. This is natural. The pain is part of the normal process . The shell should be gone and your body should be filled with a white light.” Heather explained to Nils. “Remember what you said last time. Do your magic. You have the right to do it. Your power is strong. It will now even be stronger. You are stronger.”
“Do my magic?” Nils asked .
“Yes, Nils. Open your eyes. Stand up. Relax. Let your shield down.”
After feeling the pain, Nils finally opened his eyes. He saw a bright white light. All of his body was glowing and he felt like he was a glowing angel. He felt magical and light. He felt that he was on top of the world like when he was a child and his mother was holding him up high on one of the tall buildings in his city. He felt wonderful as he was able to float so easily.
Nils felt the pressure in his head to open his mouth as if it was his mother’s voice . He heard her voice as he felt the urge to say something, but he would not swear he could remember properly what was said.
“You have done this before, haven’t you?” Heather asked. “You remember your first time. Don’t you?”
“Yes.” Nils answered. “It was magical. It was a lot of fun.”
“Then you did it. You did your magic. You did it well .” Heather said.
“I did it!” Nils exclaimed, with the euphoria of a child . “I did it! I did it!”
Nils then felt tired and light as he slowly collapsed from his floating. He did not feel heavy. He felt like a feather, as if he could float again at soon as he felt ready again.
“That’s enough for now.” Heather said.
“Thank you .” Nils said.
“This is only the first time , and not the last . You will always be magical.” Heather said.
“I know.” Nils said .
“I want you to remember this.” Heather said, holding Nils’s hand. “You are magical.”
“That’s right. I am magical .” Nils whispered to himself as Heather left the room.
Later in the day, Nils was alone in his room, although he was not lonely at all . He was so far away from home. He had never been so far. This has been one of the greatest times ever. He had traveled here with his mother two and a half months ago. They spent one night in a hotel before they had to continue their journey. This was the long and hard trip. It was a beautiful day, and Nils loved it here. It was fun because he knew everything about how to use his light to do many things. His life was magical, and now he made it even more so. Everything was wonderful; he was wonderful, and he felt very happy. He took a deep breath, feeling the spirit move through him, before he opened the window and put his face close to it. It felt breezy and cool. He leaned back as he closed his eyes and felt the sun on his face. It felt good, and he felt good. He was ready to fly to the top of the sun now. He was ready to fly to the top of the world. He was ready to go home.
Nils could not wait to go home. He wanted to go to his parents’ house, even if they did not want him. He could still be his secret magician. He wanted to be loved and recognized for his magic, and he wanted to bring others’ great magic to them. He wanted to bring them their special magic. He wanted them to love and respect him in return. He wanted them to treat him like a son, and wish him well, as if he were their reality. He wanted everyone to remember him as such.
Nils was ready to go home. He wanted to go flying up the sun…