It was a hot, clammy summer day when I first met Gina. Mum had enrolled me into summer school only two weeks sooner, and I really didn’t want to go. Summer school was something only posh kids and nerds did, and I was neither. I wasn’t cool like the vampires or oh-so talented witches at my school, and I definitely wasn’t cute as those fairy girls were. I was just me. An average, teenage sorceress wondering why people wouldn’t leave me the hell alone.
I was good at school, and didn’t need the extra tuition, but Mum thought summer school would help me come out of my shell, and make friends. She confused it with camp, but I never corrected her because if I had she might have sent me to camp instead and that was another place I never wanted to go. Camp was for scouts, or the kids of rich people. Or fat people. I wasn’t anyone special, and I wasn’t overweight. My summers were perfect if I could spend them by myself, locked in my room, practising spells Mum would have grounded me for a hundred years for if she knew that I was practising them.
I was from a line of very talented sorceresses. Sound good to you? You’re wrong, it really wasn’t. Everyone expected me to be perfect, and ace everything at school. As I said, I wasn’t terrible at school, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. They never taught you anything exciting. That’s what I practised when no one was looking – the exciting stuff! The stuff no one wanted you to learn!
Creating something out of nothing wasn’t dangerous as such, but sometimes you heard stories about witches and sorcerers better than me who woke up somewhere else, or who lost a limb and had it replaced with toads or cats or rainbows (yeah, rainbows – I wish I was kidding, too; can you imagine the ridicule they faced? Nothing screams ‘failure’ as loudly as rainbows for arms!). But they didn’t really know what they were doing! These spells weren’t easy, and like with everything else in life you needed to have an affinity for it if you wanted to do it well! I had that affinity, but Mum still didn’t want me practising anything close to it.
Yet here I was, with Gina, at summer school, locked into an old unused class room reading over books and writing up complicated spell forms. She was a year older than me, and anyone with eyes and a brain could have seen easily that she was far more gifted than I was. Gina was the black sheep in her family – the first girl in five generations to be born with any magical ability at all, so no one paid her any mind. I had no idea how they couldn’t see the sparks crackling in the air around her like I could. Maybe I was special after all.
“Are you ready?” she asked me, an excited gleam in her eyes.
I nodded, tempted to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. We were going to attempt something which had never been done before.
We were going to create an angel out of nothing.
All of my 10-Minute stories are improvised, unplanned, and unedited apart from spelling and grammar mistakes. The idea is to kick-start the dreaded Monday with a short, creative exercise without thinking about it, and simply writing for the sake of writing.
For all other 10-Minute shorts, take a look here.