I feel soft hands. I’m shaking a little. I’m drenched in sweat. Soft hands. Soothing words. Cinnamon. I smell cinnamon.
“Lamont, can you hear me. Everything is all right now. That damned demon is gone. We forced him out. You will be fine now.”
My lids feel like lead. I struggle to open them. Finally, when I do I see Basha’s beautiful face filled with concern for me!
“Ahhh...” I moan.
“You are back.”
“Ahhh...how do you know it’s really me?” I ask.
“That is easy. Only the real Lamont is so suave and articulate, that is how I can tell. So? Are you interested in getting up or do you intend to lie there all day?”
“Do I have to?” She’s so close. A soft breath away.
“We cannot stay here forever.”
Why not? ”Yeah. I guess so. I feel so weak.”
“Well, you went through a lot. Here let me help you up.”
I survey the scene. Everyone is worn out but glowing with the feeling of satisfaction.
“Do you know what happened to me?” I ask.
“Sort of,” Boots answers. “Some sort of demon took you over. As to how it got in you, we’re clueless.”
“I have been thinking,” Basha says. “I believe that the Shamanic books that you read must have been the cause. You must have tried to use what was in the books. You probably do not remember doing this because of the thing that you unknowingly called into you when you ventured into the Shamanic trance.”
“Oh,” I articulately respond.
“Our lesson for today is,” Basha continues, “do not go messing around with knowledge that you have not been properly trained to use. If you want to try some magic, ask me next time.”
“Really?” I reply.
“Yes,” Basha emphatically states.
“Hey! I just remembered!” I blurt out, “I do need some magic making. How could I have forgotten this for so long? It doesn’t make sense. Oh well, better late than never.”
“What are you talking about?” Boots asks.
“I’ve suddenly remembered what I should have been doing ever since I got to Dreamland.”
“Which is?” Basha asks.
“Look for Jon,” I answer, “that’s what.”
“Who is this Jon person?” Basha asks.
“Did your mom tell you about Lana and Jon?”
“No. Why should she?” Basha responds, “What am I missing here?
I tell everyone about my dream, how I saw Jon walk through some sort of a gate between worlds. I tell them what Tezcat told me, without naming names, about how Jon is now in Dreamland and how we need magic to bring them back together.
“You sure know how to pick them,” Boots observes.
“A little magic?” Basha exclaims, “I have no idea how to do this.”
“Are you saying Basha,” Boots asks, “that we’re not going to try to help?”
“This sounds like a whole lot of trouble coming down the tracks,” Lenore remarks.
“Sure we should,” Boots replies, “Just because I’ve never felt it, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in storybook love. This Lana and Jon sound like they found this true love thing.”
“What about everyone else,” Basha asks, “Zeh’Brah, Oolong, and Selene? Should we help Lamont, bring the two love birds back together?”
Most of the witches respond in the affirmative without hesitation, all except for one.
“‘We must not be hasty, for it is easier to shout stop! Than to do it,’ ” Lenore recites in response.
“Why the hesitation?” Basha asks.
“This could be dangerous,” Lenore replies, “You asked us to help out this friend of yours, Lamont and look at what happened.”
“And nothing happened to any of us,” Boots blurts out.
“Only to Basha,” Lenore corrects, “the rest of us came out of this unscathed. But that might have been mere chance, it could have been any one of us who got singled out.”
“But nothing happened,” Basha obfuscates, “It was no big deal. I...ah, fainted, that was all.”
“Yeah, right,” Lenore continues her accusation, “You look like shit. Your stoic act might fool the others but not me. That thing that was in Lamont tried to get to you, didn’t it?”
“After a fashion. I was regaled with its attention,” Basha confesses, “But it was really fixated on Lamont. It wasn’t interested in anyone else.”
“But it could have been,” Lenore continues, “it could have transferred its fixation, as you put it, to one of us? We were just lucky it wasn’t, according to you. Besides, you aren’t really telling us the whole truth about what you experienced in your encounter with it, are you?”
“What is there to tell?” Basha continues to obfuscate.
“Volumes,” Lenore continues, “The point is we don’t really know what we’re getting ourselves into by agreeing to help Lamont bring those two back together. It could be dangerous.”
“Perhaps,” Basha concedes, “But, if there turns out to be any danger we can always back out then.”
“That’s easy to say now, but once we’ve committed ourselves, it won’t be so easy. Pride, if nothing else could be our briar patch.”
“That is only if we allow it to be,” Basha says, “We always have a choice. Think of it as a challenge, Lenore.”
“But, Basha,” Lenore demurs, “honestly, has anyone ever done this opening up of doorways between the worlds before?”
“That is the exciting part,” Basha asserts, “besides, do you have any other more pressing engagements? It will be an adventure. So, how about it, are you in or out?”
“I don’t like this,” Lenore sighs, “and I have a feeling I’m going to regret all this later, but, since everyone else is going along with the program, I’m in.”
“That settles that,” Basha turns to me. “Well Lamont, the Wicked Witches are coming to the rescue. Though how we can pull this off I cannot fathom at the moment.”
“I know how,” I say with a feeling of unease, recalling Tezcat’s message to me.
“What?” Basha says with surprise, “How do you know this?”
“While you were doing the ritual,” I fabricate, “I had a vision. I saw a book that can help us.”
“Lamont,” Basha laughs, “when you go up to heaven, and come face to face with the heavenly court, standing before our Maker, blessed be her name, to you she will appear in the form of a book, of that I am certain. So, you had a vision of a book. What book? Can you be a little specific, does it have a title, and perhaps do you have any clues as to where in the world we find this one book out of the billions of books that exist?”
“In my vision the book was in a library,” I reply, “the library is in some temple of the Goddess. As for the book's title, it was called the ‘Book of shattering’ or maybe the ‘Book of the shattered’, something like that.”
“Well,” Basha speculates, “my Mom is the head librarian of the
Great Library of Dreams. This is housed in the Queen of the Nights temple. I presume that is the place that you are talking about. Maybe she does know a book with that title.”
“Well, what are we waiting for,” I exclaim, “it’s off to the library we shall go!”
“Great,” Boots says sarcastically, “checking out a library is definitely my idea of a fun time.”
“Hold your horses, Kid,” Basha calmly interrupts, “we have had a rough time here and I think we have accomplished enough for one night. I think we are not going anywhere except back to our own bedrooms to get some sleep. We can talk about all this later; the book is probably not going anywhere.”
Everyone agrees and they all depart; soon only Basha and I are left.
“Good,” Basha blurts out, “Now that everyone is gone, you can start by telling me what is really going on here.”
“Then you are either a little dumb or you are lying. And since we both know, you are not stupid, that only leaves option number two. Now out with it. You know more about all of this than you have so far disclosed.”
“For one thing that thing, that demon, did not just happen to possess you. For another, it claims to be a god, and I bet my bottom dollar you knew that.”
“He did?” That’s odd, why is Basha referring to Tezcat as a he? Tezcat’s anatomical features were quite obvious to me.
“Yes,” Basha continues, “So, what do you know about this self-proclaimed god?”
“I told you. I don’t know…”
“Come on Lamont. You, who probably never met a book you did not like, are you telling me that you have not checked out this Tezcatlipoca, the blue warrior of the south? Not even in a one, single book?”
“Hmm? You know, that is odd. I confess. I honestly never did. Which is...”
“For you, extremely bizarre. This leads me to conclude that this guy really had you under his spell, and it must have been a strong one at that, considering he was able to stop your most basic inclinations.”
“It was strong. Tezcat did take complete control of me.”
“He kept on referring to you as his chosen. I do not like the sound of that. You need to check out this guy. He said he was an Aztec and Mayan God, amongst others. I did not recognize the other names. You report back, got it?”
“Knowledge is our best defense. Good hunting, Kid.”
Basha poofs out of Dreamland like a candle suddenly extinguished. She’s right. It must be Tezcat’s spell that kept me from looking her up in some book. And why is it that Tezcat appears to me as female and to Basha as some male deity called the blue Tezcatlipoca?
Curiouser and curiouser.
 J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings, book II The Two Towers, chapter four, pg. 77+.