The Crystal Magician
Not at all far away from here, there lived a very bad boy.
He did not have any friends, for he wasn’t very friendly; and he was
always in trouble for the things he said, he did, and others said he
did, whether he had done these things or not.
Nobody liked him and everyone found constant fault with him; the
people in whose house he lived thought him a burden and told him so in
no uncertain terms.
One night, after having done something bad again and having been
punished again, the boy had enough and although it was dark and
raining, he ran away from home.
He didn’t know where he was going and he kept on running and running,
through the town, past the farms and further and further still until
he could not run any longer and when he finally stopped, he found
himself in a dark and dire wilderness.
The boy was very tired and very scared; it was very dark, and cold
too, and there were winds and noises all around, no roads, no paths
and no lights, just gnarled old trees with tentacles for branches, and
hard thorny shrubs that pricked and pulled at his clothes and at his
So the boy could not go on any longer, and shivering he just sat down
in the darkness, and wrapped his arms about his legs, just to wait for
the dawn so he could see again. That was a hard night, full of fear
and many times the boy thought how he had been wrong again, done a bad
thing again, and how he would really come to no good in the end, as
everyone had always told him he would.
After a long, long time, the sky began to brighten and finally, the
day had come. The boy stood up and looked around the wilderness, and
it was then that he saw something in the distance, and it looked like
a house of some kind. He was so tired and hungry by then that he just
headed towards it without giving much thought as to what he might say
or do when he got there, and for the whole day he kept on walking
through the wilderness without water, food or rest towards the
The building was what seemed to be a high tower that showed all
straight and square above the waving trees.
As the boy got closer, he saw that it was a large house with a tower
built onto it; there were no roads that led to it, yet the tower and
the house lay in a pleasant meadow that was not like the surrounding
wilderness at all, and it seemed clean and bright, as though someone
actually lived there.
The boy snuck closer, very carefully, for he had heard tales of
witches and magicians which were said to live in places such as this,
but he could see no-one, hear no-one, and when he looked through the
windows with the greatest caution and care, he saw a great many good
and expensive furnishing and objects, but not a soul was in sight.
He went around the back of the building and when he looked through a
window there, he saw into a kitchen, and there was a bowl of fruit on
the table, and right next to it lay a loaf of bread on a chopping
This was too much for the boy. He tried the back door, found it to be
unlocked and ran inside, grabbed some fruit and bread and then
scurried under the table to eat it there in big hungry bites and
He was about to come out to get another piece of fruit and perhaps a
drink to wash down this amazing meal when he heard footsteps, and
quickly hid himself back under the table, making himself as small as a
mouse and as still, with his heart pounding for fear that he would be
Feet came into view, wearing soft brown boots and a sweeping cloak’s
hem could be observed from under the table, and a man’s gravelly voice
who was talking to himself, “Quick now, quick,” he was saying as he
walked around the table in the kitchen, “must be away, must be away,
to make the most of the light of day!”
Then the unknown man had collected what he needed and he left the
kitchen by the back door without locking it properly behind him, and
then he was gone.
For a good long time, the boy remained under the table, far too afraid
that the man would come back, but no-one else appeared and the man
never came, and so finally the boy came out from under the table,
looked around and listened to the stillness of the house.
Now many people had said about the boy that he was way too nosey for
his own good, that he just couldn’t sit still, always asking
questions, always playing with forbidden things, and he stood and knew
that it would have been safer to just leave, take some fruit and be on
his way, but he could not. He just had to take a look into the other
rooms, find out more about this strange dwelling, even though he told
himself that someone more sensible would have taken their chance now
and just run.
So the boy started to look around the house.
There were many strange and amazing things to be seen, carvings of
animals he did not recognise, sculptures of strange looking faces and
people, objects that made no sense at all and he had never even seen
in all his life, nor even heard about.
There were so many things, indeed there were far too many to pick them
all up and wonder what they might be, what they might do, and so the
boy just wandered from room to room and here and there until he came
to the big spiral staircase that was going to lead up into the tower
he had seen over the rooftops when he was still lost in the
The boy walked up the first flight where there was a landing and a
He opened the door carefully and looked inside – but he could see only
empty white shelves and white walls and windows. There was nothing
So he closed the door again and went up another flight of stairs until
he came to another door. This door was strange and made of thick metal
with many rivets; it was held closed from the outside with many
fastenings and a big crossbeam.
The boy looked at the door and thought to himself that another boy,
more sensible, more intelligent, better behaved than himself would
know better than to open such a door and look inside, but as he was
not such a boy, he went to the door and set to unfastening all the
snapping locks and then he lifted the heavy crossbar aside.
Carefully, he opened the door and looked inside.
It seemed dark inside the room but something glistened and attracted
his attention, and so he walked right into the room.
Behind him, the door fell shut.
And in the darkness he saw that the room was filled with shapes,
sparkling shapes, frightening shapes but these were not creatures, nor
were they demons; these were crystals, huge, big misshapen ugly
crystals and they were humming, droning, and as the boy stood and
could not move from the spot, they were telling him things, and these
were things he had heard before so many times, about badness, and
evil, and pain, and suffering and how all things were vile and horrid,
and most of all the boy himself.
The droning of the hideous misshapen crystals got louder and louder,
filling the boy’s ears and ringing in his head, and what had happened
the night he had left the house where once he lived occurred again –
he somehow jarred back into awareness and he turned and ran to the
wall where he thought the door might be, but there were more monster
crystals, they were everywhere, their twisted moans and screams
clawing at his very soul, but he did not stop and he found the door,
opened it and escaped out into the stillness of the stairwell.
For a long time he cowered against the wall, his head hurting, his
heart pounding and tears stinging in his eyes, but then he got up and
carefully replaced the big cross beam and fixed all the locks to keep
all that horror inside.
There was the stair well. Another boy would have long gone home, but
this one did not. He took a deep breath and said out aloud, “How much
worse can it get? I will not leave here before I’ve seen it all.”
So he ascended one more flight of stairs until he came to the next
landing. This door was made of glass and it had no lock at all, and
when he touched it with an outstretched fingertip, it immediately flew
wide open and revealed a most amazing sight.
This room too held crystals, giant crystals but they were incredibly
beautiful. Multi-coloured reflections dancing like stars amongst their
straight and perfect shapes, fantastic and of such beauty, it took the
boy’s breath away and he could not help himself, but he had to step
into the room, take a closer look, for how could such a thing be real
As soon as he had entered the room, the glass door swung shut behind
him and he could hear something – these crystals were singing, softly
and harmonic, but yet insistently and their song too was building up
and getting louder.
They sung of such things as the boy had never heard – they sung of
beauty and of harmony, of colours and of joy, of lightness and of
soaring and for the first time in his entire life, the boy did want to
listen for these were stories never told, words never spoken, yet
these were the things he had always longed to hear, these were the
songs he had cried himself to sleep each night for because they were
not there and yet a part of him remembered that they should have been.
And as the crystals sang of joy and grace, of splendour and of
majesty, of sweeping glory and the pure perfection of all things, the
boy found that his own voice joined them in the singing, raw and sore
it was at first, but then with gathering clarity as all the years and
all the days became undone and made to be a nothing, the boy sang with
the crystals and he knew that he had found a gift that was not just
for him alone.
How long he stayed there, I don’t know, but there came a time when he
stopped singing with his voice and instead, his heart was singing.
When that happened, he stood up and thanked the crystals; and without
a moment’s hesitation, he went back down the stairs and unbolted the
door behind which the monster crystals groaned and moaned.
Into the dark he stepped and into the storm of suffering he began to
sing the song that he had learned, and as he sang, a wondrous
transformation began to occur to the misshapen crystals – they tried
and stretched to catch his harmonies in their distorted voices, yet
even so, with each one who even tried, the storms of sounds began to
drift away as though a wind was changing in direction and with
gathering strength and power, all the crystals began to sing the song
the boy had brought with him until the song was a movement, then a
dance, then a force that melted their forms and gave them a different
structure, different existence, which in turn sang clearer and yet
One by one, one small shard at a time, the crystals came to life
afresh and they began to glow and shine, bring colours and aligning to
the perfection and the harmony they found within the song, they turned
as beautiful if not more beautiful still than those above them and a
unity was born as all the tower rang in song, rang out like God’s own
bells across the world.
Far away, the magician who owned the tower of the crystals, heard the
song and knew it was coming from his home, but he did not know what
had happened, and so he hastened back, flying like magicians do across
the lands and seas, and he could not believe just what had happened,
for he had grown the crystals for a very long time indeed, one set
kept in the grim and dark, the other in the bright and love, so that
he might compare them and learn something new about the nature of the
universe, and how to do much stronger magic.
But such magic as that song!
Already the wilderness had started to transform, already new life
began to raise its glory and the oldest, gnarliest trees of all began
to sprout new green leaves, and buds that would become their flowers,
Entirely astonished, the magician entered his tower, and there he
found the boy, and there he learned that only beauty raises beauty,
that only truth can call to more, and that the magic he had sought so
long was found just nowhere else but there.
So grateful was he to the boy, and so delighted to have found out
about his mistakes he was that he at once made a vow to dedicate his
remaining years just to the study of beauty and truth, and he took the
boy for his son and apprentice, to carry on his work for all the years
Together, they brought the blessings of beauty and of truth to many;
and roads were built, and people came from far and wide to find their
healing here and their own voice, and bring the gift of the Crystal
Magician to their lands, their loved ones and their homes.
© SFX 2004