It’s funny how popular history works. What does “Salem” make you think of? Witches, right? Being hanged or burned at the stake? Of course. It’s one of those “dark periods of human history” that we, in our safe, modern society find so fascinating.
Salem. The Crusades. The plagues. The World Wars. Accounts of strife, death and suffering are more interesting than farmers’ almanacs from the same periods.
But we seem fascinated by the supernatural – witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies. Look at the books, TV shows and films from the last decade alone. Maybe it’s because, unlike crusades, pandemics or warfare, monsters don’t exist. We can rationalise them away as hallucinogenic fungus infections, porphyria, superstition, mental illness and mass hysteria.
They're real. I am one.
If I'd been born during the 300 year witch panic, I would have been placed on trial and murdered along with the fifty thousand other unfortunates. Hell, today in certain parts of the world I'd be stoned, or burned, or even flayed alive for what I can do.
We like our monsters on paper and celluloid, not on the streets.
We in the know call stage illusion magic, and the real stuff magick. I do magick. I see and speak to the dead. My touch can heal or harm. I influence the weather and talk to animals. Sometimes they talk back. I don’t know how, so don’t expect a scientific explanation. I just always have.
Now if I’m telling the truth, you might think it must be nifty being me. It isn’t. Most days it sucks.
I’m not friends with everyone with "special powers". Most would murder me on sight. Some “normal” folk would see us smooshed into a messy puddle, and governments fund clandestine “investigators” with that aim in mind. So I’m not much better off than those poor souls who burned at the stake 300 years ago.
But if I'm going to be honest with you, being me has some upsides. Let me tell you about one...