Moments in Magical Modernity: I


She barreled into the café, nearly knocking over a gnomish couple on their way out. “Sorry! So sorry!” she bawled as she made her way up to the counter.

“Softly and gently, Sophie, lamb,” said the fairy barista behind it, her words punctuated with a flutter of her sun-sparkly wings, her apron dusted with a sparkle of a different kind: glamourized sugar.

“I’m late and I…my presentation!” panted the aforementioned distraught Sophie.

“Gotcha covered, lovely,” Pearla replied before producing a drink just ready-made with a flourish. “White chocolate caramel latte, skim milk, easy on the foam, with a shot of charisma for that extra boost of confidence and pizzazz. Just what the alchemist ordered!”

“Pearla, you’re my treasure!” Grasping the cup in both hands as if for dear life, Sophie took a sip, careful not to tingle her tongue too much as she drank gratefully.

Pearla, on the other hand, just smiles softly. “I know, darling. Now go kick ass,” she encourages, fluttering herself up to lean over the counter to drop a kiss on her best friend’s forehead for good luck before sending the now-charisma-armed Sophie off into the fray.

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On Wish-Making


People think that wish-making is an easy to-do. That you just say “I wish” and bing! there it is! Well, allow me to tell you: that’s absolute stupidity. Wish-making is a serious business and no one, and I mean no one, takes it seriously!

People just blurt out stuff without thinking about it. They think “I wish” makes us mind-readers. Serves them right when bad things happen.

“I wish to be rich.”

That’s it? Okay, you’ve just given me carte blanche to turn you into someone named Richard Wellington Freybrush the Third, but everyone calls him Rich.

“I wish to be wealthy.”

Better. But I could just make you the “wealthiest” internet celebrity (whatever the seven hells that is) ever, with not a real penny to your name. For gods’ sake, be specific!

“I wish to have excessive, extravagant wealth in spendable coin for the remainder of my life.”

Now that’s what I’m talking about. Specifics! You want results, you do the legwork and give specifics.

Take that Rampion/Rapunzel chick. You think she was born with that mane? Nope. I popped into the see the Black Forest Witch about a reference and there the little chit was. She saw my bottle fastened to my belt and, the next thing I knew, she was blurting out, “I wish I could have long hair forever!” All the witch could do was facepalm. If a desk had been there at the time, I swear her forehead would have made a respectable thump upon it.

Well, once the words are said, you can’t take them back, can you? No, you can’t, in case you were wondering. You can check it if you don’t believe me. It’s in the Sigils and Smoke Contract. Fine print.

So…what else could I do? I gave her long hair forever. No matter how she cut it, it was always down to her hips again next morning and would keep growing unless she cut it. Serves the stupid girl right. You think she would have learned something being raised by the Black Forest Witch and all.

Wish-making is no la-di-da business! It takes us centuries to train to become wish-granters and we take our jobs very seriously. So when you screw around with wish-making and make, quite frankly, stupid wishes, it insults us. So what do we do? We will give you stupid results. Not our fault. It’s what you asked for.

Everyone thinks they can be like Aladdin and trick wish-granters. Stupid Disney and their stupid movie. We aren’t idiots, you know? We’ve trained for this; we know the tricks, we know the loopholes. If we grant you something for free, it’s because we decided to, not because you’re so all-fire clever. Believe me, you’re not. Even Peter Pan isn’t that clever; he thinks he is but no, trust me. Tinkerbell has had him well in hand for the past 200 years and he has no idea just what he gave up with “I wish to be a little boy forever and have fun”. Please! Never grow up? Massive loss on his end and little skin off her pert little nose since Never Land itself maintains the Magic of such a massive and long-term granting rather than it coming from her personal stores. That’s why she was Wish-Granter of the Month for nigh on three-quarters of a century.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few good wish-makers in my time. There was this lovely little immortal woman, petite little sword-wielding thing. The most striking green eyes. Now that woman! That woman was a customer of the highest caliber. You’ve never seen such detail in wish-making as she gave. Written out, party-of-the-first-and-second-parts, and all that lovely legalese. Smoke and air, I love working with her! But I digress.

In short: please, if you find yourself with a consultation from a wish-granter, do us a favor, would you? Show a little respect and be specific. Know what you want and speak it, clear and detailed. That way, we get to do our job and you get exactly what you want. Everyone is happy. For a while at least, in most cases (chances are three to one). After all, it is Magic.

“A Teacher’s Revenge”


The noise was incredible. Twenty-three hyped up eighth graders and one poor teacher with a migraine. Not good odds. Her hands felt tingly and so did her head. Light, like she was going to pass out, but too full to do that.

The kids just wouldn’t shut up. “Will you just be QUIET?” she screamed mentally.

And the noise stopped.

It wasn’t just complete silence. It was a profound silence.

Blinking, Melissa looked around at her class. Each and every one was totally silent, mouths closed, eyes open wide. Some with surprise, others with fear. She could see some of them trying to open their mouths and failing and the eyes growing wider still.

They couldn’t speak, none at all.

Could it be true?

Out the corner of her eye, Melissa saw a girl in the back jump up as if to bolt from the room.

Petrificus! Her mind leapt out before she even knew to think.

And the girl froze in mid-step!

So it was true! Finally! It was about time that Powers That Be lent teachers a hand.

Quietly raising a finger to do so, Melissa wordlessly mobilicorpus’ed the girl back into her seat. And there she stayed…after Melissa petrificus’ed the entire class to their seats.

Then, picking up the book, she opened to chapter I and began to read.

“When Jem was thirteen, he broke his arm badly at the elbow….”

The twelve pages of the first chapter flew by and Melissa even saw some students relaxing and beginning to actually listen to the story as she read and stopped in a few places to explain. She reminded them of their assignments and projects and when the bell rang for the end of class, she silently released the spells that held them and let them scamper away fearfully, not daring to open their mouths until they were out the door and casting glances back at her as they went. They were probably afraid that she’d turned them into something next. She was sure they were all vowing to never return to that classroom and they would tell everyone they knew. That was fine.

Who would believe your teacher was a REAL witch anyway?