The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 70

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

Chapter 70: One of these days!

I warp to Eliza’s house. Kanti and I sit on the roof. 

It’s a pretty nice afternoon, the sun isn’t melting the piles of snow, but it could be worse. I could be cold. This crystal’s pretty handy; by channeling its energy, I can see what Eliza’s doing in the kitchen, what her neighbors are doing in their living room, and the vast differences between how they’re both treating Christmas Eve. “Kanti, what was life like before fire? — for humans, I mean. I can’t imagine that kind of a world.” 

Kanti chuckles. “Young Emery, fire only matters in the physical realm.” He stares at Eliza’s front yard. “I suppose life was as it is. Except, man’s existential dilemma is not so dwelt upon today, despite significantly better standards of living. It is quite a shame to see so many held captive by their leisure devices.”

“Fair enough… But, I don’t think we’re slaves, Kanti. If anything, the things we can play with give us more freedom, more challenges, more ways to pass the time.”

“I am not human, so it is difficult for me to agree, or disagree; however, I believe that on any given afternoon, a young lady,” Kanti says, directing my focus to a group of girls stumbling around the neighborhood. They have their cellphones up to their faces as they snap photos every few feet. “—A young lady needs a stronger identity than an image on a digital platform. Modern times are by far the best time of man, but without careful consideration of the youth, this will be the extent of man’s growth.”

“Really, Kanti?” I sit back interlocking my fingers behind my head. 

“Yes. Unlike the entertainment of early man: the epic orations filled with values, conscientious prose, and a yearning for comprehension, much of man’s time seems to be focused on selecting between unnecessary choices without contemplating the nature of the outcome.”

“I can see that. It seems like people are flooded with a ton of choices to keep them busy spending money or to stop them from looking beyond a bubble,” I say warping snow into my hands and shaping it into a ball. “Do you think that there’s a secr—”

“Absolutely. In fact, Young Emery, I can see what members of those organizations are doing right now; however, their power only lies in man’s ignorance. Those who rule cannot without those to rule over. That is to say much of man’s oppression is self-imposed. There have been many in history who understood the value of their lives, who would rather have death than a distorted, and controlled reality.” Kanti sits up, curiously staring at the snow ball hovering in circles as I twirl my finger below it. “Unfortunately, convenience has bred many of modern man’s pitfalls. Those without the knowledge or means to strive for greater internally, unknowingly subdue their incompetence by glorifying trivial pursuits.”

“Like those people who read self-help books and think that some happy white or Indian person has the meaning of life?”

“Along those lines, Young Emery. You see, man was never so simple. For all who could not read, there were many more who, despite how backwards choices in man’s history have been, sought spiritual elevation. I have been among man on Earth long enough to know that the past few decades have glorified the pursuit of happiness and transcendence, without shedding light on the struggle to obtain it. In turn, that simplification has led to the arrogance of the ignorant who deem themselves special for merely existing.”

I warp the snowball over Kanti’s head hoping for a good laugh. “I see wha—Hey!” 

Kanti warps the snow ball a few inches from my face and pelts me. “Young Emery,” Kanti laughs, “I see every thought, subconscious thought, intent, and action, with little effort, for thousands of miles. On—” 

Mimicking Kanti, I stand and wipe the snow off my face. “—On what conceivable reality will such an act escape my detection?” We laugh. “Admit it, that was good?” I nudge Kanti obnoxiously. “Eh?”

The sky over my head darkens. 

“What the?” I look up and sheet of snow surrounds Eliza’s roof. Before it falls, I go astral and it plops through me. Kant and I laugh even harder.

“That, Young Emery, would have been a good one.”

“Yea, yea…” I hover away from Eliza’s roof. “Kanti, I just had the greatest idea! Hold on a sec.” Eliza probably won’t need me for anything, but just in case she does—I warp to my room in her house and grab my phone. 

“Young Emery, your ignorance can be overwhelming. There is no need for that device. It will not work in outer space, much less the Moon.”

“How’d you— Never mind. We literally just talked about this.” I sigh, warping back to the roof. “We have time to kill, so I figured since Eliza’s cooking and on the phone, I could manage to disappear for a few hours. I have a feeling she isn’t going to bother me.”

Kanti gracefully glides toward me on his purple haze. “Yes, but travel to the moon without being able to warp, will take days.”

“If I stare it, I can warp there, right?”

“No. It is not possible to warp to a new location without following familiar energy, or being able to see it in detail from a distance.”

“So, if I had a telescope…”

Kanti nods. “Absolutely. Though I could warp there ahead of you, this gives us a chance to test your creativity, and I suppose you would find the journey more entertaining that the arrival.” He smiles and hovers higher into the sky.

I stare at Kanti, who is a black and purple mirage over a thin sheet of clouds. “I know how I’m going to do this!” I exclaim warping to Kanti. “How about you fly as fast as you can, and I’ll just warp to you. If I get lost or fall behind, I’ll just use the crystal to focus on your energy! — Kanti! Hey! Wait up!”

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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