Yesterday, I was trying to think of something to write and I asked a young friend who was staying with us for an idea. She said “write about a girl who wants her refrigerator to talk and does a spell but it makes everything talk all around the world.” I started writing. I haven’t gotten to the talking refrigerators yet, but this is what came out. What do you think, the beginning of my next book?
Dorienne always dreamed of doing magic. It started when she was three when her parents took her to see a magic show. She was fascinated by the flowers that seemed to appear out of nowhere (where did his wand go?), the long string of colored silk pulled from the magicians mouth (why didn’t he choke?), and the rabbit that came out of the hat (is his hat full of rabbit poop?). She was even pulled up on stage to pick a card and somehow the Queen of Hearts she picked ended up in the magician’s pocket! From that point on, she would perform magic shows to anyone who was interested. Of course the flowers were dying dandelions, she got in trouble when she tried to swallow a handkerchief, the rabbit was a stuffed animal and her card tricks never seemed to work correctly. Dorienne refused to give up though.
Once she learned to read and could pick out her own books, she found everything she could about magic. With any extra chore money, she sent away for magic tricks. She watched and re-watched Magicians Secrets Revealed and watched live magic shows whenever she could convince her parents to take her. Her parents supported this because they thought it was an interesting hobby. For Dorienne, though, it was more than a hobby, it was a quest. She was determined to find real magic.
But that wasn’t enough. Dorienne wanted real magic, not tricks. At sixteen she felt that she could no longer waste time on trickery and children’s games. She wanted to discover true magic. She knew it existed somewhere, because so many people believe in a magical world. The magic people write about could not be just a figment of so many people’s imaginations.
Dorienne set out on a new quest, to discover true magic. Now that she had her driver’s license and an old car that rattled and shook, she could sneak off to places her parents didn’t necessarily approve of in search of magic. Of course, she had to tell a few little white lies because her parents would never like to know where she went. Her quest took her to some scary places in town. She entered dark shops hidden between liquor stores and pawn shops that would definitely terrify her parents. Each shop had the same dusty dimness. Crystals reflected candle light, heavy incense filled the air, and mystical music played in the background. The stores sold strange objects, and smelled of strange spices. But, despite the odd find or two, Dorienne never felt that she had discovered anything real—not true magic.
Then one day she and her parents went on a family trip to a nearby town by the sea, to walk on cobblestone streets and look at all the curio shops. Occasionally her parents insisted on these days of family “fun” although Dorienne was beginning to outgrow the desire to spend that much quality time with her family. She didn’t mind, however, when they wandered into used book stores. Her parents got lost in browsing and finding treasures, so she always had time to seek out the magic section in the hopes of discovering something real.
Dorienne was excited when they stumbled into a store called The Book Witch. Now that’s interesting, Dorienne thought. Inside was the usual tumble of tomes, ranging from popular novels to classics in differing levels of decay. As her parents lost themselves in the section of their choice (literature for her dad, alternative therapies for her mom) Dorienne wandered into a section tucked away in the back of the store. A framed arch separated these books from the main store, and the little room beckoned with the air of mystery.
Dorienne thought she felt a spark of electricity was she entered this area, but decided it was her imagination. On a table in front of her she found a pile of many of the magic books she already had on her shelves at home. Her heart dropped in disappointment. Then she noticed a shelf further back that seemed different somehow. The hard covered leather books all had flaking gold words on the bindings, or hand painted images. The books seemed to pulse with energy.
“Don’t be crazy,” Dorienne whispered to herself. “They’re just books.”
A woman behind her spoke, causing Dorienne to jump as she thought she was alone, “Those are not just books,” the woman said. “They are books of power. I don’t sell them to just anyone.”
“Oh,” Dorienne said with a smile. “Do you own this store?”
“Yes.” The women answered; her mellow voice full of warmth. “Can I help you find something?”
“I want a book about magic,” Dorienne said. “Real magic, not tricks. Do you have anything like that?”
The woman looked deeply into Dorienne’s face. Dorienne felt uncomfortable but was unable to pull her gaze away from the women’s deep dark eyes. They had a little golden circle around the iris that made her eyes more interesting. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably just a few heart beats, the woman answered, “I have just the thing for you. It is a beginning, but you must use it with caution.”
The woman walked over to the shelf of pulsating books and took out a thin tome with a purple cover. Dorienne felt a little disappointed as many of the other books were thick and full of mystery. This one looked like a chapter book from school.
The woman handed the purple book over to Dorienne. The title was printed in simple gold lettering First Spells. The book felt warm to the touch. Dorienne opened to the first page and read:
Only those who have been invited are welcome to the mysteries of this book. But be warned! This knowledge is powerful and must be used with caution, care, and love.
Dorienne wasn’t sure what all that meant, but somehow she knew that what she held in her hand was very different from anything she had read before.
“How much is this?” she asked, worried that her saving was not going to be enough.
“Take it,” the woman replied. If you are able to use its mysteries successfully, then we will talk.
Just then Dorienne’s mother, carrying a pile of books, came back to look for her. “We’re ready to check out now,” she said to the store owner. “Dorienne, have you found something to read? Let me guess, another book about magic.”
For some reason Dorienne didn’t want her mother to see this book, so she answered, “No, nothing special” and turned towards the shelf as if she was returning the book. She slipped it into her bag instead, throwing a shy smile in the direction of the shop owner.
That book was about to change her life.