It had begun, like much did, at a bar. There hadn’t been a band that night. Rather, the entertainer had been a magician, of a kind.
The title he’d claimed had been “Mental Deceiver,” but I remain certain that he were better called a charlatan or conniver.
The food and liquor had flowed like – well, like food and liquor tend to flow in a place where the barkeep let you run a tab and the final check never actually arrived. Gourmet, all of it, or high-end where gourmet didn’t apply.
The blue drink offered by the Deceiver, we imbibed by the tumbler, one after another after another.
And then the he began to… nudge.
Not out loud, but with a piercing look, a tiny hand movement, a voice in your head.
To me, the order came mentally: For a fiveday, no longer will be, that letter betwixt the ‘r’ and ‘t’.
I laughed… anyone would. The Deceiver couldn’t really eliminate a letter. Could he?
But come morning, I found to my horror that he could.
The feeling of being completely tongue-tied and fighting it.
For a week, I could neither greet my lover by name nor utter my own.
I could not even affix it to a legal document.
The initial two of the fiveday were extremely difficult.
After that, I learned to be mindful of my thinking, I learned to hear the tweeting and chirping of the flying and the feathered. I appreciated the din of a downpour and let ever-whirring electrical hum be my lullaby at night.
At midnight on the final day, I heard the Deceiver announce in my head “Challenge Completed.”
I let my mouth curl up in glee and gave in to my dreaming knowing that in the morning, all would be like before.