Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

He walks past many large trees and fields of grain. He grows chilly, so he starts building a fire by the side of the road. He pulls out a lighter and lights the branches on fire, and he soon has a warm blaze. Soon the sun begins to rise, and Sid extinguishes the campfire. He decides to try the monastery one more time. The door is still impossible to open, and no one answers the knocks. So he goes back down the trail, and decides to follow it for a while.

He comes at last to a small village, where everyone is dressed in funny clothing. They look like they are peasants from the middle ages. As he walks into the village, Sid notices the people giving him strange looks, and they stay far away from him. It is not long before the villages begin to talk quietly to each other about the arrival of this stranger.

The distant beat of hooves draws near to the village, but Sid does not notice until the horsemen surround him. They ask who he is. But before he can answer for himself, a peasant shouts that he is a witch. The five horsemen immediately bind, gag, and blindfold Sid before he can run away. He is thrown onto one of the horses, and the troop of horsemen gallop away.

After a long ride, Sid is taken off of the horse, and dragged into a building, where his blindfold is removed. Sid finds himself looking at a rather old man, who is dressed in dull green robes, has a long, pointed green cap, and is holding a long, wooden staff. He appears rather displeased at Sid.

The old man introduces himself as a wizard, and asks Sid if he is a witch. Sid replied that he does not think he is a witch, and is falsely accused. He brings up the fact that he is a man, and that he is under the impression that witches are female. The wizard tells him that witches can sometimes take the appearance of a man. The wizard then comments on Sid’s apparel. Sid, who is dressed in a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes, responds that this was the type of clothing that his people wore. The old wizard is still not impressed with Sid.

He asks Sid one more time if he is a witch or not, and Sid replies no. Then a peasant comes forward, from the rear of the room. The wizard says that this peasant had seen Sid light a fire in the middle of the night with neither flint nor steel. The peasant had seen a flame come from Sid’s hand, and ignite the wood.