On the night that I decided to test my skills of long-term possession, it was crisp and rather cold. I journeyed into the forest by foot, careful that I was not observed. I had found what I thought was an ingenious hiding place for my body. It was in a dense part of the woods. I shivered with cold and excitement. I dared not wear voluminous robes, for the spot where I would hide was small. I breathed in the moist night air and paused to listen to the sounds of the night. I heard insects, rodents, and the hooting of a large owl. The leaves rustled both on the ground and in the trees as the wind blew the dry ones. It was soon to be winter.
The large tree I stood before was dark now. The big hole in its trunk had looked quite suitable in the daytime, but now it was very dark and I knew not what lurked within. Perhaps I had chosen the den of a fox. I felt uneasy, for my body would remain vulnerable while my spirit ranged like that of an owl. Again, I remind you that this was one of the problems I faced. I screwed up my courage and muttered the curses I had learned while living among the Persian magi. They detested insects, frogs, lizards, snakes, mice, rats, and their ilk. They concocted spells to destroy these creatures they called xrafstars. I personally did not wish to share space with a poisonous spider or even a cockroach. Soon I was to discover that these were the least of my problems.
I squeezed into the space and felt the chill increase. Being a mage, I blocked my discomfort and began to work my magic. Soon I felt my spirit soaring over the plain of Verethragna and toward the royal palace. I found King Cyrus the Great, and as he yawned, covering his mouth with a bejeweled hand, I entered his mouth and made my way into his mind. He seemed startled at first, but he didn’t see me. This was very good news. I laughed and rubbed my hands together until in a paroxysm of ecstasy, I clapped them together mightily.
I had done it. Now it was a matter of becoming comfortable and learning how to control him. I observed carefully. He was seated in a less magnificent throne in his private quarters. The great, soft pillows were made of brocaded silk in bright colors. Pure gold threads woven into the designs made the upholstery glint in the lights of the many braziers in the large room. The king’s sword hung on a gold knob at the side of the throne, which was large enough to accommodate three people. He took a languid sip of the exquisite wine in his goblet as a woman entered. The servant announced her formally as queen Faranak, youngest queen among the many Cyrus had married. I wrung my hands in anxiety. I had not factored this in. Surely I had to somehow control what might occur. Yes, I must!