The Dispel

This is a re-post from r/WritingPrompts.

It was the night after the riot. I helped teleported 20,000 people out of the danger zone. Or I rather made them think they did, enough to neutralize the situation for now.

I'd like to think I'm above the politics of it all. I have bigger problems to worry about. I couldn't have told you what the problem was at the time, because even I can't put my finger on it.

You see I have a long term project I work on the side. I wanna restore the fields of probability to the past norm, such that unlikely events remain unlikely.

Nobody of my kind cares about projects like this. The effect takes years to materialize, like climate change. Besides unusual events are way more exciting, why bother rectifying that. Attitude of my peers goes along the line of "if it's already broken, why fix it?"

On that night, a fight happened at home. I left to calm myself and work on this. And then I couldn't get it up.

I couldn't get the magic up.

Many of my kind hated that word. They use all sorts of words to skirt around it. Source, lang, skills and god knows what else. They think 'magic' makes their whole schtick illegible.

Norman is one of those. He is my goto guy when I need a medium, the kind that channels spirits.

He reached me when I was close to having a panic attack. I was breaking into sweats, no magic came out working out for me.

As soon as Norman saw me, he knew exactly what/who to channel. It didn't take long for spirit-Norman to check on me and said: "You haven't eaten this shadow yet."

I was confused. I didn't need to say "what are you talking about?"

Spirit-Norman: "Where did you come from before this?"

Me: "Home."

Spirit-Norman: "What happened at home? Be honest."

There's no point hiding it, he'll figure it out anyway. I said: "I had a fight with the girlfriend. It's stupid."

"I'm sure it is, or I wouldn't be here. But the consequences isn't. Why do you think the fight is doing this to you?"

"I dunno. She sounded especially hurtful."

"So what, women said hurtful things all the time. You've been taught to dispel them."

I'm surprised: "No I haven't. Is that a thing?"

Spirit-Norman is equally surprised at my question but he dropped it. He proceed to look for clues from my aura.

"How long has it been since the fight?" he asked.

"Six hours?" I said.

"For most people, the conflict radiation would've been gone by now. Yours are still firmly there, even if they have changed colors. That's why it's blocking your skills."

"Why is that?"

"I can't be sure, but I have two theories. You won't like either one." said spirit-Norman. I'm not liking it already.

"The first is you have a sleeper daemon planted inside your head who wants to hold on to this radiation, hoping make use of it in the future somehow. This may be a source of energy for it."

I was ready to entertain this possibility. But how much of this is my fault?

He continues: "The second theory, which is more sinister, is that you've been cursed as a child."

Strangely I'm more receptive to this idea. I asked: "What kinda curse?"

"The kind where you're given an embedded module that converts hurtful words into permanent memory. But not in the way you'd remember them. It would linger and fester overtime, until all sense of self is destroyed. Only the closest women can do that to you, if that's any consolation."

I didn't know what to say at that point. Why was this done to me? Was it a malicious attempt or was I a victim of accident?

Spirit-Norman: "I'm surprised it took you this long to find out. If you let one sits, you're gonna end up rebooting yourself to year-15 every half a decade."

"You mean I'm gonna be 15 year-old again?" I asked.

"No. You will still have your same body, experiences and memories. Only you're as mature as when you're 15 in your mind. You would lose all mental skills conscious or unconscious gained after that age."

I dunno if I should believe him. I don't even know if the two theories matter if the solution is the same.

Being 15 again is bad. Real bad, I don't even know where to start.

"How the fuck do I fix this?" I asked.

"I don't wanna say it's impossible... but you have to die first."