in the sorcerous bedlam of the wider, wilder multiverse,
if you want to rock, you have to roll.
He held the מפתח שלמה (Cavicula Salomonis or Key of Solomon if you prefer) precisely 22 inches from his face. like the hissing snow of a broken television it flickered in and out of existence in that perturbing manner characteristic of the pre-renaissance grimoires. It made them a bugger to read in a tight spot. The matcha-tea-green tentacle emanating from Andy Crowley’s third eye tossed the book aside, for he had finally located the magic word he had been looking for.
The winds of Limbo at his back blew his long, pale-gold hair blew straight forward around his head. The invocation now churning in his mind spooled delta quanta up from the probability vortices at the centre of his consciousness across the moebius bridge spanning imagination and manifestation. The purple, Platonic icosadecahedron crushed in his fist (or simply a twenty-sided if you prefer) drank in the delta quanta and mixed it with the green aether generated by Andy’s astral body.
He fixed his gaze on the dragon.
Andy’s eyes, one ocean blue and one the colour of a Martian gold reflecting a roaring flame, rolled up and inward to connect with his third eye. Only the searing whites could be seen now: the wizards gaze.
Thrusting the 20-sided in a clenched fist toward the dragon, pinky and index finger extended, his back arched hard, and he roared the magic word he had found straight up into the pink astral sky.
“EL ADONAI TZABAOTH” The 20-sided exploded in a nova of fearsome extra-dimensional cold then collapsed into an orb of screaming, writhing entropy the size of a volleyball around Andy’s fist.
The green tentacle that had casually tossed the Key of Solomon aside flashed into a bowl shaped shield of green eldritch crackle.
In that precise moment, the serpent’s breath came. The shield bellowed its protest against the molten torrent of neon blue heat in a deafening crash that made Andy recall the symbols at the beginning Genisis’s ABACAB.
The heat of it astonished him and suddenly worried him greatly. If he were sweating in here on the astral plane, his physical form on the material plane might be sweating too!
Behind the shield, now faltering against the dragonfire due to his lack of concentration, Andy Crowley tucked his head down to smell his armpit.
Game over! he thought as he plucked at the sweaty black and white concert shirt (Moving Pictures by RUSH) where it clung to him. He scrunched his nose.
Wiping his hands on his jeans he absentmindedly muttered another incantation almost to himself. Old hat now, Andy Crowley smiled and turned his back to the raging battle behind him. The dragon (or was it a wyvern? He could never keep that straight), the shield — everything — save the tall golden grass swaying under the pink sky of the astral plane had disappeared. Just below his navel at his Dan Tien, his silver cord had arrived to take him home.
He turned and noticed that the blast from the fire drake had pushed him backwards. The field of waist-high astral grass ended suddenly about 20 feet from where he stood. Beyond that, the void of the absolute beyond. Farther out still, the vast nebulous purple wall of Limbo stretch to infinity in every direction. His silver cord spanned the void and disappeared into the purple nebula. On the other side, Andy could hear the beginning of the recess bell.
In a slow lope Andy made his way toward the distinct edge where the field of grass ended abruptly at oblivion. In a future he did not know of: his future, it would come to be joke across the multiverse that perhaps the mightiest feat of sorcery in the entire saga of Andy Crowley, Sole Sorcerer of Sanctuary, would be how he could manage to run without falling in loose, untied, high-top shoes with the tongues and laces flopping every which way.
He leapt from the edge of the field into the void and felt the silver cord tug him home. His eyes rolled down from the wizards gaze into their proper places and closed as he relaxed into the amethyst starscape of the realm between realms, that place (and un-place) that those unlearned in sorcery think to be merely the backs of their eyelids.
The screech of the recess bell trailed off. Opening his eyes he saw he had been doing long division and drawing the astral dragon he had been fighting in the margin of his notebook. The 20-sided in the other hand felt cold, which meant it was angry it had not finished the fight.
Looking to his right, Andy saw Deb at her desk. She smiled at him and pointed to the dragon he had drawn, and offered a thumbs up of approval. Reflexively — the way he had since before he was a child who could even speak — Andy Crowley smiled his thanks to Deb for the smile she had given him. It had never been otherwise. The significance to cosmic history of how these two felt about one another could not have occurred to either of them in those days.
Then, suddenly remembering why he had bailed on the dragon, Andy Crowley — feigning nonchalance to make Deb laugh — dropped his head and sniffed under his arm.
Read the Andy Crowley Saga