This is what happens when the chosen one is an idiot
If I had understood the part I would play in the discovery of magic, I surely would have used it to my great advantage. Lucky for the world, I was too young to really grasp the scope of the power I possessed.
Most children have a special place that they go. A secret hideaway where no one makes them do chores or tells them to think about school work.
I think many people think I had some sort of miraculous childhood, but in reality, I was as average as could be. My parents loved me, but they fought. I loved them, but sometimes wished I was a prince that had been switched at birth.
There weren’t many children my age in our neighborhood—a fact I didn’t understand until I got much, much older—so I often played by myself. I could entertain myself for hours on end, until my mother would call me in for dinner and send me to bed.
One day, in my sixth year, my mother bought me an extra special treat. A bag of marshmallows.
That alone would have been enough, but I had begged for the colored ones, and she had gone the extra mile and bought me the marshmallows that were shaped as dinosaurs. I knew that begging didn’t usually work, but for some reason I insisted, and for some other reason she gave in.
Of course now that I know how magic works, it’s only logical that the bag of multi-colored, multi-flavored, dinosaur-shaped marshmallows called to me.
How else was I going to release my familiars into the world?
While my mother had bought the bag for me, she doled them out in small quantities.
My child brain yearned to have one of each shape, and for the first time in my life, I saved a treat. One each time she gave me my allotment. I didn’t eat it, but carefully slipped it into the back of my sock drawer where each one waited for the next.
It took me four days to get one of each shape, and another excruciating afternoon before my parents put me to bed and proceeded to their room for the evening.
When they were sufficiently distracted, I gathered my dinosaurs and a flashlight and crept out of my room and down into the cold, cement basement.
My mother stored boxes down here, and my father had a work bench, although I never knew why it was covered in bottles filled with colorful liquids until I was a teenager. I always thought my father worked at a factory. Imagine the shock when I found out he was a love-potion maker. And a good one at that. So good that no matter what he did, my mother never left him.
More on that in a few chapters.
Back to the dinosaurs.
There was a small, square door on the top half of the wall opposite the stairs. It was made of plain wood and had an old cupboard knob as a handle. I gently pulled the handle until the door gave way with a pop.
For a moment I froze, listening as I had never listened before for any sign that my parents had heard me.
They had not.
I carried a stool over to the wall, climbed up on to it and shined my light into the crawl space.
Looking at it now, it isn’t large, but to my small self it seemed to go on for forever. One corner called to me, and I quickly made my way over the packed dirt to where I had already stashed several things that felt important to me. I removed the dinosaurs from my pockets and reverently set them next to the white crystal I had taken from my mother’s dresser and a gold chain that my father used to wear. Until he lost it and I found it.
The little collection looked strange, but it felt right.
Without thinking, I put my hand on the soil at the dinosaur’s feet. I closed my eyes and somehow knew that I could will energy into them. And that if I did, they would come to life.
Since this moment, I have learned that only one in a million children have the gift of magic, and only one in a hundred of them can manifest. What I did that day was nothing short of miraculous.
To me it seemed a game. A flash of light filled the crawl space, and when it faded I found the dinosaurs had filled out into perfect, tiny replicas of themselves. Still the marshmallow colors, but now a life-like shape.
“Hello,” I said. “I think we are going to be friends.”
The dinosaurs bowed to me.
I smiled. “Let me go get you something to eat.”
Looking back now, I wonder if my mother had sensed something about that bag of marshmallows, or if she was just anxious to get back to my father.
That truth will never be revealed.