To believe in magic is to practice a special kind of suspension of disbelief. In the real world, there is magic everywhere, if you only set aside the preconceived notions of reality, and take one step into the unknown.
This is called imagination.
This is called “life’s more interesting when you look for it in places it doesn’t belong”.
Do we all imagine unicorns where horses roam? Are we all still upset that we didn’t receive our letters from Hogwarts (the correct answer is yes)? Do we still rely on books to encourage our fantasies?
Yes, we do. What would a world without magic look like? What would the fabric of our lives resemble without that particular suspension of disbelief? Think of a world without imagination, where everything is defined to a “T”, and there is no room for extraneous creativity. Think of a place that is so steeped in reality that to think outside of the box is considered a sin. Is progress possible in such a world? Can society flourish without magic?
Temple is a reflection of the old world, perhaps to a fault, though its creator would argue that it is the old world in its purest form – a utopia where there was once dystopia. Perhaps it is the combination of this society’s “group-think”, their religious practices, or their creator’s Creed, that causes them to shun the very idea of magic. In the middle ages, witch hunts were a normal part of life. It was not simply women who were hung or burned at the stake, and they were not all either old or young and beautiful. Neither were they given up to the authorities by their enemies; they were accused by their own families, their friends, their neighbors. The cat that follows Marcia all over town? It must be a sign that she’s a witch – think of the barn that burned last night on her sister-in-law’s property! Burn her! And so on, and so forth. The drudges of human behavior have all been blamed on the “other” – the unexplainable that is manipulated to explain the impossible. “Magic” has often been used as a scapegoat.
The Templars don’t believe in magic unless they need a reason to use it for their own purposes. The traitors that go against Shiloh must be bewitched – why else would they do what they did? How else could they believe what they do? These people don’t see magic as anything but a tool. Forget the fact that they “magically” (literally) appeared into a new world, one that had never even existed before. Forget that they all manage to live drastically longer lives than their old-world counterparts thanks to a “magical” natural resource that is only found in a single place. Forget that the world around them responds to their touch, to their emotions, and to their behavior. When they are in mourning, the rain never ceases. When they celebrate the passing of the seasons, even the sun joins in. But forget the fact that children are never born dead, or sick, or strange. It has to be because of the new technological implementations; it couldn’t possibly be because this world has power of its own. The only “magic” that is allowed, is the “magic” that comes from human fingers and hands, from toil and hard work, from patient listening and dutiful studying of old documents, from integration of new ideas and plans, from human innovation.
The honeybees aren’t magical; Shiloh made them so.
But the thing about magic is that it grows even when it’s not wanted. Human thoughts never linger far from that special suspension of disbelief. When it enters the mind, some find it hard to let go of, and others continue to search for it through other avenues, waiting for it to appear, another hit and yet another and still they ache for more. And from that desire comes questioning, and frustration, but also introspection and creation.
Maybe Shiloh and his dutiful flock don’t care to explore the unknowable, and perhaps they choose instead to wield it against those who would let it flourish, but they can never eradicate magic. It exists, no matter what form it is forced to take.
Word Count: 715