"The exercise of true magic does not require any ceremonies or conjurations, or the making of circles and signs; it requires neither benedictions nor maledictions in words, neither verbal blessings or curses."
Nizza, France, 1536[/i]
Nobody saw the star fall from the sky.
Nobody watched it cut a line of emerald fire across the star-studded lining of heaven; vivid green; limned with argent. There was no sound, as it dropped towards the earth, bent upon a path of self-destruction.
The first anybody knew, in that sparsely populated area, that something out of the ordinary had occurred, was a deep, rumbling vibration. It rang through the solid earth, waking people from their slumbers, and rattling the walls of their sparse homes; vibrating their walls, and destroying pottery. So heavy were the tremors, they even shook the buildings in the city of Nizza, some twenty or so kilometers away.
For fully ten minutes, the ground shook. People prayed for their salvation, convinced that the end of the world was upon them. Others accepted their fate, shivering, in their beds. Livestock squealed and squawked their terror, and dogs barked defiantly at the gyrating stars. All were convinced, that the end of days had come suddenly upon them.
But the world did not end.
The tremors slowed, and stopped. The world resumed its usual steadfast flow, as the stars settled back into their accustomed places in the heavens. Those who had prayed for salvation, thanked god for their lives, and gathered up the threads of their lives, grateful to be alive. Slowly, the terrified animals calmed, and slept again, already forgetful of their previous terror. The eastern sky brightened, and dawn came, with the promise of a new day, and people went about their lives.
For weeks, the shaking of the earth was a wonder; the myriad of reasons as to the cause, a topic of discussion among the men in the fields, and the women in the marketplace. Many thought it the work of God and the Host; a result of the eternal battle to keep the Devil imprisoned in the depths of hell.
Representatives of the church seized upon this concept, to instill fear into their congregations, and to preach the wrath of the Lord, from the pulpit. The congregation, God-fearing people all, listened raptly, and prayed for their eternal souls.
Life went on, and the tremor was eventually forgotten; superseded by the harsh realities of day-to-day life, and existing.
Nobody saw the star fall from the sky; yet its effect was profound.