The bus is late, but I don't care; I haven't a clue what Time it is. Time was mixed and reorganized while I was in the twilight zone of the police station. And now that I've rejoined the natural world, Time does not seem to matter so much.
I hop down onto the curb and trudge down the street. What a week. My life has been abandoned. Anything could have happened while I was away in interrogation land. But I assume the worst, which is the easiest. The worst means that my tour and career have been abandoned, my reputation has been ruined enough that I will be avoided, and my manager is so speechless he won't even bother to call.
I'm done. It's break time. That last show did me in. Let's crash. Home sweet home. These are thoughts going through my head as I stomp up the stairs to my second story apartment.
Must hide. Must relax. Must sleep. Must collapse. Must pass-out. My body is beginning to demand more and more, and my energy is running low as I stab my key into the lock. Crashing through the door into the comfort of my own home, I let out a monstrous sigh and almost faint from the dizzying spell that takes me.
But the dizzy spell is the least of my worries as I stumble into the living room. Because now I'm taken by a new spell. A real spell.
Those purposeful eyes hit mine with a jolt, and I drop all of my bags. The boy is sitting cross-legged on my couch, staring passively across the room at me.
I scream. "Agghhuh!"
And then the boy speaks as if straight out of a science fiction movie. He uses those simple words as before. This Time he says, "Jade, you have much to learn."
I gag, and then stammer, "What are you doing in my house?" Stupid thing to say; it would have been better to address the vanishing thing first.
"I came to talk to you," he says.
"Then talk!" I cry. "Tell me what the hell happened!" Bad move; he's not here to explain, he's here to make it all so much worse.
"What was in your mind when you counted down from three?" he asks.
I frown. "I thought you'd lost your mind. I thought you were going to make me lose my show."
"Exactly; you were not focusing," he says.
"I--" My voice is high pitched and so I clear my throat and continue. "I wasn't focusing because I wasn't planning to do anything. You vanished!"
"It was a simple spell."
"A--spell? Don't talk to me about spells; I'm the magician!"
"No, you're not. You're a fraud." His voice is matter-of-fact as he lifts a lofty eyebrow and fixes a smug expression upon his face.
"You!" I cry, putting my hands out before me and strangling the air. "You stupid--little--boy! Magic does not exist! It's all about clever tricks!"
And then he laughs. It is the laugh of a child who holds a tremendous secret. I am unsure how to respond, but my body seems to know exactly what it is doing as my eyes widen, my lip trembles, and I take a quick and nervous breath.
I had not been prepared for any of this, so his laughter does not even get an explanation. And when the laughter is replaced with something far wilder, I decide to completely abandon all reason. What happens next does not follow any reason; what happens next is something for which I could never have been prepared.
And that is the only logical explanation available. The rest of the explanation is imaginary.
And this is certainly where we lose any psychiatrists still clinging to hope.