The MagicLand Chronicles

The Futurists

Some say magic began to appear before Old Earth fell

Charles Bastille
MagicLand — The Novel
7 min readJan 9, 2022

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Main image licensed through Shutterstock.

“Hi, Tom,” I said to the stranger walking past me on a sidewalk colored by an animated carpet made from this year’s autumn leaves.

Continuing his gait, he looked at me and asked, “Do I know you?” as leaves danced and swirled around his passing steps.

“You do now,” I smiled, walking on.

I had seen a flash vision as he approached— that’s what I called them: flash visions — of someone saying “Thanks, Tom” to him. A co-worker, maybe. I couldn’t tell because the background of the vision was blurred as if it was the victim of a movie director’s focus.

In the vision, I could plainly see Tom and his thick white hair, his pocketed tanned skin, his greyish eyes, but I could barely make out the man thanking him. The other man looked young, with dark hair and roving eyes even within the scope of a simple thank you, but that was about all I could discern.

I didn’t look back at Tom as I walked past him and listened to the leaves as they were whisked away by the motion of his feet.

Later, I wished I had said more. I wanted to know more about him. I knew I never would. I knew an urban encounter like this in Lincoln Park was a fleeting, one-time thing.

I glanced into a window on Webster Street, into a gym, just before a treadmill snapped and sent some poor woman flying. It happened in my mind just before it happened to her, but I was used to not being able to do anything about things like this.

I came to the window for a closer look. Attendants and gym patrons attended to her. She brushed herself off and seemed to make a joke about it. That was nice, I thought. Maybe she’s not litigious.

She was pretty. I wanted to come in to tell her what else was about to happen to her. But I didn’t know. That’s not how it worked. I knew I’d never see her again, nor any visions of her. Only that one moment. A flash of memory sent from the future. Random, meaningless, and terribly frustrating.

I walked a little longer and sat on the steps of a bodega. They didn’t call them that here in Chicago but that’s what it was.

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Charles Bastille
MagicLand — The Novel

Author of MagicLand & Psalm of Vampires. Follow me on BlueSky: https://bsky.app/profile/charlesbastille.bsky.social. All stories © 2020-24 by Charles Bastille