This story is intended to be just a fun story. But it will include some intimate relationships between young males. If you don't approve or are offended, then how come you're reading this? Go to some other Internet Site. . . .Well, on second thought, read on. Perhaps you will change your mind.
If, for some legal reason, you are not allowed to read this in your area of the world because of illogical laws, again I will not condone (publicly) anyone breaking the law, so either move or read sentence four. I definitely don't want the thought police after either of our butts.
Please, this story is the product of my imagination, so if you ever want to quote some of it, please e-mail me and also give proper attribution. As of now no one has permission to put this story on another Internet Site.
This story is entirely fictional, and no character is fashioned after any living being. Except perhaps the Brown Unicorn.
Note that an author enjoys feedback. It will be appreciated and all e-mails will be answered.
PLEASE READ THIS: I would like to thank the many readers of this story who have been patiently awaiting this next chapter of The Brown Unicorn. I would like to let the readers know that this story (and also Two Boys) is now being hosted by the CRACKER'S DEN [ see: http://crackerwriter.us ]. A slightly rewritten, and corrected version of Two Boys will be appearing there. All remaining chapters of both The Brown Unicorn and PART IV of Two Boys will appear there first before appearing on NIFTY. Thank-you for your enthused support. This story will finally be posted until completion (about 20 more chapters).
Chapter 7 -- The Journey Begins
During the several hours of good progress up the winding trail, both Peter and the Brown Unicorn reveled in the beauty and magnificence of the planet in general, and the Needle Mountains in particular. This was in spite of the strange aura of quiet, stillness, and twilight that pervaded all but the immediate vicinity of their travel. Even the Hanging Glaciers of the highest peaks to the north barely hinted at their white and even sapphire glory. One advantage of moving within the magical shield of the Needle's Pouch, however, was that they were essentially immune to any of the dangers that might have possibly befallen any other travelers. Not only were there several magical creatures that could prove inimical, but even some mundane ones, such as grizzly bear and cougar. And even though their civilization had significantly fewer problems with those choosing not to live within the bounds of the law, depredations from such still were not unheard of. And the world was simply too sparsely inhabited to adequately secure much more than those areas within or near habitation. That meant that there was one `mighty whole lot' of unguarded world out there. Hence the necessity of the Dragonskeep with its paired dragons and riders who were supported in part by the inhabitants of Little Jump and in part by the merchants who sent their goods back and forth over Tiresome Pass.
Although aware of the numerous dangers, the Brown Unicorn was secure in his magic. Peter was secure in his ignorance -- and perhaps his own mostly untested ability. So as the two `boys' journeyed, one human and one unicorn, the Brown Unicorn started pointing out all the natural marvels around them, as if neither had a care in the world -- at least for now. He did his best to explain where they were and what animals and plants were all around them. On quite a few occasions he found that Peter was easily able to grab the pictures and ideas right out of his mind. Peter also tried to explain about his former world and what it was like and how it compared. They both shared many thoughts about their respective worlds in which they had lived, and about how they had each grown up.
Their travel seemed to consist of more pauses to soak in the natural wonders and delights of their surroundings than in actual progress toward any destination. And except for the vague idea of showing Peter his world, the Brown Unicorn had no specific destination in mind -- well, except for one. Of course now that he allowed his mind to reveal his true self to Peter, it also forced him to see it himself. One thing that he DID fantasize about, was to eventually show his extended family not only his special boy, but the exceptionally close bond they had formed and the resulting degree to which the Brown Unicorn could now perform `unheard of' magic. The Brown Unicorn was mindful however of this foible of selfish pride. And then laughed at himself as he realized that it was the boy's magic which might very well be potentially more powerful than his very own.
The two travelers wended their way up through a magnificent chasm that became deeper and more rugged as they gained the sky. They passed numerous waterfalls and cascades on the main river along which they were paralleling and also from side streams. There was the half-mile long Frozen Cascade with its innumerable projections which seemed to hold the water suspended in midair. (Of course, until the pair approached close enough, this Cascade was now indeed `frozen'). Then there was Shower Falls coming from a plummeting side stream 400 feet above which was impossible to pass without getting quite wet. Peter was awed not only with the beauty and spectacle of these natural wonders, but also at the strange quiet and suspended motion they exhibited until they came close enough to be caught within their own bubble of time. At Waterwheel Cascade, which boasted a seeming wheel of water projected fully 70 feet into the air, he couldn't stop himself from running back and forth along the river watching portions of this `wheel' freeze and then unfreeze. Finally the trail started switchbacking up a naked mountainside of granite as it needed to gain enough elevation to surmount the River's namesake -- Thunder Falls. Strangely, for our two travelers, this shear plummet of water into the chasm below was for once eerily quiet.
Finally they reached a sheltered spot close to the top of Tiresome Pass where they decided to camp for the `night.' Of course only in the sense that they had traveled for enough hours that it would have been night if they had not been temporarily removed from the movement of time itself. The Brown Unicorn lay himself onto the ground with the boy resting upon his flank. A quite undignified repose but so satisfying to his need of companionship.
Both Peter and the unicorn both seemed suspended within their own thoughts, just as all of nature was only a short stone's throw away. Because he had been munching from time to time on the succulent grasses and plants the entire day, the Brown Unicorn's appetite was quite replete. However, a loud grumble of Peter's stomach even attracted the attention of a small mountain bluebird that had momentarily hovered nearby.
More to himself than to his companion Peter announced: "Wow. What I need now is a big pizza . . ." which suddenly appeared on the ground before him, box and all. Peter gaped for a moment and then chuckled quietly realizing that magic did exist here after all. He continued: . . . "covered with mushrooms and anchovies. . ." And they too instantly made their appearance on top. Smiling and laughing with delight he added: ". . .along with a huge glass of milk and a piece of lemon meringue pie." And with only a slight pause to thank his unicorn, he dug in. And there were no dishes to wash or trash to dispose of later. Leaning back against the satisfying warmth of his special companion, Peter started wondering about tomorrow. And the next day. And the next year.
"Brown, just what is going to happen to me? Or to us? Where are you taking me? And why? I don't know anything. Just that I REALLY like you and want to be with you."
" `Brown' ?" the Brown Unicorn mused, "This little twerp of a boy just had the temerity to shorten my name. I would not even allow my sire do that." His horn trumpeted a resounding note of laughter mixed in with a lot of affection and then a little concern as he thought about the boy's questions. And he then realized immediately that his Peter not only understood and felt his emotions right now, but could somehow even partly participate in them. The next note heard was one of wonder.
The words formed right in Peter's mind: "I will try to explain Peter. But you do realize that you've just shortened my name."
Peter heard the implicit rebuke in that too. His smile spoke of times past when he was involved in a bit of devilment. It was always meant in fun but sometimes tried adult's patients. But this time he was already aware that his unicorn would capitulate with only a smile.
He leaned back and with as much innocence as he could put into his voice replied: "Well it's too cumbersome to keep using `Brown Unicorn' and `Brown' says it mostly anyway. Besides, I wasn't sure `Bub' was dignified enough."
"Bub?" The unicorn asked. And again he wondered just how powerful at magic this boy might be. At will he was now able to shut the Brown Unicorn right out of his mind. He also wondered if this was instinctive or deliberate.
The boy laughed and merely said: "Yes, it was deliberate! I just realized I could do that. And I wanted you to ask that question."
Suddenly the boy opened his mind to the him again and `Brown' could not refrain from laughing himself. The Brown Unicorn was amazed as the boy was already learning how to use his magic. Also that it seemed so effortless. The boy read these surface thoughts and looked up surprised that he was held in such regard.
"All right boy. I'll ask. What about this `Bub'?"
Peter laughed and allowed the Brown Unicorn to read his mind at the same time answering aloud: "Where I come from the word `Bub' could sometimes be used to call someone instead of using their name. But I realized it could also stand for Brown Unicorn Boy. But it's not very dignified." And then Peter added: "I know that you try to act dignified and all, but I know that you are just a boy like me too. You feel a bit older somehow but still a boy."
The Brown Unicorn tried to retreat behind a facade of indifference at the idea, but then realized that Peter was right. And he could not hide his real self from Peter. And now that he thought about it, he didn't want to. He had been thinking that this boy had seemed so vulnerable and yet it was himself who had been building up walls all his young life to keep out the hurt.
Suddenly Peter burst into tears. He looked at his Brown Unicorn, at his `Brown', and felt the hurt along with him.
The Brown Unicorn was suddenly aware that Peter was feeling all his former pain with him. All the slights, all the put downs, all the pity, all the outright disdain, all the abandonment, because he was not quite `right'. Because he was somehow disordered. Not a true and proper unicorn because of his color and small size. But somehow, because Peter was now sharing this pain, it didn't hurt so much.
Peter stood up and wrapped his thin arms around the light brown neck and dark brown mane of his unicorn and the unicorn buried his large head into the boy's shoulder and chest. "They didn't want me either, `Brown'" said Peter. And the Brown Unicorn too saw the boy's very recent and raw pain of being rejected by his own parents.
But the Brown Unicorn was also perplexed. After their emotional peak finally abated, the Brown Unicorn trumpeted a note of shared commiseration with overtones of compassion and even a little love. But this fine pure chord ended with a tiny discord of incredulousness.
"Peter, I can see your thoughts and can even feel your recent pain. And I even know why you feel rejected by your parents. But still, I do not understand?"
Peter was now the one puzzled. "But I showed it all to you. What don't you understand?"
"Why? Why should your parents have reacted that way?"
Peter still had a little difficulty acknowledging this part of himself. But he felt secure with his Brown Unicorn. "Because they think something's wrong with me. Because I like boys instead of girls."
"But so what? Nothing's wrong with you. It's just who you are and how you were made. It has nothing to do with the type of person you can become. For myself, I feel attracted to the individual. That seems more important to me than merely their sex. And the Brown Unicorn opened his mind to Peter to show images of both boy and girl (or colt and filly) unicorns that had on occasion both held an attraction for him. Then remembering recent pain, he admitted that none of the other colts would associate with him as they got older."
And both Peter and the Brown Unicorn opened their minds to each other and were both not a little startled at how their respective societies thought about boy-boy sex. Of course, thought Peter, it was all academic since he was a real boy while the Brown Unicorn was, well, a unicorn.
At long last the Brown Unicorn finally got back to answering Peter's original question. He spoke generally of growing to maturity among the heard. And then of the prospects for those few colts which were born into the heard.
"Only the most fit, the strongest, and the most magical of the stallions, however, get to mate with the mares. There are very few colts born, but like myself, some look to find companionship outside of the herd. That is why I came looking for that special human boy who would also want me. That's the way it's always been. It's the way of nature. You mentioned that Cenderen and Geral spoke to you about my seeking out a companion. And they were right."
The Brown Unicorn and Peter discussed at some length their future plans -- at least their immediate future. But many things were left unsaid. But not un-thought. The unicorn was not certain of what Peter's reaction would be when he discovered that he was wanted as the Brown Unicorn's permanent slave. Peter sure had a quite skewed idea of what that relationship really entailed. The concept of chattel slavery that the Brown Unicorn had gleaned from the boy's mind had left him aghast. How could people have been so cruel? He decided that his boy needed to learn not only about his new world, but just how relationships seemed somehow different from where he had been from. And not just personal relationships. But also those between the different races of beings. After all, everyone knew that they were all the same at their core anyway. A boy who was a slave in this life could just as easily be reborn in the next as a mighty mage, or even a unicorn! Of course the unicorn had also come to believe that there was sometimes some subtle nudging here and there. It seemed like too many coincidences kept occurring.
While the Brown Unicorn was having qualms about not revealing everything yet to Peter, Peter the other hand, was still in the throws of the joy of finding true companionship, and even more, of finding someone who he believed could be special in his life.
"I would like nothing more, Brown, then staying with you. I think I know you better in a day than I've known anybody ever before."
But Peter had also understood the Brown Unicorn's mind in exactly what type of relationship he envisioned, and that it was somewhat different from Peter's.
Having realized belatedly that Peter had already gleaned from his very thoughts what he had been hesitant of speaking outright, the Brown Unicorn decided it best to hold nothing back. And then he found some humor in the fact that he could not keep Peter from reading these thoughts in his mind after all. In fact Peter was almost mentally `laughing' at the `Brown's' discovery that his mind was so easily read.
The Brown Unicorn then quipped: "Of course, if you become my boy, than this whole issue of how cumbersome calling me by my full name all the time would become moot. You would then simply call me `master'."
Peter looked into the eyes, and also the heart, of his already close companion and read what was there. And now strangely this idea was no longer so preposterous. Of course his previous understandings and need to be his own person came to the fore once again.
"But how come we can't just become real special companions?"
The Brown Unicorn was about to reply that that was not the way things were done on this world between a unicorn and his boy. He answered instead: "On this world the slave-master bond is the most unbreakable and permanent of all relationships. And the most demanding on both their parts." Of course he was neither able nor inclined to block all his other thoughts from his boy. One such was the realization that he had also frequently run counter to tradition during his own short life.
Eventually they got back to more immediate plans.
The Brown Unicorn stated: "I would like nothing less than to merely jaunt about the world finding new places to explore, new wonders to investigate, new things to learn. But I can sense a foreboding. Some danger is coming, and if not us to help, then who? It was not until I realized that the Needle's Pouch was at hand that we at least could make use of that private time, apart from prying magical eyes. It allows us to take a `time-out' from time itself."
"When will the eclipse be over? I mean for us. It would be nice to be able to see everything as if it weren't always at dusk."
Brown, as he now allowed his boy to call him, decided to also answer questions just implied. "Our journey tomorrow will take us over Tiresome Pass, and out of the path of totality. You will be able to see better. I mentioned that I needed the sun in `the Needle's Pouch' so that I can keep others from magically either seeing us or scrying our future location. As long as that eclipse lasts we will be undetectable. But the area of totality is not necessary. So long as we stay even in any partial shadow we will be safe."
Peter then started wondering about other not so pleasant inhabitants of nature such as snakes, or flies, or spiders, or even. . . . "Hay Brown! I was just thinking. Where are all the mosquitoes? Look at all the water around us; where are all those nasty mosquitoes?"
Brown was again perplexed. "'Nasty'? What's so bad about mosquitoes? They are a harmless and necessary part of our environment. They pollinate a lot of flowers. Nobody gives them much thought."
"Well maybe to you but I hope your magic can stop them from biting me. I simply HATE mosquitoes!"
"But Peter, mosquitoes don't bite. Some flies perhaps do but not the harmless mosquitoes." Brown was thinking of that particularly disagreeable Unicorn Fly, so pretty, yet so annoying. Fortunately his own magic was eventually able to keep that particular pest away him.
Peter was eventually able to convince the Brown Unicorn that where he had come from, mosquitoes BIT!
The Brown Unicorn was then able to dredge to mind an old tale, and that `once upon a time' this had been true. "Legend has it that mosquitoes used to be a bane of mankind. But that one of the mightiest of all magicians many centuries ago, barred them from ever biting people again. But this is taught as a fable. Although, now that I recall, there is a mountain named after him. In fact, when we next get a view of the southern stretch of these Needle Mountains, far to the south you will see a peak almost all by itself. This has been named after this magician for some great feat which has been lost to us in the shrouds of time. It is called Mount Murphy."
Peter was now certain just what that great feat had been. But he was having a difficult time making his unicorn believe him.
At that very moment, a small five-noted birdsong created a melody so perfect, that even the Brown Unicorn held it in awe. Peter looked up to see a medium sized bird hovering over them. Its feathers seemed multi-colored and appeared to shine with their own light.
"Wow." Peter was thinking he'd never seen anything so beautiful. And as it moved, it seemed to even change color. He was so enthralled, it wasn't until it flew toward the pass before he even thought to ask any questions. As it reached the limit of their time-bubble, it simply disappeared.
"Wow. What kind of bird was that?" Peter's eyes were large as they turned toward the Brown Unicorn.
"I am also impressed myself. I've heard of them but had never before seen one. They can only be seen when they choose to be seen. Some of the human clans call then a Fang Hang Bird. But we were taught that their correct name is Feng-huang. It's a magical bird that usually augurs prosperity and peace. I suspect that we should follow in its direction. After we get a good night's sleep."
With that, the Brown Unicorn prepared a comfortable bed for Peter who slept with his arm stretched out over the recumbent neck of his unicorn. He was so tired that only several dozen more questions got asked.
The next morning, after Peter was provided with another magical meal, the two travelers caught up with a long caravan of horses and mules, just on the eastern side of Tiresome Pass. Most of these were pulling strange hybrid wagons mostly of wood, but reinforced with metal, and riding on more modern looking axels complete with true pneumatic tires and shock absorbing springs.
Peter became instantly excited. "Let's talk with them. Find out where they are going and what they are hauling."
"Peter, I do not think that right now that would be such a good idea. The horses would probably go into a panic at my presence. I promise that soon we will meet and talk with all kinds of people. But please trust me that right now would not be the best time."
Though very disappointed, the boy implicitly trusted the advice and word of his unicorn. "OK. But how can we get around them without `unfreezing' them? There's not enough room." Peter was looking at the trail ahead as it swung back and forth down the steep side of the mountain. Way below could be seen a small rivulet of water sparkling as if made of particles of ice. Coming down from heights to their left were at least a dozed separate cascades all racing each other to meet the bottom of the valley. (Or would be if for them time was not slowed down to the minutest fraction).
"Grab my mane and hold tight!"
With that the unicorn made one mighty leap and landed almost instantly a full mile down the trail.
"Aaagh! Oh my god! What did you do?" Peter looked back at the small specks on the mountainside above.
The unicorn trumpeted a two note tremolo indicating exhilaration and laughter. "It's just a little magic. I can transport myself to any place that I can see."
"If we can do that, then how come they don't just transport all that stuff to where it's supposed to go?"
"Simply too much stuff and not enough magicians. In fact, on rare occasions, things are transported by magic. But only few magicians can transport any real distance and there's more important things to do with their store of magic and the time to do it in."
The Brown Unicorn tried as best he could to answer all Peter's questions. This event brought out a large range of questions concerning what things could be done, by whom, and why only some people, or magical creatures such as the unicorn, are able to do them.
"Hay Brown, I just realized, where do all those tires come from? I thought that science stuff don't work here. And I learned in school natural rubber is almost worthless until it's vulcanized."
"Answer that question to the satisfaction of many leaders here and you will become famous. Sometimes chemical reactions work and sometimes, usually in conjunction with something mechanical, they don't. For example, we can make gun powder and we have all kinds of rockets and flares, but no one has been able to create an explosion using chemicals. We have batteries and electricity although it is expensive and only common in the larger towns. We even have a system of telegraph but no lines have been put over these mountains yet. We have railroads, but metal rails are difficult to mass produce and we only have railroads linking some of the closer towns on the east coast. Also making grades through hills and mountains without a good explosive is also a big problem."
"Well maybe this is a safer world then the one I came from. There were wars breaking out all over, and in some places even kids like me were being forced into armies to kill each other."
That brought on an entirely new slant to their discussion. Eventually the Brown Unicorn remarked: "Maybe some of what you said is part of the reason, Peter. For many years now some people and others have speculated that here, too many coincidences abound. Many are all but certain that there is some kind of intelligence directing this world. One other happening on this world also seems to provide some additional comfort. That people are reincarnated after they die has long been a proven fact."
"Wow. Cenderen and Geral talked about all this too, but I had trouble believing it."
"Well I can specifically remember being a human farmer in some past life, but can recall no real details. And there are some magical Healers who specialize as mid-wives and who can frequently not only tell the parents of a new born where the child lived before, but sometimes even its previous name."
"You mean everyone born here, lived a previous life?"
`Actually no. Many of those born are new so to speak, but, as far as we can tell, everyone who dies gets reborn very soon after."
Peter read from the Brown Unicorn that he certainly and firmly believed this to be true, but Peter, because of his origins, still had difficulty believing. They talked about this at length. The unicorn made one parting remark.
"That's Ok; after you've talked with enough of the right people I am sure that you will also come to believe this."
The two travelers talked off and on about these things as they made their way to the bottom of the valley and started along a relatively flat stretch where the newly formed river, having gathered numerous streams in just the past mile, stretched widely before them. And then filled a beautiful lake nestled below towering peaks. All along the far side were a series of cascades tumbling (of course now in super slow motion) down the mountainside.
"Welcome to Chinook Lake."
"What does `Chinook' mean and how come the name?" Peter had walked several yards to the lake's now wave swept edge and was staring out over the water looking at the `frozen' wind-driven waves apparently marching towards them.
"Well, some people believe that the name came from the near steady winds coming down that huge mountain slope across the lake and spreading out across the lake. These winds mimic the `Chinook Winds' that occasionally blow down the eastern slopes of the Coast Mountain. Others believe it was named after the type of Salmon which are so abundant in its waters."
"What are Chinook Winds and where are these Coast Mountains?"
The Brown Unicorn had a sudden devilish thought. He trumpeted a short quiet tremolo as he mentally chuckled to himself. "Well, `Pee,' sometimes . . ."
The Brown Unicorn never got to finish. Peter was back in a flash pulling on the unicorn's tail with all his strength.
"Hay `Brown,' my name's NOT `Pee;' that's just too gross!"
By this time `Brown' was trumpeting a high tremolo of several minor chords evoking dual images of both humor and retaliation. His boy understood immediately. Peter let go and with an immense gathering of emotion he exclaimed: "You will never again call me anything but . . ." Peter suddenly stopped wide-eyed with both fright and awe. At the end of his hand, from which he was about extend a finger pointing at his Brown Unicorn, was a ball of white light. The ball of light teetered for a moment in mid-air having rolled from his hand and then with a resounding `pop,' disappeared.
"Holy shit!" Peter yelled. "I was going to make you never call me anything but Peter or Pete again. And what's really strange, I felt like I could actually have done it!"
Peter started not only shaking now but even started crying. "Oh Brown, I REALLY didn't want to do that to you!"
The Brown Unicorn was both amazed and even slightly frightened. A vibrato of minor chords escaped his horn in a not very musical cacophony.
"Peter, I think we REALLY need to talk more about magic and in much more depth than we already have."
The Brown Unicorn considered that to be quite an understatement. As far as he could tell Peter was about to attempt possibly level seven magic. A feat which if successful, would have distinguished him as the only human magician to have ever accomplished this. More of a problem would have occurred if he had FAILED to have `handled' that much magical energy; he could have destroyed himself. But also a mystery was from where did he even obtain that much magical energy? It was definitely not from within himself! When that white globe popped out of existence, the Brown Unicorn was no longer able to `smode' even the slightest magic about Peter at all.
The Brown Unicorn, with the afterimage of the small but intense white ball before him, sat down in the tall grass under a delicate Tamarack Tree coaxing the still shaking Peter to rest against his flank.
"Peter, please sit here and calm down." Reading the surface thoughts of the now wide open mind of his boy he urged: "Please Peter, I know you really didn't want to compel me that way. But we need to talk about this."
Finally Peter calmed down enough and relaxed against the warm flank of his unicorn. "Sorry Brown. I didn't understand what was happening. It all happened so suddenly."
"Peter, magic is imbued, at least at a minimal level, in every living thing on this planet. I suspect you are somehow able to attract all the surrounding magic to yourself. I have never seen this before but it seems like the only possible explanation."
After reassuring his boy that he was NOT angry with him, the Brown Unicorn eventually went on to give his boy a crash course in wielding magic. He had previously spoken of magic in general and of the different magical creatures on his world. Peter had been fascinated and could not hear enough. There were quite number of magical creatures, but only a few of them were sentient. There were the unicorns of course, but there were also the various clans of the elves. Of these various and diverse clans, the most recent to make their way into this world were the dark elves. They were much shorter, definitely much more stout, and much darker in aspect than individuals in the other clans. They have also recently opened up the only good source of iron ore so far discovered on this apparently metal poor planet, in the western edge of the Marble Mountains, at the edge of the Forest of Knor.
"As I've said before, magic is all around us and is to some extent imbued into every living thing. Some people can instinctively tap into this magic and at times they even can experience some sort of `luck,' or some people who seem to be able to 'just' avoid accidents. However, only those who can actually take this magic into themselves will ever be able to perform real magic. Well except for you apparently. I `smode' no magic about you EXCEPT when you actually are using it."
"There are different levels of magic which must utilize increasing amounts of magical power. Level one is the manipulation of your own body or of simple objects in view or touch. Level two is the manipulation of these objects from a distance. Level three permits you an ability to command of the forces of nature to whatever extent you can handle the increasing level of magical power. Level four is the ability to enhance the life or vitality of plants or animals. This also includes people. Level five is the ability to do much of the above but over great distances or even time. Hence, my own ability to control time as I have is a level five magic."
"Unfortunately many things do not actually fit so neatly into this schema. It is rumored that Queen Adrienne Roberta Maginde, ruler of the Sequoia Clan of the Elves, has the ability to control the mind and desires of others if she would so choose. However, no one has ever reported on witnessing such an occurrence. Some practitioners have called this the seventh magic."
Peter was greedily drinking in not only the unicorn`s words, but also the mental images and ideas that he had also been bringing to mind to help elucidate his remarks.
"But Brown, you skipped number six."
"Different magicians have had different ideas of what level six magic entails. Most agree that it entails the ability to gather up and wield huge amounts of raw power to enhance other types of magic."
Peter had a thousand questions, but settled for what was foremost in his thoughts: "How about other things I've heard about from Geral. Like healers or predicting the future?"
"Well Healers practice all of the above levels of magic according to their abilities. Only they have spent years practicing on people, and on microscopically small sites within the body. Although many consider a Healer's duties to be the prerogative of women magicians, there have been on occasion men Healers as well. As for precognition and predicting the future this is a very difficult area of endeavor. And no one is quite sure just how to categorize it. It just seems that most magicians have some degree of this ability to see into the future but it is not only quite variable as to depth of ability but also of kind. For example, predicting the fall of a die or coin is relatively easy for some while it is sometimes difficult for even accomplished magicians. I seem to have some ability in this regard but it mostly entails a feeling of where I should be to prevent some misfortune, or where I will find something of value to me."
Peter easily read his unicorn's thoughts, and remarked: "Like finding me!"
"Absolutely, boy. I truly believe we are meant for each other."
"But you want someone who can greatly enhance your own magical powers. I can read this so easily. It is in many of your thoughts."
"You are correct. This has been a long held goal of mine so that I may become just that much better able to help others who may need my help."
The Brown Unicorn's horn trumpeted a major chord and then a delicate fifth in counterpoint which almost brought tears to Peter's eyes. This was in part due to the beauty and purity of the unicorn's music, but it was in even greater part due to the thoughts that Peter could readily see deep within the unicorn's soul. His unicorn genuinely wanted to be someone who could be of great help to others in great need. Peter felt so joyful at his unicorn's caring nature that he left out a tremendous sigh as he realized his own sometimes selfish wants and desires.
Peter finally answered. "Sure, I can see that YOU are a really powerful magician but I just seem to have lucked into things at times."
"Peter, luck had nothing to do with it. And I suspect that although the exact nature of your magic eludes my ability to describe, it is nonetheless very powerful, probably even more powerful than my own."
"So I have magic. It still seems unreal. I still have trouble BEVIEVING in magic even though I`ve used it myself. And now you even claim I have some great ability. Wow. But compared to you and Cenderen, my ability doesn't seem to amount to much."
The Brown Unicorn chuckled to himself at his boy's naivety. Ever since Peter had disarmed the magic of that lightning bolt, the Brown Unicorn started wondering if his boy had even more magic then anyone else he'd ever known. And that included not a few human magicians.
"Definitely not. Being able to communicate mind to mind is very uncommon. Each party has to have some considerable magic. Or at least some specific kind of magic that allows it. Commonly, it had been assumed that at least level two magicians would be needed, although I've started to think that the way of magic that is commonly taught needs some overhaul."
"But I don't understand. If I'm supposed to be this great magician, how come I don't FEEL powerful? And besides, how come Cenderen said I had no magic?" Peter was now well engrossed with this talk of magic, in spite of the fact that everything around them was conspiring to distract and entice, even if it were beheld in the twilight of the eclipse.
"I do not fully understand either. But the evidence is right before us. You seem to be able to attract both magic and magical creatures. You WANTED those merle-goats to come to you to have fun with them. You enticed Peep, as you called him, to alight on your hand."
"But I didn't make them do that. I was just wishing to see them close up."
"Exactly. But your `wishing' was a powerful enticement. You posed no threat and they acquiesced to your magical wish. Most other beings performing magic would have probably scared them away and would have needed to magically command them to come. And most would not have succeeded."
"Well, that may be fun at times, but hardly powerful."
The Brown Unicorn then thought of the black lightening bolt. One of more magical power then he had ever know to have ever been wielded at one time on the entire planet. A magnitude of power that had him fearful.
"Peter, that bolt that you seem to have negated so effortlessly. If that had struck me as intended, even with my considerable magical ability, I would not have been able to withstand it. I would have ceased to exist. That white orb you summoned again may very well be indicative of both level six and level seven magic. You are very intelligent. You understand what I am implying."
Peter did understand; at least well enough. "But I couldn't think of not having you for my friend. I just attracted that black bolt without even thinking. And that white orb thing came out of nowhere. I never summoned it as you seem to think. I'm not even sure exactly what I did. I just sort of pulled the magic to myself. But I have not the slightest idea of how to do it again. Or how to wield any amount of magic."
"But you're totally untaught. Like all magicians, you need to learn the basics at least before you would be able to advance on your own. But one thing is certain. I believe that you have the potential of being one of the most powerful magicians on the planet, and you also seem to be able to negate any magic aimed at you or near you. You stated that you could see Geral naked any time you wished although his master had invested him with a semblance of clothing. Thus you were easily able to undo the magic of an accomplished magician."
"But Brown. I am not consciously doing anything -- I don't FEEL like I have any magic. And maybe I don't. Perhaps I merely can either attract it or repel it?"
The Brown Unicorn looked at his boy very perplexed. It would seem that perhaps part of what Peter was saying might be true. The only time he could even `smode' any magic about the boy was when he was either attracting magic or repelling it. This in itself was some very new manifestation of magical ability. But he nonetheless seemed automatically able to utilize the magic of things, or beings around him at will. He thought again of that white orb that Peter had so instantaneously gathered. He suspected that Peter very well might have been successful in forcing him to never calling him `Pee' again. And furthermore, if the manipulation of that black bolt was any indication, his boy might still possess a mighty ability. He would have to give this more thought.
"Peter, I am not exactly sure where your apparent ability fits, but I still believe that it is not only significant, but also powerful. Perhaps we can even try to train you while we are traveling these next few days."
Peter felt some exasperation. The idea of being a powerful magician had its appeal, but for some reason it didn't really excite him as much as just having his unicorn. In fact the more he thought about it, the more he'd just rather have the Brown Unicorn do the magic for him. In fact, he was starting to realize that he was having a difficult time imagining not having the unicorn in his life. And he also realized that was exactly what the Brown Unicorn was hoping for. It was readily accessible to him at the surface of his thoughts.
Peter finally responded: "You want me to yield my magic to you, don't you?"
The Brown Unicorn trumpeted assent -- in three different chords. "Of course. But it must be completely your choice. It would be part of your becoming my boy. My slave boy. And my becoming your master. And over the next several days or more I will hope to teach you enough not only about myself, but also about my world and what is happening in it so you can decide what it is you truly want. For myself, I have the hope, and my magic has led me to believe, that you are to be my life companion. But you must also come to this decision."
Peter shuddered at the thought. But at the same time was starting to realize that his idea of the role of a slave and that of his unicorn's seemed worlds apart -- literally and figuratively. Almost like they were talking about two different things.
"And you still haven't said why this boy you want to find has to be your slave? Why does this have to be part of joining our magic together?" Peter still had trouble understanding how anyone wanted to BE a slave. (Of course deep down inside he felt a certain submissive streak that on some level caused him to become sexually excited. But he kept suppressing these thoughts as being somehow not quite normal).
The Brown Unicorn looked at (his?) boy and inwardly sighed. Historically there was always some boy who realized that his attraction and need for a particular master was so right for him. It was almost instinctual. How could he explain? It was more than just being what and who he was.
"Peter, it is because of what and who I am. I find it desirable to find a bond with a human boy but as his master. In all the past it has always happened that some human boy has sensed that for him it was right to give himself to another in this manner."
Peter still could not be convinced. "I'll think about these things. But I do know one thing for sure. I always want us to be together."
The Brown Unicorn could also sense that there were still other thoughts recently troubling his boy's mind. But he decided to neither intrude nor push too fast. He was sure when Peter was ready, he would confide in him.