“Hey, Jenny can I tell you a secret?” Ellie asked.
Some might say that this was the first question that Ellie has ever truly asked Jenny. Not that they hadn’t conversed before. They knew each other’s favorite color. Both of them knew they liked pizza but Ellie preferred it without pepperoni. They knew each other were pretty but neither cared who was the prettiest. They were both smart. Ellie’s grades were better but it didn’t matter. None of these conversations mattered. They were conversations you could have with anyone. Conversations are often forgotten the next day if not right after they are told. A secret is a real conversation. It’s not because the conversation gets any deeper or more sophisticated. It’s because it’s a conversation that Ellie and Jenny have decided is significant.
“Sure Ellie what is it?” Jenny replied.
“Rachel eats raw eggs in the mornings. She could get salmonella.” Ellie whispered.
This secret could have been as inconsequential as Ellie stating her favorite color. Rather It’s how it’s said that brings about the enchantment. Right after the secret was told Jenny glanced over her shoulder to get a look at Rachel. An expression of disgust formed on Jenny’s face. Ellie had cast her first spell. Rachel was now cursed, and Ellie had organized her first exclusive friendship with Jenny. The scary thing isn’t so much that a spell was cast. These happen all the time. It was that Ellie didn’t know magic, and she didn’t know what she was doing. Luckily it was just one spell that was said.
It was curious as to why Ellie was casting spells. It only comes to light if you knew what she did the day before. It was Sunday before Ellie had told her secret to Jenny and she had decided to get on to her brother’s old computer. She had enjoyed playing games on it like snake and pinball. They were just more fun on the old computer for some reason. She didn’t know why she liked playing on the old computer so much. The graphics were awful but she didn’t mind. Maybe it was that when she was on the old computer she could go back to simpler times. She chose to not think about it much, and she just enjoyed playing on the old computer when she got bored. Today, however, she was too bored to even play games. She decided on clicking through the files on the computer. She found some old pictures of her family growing up. Those were the days when they all got along. She missed those days. It was back when she could talk to her older brother for hours. He never seemed to get bored of her ramblings. He always used to play whatever games she wanted to play too, even if it was playing house with her dolls he was always willing. Her other siblings always seem to get annoyed with her when she talked or wanted to play. It’s why she usually just played on the computer. Her older brother was different and had an enigmatic way of life. He never seemed to care about how he was supposed to behave or what others thought of him. She wondered if the reason that he would play dolls with her was the same reason that mom and dad don’t get along well with him anymore. She took one long look at her brother’s face and his long hair that curled at the ends before she just couldn’t handle her emotions anymore. She clicked away from the photo by clicking another folder. She was about to turn off the computer when hundreds of files started to load from the folder. She glanced at the folder name and saw that it was labeled contemporary magic. She had never noticed this folder before. She clicked on the first file and began to read. She figured it would be one of the strange stories her brother liked to write. She thought it would be something silly at first but as she started to read she realized it was worse. It was more like a journal entry.
3/29/1997 3:42 am
I can’t sleep today. My thoughts just keep going tonight. There are just so many things about school that I’m worried about right now. I need to do well on my next math test. It’s nice to finally get a break from school though. Spring break could not have come at a better time. I don’t know how much longer I can handle the social aspects of school. I am so tired of trying to just stay under the radar, and say everything just right so no one thinks I’m weird. A kid in my math class grabbed my nipple and twisted it today. I used to think it would be cool to be in a math class with the older kids. Now I know better. Later on a girl came up to me today when I was at my locker. I think she is in my English class. She seems like the nerd type that I usually try to avoid. She acted kind of weird and her glasses were too big for her eyes. The way she talked was a little awkward and hesitant. She asked me if I wanted to play magic with her. I figured she was talking about the game Magic The Gathering. I had tried the club out last year for a while and wound up in the yearbook playing it, which didn’t bode well for my reputation at school. I would have kept playing but I didn’t like how it seemed like a kind of play-to-win game. I prefer something more like chess. Anyways, she told me it wasn’t the card game but it was her own game that she had made. I was never into the whole idea of dungeons and dragons, but for whatever reason, I said yes. She said to meet her outside after school. It was strange because it was a really short game. When we met she said, “Okay let’s play. I want to tell you a secret.” I played along and said, “Okay.” She then told me something about Randy, a kid that was also in my English class. She said that he eats raw eggs in the mornings and that he could get salmonella or something. It was so weird, definitely not like any dungeons and dragons game I knew of. Then she said that the game was over and that maybe we could play again sometime. Then she left. It was so weird. Nerds.
Ellie decided to stop reading after the first entry. It was too boring. She had officially decided that her older brother was simply a nerd too afraid to admit it and that his life was the most average thing ever. She walked back upstairs and started talking to her mom.
“Do you know what’s for dinner mom?” she asked.
“No I don’t darling what were you planning on making us today?” her mom replied.
She hated when her mom was in a mood. Ellie didn’t want to make dinner tonight. Luckily she knew her mom hated Mac N Cheese and she decided to risk it.
“Oh, well I was thinking of making Mac N Cheese tonight. What do you say, mom?” Ellie replied.
Ellie’s mom gave her a forced smile before responding.
“Actually, dear you should work on homework, I’ll cook us some Sheppard’s pie.” Ellie’s mom said.
Ellie made a mental note to never ask what was for dinner again. Somehow mom had managed to pick out her least favorite dinner and tell her to do homework. All while sounding like the most wonderful mom in the world. By the rate things were going she decided not to talk to mom and walked off to do her homework. She missed her brother. He wouldn’t have cared if she had homework and would have been down to talk. Or he would have helped her do it and he always made it so fun and easy. When she was by herself it was nothing short of torture. Soon enough after forcing down Sheppard’s pie and watching T.V. with the family the young Ellie had made it to bed and finished another day.
Archive of email #22:
I started writing down some thoughts. I was wondering if you would be willing to check them out. I am writing about the games we used to play. I figured it was okay considering they are all outdated magic. It wouldn’t matter too much to write about it right? Let me know when you get a chance if it is any good. I hope things are going well for you, and I can’t wait for you to get back. I have some new ideas about the new magic we have started to develop.
It is a wonder what happened to the great spellbooks of the past. There used to be magicians so powerful they could kill with their conjurings. Constant is the evolution of magic. Especially fast in its course of change is superstition; one of the most powerful yet elusive forms of magic. Today science is the most popular form of magic and it has proved fairly powerful and resilient. A kill spell of just words seems silly now relative to the power of a gun. Scientific magic is at the source of that. Science is a relatively easy form of magic too, and is a type of magic everyone can and should master. For a true master of the magic arts though, science is not enough. Many spells today are also cast through the arts of reason and logic. It was through these arts that many of the great wizards and witches rose to power in the ancient days. Science, logic, and reason are powerful and should be mastered but many lose sight of other deeper magic in the process. These ancient magics have lived on through the very genes of the human species. They have lived in secret, and some would say their secrecy allows for incredibly powerful conjurings when combined with the more contemporary magics. Other forms of magic have yet to be discovered. Luck is the ever-present reminder that some forms remain unknown. Many try to discover these futuristic types of magic but they try to do so while ignoring the ancient magic. Progress is impossible because people are trying to build with only a few of the tools. Science, logic, and reason are futile in the realm of emotion and subjective experience. Only someone that masters the ancient arts could ever hope to form new magic.