The alarm surprised me this morning and I wasted eight precious minutes reflecting on yesterday’s vivid ritual and asking myself the question I had been dodging all day.
Am I fooling myself? If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, after all. I could win a bingo match twice over with all the hallmarks, tells, and sensations I have written in the past seven days of things a complete (and incompletely geared) beginner should not have seen and/or done based on what others more knowledgeable and experienced have expressed.
I expected nothing, to be honest. I expected to act the fool for twenty-nine days and then on the thirtieth be shown a glimmer of something to either encourage me to go all in or discourage me enough to chuck it all into the nearest exposed fault.
How can I prove to myself that I’m not making this up? By deliberately making it up and running with it.
I turned off the snooze alarm, covered my face, and with deliberation willfully imagined each and every step of the ritual. (Upon doing so, I have discovered I have memorized about 250 words of the conjuration most necessary.) I called to mind each sensation of touch, sense, sight, sound, and even the taste of the unlit candle in the air. (Taste and scent are connected senses. That’s why a stuffy nose makes everything taste off.)
In my faithful recreation, I imagined myself coming to the point of the exercise and imagined not only myself calling [Patient Caller] to appear but that the candle becomes lit and his presence becomes tangible across the table.
My imagination was successful in creating a perfect counterfeit. But for all the details of the creation, I still knew it was counterfeit. The imagined action began to slow down as if a wind-up motor was spinning the mental immersive movie I was experiencing and that motor had ran out of stored energy. The simulacrum was expiring.
I opened my eyes as I released the false vision. For all the ways it felt true to my reality, it still had a plasticine sheen in some way. For my bragging about being able to imagine a vision more spectacular than what a spirit could present to me, I had failed.
The thought exercise chewed up a mere five minutes. Now to do the thing for real.
As I laid down my (still inadequate) material for the circle with care, I noted that I had become swifter with the other preparatory actions to the point that the time spent in making sure the material overlapped itself precisely as instructed was offset by the quickness of everything else. Once I get the cord as instructed, this too will be a swifter action.
The time came to call [Patient Caller] to appear. I lifted my hand and paused. There was no difference between what I was experiencing in this reality at this point and the imagined simulacrum. Was I awake? Was I asleep? Am I having the multiple overlapping timelines dream again? When is here, where is now?
“[Patient Caller], appear to me.”
I lowered my hand to my lap and held the thin brown book tighter than I intended.
I checked the table, the items on the table, and the circle at my feet. All was in position. The lid was off the candle. The shawl was over my head as before. Nothing was intruding.
Nothing was happening.
I closed my eyes and sat in the still silence for several minutes. Maybe I have been fooling myself this whole time after all. I reach up to place the lid on the candle.
The candle is lit.
A colorless form appearing like a man leaned over the far side of the table and clasped his colorless ringed hands behind the shewstones. The smoke from the candle is flowing sideways to encircle his right little finger. His face is mostly obscured by a layer of thick shadow, but I can tell his countenance is severe and lacking of any coloring of mirth.
«Decide now. Do I come for you, or for your readers?»
“… I deserve that question. For me. You have been called, for me.”
«Then what you write for them of today’s ritual ends here.»
And so this entry ends.
Total time: 42 minutes.