You’ve all heard the rumours. That’s why you’re here. It’s why all of us are here – and yes, I can tell you, it’s true. All of it.
Already I can see some of you scoffing, holding your hands up to hide your smiles behind them, feigning a cough to keep me from noticing that you are mocking me. You probably think this is hilarious. How I pity you.
You see, I knew some of you would come purely so that you could get a good laugh out of me. That is sad, but I take no offence. I know too that some of you who came here to laugh seek to paint me as some kind of an idiot. You believe that your lack of belief is somehow a strength, that the false air of acceptance you demonstrate fools the rest of us. Yet for all that you claim self-superiority and great intellectualism through your words and actions, and deny any such feelings in the next breath, you are missing what the rest of us have. It is my belief that has made me powerful, and not my inability to believe.
So I’ll tell you this now, no matter what you’ll no doubt have prepared in response – no matter how dominating you believe your counterarguments to be. Try to knock me down with every single word you know for all I care, for I cannot be beaten by the likes of unbelievers. I’ll tell you this now: that this is it, in my hands before you all, the source of all my strength and my abilities. This book is what has made me great, for written within its pages I have discovered how to use those arts as old as time itself, those secret, elusive skills that defy both sight and touch. I hold magnificence before your mortal eyes.
Yet be wise, and take heed. Be careful to observe that which I have observed over many extraordinary years, and use this book only for good. If you should not, then know that your wickedness shall only return to you threefold.
It is one of you, who sits before me, who shall be next. I alone cannot hold onto this might forever, nor should I. So if you are the lucky one, then treat always with the utmost respect this book, for it is no mere tool: it is sacred and must be handled as such. Do good, show respect, and you shall do well for yourself using the power within.
Still some of you will leave here today claiming that this power is all in my mind, then it does not exist and that the others are foolish to believe it does. Perhaps one day you will become more than a hollow, empty body. When your soul speaks to you, then my replacement shall hear you out.
I could demonstrate my powers.
If only I thought that would be enough for you to believe.
Laura Marie Clark is from Lincolnshire, UK. She has a bachelor's degree in History and will soon begin a master's in Byzantine Studies. Her interests include ancient, classical and medieval history, religion, philosophy, and occultism. After finishing her bachelor's, she spent 10 months living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is published in several poetry, short story and writing tip anthologies. Her debut collection of poetry is "City of the World", which is based on her time in Vietnam.