The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 43

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


Chapter 43: Don’t wiz on the electric fence, please. 

Damn, it’s already 10:45 p.m. Honestly, today’s just been flying by. “I’m going to tell Eliza I’m going to bed, so if we leave she doesn’t come around looking for me.”

Kanti nods, stretching like a lazy dog.

I walk through the door and revert to a physical being as I make my way down the hall. 

“On the phone!” Eliza shouts after I knock.

Phone? I guess her guest left… We were gone for over two hours. More than enough time for a Netflix and chill. Gross. “Sorry! Just saying good night!”

“Good night? It’s early! Well, whatever, Em’! Good night!” She yells, pausing her conversation. “Don’t get into any trouble.”

“I won’t! Gonna’ play some vidya’ games, shower and then sleep! Just didn’t want you to feel like you needed to watch over me!”

“Ok!” Eliza yells back impatiently. “Don’t make a mess! Don’t smoke pot without sharing! And, don’t drink and drive!”

“I’m thirteen!”

“Even more reason I need to stress what I’m sayin’! Sharing is caring! Now go! I’m on the phone!”

I laugh. “Good night!”

“Good night, Turd!”

She’s too wild sometimes. I mean come on, pot? In someone else’s house? Really? What would we do? Roll a fatty and listen to trap music? Ruin my favorite characters with stoner philosophy? … That sounds kind of fun.

“Drugs are distasteful, Young Emery.”

Right. Mind reading. I walk through the door and stare at Kanti. “A dog sprawled out on the futon I’ll be sleeping on is distasteful.”  

“I suppose, but this form does not shed. So, the distaste lies within your own prejudices,” Kanti laughs.

“Ha, ha, ha… You got jokes, Kanti.” Maybe I should just limber up as well.

“A wise choice. You should.” Kanti warps beside me. He’s as tall as I am, even though he’s sitting. “The difference in your demeanor. The stability. The clarity. All will be useful.”

“Should I lay down first or anything?”

“This isn’t a séance, Young Emery.” Kanti chuckles. “Activate your second sight and try to find me.” His disembodied voice comes from every direction.

“I’ve already done this, Kanti. I can do more than find you.” I warp to the roof, several feet away from where Kanti’s hovering. 

He warps again. “Rather than warping to me, Young Emery, tell me what it is I am doing. Let’s see if you can sharpen your second sight without the aid of your third eye.”

It’s kind of hard to draw a line between the two. Egh, I’m just gonna’ lay on the roof. It’s a nice night anyway. I activate my second sight, and feel my energy emitting in waves. “How do I focus this, Kanti? It’s like sonar. There’s no way I can ever see anything clearly like this. Everything feels like blips of light with static behind it.”  

“Focus, Young Emery. Focus.”

I inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. My neck, shoulders, arms, hands, stomach, legs, and feet feel like they’re drifting away from each other as they get warmer. Vibrations buzz through my veins until my body feels like it’s levitating off the roof. “You’re on the top bunk, sprawled out,” I say to Kanti.

Kanti sits up and scratches his ear with his hind leg. He abruptly stares at me. 

Gasp! I sit up in a panic. “That was way too real! You can’t just look at me when I’m not ready.” 

Kanti warps to the roof. “I cannot say I am impressed,” he says sitting next me. “Now, Young Emery, find me elsewhere, without entering the house.”

“Where am I?” Kanti asks from all around me.

“I see you, but I can’t tell what room it is…” Fireplace. Two couches. Large glass table… Projector in the ceiling. There’s the kitch— “Eliza’s downstairs living room!” 

“Now?”

“That’s… my room… at home… How?” How the hell did Kanti teleport like 10 miles in mid-word. “Would I be able to do that?”

“As, I have already told you, if you have been there, or experienced it firsthand, it is accessible.”

“Sorry, I feel like I’m always making you repeat yourself.” That’s awesome though, it’s like fast-travelling!

“Fast-travelling?”

“You know… in a game… When your character discovers a new location, you can travel there instantly.”

“Now, where am I?” Kanti asks ignoring my comment.

You’re on something bright. Damn, there are too many people. My head’s gonna’ spin with all the noise! Screens. A commercial… no just an ad for some deodorant. An ad for New Year’s… Ah! The ball! “You’re in the City!” I warp on top of the large, digital billboard. “I had to, once I saw you were here.” I point to a hotel overlooking Times Square. “My parents are in that building… I can’t detect them since they aren’t my blood though.” Sigh. That sucks. That means if anything ever happens to them, I won’t be able to find them. I sit, dangling my legs over a giant, flashing pixel. 

Kanti changes the subject, “Closer than your home, but I suppose the travel would take much longer by automobile.”

“Where am I now?”

“Right next to me.” I warp to Eliza’s roof and pet Kanti, despite being silent, I can sense what he’s thinking. I’m not going to ask. Not directly. If I close my eyes, I can see the altern—

“There is no need. It is your progress, Young Emery. I have followed the bearers of your cloak since the death of Aemon: A time before the beings on Earthen soil wrote or developed a complex language. Upon taking flight, you will surpass Aiven. It begs the question: what forces are at work here?”


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