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The World Walkers: A Conversation with Joel

There’s a knock on the bedroom door and I call ‘Come in,’ because I have some idea of who it might be. When I turn in my desk chair I’m unsurprised to find Joel standing there, looking a little unsure of himself, and I beckon him forward.

“Hi,” he says as he takes a couple of steps closer. “I know you’ve been writing some stories about Taithmarin recently and I wanted to explain about the door.”

I nod. “I had a feeling you might turn up soon.”

“Well, the door is the hardest thing to explain to any new arrivals, especially as the way it works is different for each race.” Joel shakes his head, looking almost amused. “For humans it steals away from Earth the magic of the door literally wipes their existence. It’s as though they were never born.”


“I wish I knew.” Joel gives me a look that always makes me think of anyone who has to deal with fae magic – it’s a sort of disbelieving, annoyed, sad expression. “The magic of the door is one thing I doubt we’re ever going to be able to understand because we have no way of pinning it down to examine it. We thought the books the fae had left behind might have given us some idea, but they’ve been useless.”

“Okay…” I never knew the fae had left books behind, but it does make sense. They fled Taithmarin, knowing the world didn’t want them there, and they would have taken a lot of stuff with them on their first journey. “How do you know about the door wiping the existence of the new arrivals?”

Joel sighs. “There have been a couple of people who found a way back to Earth. According to them they found a door and because we don’t know how our door works it could easily have been it, or the world, showing us why we wouldn’t want to return now that it’s given us a place on Taithmarin. If you ask them I’m sure they’d be happy to tell their stories in more detail, but what they found when they returned to Earth was that no one knew them. When they went searching for records of their birth there weren’t any.”

“That’s…” I search for something to say. I knew the magic of Taithmarin was the strongest of any of the worlds, but I had no idea it would be strong enough to do what Joel’s telling me it does. “Was there any sign that the magic didn’t work on some people or that there were other Taithmarians on Earth?”

“The Internet is a wonderful thing. During their time on Earth they searched for Taithmarin, thinking they’d find nothing, but instead they found a group of humans who had once lived on Taithmarin attempting to create a new life. They’d set up a website purely as advertising, so that anyone else who returned could find a place to live, and it was created by someone who hadn’t forgotten the sister who had been taken by Taithmarin. She’s someone else you might want to have a chat with.”

“Some of my readers might find what you’re telling me hard to believe.”

“To begin with I found it hard to believe. When my guide told me that no one on Earth would remember who I was I thought it was just a way for them to stop me from worrying about the people I’d never be able to see again. It made sense for them to want me to focus on building a new life rather than focusing on the one I’d left behind. Reading about what had happened when someone had been able to return home… it seemed at first like it was another way of keeping me focused on Taithmarin rather then Earth. And then I met her.” Joel shakes his head. “Returning had really affected her. She was happy to talk to me about everything she’d seen and what it was like for those who did manage to get home. I just hope that none of my family remember who I was, because I’m much happier knowing that as far as they’re concerned I never existed.”


“At least I know they aren’t out looking for me.”

“True.” I think about how my disappearance might affect my family. Would I prefer it if I’d never existed? How would that even work? There are people all over the world that I’ve had contact with and I can’t work out how even magic would be able to completely remove me from this planet.

“I know,” Joel says, making me jump. “It’s one of those things that I try not to think about too much, because it does seem impossible.”

“How did you know what I was thinking about?”

“You had the same look on your face that every new arrival gets at some point, as they try to work things out in their head.” He smiles. “We don’t know how the magic works and we probably never will. If you want to understand it then maybe you could talk to the fae.”

I shake my head without even thinking about it. “The fae have no idea how they did anything.”


“Joel, the fae have very little understanding of their own magic. They use it because they have it and never really think about what they’re doing.” I sigh. “It’s a pain when I’m trying to work out why certain things happen. My only real explanation for anything strange is that magic evolves. What I need to do is talk to Athare or Taithmarin.”

“Talk to a world?”

“Stranger things have happened.”

Joel looks at me. “I can’t argue with that. I live in a town with magical labradors.”

“You’re lucky.”


“I’d love to meet the Nox Gadael. And the Alati Felis.”

“I’ll let them know. You never know who might knock on your door next.”

Unable to stop myself I smile. “I already have that problem.”

Mirrored from K. A. Jones Writing.

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This is utterly fascinating.

Talking to a world ... it's fun, it's enlightening, but they are very alien minds compared to a finite mortal person.

I spent much of the movie Avatar thinking, "This plot needs more beetles. There should totally be a plague of beetles destroying the human base. Or slime mold." And instead it was all photogenic megafauna.

At least they knock! This was fascinating, by the way. It reminds me a little of how the supposed possible paradoxes in the Who-niverse are explained there.

Edited at 2013-03-13 02:27 pm (UTC)

At least they... Did you say something?

(Scribble, scribble. Pause. Riffle of pages.)

Knock, knock!

Who's there?


What? Who said that?


Is there somebody at the door?

You asked.

What do you mean, I asked?


(Riffle of pages. Scribble, scribble.)

Edited at 2013-03-19 01:38 am (UTC)

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