Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: magic

The Death of a Half Witch

He was part witch, and quite the charlatan. These days he performed card tricks with only a spark of magic in them, on streetcorners, for loose change and people’s waning attention. He was becoming less impressive, sleeping in an abandoned observatory, wearing the same red-and-black tux every day after having sold the others. Sometimes his bones would creak a sad melody, and he had to pause in the middle of a trick to just breathe.

He was part witch, so he knew how to sleep with one eye open, pressed against the disused telescope. One day he stopped waking up.


A giant boulder on its edge, barely touching the sand. A rickety pole made of smaller stones like vertebrae, with a behemoth skull on top. Cacti wearing hats of lightning-shaped fulgurite, gently spinning. These wastelands are filled with improbably balancing or hovering things. I have been studying a pendulum made from broken hourglasses, and the way it swings. It is unbothered by the wind, but I know that if I touch it, like with all the other sculptures, it will fall down. So I draw lines in the sand under its course, and I make observations. I need to know.

Introduction to Top Hat Physics

But they must to come from somewhere.


Because things don’t just appear. They do not originate from your hat; they are coming from somewhere else.

I don’t follow.

You can’t actually create anything. At best you can… assemble.

That’s it, then. The rabbits are assembled by the hat.

But you can’t assemble rabbits.

You just said–

I know what I said. Shut up, I’m thinking.

Maybe it’s like, a loan. I’m borrowing the rabbits from their future offspring.

That doesn’t make sense.

Don’t overthink it, then. Just be glad you were shipwrecked with a real magician and stop complaining.

Little Egg

Little Myfanwy was born and her soul was wrapped around an owl’s egg. The chick didn’t make it. The surface was crisp and white, cracked from the subtle force of magic. This was how ornithologist Dr. Gibbard found it.

He punctured it thrice with a needle used for taking eggs’ temperatures. He sealed the egg in a small safe container. Whenever he came to a new town, he pretended to be on the lookout for an avian disease called devilprong which manifested in humans as three wounds in a line like Orion’s belt.

If he found her he owned her.


You are connected by magic to a certain object; everyone is. Something round. Most of the time it’s a rock at the bottom of the sea, sometimes it’s a jewel or a doorknob. In rare cases it’s a fossilized egg or the shell of a snail. Nobody can know, without experiment, which object is theirs. With age you get worn down from the waves rocking you back and forth. Sometimes objects just burst from pressure, and people have heart attacks. Sometimes I step on snails and feel someone die. It feels like walking into a freezer, or through a ghost.