WIP: Cabbaged

WIP: Cabbaged

This is from my newest short story, which is – naturally – steadily but surely turning into a novelette. I do have a terrible habit of giving you more plot than planned, don’t I?

Enjoy. 😀

I suppose magic feels like quantum physics to the lot of you, yeah?

We think things, and they happen, or so it appears. We wave our hand, just decide stuff, and it leaps from our minds into reality, yeah?

Not quite.

I mean, sure, that is how we actually work it. We can actually create and control and do things by will; the effectiveness is, like all things in life, a combination of born skill and practiced talent. Some people will always be better at it than others, but all those among the Mythos can simply do magic.

We don’t really know how, though. Nobody does.

I mean, really, it’s not that odd. You lot were breathing for years before you figured out the whole oxygen/carbon dioxide trade, and quite a few of your silly cultures didn’t even fully understand air exists apart from wind. You knew nothing of how it enriched your blood, nothing of how air quality affects everything from cellular growth to digestion, and certainly nothing of what air was made from.

You still used it. Breathed it, blew it, burned it.

You should know more about magic than you do! You might say, but this isn’t true, either. Magic changes in terms of its effects and abilities by the species, by the race, by the however-you-want-to-divide us, which is how we got seven Peoples in the first place. The Darkness, for example, have a magic we call devour; they collect things, and they keep things, and they absorb and digest things. All things. Anything.

I personally know a dragon who ate the fallout from a nuclear bomb. No, you didn’t hear about it. Yes, Greenland is still there. You can thank him yourself some day.

People of the Sun heal. People of the Guardians protect. People of the Dream exist and feed between planes, almost never in the conscious world. The Ever-Dying are you lot – unmagical and short-lived. People of the Fey… well, we starve. Our primary drive is considered survival, which means we’ll do anything to keep going. More than most would, in fact.

The Kin are wild because you never know what kind of combination they’re going to get. That’s where the weird powers come in; seers are never pure-born, but always mixed between Peoples.  

Kin are by far the most interesting, in my opinion.

Anyway, I’ve gone on this little rant because I want you to understand why all the videos, all the pictures you’ve see of The Patriots’ group, you’ll never see my long ears.

You’ll never see how my eyes tilt at an angle no human eyes do. You’ll never see Shadow’s horns or Orc’s wild angles.

If you’d been standing right there and made a grab, you wouldn’t have been able to touch my ears. If you’d run your hand over Orc’s jaw, you’d feel ordinary, soft skin, with ordinary curved bone beneath.

The illusion is true and not true. It is reality and it isn’t; the moment we dropped our wards, you’d see us as we were, touch us as we are.

Yes, it’s very much beyond Schrödinger’s cat, yeah? I can’t explain it, though I could give you theories until the next century. All the theories are nice, and they all have proofs, and none of those theories have any effect on our ability to use our skills.

I have an itching feeling humans will be the first to understand the why. Part of being Ever-Dying is your drive: you explore. It’s why your symbol on the Great Wheel is a boat. You never stop searching, never stop looking, peeking under every shadow, shining light down every hole.

You care about why more than we do.

We don’t need to know how to use a thing in order to use it, and that’s the only way the world goes round. I think, therefore I am entangled.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.