Let me back up for a second, especially since I am presuming you’ve never been pushed through a portal before…oh and yeah, the word, “Pushed.”  Oh, and the bit about my hair.  You see, you probably believe in the myth of consent, and that’s the ribbon that runs around this.

Modern urban fantasy suggests that while you can trick someone into giving up some of their hair, spit, blood, or other bodily fluid of choice (actually heard about a urinomancer up in Alaska.  Dude needs a better hobby.), while the foolishness would let it work, generally all us practitioners spend a few minutes every day cutting off the cords of similarity so the dust mites and DNA we leave behind (kind of a mystical Gattaca scenario) no longer focus on us.

This is baloney.  Pure, 100% Oscar Meyer variety.  Sing it with me.  “M-E-Y-E-R.”

See, I know people who are paranoid, almost to that extent.  But take it from me – that three year old T-shirt you stuffed back in the closet with the sweat from that concert you attended has lost a lot of its potency merely for the same reason finding your true name is kind of a moot point: we grow, we adapt, we can become different people (even if none of our friends will ever believe it.)

I wasn’t going to do any real soul-searching and life-changing in the instants between when she plucked a hair off my head and did her little reality-mash.  Well, besides having tasted some Real Fear in a far too immature vintage.   From what I know, she had to have something real “of me” to do the trick.  That’s at least some comfort, if I was concerned about her making an army of E clones from here to the horizon.  Of course, I’d probably be bald by then, but it doesn’t have to be hair.

And one other reassurance, if you can call it that… she couldn’t make them practitioners.


So no, she didn’t have to have any mythical (or mystical) consent to do her thing.  And she can quite easily push me into a portal for much the same reason.  I might have been able to prevent it if I’d been closing it at the time…but that could have easily gone very awry.

One of the first rules I ever learned about magic, and no, I didn’t number them or make some kind of list of laws or anything – this is purely “rules of thumb”- is to not mess with anyone else’s spells.  Of course, in one sense I do that for a living, but an active spell is usually different than an active portal.  It’s when they coincide that I get into Trouble-with-the-capital-T.


But I digress.  A lot.  You may have noticed.

Um, focus.  Where were we?  Yes, I was going to actually tell you about the portal, because, if you’re very lucky (or terribly common) you won’t have the special opportunity to enter into a portal drawn by a fey practitioner.

Most portals worth the name have a boundary area.  Sometimes it’s a natural feature, or an artifical one like a doorway, or the edges of a pictureframe, or somewhat inbetween the guggle and the zatch.  That boundary area (I call it a frame, but again, nomenclature is not solid between practitioners) exists in the mind of the Opener, so sometimes it’s the dark space behind the closet door in your room, or drafted distinctly under the bed (but not existing under the covers where you’ve run and into which you’ve drawn your toes and all but the tip of your nose.)  I can feel these boundaries.  They sing.  There’s no other word that’s quite right to me, although my first teacher said she saw them like lines of colour (but never colours she could describe.)  It’s part of the idiosyncracy of the practice, I suppose.

The second piece of creating a portal is that the places where worlds meet have some level of similarity.  (With or without the capital S.)  A dark place leads into a dark place, a forest leads into a forest, a beach could focus on sand or sea…

Or so I thought.

The third is that your frame is anchored to something so you know how to remove it.  This is more optional than I’d like.

Having had a madwoman break all my rules of thumb about portals at a go, we’ll continue.