9

By Mamma Luca’s recommendation, you decided that it would be a good idea to enroll in some basic magic classes, mostly for self defence. You had survived in the Registry of Lost and Found thanks to Mary Clark, but that would not always be possible, she argued. So on Monday you went to the Fiery Creek General School for Adults. It was closed.

You tried again on Tuesday, but there had been a fire in the director’s home and everyone at the school was mandated to leave everything they were doing to go assist her. You tried at a later time that same day, and this time all of the workers were helping the director rebuilt her home. Apparently she had the bad habit of building her home with “peculiar” materials, such as popcorn and sweets, and thus her house got destroyed easily. That Tuesday they were building her house from pizza.

Wednesday was a religious holiday in the name of some long dead God, and on Thursday they only opened from the moment in which the first person tripped on some air and fell to the floor to the moment in which a person asked for a quadruple almond caramel frappuccino with no caffeine, no lactose, no glucose, no sugar and no almonds in the Parallel Reality cafeteria, which usually happened everyday around 9:02 AM.  That day the worktime lasted exactly 4 minutes and 7 seconds.

On Friday, pissed off about the whole week, you finally got to the school and found it open. You run to the office, where you found a secretary on a desk, speakingon the phone.

“Are you open today?” you said.

The secretary gave you a look of disgust. “No, Mel, it’s this woman who just came in. Yes, a complete mess, I’m telling you. She looks like she just came from the guetto. Aha. Yeah, absolutely. Yes, one of those! I mean, she probably is illiterate or something. No, no. No, it’s like she lives in the street, you get what I mean? No taste at all. She is wearing like, jeans with a white shirt. If you saw her from behind, you would think she is a man. I mean, she does have long hair, but a lot of men do. O. M. G. No! Are you serious?”

You frowned as you felt your pulse go up. You felt one of the veins in your neck swell up, and in one single angry attack, made a machete appear in your hand, and you sliced down. You cut the phone’s wire, but you lost control and the machete sliced through the whole desk, which was cut in two. You were a bit startled. The secretary hung the phone with a frown.

“No need to be so rude” she said.

You felt the surge of anger come back. You wondered whether this was part of the residuals of Mary Clark’s personality. “Good morning. I would like to enroll into one of your courses” you pronounced, trying to control your tone.

“Which one?” she answered curtly.

“I’d like to learn basic magic” you said.

“Well, I cannot help you with that. You have to go to the director’s office. Bye”.

You went up the corridor, looking for the director’s office. When you were ten metres you heard the secreatary pronounce “Bitch”. You stopped for a second, clenched your fists and went back.

“I’ve told you…” she started.

“Shut up!” you said as you pulled the machete out of the floor, provoking even more destruction. “I had forgotten about this“.

You turned around and went to the director’s office, machete in hand. You knocked on the door and waited for a soft voice to answer “Come in”. You opened the door and saw the director of the school. She looked busy with paperwork. On the right corner of her table there was a quadruple almond caramel frappuccino with no caffeine, no lactose, no glucose, no sugar and no almonds from the Parallel Reality cafeteria.

“Good morning, Ms Johnson” you greeted. “I’m Anne Black, and I’m here because I would like to learn some magic”.

Without even looking up from her papers, the director answered “You need to speak with Paula, the secretary. Please do not disturb my work”.

“I have already had a chat with Paula” you said trying to hide the anger in your tone. “She told me to come to you”.

She looked up from her papers. “Paula would never do that. She knows how busy I am”. She took a sip from her quadruple almond caramel frappuccino with no caffeine, no lactose, no glucose, no sugar and no almonds.

You were confused and angry. “Well, she has!”

“Please, Ms Dark…”

“Ms Black” you corrected.

She was irritated by your corrections. Teachers hate being corrected. “You think you can come to this, my school, break the rules and insult my precious workers. Please, leave and do not come back”.

You felt angered and insulted. As you left the office, you closed the door with a bang, which shattered half the windows of the school. When you went past the secretary she laughed. “Oh, sorry, I forgot to tell you that she does not take anyone in until she has finished taking her coffee. My bad”.

You turned violently and looked at her, eyes wide open. She went ablaze. Her whole self was burning. She started to scream. You left.

Ba’al run to meet you when you were coming out of the building. He seemed worried. “Anne, what’s going on?”

“Well, the bitches in this place won’t let me learn any magic! I had to come here every single day of the week, and then I’ve been insulted, called a liar and kicked out!” you said as you waved the hand that contained the machete, pointing at the Fiery Creek General School for Adults. The school collapsed.

“Anne, your power is out of control. You are wrecking everything. Let me help you” he put his hand on your forehead. Your anger started to subside.

“Was that… Mary Clark’s power?” you asked.

Ba’al sighed. “No, it was not. I think her being in your mind has awakened your magic abilities. You are out of control, and need to learn how to use these powers”.

“But Mamma said she couldn’t teach me, and the people in the school…!” you complained.

“I know, I know. Mamma is way too powerful to be teaching you yet. And about the people of this school… 27 years after its establishment, I still wonder how the business is still up. They haven’t had any students since 2002”.

“Then we have a problem…”

He looked at you. “I could teach you”.

You looked up. “Oh”.

He went red. “Well… I mean… If you’d like to… It’s been a while since… Well…”

“It’s a long story?” you asked.

“Yes” he said, in a sad tone. “But I’d like to start reconnecting with people. In a sense, you and I are both strangers to this place, so I thought we may be able to make it work”.

“Oh, that’s nice. Thank you. It’s good to get to meet people. It has already been 8 weeks, and I don’t know my neighbours all that well…”

“I mean, you did spend two weeks in the Registry of Lost and Found, and we also had the Eldritch abomination” he conceded.

“True. That’s true. Those are the reason why I need to learn magic. So, when is the first lesson?” you asked.

Ba’al smiled. “Right now”.

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