My name is Jay. It’s not really, but I like Jay. The magician named me that, and it’s mine. I’ve never had a journal before but I like them. I can write words and they come out just fine. They don’t when I talk them, but that’s because I’m not really human. And that’s OK: most things in this world aren’t human. I’m not sending this to anyone. I’m keeping it on me. In case I forget, because the edges of the bindings have gone all fuzzy. The ones called memories. And I’m writing this on paper because I’m scared.
I’m always scared, but this is a different kind of scared. I am travelling with
a the magician who wanders, and that’s rare and
he’s a good person and I’m told that is rare too. But he’s
still a person and people are weird and they break bindings and
pretend they don’t or can’t even realize there was a binding at
all. They change ALL the time and it’s hard to keep up with. But
magicians are good at fixing broken things, and Honcho (that’s what
I call him, and I’m using it here) is good at realizing when
bindings have gone sour. Because he has me. Because I have him.
But today was bad. Today was past sour milk and into really bad.
There was this man with a small magic who did bindings to children, of other voices. He would throw his voice and change it. Make adults hear horrible things, like their children promised to kill them. Or do worse things. Things children don’t do with adults. Things no child would ask. The man would put power in his voice and force Bad Things to happen. Things you don’t do, not to anyone. Things adults shouldn’t be forced to do, the magician said, and his voice was so cold I hid around a corner for him and Honcho didn’t even notice.
When he stops noticing Important Things like me, that’s when I have to say something, grab his attention. Stop him. I didn’t. I was too scared even to move until it was too late.
He walked down the street, and even the broken people ran from him. He walked up to the man who had done this, who had twisted people up inside and out, and said: “Why?” in a tone of voice nothing could resist. And the man had smiled a not-smile and replied: ‘Because I could.”
And the magician went quiet. Death-quiet, like big creatures do before they eat you. His silence hurt, in a way silence shouldn’t. In a way that felt like this street, with the sick man and his sick trick that made bindings worse than broken. And the magician turned to me, because I’d finally followed, but I couldn’t force words out against the cold rage I saw in his face. “Go and wait down the street.” He forced me to do it, which he’d never done before. I didn’t fight him. I don’t think I could have. He was all magician, all power and will, and
he did something bad. I can’t remember it, not right. The street is okay. The families are okay. The man never had a trick. Never hurt anyone. Never was at all. Honcho didn’t break bindings. He didn’t unmake them. He made it so they never were at all, and just thinking of that makes my inside hurt awful. He broke a piece of the world. And a piece of himself to do it? Maybe? I don’t know. I think I did know what happened, and I no longer do. There never was a Bad Thing here at all, but I think that’s a bad thing too.
And I don’t know how to fix it.
I’m scared of him, almost. Sometimes. Close to now.
I’m scared for him.