The Orb of Power

Ask any wizard about The Orb of Power and they’ll probably respond with, “Which one?” But, if you just don’t say anything for a few seconds while giving them a sly look, eventually they’ll go, “Oh THE Orb of Power… yeah that thing. I don’t have time to get into it right now.”

You see, there are like a bazillion orbs of power all over the freakin’ place. Little red ones for roasting marshmallows without a campfire, basketball-sized blue ones for when your air conditioner breaks, big green ones for trapping swamp monsters, and even orange ones that you color on with a sharpie when you don’t have time to carve a pumpkin for Halloween.

Basically, an orb of power is just a magic ball with a single spell attached to it. They come with wizard batteries (which are just sticks coated with magic dust) or some of the fancier ones are rechargeable if you throw them into the mouth of a volcano.

But THE Orb of Power, now that’s a whole different thing. It was created when a star fell in love with a piece of dust, which I know sounds ludicrous, but is the type of thing that happens in space all the time. The star tried and tried and tried to squeeze itself down so that it could have meaningful conversations with the dust mote, and after a few billion years, it finally got itself down to the size of a softball, which it thought would be suitable. Of course, by that point the dust particle had been swept off its figurative feet by an exciting and sexy passing comet and ended up in a whole different quadrant of the galaxy, which is pretty much par for the course when it comes to romance.

The star (now orb) spent a few million years tooling around the universe trying to cool off. Finally, it got tired and landed on earth, which at the time was a dry desert world full of strange gases. After a while, it got bored and started tinkering around with carbon and hydrogen and ended up creating life, which it’s been binge-watching ever since. Wizards, who are one of the few beings who know about the orb, live in fear of the time they call “The Great Changing of the Channel” which honestly could happen at any minute.

But that’s not why they don’t like to talk about it. The reason wizards are reluctant to discuss The Orb of Power is that they don’t really understand it, and if there’s one thing a wizard hates (other than priests) it’s admitting there’s something they don’t understand.

The Orb shows up randomly wherever it wants, whenever it wants. It does stuff like changing the color of things or moving places and people around. For instance, coffee used to be bright orange. It was for centuries, but the orb changed it in the 1900’s for some reason. Now it’s black, and in fact, has always been black because most of The Orb’s changes work both backwards and forwards in time.

Like, remember the 1985 Chicago Bears? How they had that amazing season with players like Walter Payton and William “The Refrigerator” Perry? Remember how they recorded “The Super Bowl Shuffle” right before winning the Super Bowl against the Patriots and it became a Top 40 hit and got played all over the world? Yeah, that never happened. Or at least it hadn’t until 2017. That’s when The Orb suddenly decided it would be funny or something. In fact, The Orb created head coach Mike Ditka from scratch. Originally, he had a full beard instead of a mustache, but the orb changed that last week for some reason.

The Orb makes all kinds of changes all the time. Like, until a few months ago humans were lizard people instead of mammals and Christians would get in fights with scientists and say stuff like, “If we evolved from iguanas, how come there are still iguanas?!” Sometimes, it will change things every few minutes, other times things will be the same for eight hundred years when suddenly POOF! Curling is a sport and everyone loves watching it during the Olympics. There are countless examples. Butterflies were poisonous until the mid-70’s. People used to be able to talk telepathically for two weeks after they died. Limes were simply known as “green lemons” until The Orb decided they needed their own name. The list goes on and on. Every time The Orb makes a change, it’s like things have always been that way and everyone goes about their business like nothing happened because, from their point of view, nothing has.

But wizards know and it drives them crazy. Imagine the frustration of working all day on a spell to make it so birds can talk, and when you’re almost finished, suddenly parrots exist, and oh yeah, by the way, they’re rainbow-colored and yours were just plain brown. It’s enough to drive anyone insane which is why wizards don’t tell mortals about it. They know it would crack their tiny brains in half.

Honestly, I probably shouldn’t even publish this story, but fuck it. For all we know, The Orb will change things in an hour, and we’ll all be flying sacs of goo or something. If not, sorry I guess?


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