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A famous example, even among norms, is the odd experience of the French writer Émile Deschamps. In 1805, he was treated to some plum pudding by a stranger, Monsieur de Fortgibu, at a Paris restaurant. Ten years later, he saw plum pudding on the menu of another establishment and tried to order some, only to have the waiter tell him that the last dish had just been served, to a customer who turned out to be de Fortgibu. Much later, in 1832, Deschamps was once again offered plum pudding at a restaurant. He laughingly told his friends that only de Fortgibu was missing to make the cycle complete—and a moment later de Fortgibu showed up.

Of course, what the history books don’t say is that de Fortigbu was a fluke. His magic associated certain things with particular people, places or events. Every time he saw one of his cousins, for instance, she was wearing blue; the scent of oranges accompanied every visit to his favorite bookseller; and if he got within a few yards of Deschamps, pudding invariably appeared.

Most humans claimed that events like these were mere coincidence. Magical healers, on the other hand, speculated that they were somehow linked to memory. Images of people or places are stored in everyone’s brain in connection with some type of sensory data. A flower a man’s grandmother liked, for example, might make him think of her whenever he saw one. Being a mage, de Fortgibu had simply carried that to a new level: his malfunctioning magic insured that when one cue appeared, the other also did.

But not all flukes had magic that manifested itself in the slightly batty but mostly nonthreatening way of de Fortgibu’s. One young man caused massive undertows whenever he got within five miles of the shore and had to be banned from any access to the beach. Another caused seismic activity and was restricted from going anywhere near an active fault line. That particular group of flukes was memorable enough to deserve their own name: jinx.

A jinx was basically a walking Murphy’s Law, with “accidents” caused by out-of-control power cropping up on a regular basis. And unlike the random stuff that most flukes caused, a jinx’s actions were invariably harmful. There was a time, a few hundred years back, when they’d been killed on sight. I really, really hoped that wasn’t what I was dealing with here. Not that Jesse was likely to admit it, if it was.[1]

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This section may have spoilers. Think of the book title as a "Spoiler Warning" if you haven’t read it yet.

3. Embrace the NightEdit

Book References Edit

  1. Embrace the Night, ch. 6, p. 75

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