Magic Basic: Manifesting
By Justin Ramirez
“ All right please sit down and take your seats, everyone.” The class sat down on wooden seats as their instructor started to write on the blackboard. “ My name is Vox Deruste, I will be your mysticism teacher for the semester.” The instructor was clad in a tri-colored robe. Red, blue, and green. And yet the most eye-catching part of their appearance was the green fire and black smoke that made up their body.
A green fire-based body, Black smoke inside their mouth, and eyes that leaked out like cigarettes. A nearly stitch-like, ooze-like mouth. All wrapped around in a two-piece robe. Flowing at the bottom half, a hood on top connected to the draped mantle.
Watched by bored, tired, dull-eyed students. Some were more awake and more attentive but were outweighed by blank stares.
“ I see many of you are tired and probably feel that you don’t need this class-”
“ Sir most of them were at a party.” Called out a female student. The protest of many students followed right after “ There was a lot of drinking...they are probably hungover.” She said sheepishly. The student was dark-skinned with blue clothing, braided hair going down her back.
Vox sighed deeply and looked at the class.
“ Those of you who are hungover, I ask you to leave. You will meet me after class to receive a twenty-page assignment version of today’s class, due next time we meet.” Everyone started to get up from their seats. Vox began to snap his fingers three times, a loud thunder sound accompanying everyone.
Vox’s snapping was meet with mostly groans and the sober silence of the remaining students. As everyone else left.
At the front of the class, in front of Vox was the girl in blue who alerted him to the hungover students. Next to her was a similar girl who was taller, more muscular, and wore muted blues.
At the farthest seats were three students. Left to right, A pale girl with black hair tied in a bun, almond eyes, and bright red clothing. A short boy with white skin, blond hair, and gold eyes, a prosthetic arm. At the end was a willowy, black androgynous figure. A dress shirt over a jean skirt.
“ Alright this is a visually sad state of affairs. I want everyone to come to the first row.”
One of the students from the back raised their hand. The boy with the prosthetic arm.
“ Can we just stay in our assigned-” The sheepish boy was interrupted as three fingers detach from vox’s hand and poked each of the three students on the forehead. In a blink, they were teleported to the front row. The first two students coughed harshly.
“ No.” Vox said sternly. “ We can start the lesson after introductions. Left to right starting with the helper.” Vox pointed to the girl in light blue.
“ *cough* Ahnah, Mister Deruste.”
“ Call me Vox, also full name.”
“ Ahnah Croatoan.” She said quickly.
“ Alasie Croatoan Mr. V.” Said the girl in muted blues.
“It is Vox.”
“ Bao Ah Knum.” The pale girl in red said, taking a bow. “ I look forward to your tutelage, Magnus Vox.”
“ That is my title, which I’m surprised you know, But again just call me Vox.” She bowed. “ Stop bowing.” She shuddered uncomfortably for a second.
“ Herr Vox. I’m Alvar, we actually met in the hall-”
“ I already have two teachers and I barely tolerate the two. Dial it back.” Alvar sunk into his seat. Ahnah and Bao avoided direct eye contact with Vox.
“ I guess I’m the showstopper.” The androgynous student said sarcastically with a mischievous grin.” Marcus Jefferson. “ Non-binary terror of the windy city. I look forward to stepping over all of you for the top spot.” Marcus said with full confidence. Vox nodded.
“ Given your identity, what are your preferred pronouns?” Vox asked.
“ They/ them. Marc works too.” Marcus said with finger guns at Vox.
“ How is that not being a teacher’s pet?” Bao protested.
“ Marcus has enthusiasm for this class, not an ego/ winning streak that he is trying to maintain.” Vox answered.
“ We’ll bump a lesson up to really make it clear that I won’t tolerate such behavior in the future.” Vox thought out loud. “ Let the responsible students be ahead of the class's ahead.” Ahnah and Bao both raised their hands. “ Yes.” Vox said while not looking at either one.
“ What lesson!” Ahnah and Bao said simultaneously. Vox stared at both with his black eyes and red, smokey eyebrows. Both flinched.
“ Manifesting: The ability to magically bring into existence objects that were stored previously. The magic bag as it’s known colloquy. Any care to demonstrate what this looks like before we go on?” Vox purposefully walked past Bao and Ahnah when he explained his proposition.
Alvar raised his hand.
“ Now get up here.” Vox guided Alvar to the front of his desk. His frame is on display for the whole class. “ First we store an object.” Vox telekinetically moved a gifted apple to his hand. He stared at the crab apple, the bright green skin of it. The lingering water from a quick wash-off.
Vox picked it up, the parts where his finger touched the apple, sizzling. He focused on it and pointed to the small gathering of students to watch. Bao and Ahnah took notes while Alvar looked with preemptive wonder. Alasie put her feet up on her wooden desk. Marcus had a smile and held a pencil in their hands.
As Vox grasped the apple it discovered into black smoke, its corporeal form blinked out of existence. Gasping was heard from the students. Vox looked at them with confusion.
“I’m guessing that some, if not all of you come from Earth.” Marcus, Ahnah, Alasie raised their hands. Alvar and Bao sheepishly held out theirs. “ Explain you two?
“ I am from a mystical family. We live in Bavaria in secret, among normal humans.” Vox nodded to Alvar’s answer.
“ Never been there myself honestly. And the authority pleaser?” He pointed to Bao.
“ My family has their own private realm...This is the first time I’ve ever been away from home.” Bao had a sad face. She looked down toward the floor. Vox rolled his vacant eyes.
“ I have telepathy dear, I know you’re trying to get sympathy.” He accused. Bao’s face immediately changed to anger-induced frustration, Scoffing.
“ Wait if you have that, why don’t you just read all our minds to know everything about us.” Alasie asked.
“ One, it’s rude. Second, I shouldn't have to mentally read my students to see if they’re telling the truth. They should just tell the truth. Third, I need to actively try to, it’s not always on. It’s like one of those bright bricks on Earth. I need to activate and limit its use for my health.” Ahnah wrote notes on Vox’s words. “ Now can the last three tell me their familiarity, or lack thereof, of magic so I know what skill level I should be teaching?” He gestured to the trio of students.
“ Me and Ahnah are children of a lesser native spirit up in Canada.” Alasie answered a blushing Ahanh protested.
“ You can’t just blurt out stuff like that!”
“ The sibling connection, the unfamiliarity with magic, or the national origin?”
“ All of the above.” Ahnah claimed as she hid underneath her own arms. I turned to Alasie.
“ She spouted some junk about ‘needing as much mystique’ she could muster to fit.” Vox shrugged at the answer. Many of the newer students feel the need to make up for their earthly origins by making a mysterious identity. Especially the very ordinary one. Though a thought occurred.
“ How many of you are demigods?” Vox asked. Sure enough, Marcus, Alasie, and Ahnah held up their hands. “ Oh joy.” It wasn’t that Vox disliked demigods, just what they did to teach. Given their parentage, they could be either educational boons or cursed monsters that ruin a semester. Depends on the specific domain of the parents. “ Speak your parent’s domain.”
“ Magic.” Marcus chimed.
“ Spirit of water and Ice Mr.V.” Alasie answered for both of them.
“ Vox is fine.”
“ Alright, Marcus comes on up.” He pointed to the bemused student.
“ Need the assistance.” They said confidently.
“ Given your heritage, it’s a formality that they will be asking tips from you.” Vox looked at Marcus’s hand for the pencil he grasped. It was gone. “ And your ability to pick up on things.”
“ Show off.” Bao fumed.
“An understandable reaction Bao, but a reprimandable one.” Bao became quiet from Vox’s warning. “ I assume you have an idea of what to do next? Or is this more of a ‘you need to see me do it first’ situation.” Marcus stared at their hand.
“ I want to try on my own first.” They answered. Vox took a step back to his desk and started to write down an exercise for the rest to follow. Marcus will probably do it right the first time, He thought to himself.
The thought was over when he heard a squishing sound hit the floor. At first, he panicked which was amplified by the panicking of the other students. He was relieved when saw that Marcus had both his hands but was disgusted that instead of a pencil they manifested a greenish-black bread, covered in mold. Maggots consuming it.
The panic quickly ended but was replaced with shared nausea.
“ You wouldn’t have practiced with bread at some point?” Vox asked. Marcus slowly walked away from the abominable food product. Vox tried to remember which of his spells obliterated things.
“ I eat it from the bag. By the handful.” Marcus responded cautiously.
“ As someone who does not eat, is this nor-”
“ No.” everyone except Marcus agreed. Vox placed a hand above Marcus’s shoulder.
“ No need to feel defeated or embarrassed. We still have students here who teleport into walls sometimes. And Demigods like you sometimes use their power unconsciously.” Vox tried to reassure Marcus but they quickly went back to their seats. Vox pointed at the offending loaf and it flashed burned into dust. Just quick enough to not leave a smell.
“ What exercise you’re going to give Ms.-” Vox glared at Ahnah. “ What is the assignment Vox?” She corrected me. Vox groaned slightly and read out loud the quick instructions he wrote.
“ You will pair into groups of two, One of you will have me as a partner. You give each other Items and coach each other to manifest them back into reality. You will draw lots, Ill take the odd man out.” Vox explained as he passed around the mentioned Lots. “ Alvar and Alasie. Bao and Ahnah. Marcus and myself.” Vox rigged the lots with slight probability manipulation but he felt the pairs were a good fit for each other.
Marcus only needs help with the last part of the lesson. Alavar, while quiet, can probably coax Alasie into participating. And Bao and Ahnah trying to bit down their competitive streak will be fun to watch for everyone else. Vox the most.
He was very wrong. While he did managed to teach Marcus some tips on his manifesting, the expected fighting between Bao and Ahnah became less and less funny as their words became more venomous.
“ I’m not letting some savage from a frozen wasteland explain the magic theory to me!” Bao yelled out.
“ Says the privileged ass that turns her nose, everyone, while pretending that her own shit does not stink.” Ahnah shouted back. Rather cowardly Vox decidedly ignored it and kept an eye on the other students. Everyone but the overachievers managed to get some process with their manifesting and general magic. Even the shy Alvar and slacking Alasie. They seemed to actually hit it off, a strangely endearing duo.
“ Seriously? Your region is the whole reason the whole lederhosen and beer thing is the first thing people think of when they think of Germany?” The girl asked.
“ If it wasn’t for us we would be stuck as being viewed as nazis and soviet puppets. Better to be thought of as a carefree drunk than either one.” Alvar said with slight confidence. Vox had a smile. And then he grimaced when he saw that Bao and Ahnah flat out refused to work with one another. Sitting with their backs facing each other.
Marcus at least had, if not mastered, at least managed to retrieve their pencil from the pocket space.
“ There's no need to rush progress. Some move through parts of a spell in different paces. Like how some artists are better at shading than composition before practice. Something I would encourage you to do, despite natural talent.” Marcus stared at their hands.
“ So don’t squander the potential.” They stated plainly. Vox nodded while Marcus looked toward the front of the classroom. Where Bao and Ahnah still sat in silence. “ Like what they are doing.”
“ Yes.” Vox sighed. “ Like what they are doing. Squandering potential, growth, and a fruitful partnership.” Vox said with mild frustration. While they did annoy him, it was undeniable that they both wanted this class. Yet their ego won’t let them learn from each other. And by this point, It was sad, embarrassing, and blood-boiling. If Vox had blood. But the fire that made up his body made up for that. Everyone! Get into groups and get to know each other.” Vox yelled out. He let everyone get up from their seats but Bao and Ahnah. “ You two stay until you work with one another.”
“ Mr.-” Vox cut off Ahnah.
“ No questions.”
“ I implore Sir Deruste-” Vox’s hand separated itself from his arm to silence Bao.
“ I said no questions, do your assignment as a team or I give you an F.” Bao and Ahnah jaw dropped.
“ Wait, this is graded!?” They shouted in unison.
“ I didn’t feel like such a simple exercise would be that hard. Clearly, I didn’t account for you two to choke on your own pride.” Vox spelled out with a demeaning tone, a very intentional one.
“ Huh, I might have a better grade than Ahnah for once? Cool.” Alasie said calmly. “ I can be the smart twin for once. Immediately Marcus and Alvar compared the two.
“ Don’t see it.” They said in unison. Both Ahnah and Alasie scoffed in turn.
“ Enough.” Vox pleaded. “ Simply work with each other by the end of class or be forced to stay in for remedial classes.”
“ Fine.” Bao said sternly. She looked toward Ahnah with disdain. “ I can work with this gold-blooded peasant to get the grade.” Ahnah shot her a glare.
“ And I’ll stop looking at a rich bitch’s nose hair long enough to get the grade and your respect.” She stuck her tongue out.
“ I am not mistaken at the idea that humans are considered adults at seventeen and twenty right?” Vox looked toward the class.
“ Physically.” Alasie chimed. “Ain’t that right sis.” She asked Ahnah with a cheeky smile.
“ I will also remind you both you have ten minutes.” Vox said quickly.
“ You both wasted so much time hating each other you haven’t noticed time move by?” Vox questions in a sarcastic tone. “ Who would have guessed that such pointless bickering would have consequences.”
“ Laying it on a bit thick there? Aren’t ya Vox?” Marcus asked.
“ Hopefully not as thick as these two egos.” He replied. Vox counted down the time for Bao and Ahnah to finish the spell practice in the allotted time….and fail. Instead of trying to do what Vox asked, work with each other, they argued on what to do first.
“ We should double-check our theories!?” An eclectic Ahnah shouted.
“ There's no time for that! Just Calibrate the exercise and follow my damn lead.” Bao instructed.
Vox held his head in shame as a loud bell rang, signaling the end of the class period. The other students left the classroom as Bao and Ahnah started downward, their faces parallel to the ground.
“ Such a shame that such works would go to waste.” Vox said wistfully. “ And all that effort to get the rest of the class hungover.” Vox said as he floated toward his desk and gathered his things.
“ What do you mean?” Ahnah said with her eyes avoiding direct eye contact with Vox and Bao rubbing her side.
“ The fact you two teed yourself off to try and outdo the rest of the class today by.” Vox pointed at Bao. “ Starting a false rumor of a freshmen kegger.” He then turned to Ahnah. “ And supplying them with tainted alcohol that was stronger than it should be.” Both of the girls looked at each other, a bizarre mixture of impressed faces and shame.
“ How?” Bao asked with her cradling her head.
“ Telepathy. When your brain was too busy making insults or fuming with Ahnah I started to poke around. I found the memory right after you two started being pissy and sat away from each other.” Vox explained in depth. Every sentence makes the pits of shame in Ahnah and Bao deeper. “I’ll see you both later. We will go over basic magic exercises and decency if time allows.” Both Bao and Ahnah stared at him. “ I won’t tell anyone of your deeds if you both promise to work together and think like magicians. The essence of magic is change and directing that. Surely you can apply that to yourself.” Vox asked them. They both nodded. “ Good I’ll see you both after sunrise. Please leave your egos at the door.” Vox explained as he snapped his finger, gathering all his supplies into his bag, and left the room.
ox was embittered by the class but he did think that the duo had merit. A part of him wanted the challenge. Maybe at some point, they’ll manifest the will to see that if they worked in tandem, they could do great things.
Vox counted down to when he would meet them again, down to the minute.