Liza Keeney

Mage School

I stand here in a house. A house I don't recall ever being here before nor do I even remember walking in the front door. I was in the middle of typing out my science fair report. To my right is a room with shelves filled with books. In one corner is a blazing fireplace and a pair of red leather winged back chairs and ottomans. In one chair is a white haired woman wearing a chenille bathrobe, reading glasses on her wrinkled nose and a glass of wine on the table beside her. She sits there reading Dickens Great Expectations. She does not look up and says nothing as if I am not there. I almost feel like a ghost. I turn and exit the room.

Across the hall I step through the door to see a classroom with old two seated desks. At each desk is a pair of cast iron pots with feet and a big loop handle, inkwells, quill pens, parchment paper and various bottles with content labels on them. The bottles included minced lizard liver, sodium bicarbonate, desert cactus in vinegar and others. What could those be used for? Those are weird stuff for a science lab except for the sodium bicarbonate. There are other bottles with weird letters on the labels that I can't decipher. Perhaps the old woman knows what they are used for and maybe she'll tell me, if she ever notices me.

At then end of the hallway is a third room that seems to be a kitchen with more labelled bottles, a pie cabinet and an icebox like in my grandmother's kitchen. There also is an odd looking stove like maybe it burns wood underneath it and a large oak table with chairs enough for a dozen. In the corner is a spiral staircase made of wrought iron going up.
Up the stairs I find three doors leading to more rooms and the stairs continue on up another level. The first room is rather small and contains a single bed. The last room at the end of the hallway is brightly light, has several windows, chairs and a chessboard. The other room has many beds in it.

I've explored this entire house and have yet to find anyone except for the old woman in the library who didn?t even notice that I was even there or a door to the outside. Did she bring me here and how do I get home? I look towards the door and see a silver shimmering light that expands to surround me. Then the light separates into several entities and finally as the light combine, it begins to take human form. A tall form begins to resemble the old woman and the others begin to look like kids my age.

"Good evening young lady. Welcome to your new home. I trust you have many questions."

"You bet I do. Why did you bring me here and who are you? My parents are going to be so mad if I don't get back soon."

"So full of questions. I hope your questing mind will help you with your studies." She says.

"My studies? You've pulled me out of my home and I've got a science fair report to finish by tomorrow on top of reading another forty pages for English class!" I try not to yell but holding it in is difficult.

"I'm sorry but those will have to wait. Your mother she sent you here for your magical training. These are your classmates; Troy, Xander, Shane, Willow, Isabelle, Harry, Talia, Rowan, Maura, Enid, Anne, Cleo and Robin. I am Professor Emily Barrett , I teach 1st year broomstick lessons and Potions as well as being the administrator here. The other instructors not present are Mr. Harper and Ms. Bean. You have no idea the magic you can access with training." Her face glows with joy. The one she pointed to when she said Enid has a sour expression on her face, the others are eager to make a new friend.

"There is no such thing as magic." I say. Enid smiles. Perhaps she thinks I'll go home. It sounds like a good idea to me or perhaps I'll stick around just to spite her.

"Hmm. A non-believer? Then let me jog your memory. Do you remember the cat you had as a child? Her name was Marnie."

"Yeah, I remember Marnie. What about her? She died a long time ago." What is she getting at? Could she be as crazy as she seams or is there really magic? Something in my mind said believe her although I still have my doubts.

"She was a very old, very powerful mage."

"A magical cat?? Someone asks.

"There are magical cats, but she was a mage, like you or I."

"I am not a mage." I said forcefully.

"How did she get to be a cat?" Asks a thin girl with long blond hair. She doesn't look like a willow tree but, oh I don't know.

"She turned herself into a cat. She knew Elizabeth needed a mentor and she volunteered." Professor Barrett is terribly calm.

"What about my parents? Why didn't they teach me anything?" I asked.

"You're grandmother tried but your father forbade it. Your mother, grandmother and I have been trying to get you here for years. Only when your father had gone away for a business trip could we risk bringing you here."

"Why would my father not want me to be taught magic?"

"He always wanted to know how everything worked and magic works on faith and hope. So he became a scientist instead. Despite his lack of talent in magic he can do nearly anything that he set his mind to. We lost a determinedly powerful mage when he joined the mortals. You on the other hand are a whole other story." Did he say when he joined the mortals? What does that mean?

"I'm not mortal?" She's only adding to my disbelief and confusion.

"No Elizabeth, we are magical beings. We age much slower than mortals and in fact lived for centuries. You're other grandmother is 365 years old. You might think that you are 12 when in fact you are near 27."

"Please, call me Liza and that's impossible. That would mean my father is 128, mortals don't live that long." Dad taught me to do math in my head and now I am faster than he is. I can even do calculus in my head; so very weird I'm told for a twelve year old I'm told.

"Just because your father gave up magic doesn't mean that magic has given up on him just yet. The longer that you live without magic, the more it leaves you behind. Before he knows it, the magic will leave him a mortal just like all the rest of the humans."

"I still don't believe you and I have a science fair project to finish up."

"Not now, this is more important. I'm see that I'm going to have to prove it to you. See that book there on the desk in the corner. Imagine it floating into your hand. Think of nothing else but the book floating to your hand."

"Fine. Only to prove you wrong." I think of the book in my hand and I wait and wait but the book doesn't even twitch. "See, no magic."

"Concentrate Liza. You've got to feel the book with you mind." I shrug and try again. I imagine actually wanting a book in my hand and it wiggled. But that's impossible.

"Good, but you need to want the book more." Professor B said. The book lifts off the desk and an odd thing happens. I blink my eyes and I see the world blue. Like wearing glasses with blue lenses. From my hand to the book is a gold radiating cord. The book travels along the cord until it sits on top of my hand. I look around the room and see many colors surrounding each person around me. Everyone seems to gasp as I look at him or her. I wonder what they see.

"Okay, I believe you. Now what?"

"Professor B, look at her eyes." Someone asks.

"What about my eyes? The world looks blue." I suddenly felt the urge to find a mirror, wondering what happened to my emerald green eyes. I like my green eyes, I don't want blue eyes.

"There must be some faerie blood in your veins Liza. Selkie if I'm not mistaken. Does anything odd happen when you go swimming in fresh or seawater?" Faerie blood? What are faeries?

"I don't think I've ever swam anywhere but a swimming pool. Why?"

"There is magic in natural water that helps a selkie change form."

"But what about her other eye?" Another kid asks.

"My other eye?"

"Yes, your third eye is something else entirely. Not since the ancients turned themselves into trees have we seen anyone with a third eye." I reach up to my forehead with my hand and realize I have an eye in the wrong place and that I am seeing out of it, not my regular eyes.

"You said the world looks blue?" I kinda feel like some new creature in a science lab. Everybody staring at me, trying to figure out what makes me tick. Suddenly all the memories with Marnie came rushing back. The sweet kitten that I heard in my head, she helped me change tomatoes into apples, or green beans in to chocolate ice cream. We played with pixies and chased away the gnomes in the back yard. I was so distraught when she died, like I'd lost my best friend. After a while, I thought it was all pretending. Marnie was just my cat and I gave her a personality.

"Yes. And I see all of you in different colors through this eye and I'm not seeing through the others." Enid's aura if flaming red, Willow's aura is green and Isabelle's aura is blue, like mine but more like the ocean in the north Atlantic and a little less purple.

"Fascinating." Professor B muses.

"For you perhaps, but my head hurts."

"I suppose it is since you've never used your third eye before. Close your eyes and think about returning to regular sight and Belle, show her where her bed is." I closed my eyes and opened them again where I found myself in bed looking up.

"Oh, you're awake. We almost thought you'd never wake up." I turned my head to see a thin blond haired girl in a t-shirt and jeans. "You've slept the most of the day away. My name is Isabelle but you can call me Belle. You and my brother Shane and I are the only ones here from the United States. Everyone else is from England, Ireland or Scotland." I looked at my watch, it read 11:30 am. With the time change, that should make it 2:30 pm here.

"I thought you had an accent?" I ask, remembering earlier when she sounded like she could have been my grandmothers neighbor.

"If I'm talking to somebody with an accent, I pick it up in less than ten minutes. It drives my parents nuts every time I go to see Bertha when I'm home for summer vacation. Bertha is the black lady down the street with a thousand cats. She's originally from Georgia."

"Yeah, I have that problem too. Grams, my grandmother, lives in Scotland and whenever I visit her for the summer, I come home sounding like her. Mom likes it but it drives Dad bonkers." Belle laughs.

"How's the head? I've never seen anybody with a third eye before." I reach up to where it was and feel my forehead. There is nothing there, normal and human.

"Better. Neither have I."

"Remind me to get you a mirror the next time you use it." I rolled over to talk to her better and my stomach growled.

"You betcha. My stomach just growled, is there any food around here?"

"Oh yeah, Willow just brought this up." She turned around and grabbed a plate sitting on the table behind her. "I hope they didn't give you something Irish. They eat some strange stuff over there."
I lifted off the lid and found sausage, eggs and toast with a cup of tea sitting beside it. "Not bad. I feel like I could eat a horse."

"Yuck." she acts disgusted.
I giggled. "Only if you're from china. They eat dogs to." We were both laughing when Professor Barrett walked in.

"Oh good, you're awake. I suppose your wand vanished long ago." I shake my head.

"I never had one. Marnie said I didn't need one."

"Do you remember how to make a mage light then?"

"Yes. Everything came back before I blacked out." I said and created a swirling blue globe above our heads. "I used to use this as a night-light when I was little. It kept me feeling safe until I fell asleep. The gnomes would try and take revenge in the dark."

"What did you do the gnomes?" Belle asked, a big smile on her face.

"The pixies, Marnie and I would play jokes on them in the back yard."

"Pixies don't normally like to live in deserts. And how did you make the gnomes so mad?"

"The Pixies came with Marnie and we put scorpions in their holes." Belle laughed.

"Then go outside and find a broomstick."

"A broomstick?"

"Yes, a broomstick. Didn't anyone ever take you flying? Oops, I forgot, you know very little of magic. Broomstick lessons usually start when your eight."

"Now don't tell me you can actually fly on a broomstick" I thought that was something they made up for Halloween."

"That's a history lesson that will wait for a while. Get going." Belle grabbed my hand and we darted out of the room leaving Professor Barnett standing in an empty room with her arms crossed in front of her and trying to hide a smile. By the time we reach the stairs she bursts out laughing.