He had no idea what a Longhouse was exactly, but was surprised to see the entrance set up more like a museum than a meeting place. A wooden figure stood front and center so you couldn’t walk past without noticing him. An explanatory plaque called it a Welcome Figure and a information sign next to it talked about The First People of Seattle.

Chapter 10: The Ministry of Magic

They walked past all this, however, not giving Eric a chance to do more than glance at the various displays and artwork. When Terry stopped at a set of double doors, he went in first this time, for which Eric felt grateful, though irritated. When he followed many heads turned his way, the hum of conversation ceased, and he was hit with a plethora of colors: pink, orange, blue, bright green, dark green, turquoise, browns and purples and yellows, and they wrapped around him and stomped ruthlessly through his mind. They took away all thought, all balance, all breath. Eric staggered.

“Whoa, there.” A hand on his arm. A voice. Terry’s. “It’s a little overwhelming the first time, isn’t it? All that power, all that—” He was going to say magic, Eric knew he was, but no. “Kinetic energy trapped inside one small room. Well,” Terry looked up at high, slanted ceiling of the cedar post and beam structure. “One biggish room, I guess. It happens to all of us the first time. Although, I supposed it’s worse for you, right, with all the colors and shit.”

From my critique group:”I’m becoming more and more interested in these secret societies the longer Eric becomes immersed in them.” ~ Eric Miner

The invasive blast of attention had faded somewhat. There were perhaps forty people in the room. Some were dressed like they intended to dine at a fancy French restaurant, others wore casual clothes. More than one man had on overalls and an older woman was wearing a neon pink sweatsuit.

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