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A week passed. Karly had taken her totem animals to every meeting and they really seemed to be working. People were focusing on her – staring, even – and when she picked up the bear and rabbit, the focus on her intensified. Was it even fair to use such strong spiritual techniques to manifest power? Who cared? She was slaying. They couldn’t take their eyes off her.
Her alarm pinged. Time for her second session with Mahri. She called Mimi and notified her she was not to be disturbed.
Derek Miller, company lawyer and veteran board member, rarely talked to anyone below managerial pay grade, but after leaving one particularly long meeting, he wafted distractedly toward Mimi’s desk.
“Can I help?” beamed Mimi.
Derek glanced across at Karly’s office and stroked his chin.
“Hi. Yes. Don’t suppose you know why…uh, why Karly’s started bringing cuddly toys to meetings? I haven’t really found a way to ask.”
Mimi smiled innocently. “No idea. They’re very cute, though. I might get one for my niece.”
“Is it…” Derek frowned. “Is it…a branding thing, do you think? I don’t really understand marketing and social media and all that. Is it something to do with that?”
Mimi shrugged and continued filing.
“I couldn’t help overhearing,” said Fran softly, stepping across from her non-desk. “But Karly did mention…I shouldn’t really say. She told me in confidence. It might be…I just want to make sure she’s supported. That people understand.”
Derek gestured to the empty kitchen and they took a seat.
“If there’s any…issue,” said Derek, switching immediately into employment law mode, “Leaper fully supports any reasonable adjustments.”
“Oh, it’s not exactly that,” said Fran, pausing to consider her wording. “It’s just that…well, it’s a full-on role, and it’s Karly’s first real managerial position…she mentioned that she feels comforted when she has these…uh, objects? Companions?”
Derek’s eyebrows inched upward.
“Look, I don’t really know,” said Fran. “But it is a lot for someone so young to take on. I don’t blame her for needing some…calming energy….something comforting.”
“A teddy bear and a stuffed bunny?”
“She’s an out-of-the-box thinker – an innovator,” said Fran, with the air of someone who’s not sure either, but is trying to be generous. “Plenty of entrepreneurs have…mascots. Perhaps these are stabilising for her. Maybe that safe space is where inspiration strikes. I’m filling in the blanks here. I could be completely wrong.”
Derek stood up. “Well, maybe that’s right. I’m probably out of touch here. Still, not appropriate for external client meetings, I’d say. It’s probably on trend on ClickClack or something like that. Self-care and all that.”
“I’m sure it’ll pass as she settles in,” said Fran.
Onscreen, Mahri Powers sat in a wicker chair trimmed with a string of glowing beads. She wore a white silk tunic and a cluster of necklaces.
“This really is excellent work,” she said. “Only Week 2 and already you’re fully committing to the programme. I can sense your success building.”
Karly glowed with pride.
“I really felt the strength and the speed of my totem animals,” she said. “It seemed to flow through me as I was giving my presentation. The other people in the meeting were so into my vibe.”
“Excellent!” said Mahri warmly. “Well, I was going to suggest building up slowly with another week of totem animals and affirmations but you’re a remarkably adept student. Then again, the next step might feel too challenging…it’s generally better not to rush.”
“I’m ready,” breathed Karly. “I feel really ready to reach out to the universe.”
“Well then,” said Mahri. “Let’s begin with our focus chant. If you remember, this is the chant you can repeat if you ever feel overwhelmed. It draws blue energy back into your core and pushes out the stale brown energy.”
“Ba Ba Ba Da Da Da Ga Ga Ga…” chanted the two women, over and over for about a minute. They breathed, relaxed and opened their eyes.
“OK,” said Mahri. “So this week we’re building on that totem work. As we’ve seen, colour is very important. It can attract failure or success. It can drain or impart vitality.”
Karly nodded sagely.
“I can see from here that your office is quite drab,” said Mahri. “Those magnolia walls are an absolutely death trap for the life force.”
She held her head for a moment, dizzied by the vampiric paintwork. Karly looked around at her office space, concerned.
“I’m sorry. That was almost painful,” smiled Mahri, valiantly continuing. “Now, the colour white is all colours in one. And yet without other colours it is starved. Its energy is locked up. So we need to mix as many colours as possible, one by one, with white, in order to imbue our spaces for success.”
She produced tube paints, a palette and a piece of paper.
Mahri squeezed some red paint onto the palette.
“Angry,” she said. “Blood. War. Pain.”
Mahri opened the white paint and squeezed some into the red.
“Now, this is why I used softened versions of your power colours for your totems. See what happened when the violence of the red is used to unlock the omnipotency of the white.”
Karly stared, engrossed, as the two colours mixed.
“Much better,” said Mahri, as the soft pink was formed. “Womblike, warmth, softness, life. Understand?”
Mahri held up the blue tube.
“Drowning, freezing, numbness.”
She held up the green.
“Weeds, mould, envy.”
Finally, she picked up the yellow.
“Acid, sulphur, waste.”
She held up the white.
“Colour should not be feared. You must cover your space in colour. KILL that life-sapping non-colour around you! But tame the rainbow of power. Temper it with the all-colour key, white.
“Next week,” she continued, “I do not wish to see these bland walls. I wish to see a commitment to the mastery of colour energy.”
“I won’t disappoint you,” said Karly dramatically.
The decorators were called in the next day. Mimi took delivery of 20 pots of paint, 10 in vivid colours and 10 in white. A carpet was brought in, heavily packaged, and several other bundles. Mimi roped in Pete to help her shunt the lot to Karly’s office.
“What the hell is Fran setting up here?” asked Pete.
“Not a clue,” said Mimi, “but I’m absolutely here for it. This little storyline is the one thing stopping me quitting right now.”
“I’m going home,” announced Karly, striding out of her office an hour later, clutching her teddy and bunny. “I can’t be in that life-sapping space. It’s toxic, basically. The tradesmen have their instructions. I’ll be back in tomorrow.”
Across the office, the co-conspirators shared a look.
“It’s perfect!” beamed Karly on Thursday morning, looking around her new space. “Ooh, I can just feel the inspiration bubbling up in me!”
Mimi, who had brought several parcels into the office, fought back a giggle.
The walls were each painted a different shade of babyish pastel. Soft pink, nursery blue, minty green, primrose yellow. Even the computer was lavender purple. The desk was pink, the carpet covered in perky pastel stars and Karly’s chair was a spinning pink throne.
“It’s…bold!” she managed.
Karly tore into the parcels she had received, stamped with Mahri Powers’ logo. A note was folded into the top of the first box.
“A channelling tool for a special client,” she read. “Hang this centrally to amplify your aura.”
“Wowwwwww,” she sighed, pulling out a pink cross with strings coming off it. At the base of each string was a tangle of glittery shapes, including clouds, stars and moons.
“Isn’t that…?” Mimi began, remembering buying a very similar item for her friend’s newborn.
“What?” snapped Karly.
“Never mind,” said Mimi. “Must get on.” She shook her head as if waking from a dream.
“WOW,” she said. “Something about this room is making me feel super-motivated!”
She managed to get out of the door before snort-laughing until her eyes were streaming.
“Damnit, Fran,” said Mimi to herself. “You are an evil genius.”