What we call magic can be inexplicable — the fantastic, supernatural, universality of experiences beyond the realm of the five senses. Magic can be dark or ethereal. It can be a moment, or, as Elizabeth Gilbert explains, Big Magic is the courage to hunt for the creative life.
Enchanted, or not, writers set out to story-craft tales of magic this week. Like a rabbit pulled from a hat, you’ll be surprised at what emerged.
The following is based on the August 23, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes magic.
PART I (10-minute read)
On the Occasion of the Poet’s Being Challenged (or TGIF) by JulesPaige
Magic for me, starts at dusk
after the sun has retired.
One must wait an entire cycle
for the moonflower to bloom.
Defenceless against the weather,
the desire to grow at night
in shadow is strong.
I find a quality in dusk turning to night
that makes it seem as if the silver river
flows slower over the stones.
The heat of a summer day
makes me tired.
I discover strength in darkness.
Uncover the burdens of night dreaming
and cover myself in moon glow.
Repeat over and over a mantra of freedom.
“It is Friday, it is Friday!”
Magic Exists by Pamela
In the space between the words
In the ideas left unthought
And in the needs now left unspoken
In the dreams as yet undreamt
In the strangers still unmet
And in the future paths untrod
In your mind and in your soul
And in your heart so cautiously
It exists in you
Look for the magic
Be open to its charms
Bask in the wonders
Of the magic that exists
Look for the magic
Before it is gone
I cannot imagine a world so bereft
That magic was not a part
Magic by The Dark Netizen
The old man observed the couple in his crystal ball.
They were standing at the sea face, hand in hand, looking at the setting red orb in the sky.
“You know baby, when we are together, it feels magical.”
She looked into his eyes and smiled in agreement.
The old wizard however had a grim face. He spotted two shadows approaching the oblivious couple. There was no way they could sense the darkness approaching. The old man turned to his assistant.
“Merlyn, we need to move fast. We cannot lose our source of magic. We must protect true love…”
Adamant Acceptance by JulesPaige
Young Kendra willed magic. Ever since the first time death visited her family. Maybe Azrael possessed some healing powers? The girl wanted to communicate with those who had crossed over. Since the ones who were still
around didn’t really communicate very well.
Didn’t the adults read any of the books that contained rituals for magic? If they had maybe they wouldn’t shout so much or rub salt in old wounds. How could they live with themselves?
Kendra would read all the books, even if they
believed she could not read. She would whisper,
repeat and most of all believe.
Janice by Saifun Hassam
With eyes closed, Janice traced the delicate raised patterns on her favorite porcelain vase. Dogwood flowers, swallows, leaves on curving branches. The subtle magic of that touch flowed into her mind.
Her left eye was still blind. Her right eye filled with vision, tears. Fear and hope. The tumor had crushed the left optic nerve, destroyed the pituitary gland and sent tendrils into the gray matter.
She savored the taste of cherry chocolate cake Tom had prepared for her. She breathed in the aroma of the coffee. He had gone to work, but he had left her with magic.
Magic Moment by Sherri Matthews
‘Happy Birthday, hope you like it!’
Colin tore off the wrapping paper revealing a child’s magic set to roars of laughter from his friends.
‘Thanks guys…nice one…you bastards.’
Colin laughed along, but the memory of his family’s teasing when he had put on his first magic show as a kid still stung. Not that his friends knew. It didn’t matter. They only knew that Colin was a media sensation after his win on Britain’s Got Talent.
‘Drinks on me.’
Everybody turned as Simon Cowell arrived holding a magnum of champagne.
Nothing beat the magic of that night for Colin.
Footloose by D. Avery
Ilene Higginbottom pulled a folding chair from the bed of the El Camino and joined Marge and Ernest where they sat in their camp chairs outside the shop.
“That’s a pretty fancy camp chair, Ilene, dual cup-holders, and look at you, it reclines too!”
“Yeah, I like to put my foot up. This’s the last thing I bought with my ex-boyfriend’s money before letting him go; only thing about him appealed to me was his magic mailbox.”
Ernest squeezed Marge’s hand before going for more beer, told her he’d start dinner.
“Marge,” said Ilene, “What you’ve got is real magic.”
Reckoning by Kerry E.B. Black
“Where is your wife, Ward?” The magistrate’s robes flapped like a gaping hole.
“She took our son to visit her family.” Thank God she fled.
But what of Nina? Legs twisted like gnarled, unsupportive vines. Defenseless. Her only crime saving his infant’s life.
The magistrate rested a heavy hand upon Ward’s shoulder. It pressed like a stone. “Your wife will be tried. She consorted with a witch to save your son.”
Fire erupted within Ward, but he struggled to keep calm. “She didn’t. I fetched the woman who nursed our son. My wife had nothing to do with it.”
Magic by Frank Hubeny
On a blue planet people believed in nothing that they couldn’t see. No ghosts. No gods. No angels.
There were natural laws. That magic was powerful. The more it worked, the more they believed. Those who doubted were educated until they believed or in extreme cases there were prisons. In really extreme cases there were nuclear options.
The people on the blue planet made a lot of money except for those who didn’t and so everyone who counted was happy.
Things went very well until the “fay-rees”, as they became known after The Event, had their fill of it.
Flash Fiction by Geoff Le Pard
‘Do you believe in magic, Logan?’
‘In what context?’
‘What’s wrong with a yes or no?’
‘If you mean prestidigitation…’
‘Slight of hand, deceit, then that’s not magic. If you mean the magic of nature or of birth or first love…’
‘You soppy romantic…’
‘… then yes. There are some things that are truly magical, truly miraculous. They constantly amaze me.’
‘Like my wit and brilliance?’
‘Like the fact that despite you driving me nuts, talking rot, playing the fool, we are still friends.’
‘And my wit and brilliance?’
‘Give me a hug.’
‘Don’t push it…’
The Magic of Decision-making by Molly Stevens
Ruth was on a mission to purge. She examined a round, black object she retrieved from the bottom of the trunk.
“Chester, this yours?”
“Why have you held onto it?
“It means a lot to me. It helped me make some major decisions through the years.”
“Remember when I was thinkin’ about quittin’ school? Magic eight ball said, ‘My reply is no.’”
Chester remained silent.
“Magic eight ball, did Chester consult with you before he proposed to me?
“‘Signs point to yes.”
Chester snatched the prophetic orb and pitched it into the dumpster.
Sleight Fright by Ritu Bhathal
“Think of a name.”
Deanna held her chosen name tightly in her mind and nodded.
“Think of an object related to that name.”
She self-consciously touched her wrist, where her watch was.
Except it wasn’t there.
Where was it? It was the only thing she had left of him.
“I believe you were thinking of Peter, and his black diver’s watch, am I right?”
The magician held out a watch.
Slight of hand or magic, she didn’t know, but Deanna didn’t wait to find out. She rushed to the front, snatched the watch and rushed out of the building.
The Feather by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer
I finished my gardening chores and wrapped the hose into a coil. There on the ground was a tiny grey feather. I picked it up and placed it under my gloves on the table for safe keeping.
I walked toward the front garden where my daylilies drooped. I held the spray over the plants, and there on the ground was another gray feather!
I hurried to retrieve the first feather, but it was gone. It was then, the magic of the moment struck me. Without a doubt, this feather had wanted me to find it. What could it mean?
The Return Home by Jan Malique
Soft, soft are their feet upon the forest floor
Hear their whispers lift on perfumed breeze
The Crystal Sentinels wait
Offer messages only once
Offer wisdom never seen
Hark, the Fey do come
The Light of Ever Becoming approaches
Issues through sky and earth
Infuses Crystal Sentinels
Weaves magic most powerful
Weaves magic neither light nor dark
Hark, the do Fey come
See the Faerie Queen step forth
Peer at human worlds
Command Otherworld gates be open
See her warriors step forth
Speak words of release
The Crystal Sentinels rise
Step through gates of welcome
Step through worlds incandescent
A Warning and a Plea by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Lucy’s footsteps echoed pale blue, up and over the far reaches of Karlssen’s Glacier.
She took her time, minding her breath; these tower steps had been built by others taller than her six foot frame. Per her nature, she’d planned for extra effort to reach the peak.
The half-troll girl was on her way. Magnhildr would need another Season to convince her fellows to foster yet another non-jotun, even Sylvi’s child.
She wrapped the message-crow in her hands, whispering a plea, “The child is no longer safe.”
The bird erupted into the northern sky, its cry splitting the night.
Protected by abhijit ray
“This is magestic,” Sam looked admiringly at the luminous diamond sitting at the feet of deity in dilapidated temple.
“I want it Sid,” said Sam greedily, “it will fetch a fortune.”
“Don’t invite god’s wrath Sam. This stone is under protection of reigning deity of this fort.”
“I don’t believe in power of magic. I did not walk all the way to just have a peek. What good is it here anyway? At least, we shall have good time.”
The leopard was following them for some distance now. As Sam bent down to unseat the stone, the predator pounced.
Acronym by FloridaBorne
“Dr. Michael Arden?” The young woman with a recorder asked, “Why did you become a scientist?”
Should I remind the world? Why not? “You do realize this is a funeral and we’re standing in front of my mother’s casket?”
“You’re a hard man to corner for an interview.”
“My mother believed in magic, used a cauldron and thought she could talk to fairies.”
Wide eyed, she gasped, “Your mother was a witch?”
“If you could read, you would know why,” I scoffed at her. “Mother was schizophrenic! MAGIC is nothing but an acronym for mentally addled gullible insecure citizen.”
Shakespeare’s Cheat Sheet by Katimac
Shakespeare scribbled halfway down the page and froze. It was the same rubbish he had written an hour earlier, reworded. He cursed and crumpled the page, tossing it across the room to add to the growing stack of crumpled pages in the corner of the room. He threw himself back in his chair and thought furiously. After a moment, he called for the maid.
“What’s her name again?”
The maid glanced around nervously. “Are you certain, sir?”
Shakespeare swore again. “What was her name, the magic hag?”
The maid whispered the name in fear.
“Bring her here. It’s time.”
PART II (10-minute read)
First Morning in the New Place by Anne Goodwin
Despite her diligence in tidying away her thoughts on retiring to bed, Matty awakes to a muddle. It is as if a kitten has whiskered its way into a sewing box and woven a cat’s cradle with the thread.
Opening her eyes, it is obvious something larger than a baby cat has caused the chaos. Has a magic carpet whooshed her to China? Or, like Alice, she’s fallen down a rabbit hole to a world where walls move and rooms shrink?
A maid beams at her from the bedpost. “Welcome to Tuke House, Matty! Are you ready for breakfast?”
The Source of Magic by Anurag Bakhshi
Sue woke up to see Charli staring unblinkingly at a tall tree near their campsite.
“Look at that light emanating from that tree, it’s magical,” Charli said softly.
Sue looked towards the tree, and said dismissively, “It’s just sunlight reflected from a mirror on the tree. You really shouldn’t have had those magic mushrooms last night.”
Charli shrugged her head and looked again. Her friend was right, it was nothing at all.
As Charli left to wash her face to clear her head, Sue looked towards the tree angrily. That magic tree had got to control its yawns better.
Magic by Kay Kingsley
I don’t believe in magic tricks but I love being sucked into them. The slight of hand, the show, the impossible result… it’s mesmerizing and entertaining and I have zero desire for someone to explain it to me. What fun is that? I want to be entertained and tricked into awe.
And although I don’t believe in magic tricks I do believe in magic. The magic of timing, of bonding, the pure magic of love. Magic felt, magic seen, magic experienced.
The only magician I ever knew was time and the only magic he ever showed me was life.
Transformed by Reena Saxena
“I have stopped writing,” he appears cold and distant in the darkness.
“Really? Will you survive without it?”
“I spent a lifetime, staining white pages and interlocking fingers with keyboards. It was heaven, it was hell, and I knew of nothing else”, he rambles on, unaware of my presence in the room.
“What do you plan to do now?” I am genuinely concerned about his mental health.
“Whatever I am ordained to do….. I experienced magic today. I saw my thoughts in a physical form.”
I walk out with heavy footsteps, knowing that he does not need me anymore.
The Magic Pill by Ruchira Khanna
“Dr. Ali, I come to you with hope since I’ve heard that you have cured, many!” Sheela said in an earnest tone as she held her rumbling stomach.
“Yes! I treat all,” he said with confidence as he handed her a box of pills with a blank label.
“Fill out your symptoms!”
She followed his instructions with a puzzled look.
“Take 1 pill twice a day. Visit me after a month.”
A month later, ” I am cured!” she shouted with glee, “You have magic pills.”
“Nah! it’s just the placebo effect, and I’m not even a medical doctor.”
A 1966 Really Groovy Incident by Bill Engleson
I wasn’t supposed to be home the day that Alan dropped by with Lita and Louise, two Oregonian hitchhikers.
“Picked them up on the freeway,” he said. “They need a place to crash and I…” and he explained…two rooms, one wife and a huge red setter with bladder problems.
“I can see it’d be awkward,” I commiserated, adding, “In any case, we’re a commune. We can always make extra beds magically appear.”
The Oregonians were exceptionally close.
Still, Lita and I quickly found…mutual ground.
Only Louise needed her own bed.
Everyone was good with that.
Magic Mushrooms by Robbie Cheadle
What happened to her?” Rose asked, horrified at the red spots and broken capillaries that covered her pretty daughter’s face.
“We had to rush her to the hospital and have her stomach pumped,” said her sister.
“She was playing with Sean in the garden and they found a patch of toadstools hidden in the corner under a bush. Sean said she ate one. She wanted to grow big like Alice. She thought they were magic mushrooms.”
“Oh, my goodness, I thought I was doing a good thing when I read Alice in Wonderland to her. More context next time.”
Childhood – A Magical Time by Susan Sleggs
Now that I’m an old lady I can say my favorite sound is a symphony of night time bug noises. I remember the music lulling me to sleep when I was a little girl and I kept the window by my bed wide open. During the day we built forts in the woods, raided the garden for snacks, and enjoyed getting dirty and tired. I didn’t know enough to worry about being hungry, having money problems, alcoholism, or cancer. Today the bug music takes me back to that magical time so I can clear my mind to fall asleep.
Seeing Is Believing by D. Avery
“Pal, watcha doin’ way out here all by yersef?”
“Felt like bein’ alone, Kid.”
“The ranch hands is all busy corrallin’ stories ’bout magic Pal.”
“Jist wanted ta git away, lay out here unner the stars. ’Sides, I don’t believe in magic. Since yer here, set still, listen ta the popple leaves whisperin’.”
“The Ranch is out west Pal, call ’em Aspen or cottonwoods.”
“They whisper the same songs, Kid. Now look’t that big orange moon through the silhouetted treetops. Eh? Look ‘t that star strewn night sky. I tell ya Kid, it’s… it’s…”
“I believe it is.”
A Magic Sound by Susan Sleggs
“Child, open the window by my bed.”
“Nurse told me not to. Too humid tonight.”
“Don’t have nothin’ to do with hot or cold; has to do with bugs.”
“If you open that window like I asked, I can hear them bugs singin’. That sound is magic.”
“Cause that’s the first sound I remember. Lulled me to sleep before I knowed what meanness, goin’ without, prejudice, and drinkin’ was. Can still do the same if I can just hear that singin’.”
“Can I leave if I open the window so’s I don’t get blamed?”
A Sprinkle of This and a Pinch of That by Norah Colvin
“Makin’ a spell.”
“What sorta spell?”
“A magic spell.”
“Can I help?”
“Whadda I do?”
“Put stuff in the pot.”
“What sorta stuff?”
“Gotta read the recipe.”
“What’s it say?”
“Ya gotta read it.”
“Oh. Okay. I’ll help. Look, it says …”
Mum stopped at the door to the kitchen. “Wha— What are you doing?”
“Nothin’,” mumbled the older.
“Makin’ magic spells,” grinned the younger, covered in flour from head to toe.
“What sort of magic spell?” asked Mum, wishing for her own magic spell.
“Take us to outa space.”
“Can I come too?”
The Magic of Imagination by TNKerr
Waves of assassins, ninjas, and marauders had already been turned away by the intrepid Timmy McNab. Dead and wounded were piled, like cordwood, against the back fence while weapons of all types lay scattered throughout the garden. When the whistle sounded, our hero held up one finger stopping an attacking pirate who waited; cutlass in his left hand, dagger in the right, pistol tucked into the black sash around his waist.
“Sorry, Cap’n,” That’s Mom. I gotta go, dinner time.”
“No fair, Timmy it’s my turn.” The pirate groused.
“We’ll play again tomorrow, after breakfast. You can go first.”
Do You Believe in Magic? by Chelsea Owens
Here, he sits. The screen reflects his fat fingers, his glasses, his balding head.
Between lines of numbered reports, his memory sees small hands, perfect sight, full hair. Laughter.
There, she rests. Against the mopped floor rest her orthopedic shoes, her sore cankles, her ample midsection.
Mundane mind-wanderings recall barefoot summers, skinny legs, an inverted belly button. Happiness.
Where, do we stand? Honest bathroom mirrors capture our eye lines, our neck bulges, our long wrinkly faces.
Fleeting cognizance remembers smooth skin, thin necks, unblemished features. Smiles.
Fairy dust? Hardly. Evaporating imagination pulls us ever farther from Never-Neverland.
Magician by Miriam Hurdle
“Danny, you’re my helper. Get me a chopstick and a cloth napkin.”
Uncle Pat shaped his left hand like a funnel, pushed the center of the napkin into it with the four corners flapping like petals. He poked the thin end of the chopstick into the napkin fiercely to the bottom, then pulled it through and shook the napkin in the air.
“Uncle, you didn’t poke a hole!”
“Do it again.”
Three days later.
“Hello, sis, how are you doing?”
“Danny poked a hole through three cloth napkins.”
“He’ll be a great magician one day.”
Up to His Tricks (from Rock Creek) by Charli MIlls
“Wanna see a magic trick?” Hickok splayed a deck of cards to Monroe.
“Pa doesn’t like hands playing cards.” The boy glanced at the barn door expecting Cobb to materialize.
“We’re not gaming. Just magic. Pick a card, any—”
“Monroe, your Ma is asking for you. Said to bring her the hen eggs.” Sarah stood in the door, arms crossed.
Monroe shuffled and then ran out the door. Sarah had to address the new hand before he got on Cobb’s wrong side.
Ready for her scolding, Hickok winked and smiled a boyish grin. “Wanna see a magic trick?”
Breakfast by oneletterup
Nobody even mentions the comet.
But she saw it! Last night. Out the window.
Would they even believe her?
Nobody believes her. Ever.
The little boy squints at her over his oatmeal.
“Come on…what’s your name?”
She shakes her head. Chews.
The little girl smiles at her.
If only she could stay here forever.
She wishes hard for a magic wand.
Poof! She would belong in this blue house with the swings.
This nice man. This nice lady. This little girl and little boy. And her. Safe.
She would stop remembering.
And she’d never have to go back.
Crystal Clear by Di @ pensitivity101
The ranks were gathered, thousands staring at the wondrous sight.
Whispers of ‘where did it come from’ and ‘what was it’ filtered through the regimental columns, no-one making any effort to climb the mossy mound to investigate.
Their Leader came to the front and once he had their full attention, announced that it was indeed magic, a Gift from the Gods.
Their prayers had been answered and their diligence rewarded.
This crystal globe contained a never ending source of the water they so badly needed.
He thus called upon his ant armies to carry it and its precious cargo.
Falling by Patrick O’Connor
There was only one explanation for what happened to me.
No one would have survived such a thing.
I was hanging over the edge of a cliff, clinging to a branch.
My strength gave out and I started falling.
Falling to the rocks below.
Just as I reached the rocks, everything went black.
I awoke on a beach, witnessing a beautiful sunrise.
The only explanation – magic.
I was in the same clothes.
I had all my memories.
But there was something even more extraordinary.
There were two moons in the sky instead of one.
I awoke in the hospital.
Pal Pays PayPal by D. Avery
“What’s up, Pal?”
“I been thinkin’ on all thet Shorty’s doin’; second anthology, the rodeo…”
“Yep. Shore is a worker. Gives so much a hersef ta the Ranch.”
“Well, Kid, I found a magic button thet’ll hep us give ta the Ranch too.”
“Thought ya didn’t believe in magic.”
“Well, I’m beginnin’ ta. Ya jist go up ta the upper left hand corner an’ push some buttons and Kazam! Magically the Ranch is gifted.”
“You ain’t so gifted though. It ain’t magic; ya gotta pay, Pal.”
“So? I’m happy ta pay fer some Ranch magic. It’s priceless.”