The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 40

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 40: It’s a really contrived plot enhancer. The author calls it telepathy. 

I don’t know why he added the stipulation of warping from my room. A better question is when did Eliza’s guest get here? I can feel their presence in her room. Sigh. I don’t want to focus on that and warp there by mistake. God knows the last thing I want to see is what goes in her bedroom. Wait, why the hell am I walking to my room? I should be able to get there by just focusing on it. Hmmm. Did I leave the lights on or off? I’m pretty sure the front window was open… Eh, I’m not going to waste time doing this. I’ll just warp outside. This is stupid. Besides, what if I focus so hard I go human without realizing it and Eliza walks out of her room and just sees me standing here in the middle of the hall with the lights off. She’ll call me a perv. 

What am I talking about? Why would that happen in the first place? I’d know if I went physical. The darkness feels different. Not to mention, I wouldn’t be able to see in it. 

“Alright… there are two windows there, one there, and skylights.” Taking a mental snapshot. “The bed’s there. Futon. Projector mounted in the ceiling. There’s where the screen slides down from. Big drawer with a mirror, and two nightstands at the ends of the futon.” Committed to memory. “I should have no problems then.” I inhale. Exhale. My mind’s eye warms and expands. “Ok,” I inhale. 

From the door to the futon. Oh yeah! Progress, baby! But, how the hell am I going to get outside without going there first? Think. How did I—Oh! I was focused on Kanti and Raunch’s energy! All I have to do is scan for Kanti. And—

“That will not work, Young Emery. I have hidden my presence.”

I see. That’s why I can’t feel him—you leering into my mind. Could you at least give me a hint?

“Absolutely. Upon arrival.”

“Fine.” How can I do this? Hmm. “What are the rules to this, Kanti?”

“Rules?” Kanti pauses. “Those one chooses to abide by.” 

I figured as much. Let’s see if this works. I jump up and fall through the floor in my bedroom, planting my astral feet on the living room table. Eliza’s oven’ll have to do for this; it’s just a dry run after all. If I can get there from here, then I can do it from my room. My third eye feels like a warm palm over my face. Hope this works.

FFFFFFHEWP!

What the hell? Salt? Flour? Ah, it’s a cabinet. I take a step forward, immediately seeing the glass table in the living room, from the space between the window-counter. 

Humph. Well what do you know? Aside from warping directly over the oven, I’d say this was a success. I hop off the stove top and warp to my room. The windows on the left side of the room overlook the backyard. 

Snow covers the stone and straw gazebo with a concrete base. A raised fire place is in the center of a sunken, peanut-shaped sitting area, with concrete seats built into the walls. Eliza’s backyard has a stone path lined with oriental lights. Tall trees line a snow-covered clearing behind her covered, inground pool; the clearing is where I want to go.

“Astounding,” Kanti says, stoically perched over the gazebo. He leaps onto the snowy path and trots toward the clearing. It’s easy to forget how massive he is. Kanti warps as soon as he reaches me. “Young Emery, this is your training,” he says from the dense woods.

I inhale and warp to Kanti. He sits tall between the trees, hovering on his purple haze. “Warp to my location,” he says vanishing.

“I can’t if I can’t detect you, Kanti.”

“Do not doubt yourself, Young Emery. Several moments ago, you could not teleport to the backyard, but you found a way. Focus on my energy, through the sound of my voice.”

Inhaling, I warp to my room and lie on the floor, cushioning the back of my head with my palms. “It’s easier for me to focus if I’m in a place where I feel relaxed.”

“There is no wrong way to succeed, Young Emery. One must do what works for them,” Kanti says into my mind. 

It’s intrusive as hell, but kind of comforting that he’s always here. “Did the cloak-bearers before me do anything special to get them to relax?” I ask as my heart begins to race. The excitement of being able to warp is finally sinking in. It’s kind of scary that I can be anywhere I can picture. What if I imagine Hell or focus on a place from my nightmares? Agh—why am I thinking about this?!

“Fragments of one’s energy mixes with that of every location one visits or sees from a far. You cannot and will not warp at random to a destination you have yet to experience with your own senses. Of course, if there is an object or being that you can focus on, then that is an entirely different matter; you can pursue the energy of one whom you’ve seen and felt, provided you can focus on it.”

“So there’s no way I can warp to Emma Watson by mistake because I dream of her?”

“If you were to experience her with your own senses, beyond a screen, that would be entirely possible. Being that humans’ dreams are more fragmented than their thoughts, it is an unlikely scenario.”

“Fair enough. It’s not like I need sleep either. So what’s my range, then? I mean, obviously, I understand that I can’t warp anywhere I haven’t been to, unless there’s an energy there I’ve crossed paths with. Is there… uh, I dunno’, a max range, or something, that I can scan with my second sight, or my third eye?” 

“That is what we are trying discover. As an ethereal entity, I can sense the location of your energy when you are scanning, but I cannot sense the distance you can scan to. Despite my demeanor, Young Emery, you are in every sense, an anomaly and enigma. You are the first to bear the cloak and a fragment of Aemon at the same time; your development alone leaves me at a loss. I suspect that by the turn of the year, you will be more capable than any of your predecessors.” Kanti’s energy spikes over the front yard.

“Gotcha!” I reach to tag Kanti after teleporting to Eliza’s raised lawn.

And… He’s gone. Of course.


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