"The Trouble with Magical Beings" (A Fantasy) Chapter 3
The house was dark and quiet, Daniel carefully walked across to his grandmother’s room and peeked inside; he could hear her low snoring and knew she was fast asleep. Then he tiptoed over to Jenny’s room. He could see her clutching her lion and, as far as he could tell, she was asleep too.
Daniel quietly left the house and once outside he raced to the beach. It was nearly midnight and he didn’t want to be late. He was afraid Kale wouldn’t wait if he was even a minute late.
The beach was mostly dark, a few lights from the boardwalk lit the area of sand near the stairs but out towards the ocean it was blindly dark.
“I see you are a human of punctual word. That’s good.”
Daniel turned quickly around to find Kale standing behind him.
“How did you do that?”
“Must I explain magic to you?”
Daniel shook his head, “No.”
Daniel squared his shoulders ready for the challenge. “So what do I have to do for my wish?”
Kale was about to answer when his attention turned to the tall beach grasses that lined the walkway to the boardwalk. He stared at the area a moment longer before fixing Daniel with a stern look.
“I did ask you to come alone, didn’t I?”
“Yes, and I am alone,” Daniel said with confidence.
“So the smaller human behind the bushes does not belong to you?”
Daniel turned and saw Jenny’s ragged, lion’s head peeking out from behind the tall grasses and knew she’d followed him, but he’d been so sure she was asleep when he’d left.
“Jenny, what are you doing here?” he yelled to her.
Jenny’s head peeked out and her eyes were as round as saucers as she stared at the standing up, big fish that was talking to her brother.
“Is it safe?” she squeaked keeping her distance.
“I will not eat you if that is your fear,” Kale answered her, “You may as well come out,” he told her then looked down at Daniel, “but I am disappointed you could not keep your promise.”
“I did keep it. I don’t know how she knew I’d left the house and she’s never followed me before.”
“And you’ve never captured magic before either. The first rule you should know…Magic has a way of changing things around you, so be more aware of it.”
Daniel wasn’t sure what that meant but he promised he would.
Jenny shuffled her feet through the sand as she slowly walked over to her brother, all the while giving side glances at the strange creature as she got closer to it.
“What are you?” she asked it.
“I am your touchstone to magic little one, so don’t be afraid of me.
“Magic?” she squeaked excitedly, “like in Cinderella? Like a fairy godmother?”
“Not at all like that, but the purpose may be the same.”
“You’re a fairy Porpoise?”
“Is she kidding?” he looked to Daniel then sighed turning back to her, “I am not a porpoise though they are a close cousin, and I am not a dolphin either though they are closer than the porpoise. Do you understand that?”
Jenny shrugged, “No, but it’s okay whatever you are, you’re friendly right?” she smiled her most beguiling five year old, front toothless, smile at it.
Kale felt a tug in the vicinity of his feelings but didn’t confirm her belief.
“Can we start my challenge now even with Jenny here or do you want me to take her home?” Daniel didn’t want to wait any longer for his wish but if he had to take her home he would.
“She can stay but there can be no others.”
“I promise, I will be extra careful…so what do I have to do?”
Kale smiled and said, “You need to pick an adventure.”
“We get to pick an adventure?” Jenny squeaked with joy.
“Not you,” Daniel told her, “I have to pick, you’re just here to watch.”
“But I want to play too.”
Kale almost laughed, these human urchins were acting just like his offspring and although he had no use for humans, these two were not raising his ire, but he did need to end their argument.
“I care not who decides the adventure but you must decide.”
“I want a world of ponies that live in a candy land and fly through rainbow clouds and over blue green soda pop oceans and land on ice cream topped mountains that are filled with lollipop trees,” Jenny squealed with delight as her imagination took her into her favorite cartoon, Mustang’s in Candy Land.
“No way,” Daniel shook his head, “I don’t want all that stuff, that’s not an adventure. I want robots, the kind that transform into cars and planes and boats so I can control them and keep the world safe from invaders.”
Kale listened intently to both of their fantasy adventures and nodded.” I understand.”
“But you’re not thinking of Jenny’s because she’s not part of the challenge, right?” Daniel wanted to be sure it was his adventure Kale was considering because he did not want to ride a pony over lollipop trees and trot on ice cream. How could he prove himself worthy of his wish by doing that?
Kale didn’t answer Daniel’s question, instead he told them both. “Come back tomorrow night and your adventure will begin.”
“But if we don’t know what it is, how can we prepare for it?” Daniel asked Kale, wanting a hint of what was to come.
A long sheet of paper floated down onto the sand before the two little humans and Kale smiled as he told them, “Here’s some reading for you to prepare with and I suggest you memorize it well before tomorrow night.” Then his booming laugh shook the sand beneath the children’s feet, just before he vanished into a streak of light that flew out towards the ocean.
Daniel picked up the paper from the sand. It was a long set of rules.
“There’s homework with magic?” he said feeling sick.
Jenny watched the light skipping over the dark water until it disappeared. “What was that anyway? Are we sleeping Danny?” She asked with a yawn.
Daniel looked at her and noticed her eyes were heavy, nearly closed; she was falling asleep so he quickly took her hand in his and led her back to the house.
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