He stepped under the overhang and leaning his canes against the wall, shook the snow from his jacket and backpack. Gathering his canes, he opened the door and entered. The games room was busy as it always was, people spending their rent money hoping to double it and losing everything trying. Kristen was cleaning a table and saw him coming. Kristen was the bar manager and usually worked the dayshift.
“You're out late DeWayne! Do you want a beer? The snow's coming down pretty hard out there. I can't believe it is only the fifth of September.”
“I do, but not just one can, an old man can have a lapse in his memory now and then. A dozen beer, and it is going to be another blizzard I'm afraid. You are working late again I see.”
“Linda's youngest has the flu so I am filling in for her tonight.”
DeWayne paid for his purchase and Kristen helped him with his backpack. “Are you going to be all right? Getting home I mean? The snow's coming down hard out there. I can call you a cab if you'd like.” Kristen looked at the frail old man, a concerned look on her face.
DeWayne laughed. “It will take a cab an hour to get here, and I can be home in half that time. I will be fine; after all I have made this journey hundreds of times, but thanks for your concern.”
Kristen watched DeWayne make his way toward the door, as she had in the past. It was like watching a tortoise making its way across a furrowed field, slow and not so steady. She liked DeWayne; he was interesting, he talked about his past, the books he had written, and the books he would probably never get around to writing. For his age, and discounting his obvious disabilities, he was mentally sound; however, he did have a stubborn air about him. She knew that he was not going to be around much longer, according to him, but he was still going strong in her mind.
DeWayne stepped outside and stopped. Maybe Kristen was right. It was snowing heavily now, and the streetlights were dim as a result. He would have to be careful. DeWayne walked slowly, not because of the snow, but because of his disabilities. He stopped for the fifth time, by the vacant lot. Only one more block to go. He thought he heard a sound—other than his own heavy breathing—and looked around. He listened and heard the sound again.
A weak and pitiful meow came from the direction of the vacant lot. DeWayne spotted a dark shape in the six-foot strip of real estate between the sidewalk and the fence struggling to rise in the snow. He looked at the cat, evaluated the situation, and made his decision. He walked the few steps into the deeper snow and, planting his canes in the snow on either side, lowed himself to his knees. Pain shot through his body, but as he had done many times before, he blocked it, and pushed it out of his mind.
“I could have looked the other way.” He spoke his thought aloud. “But you have a right to live just as I do.” DeWayne unzipped his old winter jacket enough to put the bundle of wet fur inside. It was a good thing he had lost so much weight. He struggled to his feet and stood for a minute to let the pain subside.
Riding up in the elevator, DeWayne wondered if this was such a good idea. He had canned food, and milk, so the cat wouldn't
starve. DeWayne closed his door, took the cat out of his jacket and put it on the rug at the end of the hallway. He removed the backpack and shook the snow off his jacket before hanging it up. He put all the beer into the fridge except one, which he opened and took to the table beside his favorite chair in the living room before scrutinizing the cat. As the snow clinging to its fur melted it resembled a drowned rat. DeWayne took a large towel and moved the chair he used while putting on boots closer to the cat. He leaned over, and putting the towel over the cat, lifted it into his lap.
He was surprised when the cat purred as he dried its fur, trying not to hurt the fragile–looking creature. The cat was big, with pointed ears that looked unusually large for a cat, with eyes the color of gold—a midnighte–black oval slit down the center of each one—and a long tail. Its paws looked more like the paws of a jungle cat, wide and with large claws. DeWayne could not help shuddering at the thought of the damage those claws could do.
DeWayne prepared two bowls, one with salmon and milk in the other. He put one of his throw rugs close to the cat and placed the two bowls on it. The cat sniffed the contents of both bowls before digging in.
DeWayne watched TV; the cat had finished eating and appeared to be sleeping when he glanced over to check on it. He never had time for a pet with his work schedule. He worked long hours, and had few days off, right up until he got sick, that is. Finding this stray right now wasn't what either of them needed. He was on his last legs, so to speak, and didn't have the right to get involved with an animal that needed a real home. The cat deserved a better place to live than DeWayne could offer. He would call the animal rescue folks in the morning and have them come and get it.
DeWayne put his empty beer can in the kitchen and went to bed. His mind was not willing to quit working though. Frustrated he got up and grabbed another beer. There was enough light coming from outside, even with the blowing snow obscuring most of it, so
he didn't turn a light on. He glanced in the cat's direction every couple of minutes as he sipped, then he went back to bed once more. The cat felt his frustration. She knew that she should wait, let him get used to her being around. But if he tried to get rid of her as he was thinking of doing, she would have to do something. She had to prepare him for what was to come, and for that he needed sleep. She could help him with that, and she could give him what would seem like a dream.
She closed her eyes and concentrated, shutting down DeWayne's thoughts one by one until he was calm and relaxed. With a thought she put DeWayne into a deep sleep. She jumped onto the bed and pressed her wet nose against his hand for a second, then she turned and jumped back down to the floor. She sat by the bedroom door and narrated the picture show with her vivid memory of those events.
<Thousands of years ago, on our world called Orighen, a Sorcerer named Tay'Ron, from the southernmost continent, decided that he wanted to rule our world. Of course, the rest of Orighen wasn't going to let that happen, so a long war was waged; one that lasted over five hundred years. Jakiera, the Queen of Geldania, a continent just above Orighen's equator, was a fair and just ruler. Geldania also had the most powerful army of all the continents: the largest army and more Sorcerers who were battle–ready. The southern tyrant, Tay'Ron, was intent on conquering the world, and making the people from the other countries bow down to him. Jakiera, and the other queens and kings of Orighen banded together to stop him. Jakiera also played a part in recruiting the hundreds of dragons and elves to aid in this war.
<Over time, the opposing armies of Orighen finally drove Tay'Ron back to the southern continent. Six Sorcerers, a Furl Cat called Midnight, and a dragon called Scarlet brought Tay'Ron
to his end. Tay'Ron was a powerful Sorcerer and with his dying breaths he sent the six Sorcerers, and Midnight, to this world. The seven of them had no idea what happened to Scarlet. They arrived on an island to the west of here almost three thousand years ago. At first, they had no idea what was going on, or where they were. They did figure out that they were no longer on Orighen because nothing looked the same: plants, flowers, and animals were not from Geldania or Orighen. Nothing looked familiar, and they had no idea how they came to be where they were, wherever that was.
<They had their weapons, so food was not a problem. With the gift they could discern what was edible or not when it came to vegetables and greens. They utilized whatever they found to survive. It wasn't until several years later that they discovered Tay'Ron had also given them an incurable virus. But that story is for another day.>
DeWayne woke up lightheaded and lethargic, like he would be waking up after taking a sleeping pill or drinking too many beers. He felt like he had slept forever, and not at all. He was relaxed and didn't have the discomforts he usually had when he woke.
He swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat thinking about the dream, the sluggishness leaving him. It was so realistic he could not seem to get it out of his mind, and that bothered him because any dreams he had in the past were forgotten minutes after he awoke. It was like someone telling a story and he was a part of that story; he remembered the details.
He wondered why he was feeling so much better than he usually did—another mystery he supposed. As he walked to the kitchen he looked at the cat, sitting on the rug, looking back at him. “I suppose you're hungry. I will fix you something in a few minutes. But first I need a cup of coffee to help me wake up completely. My brain is still a little foggy from sleep.”
DeWayne fixed a cup of coffee, then put milk in one clean bowl and a can of flaked chicken in another and set them down. He sat in his chair and watched the morning news and weather. When the cat was finished with its meal it sat under the TV watching him. For a moment, he wondered if the cat in the dream was the same one looking at him now, but that was foolish…or was it?
DeWayne looked outside and saw that the sun was out and the snow was melting so he decided to go shopping and do his other daily routines. The cat was waiting for him when he walked back in the door. He felt a bit uncomfortable with the cat staring at him like that. Its golden eyes seemed to look right through him.
“You had something to eat a couple of hours ago, so I know you're not hungry, maybe you have decided to go outside and relieve yourself. Damn it, do you even know what I am saying you confounded cat?”
The cat looked at him, as if it was wondering what kind of fool had rescued it. DeWayne shook his head, picked up the backpack and put the groceries away, took a beer out of the fridge and sat down.
Midnight looked at DeWayne. She was getting anxious, she knew she should give him more time, but she was beside herself with worry, so she blurted it out.
<You are dying, DeWayne Richards, as I too am dying. My time, like yours, is running out. Will you hear my story?>
DeWayne looked at the cat, almost dropping his beer as he jumped. The voice seemed to be female, like the voice in the dream.
“I must have drunk more beer than I remember. I'm hearing things, or at least I am imagining I'm hearing voices.”
<There is nothing wrong with your hearing, DeWayne; I am speaking to you telepathically. Everyone knows cats can't talk, and I don't believe you are all that drunk, yet.>
DeWayne finished his beer in one gulp while looking at the cat; he looked at the empty can and went to the kitchen for another. As he sat down, he realized he was gawking at the cat.
“Maybe I’m going crazy, or maybe I’m dreaming, or maybe it’s a combination of the two.”
<I am called Midnight. I am a female of my kind, and I mean you no harm! Will you listen to my story or not?>
“I have to think about this for a while. Maybe, after I have had time to process this, and have a beer, or four, or maybe six, I will realize that all this was only a dream,” DeWayne said, more to himself than the cat.
Midnight just sat there. She didn’t say anything else—if she’d said anything to begin with. DeWayne’s mind went back to the dream. Maybe if he wrote it down he could put what happened and the dream out of his mind. He sat at his computer and typed the dream as he remembered it, word for word, describing the images as close to real as words could paint the pictures.
There was no way to verify anything this cat who called herself Midnight said. He had no idea if this Orighen even existed. Even if it was a world that scientists had found, that’s probably not what it would be called. It would be called Planet 1451 or something. He still had no reason to believe that any of this was real. DeWayne was frustrated. The cat hadn’t spoken to him again; so, he was leaning toward the fact that it was probably another dream. Day dreaming was quite common.
“She said it herself, ‘cats can’t talk!’” DeWayne laughed at those words. Was he really buying this bullshit? He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. He read the words from his dream again. Maybe he could save these pages and use it to write another book. DeWayne chuckled at the thought. It had been almost twenty years since he wrote his last book, but it wouldn’t be that hard. The only problem was that he wasn’t going live long enough to finish it.
DeWayne turned his computer off and laid down for his afternoon nap. Because of his lung disease, the fluid his lungs produced made it hard for him to breathe, which woke him up on a regular basis. He stretched out on the bed, but sleep did not come. He tossed and turned, but he could not stop thinking about
the cat. Was any of this real? Could this Midnight be from another world, and what did she want with him anyway? Frustrated with not being able to sleep, and not being able to think of anything else, he got out of bed and went for another beer. The cat was still sitting there, watching him. He went back to his bedroom, beer in hand.
Midnight sensed his discomfort. Until he can believe in the possibility that what I am saying is true, I cannot help him. I don’t know what I can do to show him I am telling him the truth. Unless…I show him my magic, let him see that it is real, that he is not imagining all of this.
She turned away. Midnight knew she was getting weaker and her time was running out. Of course, time to her wasn’t the same as it would be for someone who hadn’t already lived for over ten thousand years. She would let him struggle with his thoughts for now. She sat down in front of the fridge. The door opened and she looked inside.
He likes his beer, so that is what I will do.
When DeWayne came out of the bedroom she was sitting in front of the fridge. DeWayne’s thoughts were still scrambled but the cat was his responsibility now regardless of the situation.
“You must be hungry. I’ll fix you something to eat.”
DeWayne opened a can of flaked chicken, put that in a bowl, and he put milk in another. When she finished her meal, she sat in front of him while he watched TV in the living room. He tipped his can of beer up to drain it.
<Let me do that for you,> she said before he could get up to get another.
A can of beer began to materialize on the table beside the empty can, right before his eyes. DeWayne swallowed hard, as he looked at the unopened can. He picked it up, opened it and took a drink, hoping it wasn’t going to kill him. It was like the beer he bought from the store.
“How did you do that?” he asked, eyes wide.
<I am a creature of magic. Magic gives me the ability to create whatever I can imagine, something no one else on Earth can do at this time. Now I will ask you again: will you listen to my story?>
DeWayne looked at her for a long time, trying to keep his wits about him. I cannot explain how she did that, or why she is showing me that she really does have magic. A little bit of excitement in this otherwise drab life of mine might be welcome, so why not? It wasn’t as if he was going anywhere, and she was right: he was on his last legs, so he didn’t have anything to lose.
“First, I want to know something. Was that you in the dream I had last night? Was that your doing?”
A shadow formed around Midnight, growing to become an outline of the large cat from the dream. DeWayne swallowed hard.
“Okay, Midnight, that was a little dramatic. You asked me if I would listen to you. I am not saying that I am convinced, but you have my interest. Tell me your story.”
<Very well. Our story begins on my home world, Orighen.> The start of Midnight’s story was exactly like the dream; however, he did not interrupt her.
<Now I will tell you of my time here on this world. I understand that what you hear may not be easy for you to understand or believe. For now, all you need to know is that I am the only one left to speak for the others who were lost. As my friends died, I was able to take each gift of sorcery into myself, being a Furl Cat, and store each of them individually.
<I have chosen five already and given them each their gift; now I have only one left. I have been watching you on and off for the past ten years, DeWayne, and I have decided that you are more than worthy of this honor. Will you allow me to give you the last gift of sorcery that I carry?>
Again, DeWayne was taken aback at the cat’s words. He took his glasses off and rubbed his face. He wasn’t dreaming. It was she who gave him the dream. What was this gift she was talking about giving him, and how the hell was any of this even possible?
<The gift will allow you to live past the life of the body you have now. I will teach you all I can about how to use the gift before I die. How long I have left I cannot say, but if I use my gift sparingly maybe I will get to teach you enough.>
“I don’t understand. I have already lived longer than they said I would. I have maybe six more months left to live.”
Midnight shook her head slowly.
<When I give you the gift of sorcery, your body will have the power to heal itself. However, you are going to have to let this you die. You will have to adopt another identity, another you. I know it isn’t easy to understand right now, but you must realize it is the only way. Once you have the gift, I can keep your body the same as it is now, with all your medical issues as they are today, but without the pain you suffer now.
<You must see that this you must die. It all starts with you accepting the gift. We can work on the rest of the details once you complete the transition from mortal to Sorcerer. Do you understand what I am telling you?
<One more thing: once you accept my offer, there is no turning back. I cannot reverse the process, so think this over, and make sure you’re ready.>
DeWayne took his glasses off and closed his eyes. Again, he raised his hands to his face, going over everything Midnight had said.
He got up and grabbed another beer. He had always believed that there had to be other planets out there that could sustain life. Was this proof that there were other inhabited planets with sentient beings on them, or was this still a bad dream? He only had a short time left to live, and he had wondered what it would be like to have the knowledge he had now with the chance of another life. It had seemed a foolish dream. He turned what she said over in his mind, sifting through his thoughts as a gambler does before he rolls the dice and kept coming up with snake eyes. Gambling
was like that: you had to be willing to take a chance, even when it seemed your luck had run out.
DeWayne shook his head, trying to think of a reason not to accept Midnight’s offer, but he came up short. He stood in front of the window. Dr. Hanson told me that the results from the MRI were not good, just three days ago. She said I most likely was not going to make it another six months. Mind you she has been saying that for the past ten years. But I know she is right; I don’t need the tests to tell me the lung damage is getting worse. Now I have a choice to make, do I accept this gift Midnight is talking about and live for God knows how much longer, or do I refuse and die within six months. I am not ready to die.
He looked at Midnight. “I have questions: first, did you have something to do with me living as long as I have? You did say you have been watching me on and off for the past ten years. Also, it seems that all I have to do is to think of what I want to say and you know what I am thinking. Are you reading my mind?”
So, living this long hasn’t been sheer luck, it was magic. How am I supposed to die, but not die? Why am I able to communicate with her? How long will I live with this gift?
What Midnight was saying, seemed to be too good to be true. If it sounded too good, then the chances are it was. DeWayne looked at her for a long time before responding. It was only a few hours ago that he went out to get more beer, found a stray cat, and bought it home. Now he was sitting here talking to that cat and trying to decide if he was going to accept this gift she was offering him. DeWayne weighed everything Midnight had told him. Everything from the bloody war, to the friends she had lost, to right now, sitting here with him.
He couldn’t believe that he was considering this. Did he want to live another lifetime? Could he afford to live another lifetime, the length of which was undecided? He was in constant pain, from the tip of his toes to the top of his hair, and breathing was like
trying to suck air though a folded paper napkin. Dying would be the end of all that, but, was he ready to die?
“All right. I have often wondered what my life would be like if I could start over, and still know what I know today, and reading other people’s minds would be a bonus. Let’s do this; as you said earlier, we can work the rest out later. If we don’t do this now, I might change my mind. How do we begin?”
Midnight looked at DeWayne, tilting her head from side to side, as if she was sizing him up for a new suit, or her next meal.
<I am a creature of magic, created by magic; therefore, the rules of sorcery do not apply to me. You will be a Sorcerer, and you will not be able to read other people’s minds. It’s against the rules of sorcery, rules that you will learn first before anything else. You will be able to speak telepathically to other Sorcerers. Your other questions will be answered in time. You need to eat a good meal first, and you should have food ready for after, when your recovery begins. I believe this will take a lot of energy, and you should be prepared. I am not sure what is going to happen, because I have never done this before.>
DeWayne’s eyes widened, again. “I thought you gave the gift to five others,” he said. “What do you mean you’re not sure what’s going to happen? Am I your lab rat, so you can use me as your test subject?”
Midnight sighed. <I did not activate the gift in the others, I only transferred the gift to them. The gift in them is still dormant. You will be the first one I give the gift to with it already active. I will teach you as much as I can so you can teach the others when they come. And they will come.>
DeWayne shook his head. What am I getting myself into here? This sounds like one of those TV ads, ‘Get it now, this is a limited time offer.’
“All right. Let’s do this! I don’t have anything to lose, except maybe my last six months.”
He ate what he could and had food ready in the fridge for later. Midnight suggested that he lie down, saying it would be easier for him. Midnight sat beside him on the bed and pressed a paw to his cheek. At first, nothing seemed to be happening. Then suddenly, images and flashes of light raced through his mind, so fast that he lost all concept of time. Everything blurred into a scrambled mass of nothing, and everything. He didn’t black out until it was done doing whatever it was doing.
<You should eat to replenish your energy! Come on! Get up, move around, and eat something. It will help you to recover.>
DeWayne struggled to rise, finally putting both feet on the floor and pushing himself into a standing position, then slowly putting one foot in front of the other until he made his way to the kitchen.
<I sense that you are going to have to touch the gift inside you, to become one with it, to make it a part of you. It is there, I can see it, but it is not connected to you. Right now though, you need to eat, and rest. You will have to keep to your daily routine, whatever it is: shopping, going for a beer, the things that you do every day, so no one notices anything different.>
DeWayne held his hands up. “Slow down my friend, I need to recuperate first. How long was I out? Am I a Sorcerer? My canes are still in the bedroom.”
She looked up at him. <I am sorry if it seems like I am in a rush, but I don’t know how much time I have left, and no you are not a Sorcerer yet. You have to make the gift a part of you, and you were out about twelve hours.>
DeWayne nodded and continued eating. He was hungry. As his energy returned he asked Midnight, “You said I had to touch the gift inside. What does that mean exactly?” Midnight looked at him, shook her head.
<I’m not sure DeWayne; I just feel it is something you must do. You were not born with the gift, like the Sorcerers I came here with so long ago. As I said, I can see it. How you do that, I cannot help you; that is something I know nothing about. Your first lesson I suppose.>
When he was done eating, he lay down trying to think of what he needed to do to touch this gift. Midnight jumped up on the bed and sat down. He searched his memory looking for a process that would help him with completing the transition to Sorcerer. DeWayne settled on meditation. He had read somewhere that meditation helped one connect with one’s inner self and he already used it to ease his pain. He drifted deeper into his subconscious mind, until he saw a tiny blue light, a small spark.
It was no bigger than the head of a pin. He reached out to touch it, but it seemed to move out of reach. He had been in the trades most of his adult life, so he analyzed the situation, and he thought for a minute before trying again. This time he moved to surround it, and gently closed in on it from all directions, until he was able to hold it with his mind. A shock wave spread outward from that tiny blue speck, and coursed through his body, making it tingle from the tips of his toes to the top of his hair. The shock was slight, but he felt it move throughout his body until it had engulfed him. DeWayne could feel the difference. He felt more alive, more so than he had after he woke up, and more than he had for the past thirty years.
Midnight let out a long sigh, sensing that DeWayne had succeeded, and they both slept for a time.
DeWayne woke and got dressed. There was shopping to do. If he was going to have to eat five or six meals a day to keep his body in shape, he needed more proteins, carbs, and vitamins. It looked like a reasonably nice day. The sun was shining and there were large fluffy
cumulus clouds making their way across the sky. DeWayne made a list and looking it over decided to take his two-wheeled grocery cart, as well as his backpack. It was a long list. He looked at Midnight.
“I will be gone for a couple of hours, because I can only move so fast at the best of times, and then there’s this cart, and I’ll have to stop to catch my breath a few times as well, and of course I have to stop for my beer. You did say that I have to keep to my routine.”
<We will start your first lesson when you return, and after you’ve had time to rest,> Midnight said.
As DeWayne started walking, he realized the pain he normally felt was not as prevalent as it had been; however, he still had problems breathing even with the added oxygen. He picked his pace up a bit, but only a little because he traveled this same route all the time and people might notice if he was moving faster than normal. When he arrived at the grocery store, he used a shopping cart inside with his cart folded up hanging on the side. DeWayne wasn’t looking for deals, but he found that most of the items on his list were for sale. A bonus. He didn’t want to overdo it, so he only took what he needed for a couple of days.
The woman at the checkout smiled. “That’s more than your usual haul. Expecting guests?”
“Winter is here early again, and I do have a freezer at home. There will be days that I won’t be able to get out because of the weather, so I am making sure there is enough, in case of emergencies.”
The load was heavier than he expected, so by the time he arrived at the bar, he was trying to catch his breath. The pain was barely noticeable, but his breathing was a different story.
DeWayne sat at his usual table, drinking his usual beer of choice, and talked with Kristen. When DeWayne left the bar he was rested enough to make it the rest of the way home without too many stops.
Midnight watched him as he put the groceries away. DeWayne felt his age. When he was finished, he opened a beer and sat down for a while before they started his first lesson.
“I thought you said I wouldn’t be the way I was after becoming a Sorcerer. I am out of breath, but I don’t feel the pain as much.”
Midnight looked at him.
<Drink your beer, lesson, and then we can discuss your concerns.>
DeWayne didn’t argue with her as he sipped his beer then dozed in his chair. An hour later Midnight sat in front of him.
<Now that you’re rested, I will give you your first lesson. Hold your hand out.>
DeWayne did so, and Midnight touched it with her wet nose. Images and words in a language he did not recognize at first filled his mind. His memory told him he did know, and understand the hieroglyphic–like symbols. He sipped his beer as he took the information in. These were the rules Midnight had mentioned. Reading another’s mind was not necessary, one could glean all the information from another’s action, reactions, body language, and facial expressions. The rules were basic and more common sense than obstructive.
“What language is that? Why can I understand it?”
<It is the language of Orighen. The gift I gave you is from there so now that it is a part of you, you can understand. However, the others will understand it when they see it as well. Now, I want you to study that can of beer you’re holding; see it with your mind. See everything it contains, everything that goes into that brew, all the separate ingredients. See how it all comes together to make your beer. Then I want you to study the can, and see what it is made of, and do the same with it, then reproduce your beer exactly, can and all.>
DeWayne thought about what Midnight had said and decided that if he went to the brewer’s website, he could find out what components went into their beer, but he doubted they would list the portions for each ingredient. The can was made from an aluminum alloy, and he had a working knowledge of metallurgy, so he shouldn’t have a problem with that part.
It took DeWayne several hours, and multiple failures trying to get the brew exactly right. He stopped long enough to eat something, before going back at it. DeWayne worked on trying to reproduce his can full of beer most of the night; he was surprised at how hard it was to get it even close to being right. He finally accomplished his task in the wee hours of the morning—a can, full of drinkable beer.
Chilling the beer took quite a bit longer though. First, he had to figure out how to cool the beer, and that took him a whole day. Once he figured that out, he had to fine–tune the temperature, so he was not freezing the liquid. He thawed a few cans out enough before he could drink them. In this one lesson he learned several aspects of the magic he had to employ to reach the desired end.
DeWayne took a break before Midnight touched his hand with her nose and showed him his next task: to take a tomato and start working on reproducing that. This task was much harder than the can of beer because he didn’t have a list of ingredients as a starting point. He tried to picture the tomato in his mind, but he was not seeing the whole picture. It did not seem to matter how he thought he saw it, his tomato was far from being a tomato, and as far away from being edible.
This is going to take forever.
DeWayne was frustrated with his repeated failures. Making an edible tomato was a wake–up call; it was the way he was thinking. It was taking far too long. Midnight was not helping him at all.
<This is something you need to learn by yourself. If I help you, you are not going to learn; you’re going to do as I say. It is up to you to SEE what you are looking at, so you understand what elements make a tomato, and how to reproduce it on your own. You must learn how to use the magic without anyone showing you how. Otherwise, you will always have to depend on someone else to help you, and that is not acceptable. Learn from your mistakes, make your mistakes work for you, and learn why it is not working.>