Evelyn sat staring at the book, willing the words to make sense and failing with each passing moment. Her brow was furrowed in frustration and her tired eyes were red with strain. She tapped the table with a pencil in a quick, furious rhythm that caused many of the people sitting around her to cast evil glances in her direction, but she neither noticed nor cared. The book had been a immense puzzle from the moment she opened it and not a single piece had been properly put into place. Her answers were not coming.
Finian pulled out a chair, sat down next to Evelyn, and he tried to make himself as small as he could. He had spent as much time as he could in study hall the last few days, getting miles ahead in his homework for the first time in his life, all in an effort to avoid watching Evelyn bash her head against the proverbial brick wall. He had found the book for her, but he wished more and more that he had just left the cursed thing in that evil shop with each passing day. He wanted to remain unnoticed for as long as possible, not wanting to disturb Evelyn’s concentration, but he knew she knew he was there. He was only really fooling himself, which is what he was best at.
“Gyres, gyres, and more gyres. I don’t understand why it keeps going on about gyres.” Evelyn finally said, her eyes never leaving the book.
“A gyre is a kind of ring or circle.” Finian said, trying to be helpful.
“I know that, Finian. I would not have sat here for this long without having looked the word up. I know what it is, but replacing ‘gyre’ with ‘circle’ doesn’t make this any more comprehensible.”
Finian leaned toward her and tried to read some of what she was digging through. The book was old and frail, leather bound with pages yellowed with age and smelling of oil. Finian swore he could smell old candle wax wafting from the book itself and the words were in a light, feathery script that was difficult to read. He narrowed his eyes at the page Evelyn had been working on since he came in and cocked his head.
“It says that there are seven gyres? Is that right?”
“Yes,” Evelyn responded with a sigh. “Seven main gyres and countless sub-gyres. The gyres all relate to the profound tenement rather than the corporeal tenement, if that makes any sense. When superimposed the two tenements reveal the whole of truth and the arts become possible. One must simply chant the names of the gyres whilst communing with their source, produce a structure of three and the potential shall be released.”
Finian nodded along with his eyes narrowed and lips drawn tight.
“Right, okay.” He looked over at Evelyn with a smile. “What the hell does that mean?”
“If I knew that, I wouldn’t still be staring at this damn book.”
“Well, have you tried chanting the names of the gyres?”
Evelyn glared at Finian. She flipped a few pages and slammed her finger down on the book, never taking her eyes off Finian’s face. He looked down and saw a diagram of the seven gyres. They were in a script he did not recognise. They almost looked like pictograms rather than actual words, a kind of hieroglyphic. Then something about the way they were lined up on the page made a light go on in his head.
“Hey, I think I have seen something like this before…”
He started rifling through his bag, shaking his head all the while.
“I went to the mall the other day and as I was walking around there was this booth in the middle of the walkway that was advertising gym memberships. This girl came up to me and she was trying to hard sell me on joining the gym and talking about all the wild benefits of it, right? So she’s going on and on about the different classes they offer,” Finian said, pulling loose papers and books out of his bag like a magician who is digging around in a trick sack, “and all the while I am thinking to myself, “did she paint those yoga pants on, or is there a special suction machine that pulls all the air out of her pants, because I can see just about every curve the almighty put in her bendy road,” Finian suddenly looks up a Evelyn, “not that I mind, mind you. I’m just saying, as a man with an imagination, it’s okay to leave me some guess work.”
“Finian,” Evelyn said, heaving a tired sigh and rubbing her eyes with the pointer and thumb of one hand.
“Right, get to the point. Anyways, so she gives me this brochure and tells me to join her Yoga class. I’m thinking, “so I can see how downward your dog is? Sounds…”
The glare on Evelyn’s face stops Finian in mid rant. He thrusts a paper into her hands and smiles.
“Like a great way to get in shape, but I didn’t sign up. She did hand me this though.”
Evelyn looked down at the paper and her eyes went wide. The picture showed a glowing figure in lotus pose with seven circles highlighted along the centre of its body. The top of the page said, “Learn to align your subtle and physical bodies, the meditative art of chakra alignment! Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!” A little box on the right of the advertisement gave a definition of chakra as well. “Chakra: Sanskrit for wheel, or circle.”
“Seven circles, seven gyres! This could be it, Fin! Why the hell didn’t I think of this.”
Evelyn leapt up and began grabbing books left and right. She tore around the library like a hurricane and when she came back her breathing was dragon like in its intensity. She ripped open the first book and flew through the pages at high speed. When she came to what she was looking for she stabbed at it with her finger, a smile of triumph spreading across her face.
Finian leaned over and looked down at a picture entitled, “The Seven Chakra’s of the Subtle Body” with a man sitting, legs crossed, with seven symbols drawn down the centre of his body. The symbols appeared to match the symbols from the book they had stolen from Raith’s shop and Finian had the sinking feeling he always had right before they moved one step closer to imminent danger.
“Well, there are your gyres.”
“There are my damn gyres is right,” Evelyn said, slamming her hand down on the book. “Now, let’s do some magic.”
The Othersiders is a bi-weekly ongoing series that will be published on Fiction Friday. Please look forward to next edition to be released on February 26th