Friday, August 16, 2013

School of the Ages: Simon Myth (School of the Ages Series) by Matt Posner - Virtual Book Signing Event

This is from Chapter Thirteen. Mr. Tinker (Goldberry's father) is a guest teacher.

“You’re to learn advanced concealment,” said Mr. Tinker. “Should have been taught to you second year, but..." He paused. He knew a criticism would not be well-received. “Well, then. Advanced concealment differs from our general concealment magic mainly in its force. Advanced concealment hides you from the notice of even fellow magicians unless they are searching for concealed individuals or are extremely alert by nature. There is only one student present in this building who I expect to become able to hide from me or the Dean, and no one has ever been able to evade the attention of Maestro Morgan. As for Rabbi Horn, he has a set of magic cuff links.”

I assumed Mr. Tinker meant Rocco when he named the superior student. Rocco was and always had been expert in going unnoticed, and had developed a spell for total invisibility, although it had an unacceptable side effect.

“A simple tactic was used in my day to intensify focus on concealment as required. To become and stay concealed under the conditions created by the tactic, you will in some way, particular to you, break through to a deeper level of presence of mind. I need a volunteer.”
Rocco raised his hand.

“Good. Leave your hand up. Spread your fingers wide.” Mr. Tinker seized the upraised right hand. “Between each finger is a web of skin of varying size. Grasp the web between ring and index finger, so.” He clamped his fierce fingers in that spot on Rocco’s hand. “Now pull vigorously.”

Rocco winced, yelped, then settled into the pain.

“Now, turn on power of concealment,” said Mr. Tinker.

“I can’t hide while you’re holding onto me,” Rocco protested.

“Make me forget that I am holding onto you.”

“Can I make you let go of me first?”

“That’s not the goal.”

Rocco gritted his teeth. “Maybe I need to practice first.”

Mr. Tinker lifted his hand still higher. “When Cornelius Archer did this to me, I lost feeling in my hand for a month. I’m being gentle, boy. Turn on power of concealment.” He then began to tell us a story about breaking a man’s kneecap on the rugby field and then throwing the man’s sister into the River Mersey after the game. “Proved to me that cows don’t float.”

Then he went to the front of the room and discussed a spell to make mold grow in a butter dish. Then he rubbed his hands together. “Turn it off!” he announced.

“Turn what off?” asked Rocco, who was standing next to him at the podium.
I hadn’t seen him follow Mr. Tinker to the front of the room. My classmates conferred and we concluded no one had noticed when Rocco became concealed, nor had we seen him during the off-color rugby story.

Rocco returned to his seat and was rubbing the sore spot where Mr. Tinker had been pinching him.

“You have one week to master this,” Mr. Tinker declared. “Practice with your partners. When the class assembles next Tuesday, enter concealed. I’ll have a guest in the room. Anyone who is spotted by my guest will get six hours of scrubbing the floor of Conjuration Room C without knee pads. Go away and practice. Rocco.”

“Yes, boss?”

“If Goldberry can’t do this in three days, I’ll go and tell the cabala school seniors you’re a Palestinian.”

“You sodding well will not,” said Goldberry.

“It’s okay,” Rocco said. “We got it covered.”

It was true that Goldberry and I weren’t getting along well, but we could still work together on school work. What did he mean, assigning Rocco to work with her instead of me? I stayed after class to confront Mr. Tinker.

“Goldberry doesn’t need Rocco’s help,” I told him. “I’ll do it with her. Don’t you think I can learn to do this?”
“Of course you can.”

“Then why did you assign Rocco to help her? Am I not good enough for her all of a sudden?”

Mr. Tinker turned his back to me.
“Don’t play games with me,” I said.

That was a mistake.

He came around suddenly. “Or what, boy? Or you’ll thrash me? Or go whining to the Dean that I hurt your feelings? Or curse me into the shape of a hobby-horse? Just what will you do?”

If you liked this, please go and buy all my novels. I guarantee they are all full of adventure, romance, tragedy, and beauty.

No comments:

Post a Comment