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Something Funny Happened on the Way to Enlightenment...

I am going to tell you a story. It may... or it may not... be true. It happened. Or it didn't. Doesn't matter anymore because everyone's telling it in one way or another. Some guy brings it up at a party and all of a sudden some other guy's already written a book. Meanwhile, some other guy, just as random, maybe not, has created a career out of selling tchotchkes to commemorate the story. What story? The story I am about to tell. The one that may or may not have happened.

When I was seven, the gods came to me and asked me for a favor. They didn't expect "No" for an answer because ages and ages ago, before I was even a thought in the cosmic eye, someone in my bloodline owed them a favor. Only that person wasn't around anymore. At least not corporeal and you need to be corporeal to do some things.

They asked and I said, "No." And just like that, overnight, I lost my magic. Yeah, it is exactly what it sounds like. Suddenly I couldn't project the white light like I used to. Instead of aiming my palms in any direction and willing it to shine I found myself closing my eyes, in the dark, and willing it to burst forth from my body. Sometimes it worked. Most of the time I got a headache.

All I know is they took it away.

But that's not all. Soon, the dark things that stayed away ---because of the light that I took to calling "The Great God Light"--- started coming around again. They started hiding in dark corners and waiting till nightfall to come out and bother me. It took too much of my energy to keep them away and I knew then and there I had made a mistake in saying no. I should have at least considered it.

So I grew up deflecting the dark things. I was Anita Blake only not as pretty and definitely not as cool. I read books on how to keep them from coming. I even read books on how to stop them. But most of the time, the books, the stories, the blogs and the interviews from said persons in the know did not pertain to the evil I was dealing with. I learned to see the bullshit from the trees. There was a lot of bullshit.

But I was practicing. Day after day. Year after year. To get the GGL to work. I had to. Because for some reason beyond me I was charged with the task of turning these dark things into white ash. Because that is what the LIGHT did. It turned them into white, glowing dust that fell through the floor and disappeared. When it worked, of course.

Some time later I met people who had stories. None of them like mine. I was convinced that too many people make up paranormal experiences to feel special. Then I started to wonder if I was one of those weirdos.

In fact, I had already convinced myself that I was. So I stepped away. I left well alone. I forgot about the dark. The light. The monsters. The ghosts. The beings that have lived billions of years, looking like pale insect-like humanoids with no genitalia and no emotion. No memory of their origins. I learned to let it all go.

Until I moved to another state, to another school, where I picked up an ouija board and opened up whatever door I had closed a while back. After that I was fighting a whole new kid on the block. After that it was all about the small, bug-eyed old ones who liked to pick me from my sleep and desert me in random places. One time it was on a cold slab in the middle of a vast, dark room.

Another time it was on a giant chess board, with other people who may have awoken the next day thinking the experience was a dream. We were fighting random beings in a dark spot in the sky, above the clouds, in the cold. I couldn't breathe and the next day I woke up with a hole in my lungs. It took two surgeries to repair. But I didn't truly get rid of the problem until the night I asked 'them'--- the old, old ones--- the ones that look human but have this aura of otherworldliness that makes you shudder--- what they wanted from me. What was it they had asked me years ago and expected me to do?

They didn't appear the way they did years ago, as floating heads, spinning in a circle, speaking in riddles. Instead, one of them came to me. A female. A Hera. Or a Juno. Who knows what they call themselves these days. She asked me what I wanted. Of all things. And I thought about it and then I said, "Superpowers." That was it. She said she would be back. It's been over a year. I haven't seen her since.

But I know she'll be back.

Or maybe she won't. Because this is just a story. Or is it...

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