Today after lab I drove by that old house in Echo Park again. The front door was slightly ajar. I decided this was my opportunity to get a glimpse of the house’s interior, in further effort to determine the cause of the simultaneous affinity and dissonance the house engenders in me.
Once inside, I didn’t have much chance to look around after all, because I immediately heard the groaning of someone in pain. It turned out a man (whom I later recognized as Guru Dave, the hack from those self-help infomercials) had fallen through a hole in the floor to the basement. Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured. Guru Dave stated that he was the owner of the house and was inspecting it now for the first time, which struck me as unwise, an observation I elected to keep to myself. On the basement floor, not far from where he’d fallen, was inscribed a magic circle, with which I felt a strong affinity. I’ve concluded that this circle must be the source of my attraction to the house.
At that moment, a strong and alluring aroma of baked goods reached us both. I found the oven in the house empty (except for a pair of socks—decidedly not the source of the pleasant smell) and followed the scent outside, where I found a caricature of a man who identified himself simply as “Monsieur” distributing free cookies from a food truck. Immediately suspicious, I declined his offer of one of these cookies. He observed that I had just come from the house and asked if I owned it. I told him no and tried to disengage myself politely from him, suspecting him of underhanded activity, possibly something involving illicit drugs.
At that moment, a young man appeared and assaulted the food truck, demanding cookies. A young woman soon joined him. Both were behaving erratically, which further reinforced my suspicion that the cookies contained some sort of addictive and mind-altering substance. Not wanting to become inadvertently party to a drug deal, I began to retreat to the house. I overheard then the young woman’s (Stormy, I later learned, is her name) claim that she is the owner of the house, in direct contradiction to Guru Dave’s earlier statement that he had just purchased it. Monsieur, Stormy, and Stormy’s associate Tyler all then declared their intention to enter the house, and I decided to go ahead of them and confront/warn Guru Dave.
A chase broke out at that point. Tyler continued to behave erratically, shouting at me in a way that seemed to indicate he is sexually attracted to me, which I found alarming in the context of him pursuing me at full tilt down the street.
We all four arrived at the house at roughly the same time and found Guru Dave still inside. Monsieur indicated that his interest in the house stemmed from his belief that it is haunted and his resulting desire to put to rest the spirits that dwell there. He asked who is the true owner of the house, Guru Dave or Stormy. It turns out the house is Stormy’s and has been in her family for some time—her odd effects scattered around the place provided fair evidence of this—and so Guru Dave’s interest in the house and his motives for falsely declaring his ownership of it remain unknown.
While this discussion was ongoing, I examined Monsieur’s cookies and concluded there was no illegal substance contained in them. I then proceeded to eat several of them. Gauche as it may sound, I can only describe them as a borderline sexual experience. I found myself compelled to eat more and more of them, in flagrant violation of my dietary regimen.
Monsieur at this point began addressing a spirit, one the rest of us couldn’t see. At first, I worried I’d been wrong in my assessment of the cookies, and they would prove to have hallucinogenic effects that would manifest in myself at any moment. But it soon became clear that Monsieur was using magic to commune with the entity. Yes—magic. Soon after, Stormy performed a divination spell, while in the basement Guru Dave molded silver to fill the grooves of the magic circle etched in the concrete of the floor. It became clear then that everyone present in the house—with the apparent exception of Tyler—had magic powers.
This can hardly be a coincidence. I can only suppose some willful intent of the universe brought us together, or else we were all drawn to the resonance of the magic circle in the basement floor.
The discovery led us all to engage in a spontaneous discussion of our respective goals, which made immediately clear that none of us have any objectives whatsoever in common. Why the fates might have brought us together, I couldn’t say. I can only assume for now that my purpose is to thwart Stormy’s frankly delusional plan to upend the “world order” by terrorizing local Wal-Mart employees and Mario Lopez. Mario Lopez notwithstanding, I can’t let her cause harm to innocent people, or otherwise engender chaos in a world that’s already beset by entropy. So I verbally consented to take part in her agenda, with a secret objective of subverting it from within (along with Guru Dave’s vague but alarming plans to create a “god battery”).
Of my three new magic acquaintances, Monsieur, remarkably enough, seems to be most in possession of his faculties. He’s unnaturally preoccupied with food, and I do fear his ability to craft sugary treats that I feel compelled to consume in violation of my strict nutritional regimen. But there’s something very down-to-Earth about him on the whole, and he seems rightly skeptical of the aims of the other two.
At any rate, my new mission begins tomorrow. Stormy is planning some kind of offensive against the aforementioned Wal-Mart employees, and she’s instructed us all to meet outside the discount superstore just before dawn. I will attend, purportedly as her ally, though in fact I’ll be doing everything in my power to contain the potential damage she might cause.
This is considerably more excitement than I’m accustomed to, but I admit to somewhat looking forward to the challenge, in the hope that this engagement will help elucidate next steps in my stalled long-term goal of bringing order and balance to the universe.