Destiny (story #27)
Disclaimer: this story is pretty darn cheesy. Think of it like a Disney movie. Yes, it really is that cheesy. Enjoy!
“Happy Mother’s Day!” the parents yelled to their parents. Being grandparents and thus pretty deaf, all the did was nod. They had hearing aids, but they had left them at home. That fact changed their lives. So, when the parents said they would go to a posh bar and then take a drive down to the beach, the grandparents, again, nodded. If this was a boring, super-short story about car safety , the children would run out and say,
“Oh no, that’s not safe! You must appoint a designated driver!”
Fortunately, this story is not. (collective sigh of relief) The children stayed in their room, doing…well, you’ll find out.
This would be a good time for me to introduce myself, wouldn’t it? I..er..well, sorry, buddy. I can’t. I have a major part later on…so I ‘m just going to keep talking. While the parents were planning their Mother’s Day, the kids were commenting on Wall Street’s big bailout.. we;; they were playing Monopoly, but close enough. The group was: 1 Donald, 6; 1 Annabelle, 10; 1 pair of twins, Josi and Hanna, 13; and 1 Asian exchange student, Min Soo, 15. Josi and Hanna were infatuated with Min. Fighting occurred, and it took Annabelle, the peacemaker, to get them over it. At this time, they were playing Monopoly to amuse Donald. Of course, they all secretly loved it. But that’s one of the cardinal rules of children. You better keep it safe! About halfway through their game (or comment on the bailout), the children heard their parents yell,
“Bye, guys! While we’re gone, stay with your aunt!”
And they were off. Annabelle, the philosophical sort, half whispered, almost like she knew what was going to happen,
“How ironic that parents spend their Mother’s Day without their children.”
A dull, unimportant hour passed, almost like it had never happened at all. Suddenly, a strange clicking sound was heard, like an inhuman voice trying to speak. It was the Aunt and her cat, like a familiar, yet white as a cloud. With a trace of red in her eyes, she was as suspicious (and magical) as her owner. No one knew the Aunt’s name, and no one thought that was suspicious. When she spoke, the whole house seemed to freeze and listen to her. In a horrible mock Californian accent, she drawled, “Let’s go to the beach, dudes.” And like the new piper, she led the five children to the car. Like rats following music, the enthralled and confused children followed the Aunt.
At the beach, they wandered around naively as the Aunt told them fabrications about her surfing days. Josi and Hanna chattered on about something…I never did care about what the foolish humans said, and since they all lose their wiseness when they become teenagers, the magical ones and the young children are all I usually listen to. A few lucky teens are still wise, and Min was one of them. He was intelligent enough to keep quiet…as usual. He listened for anything real he might reveal in her fabrication. Right now she was telling them about surfing a giant wave.
“I rode that wave till I could ride no more. And…”
She broke off, straining for a good lie. Josi and Hanna were gazing off into space, eyes glazed over, “listening” but really thinking about themselves. Donald, the wisest one, near-yelled with excitement,
“Can we get some ice cweam?”
The Aunt chortled.
But before they could get the double chocolate chip chunk fudge chip cone, the heard a strange sound.
“Freeeeeeeeedom!!”, yelled something in a drunken voice, slurring and spinning.
It was in in a Land Rover. Donald squinted. It looked like…his dad? Donald’s mind raced. Though he was only in first grade, he was bright as a flash bulb. And he knew Daddy shouldn’t be like this.
“DADDYYYY!!!” Donald screeched like a crow defending its territory.
“Honey, I really think I drank too much wine. It sounds like my son!” Dad slurred. He sounded dizzy.
“Sweetums, you’re having hallucinations.” Mom said, sounding slightly tipsy herself.
The twins had just figured out that the Land Rover wasn’t their car.
“Hanna…we don’t have a Land Rover!” Josi said.
The two girls got into panic mode, which would be of no use to anyone.
“Mom stole a car!” Hanna said, in disbelief.
“OMG OMG OMG!!!” The two girls yelled.
“Uh…shouldn’t we focus on the fact that they’re driving right into the ocean?” Annabelle said, surprisingly calmly. She had to shout over the teenagers. The kids’ eyes focused on the Land Rover. It was moving slowly, but it was advancing, and it freaked out the kids. If they were smart, they would have run away as fast as swiftly as their little legs could take them. But they were trying to be heroic, and so they ran up to the car.
“Mom? Dad?” they all screamed.
“It’s another hallucination….” whispered Dad, slurring his words and fainting.
The car, propelled by the dunes of the beach, drove into the water. The engine was on, so the car fizzed nicely as it hit the water. Later, when the passengers were out of the water, the car would fall apart. But right now, the kids called 911, and they came rushing to the scene. One of the nurses came up to Annabelle and tried to cheer her up.
“My life would be much more interesting if I had parents like these.” Yeah, right. Annabelle thought. Then, 911 was gone. It was just the kids and the Aunt. There were no screeches of Donald playing or the noises of the twins chattering or the sound of Min and Annabelle’s book’ pages turning. There was just silence.
The children had to stay with their strange aunt until their parents were better. The very first morning, Donald asked to go the the beach. The Aunt consented. She had mysteriously lost her “accent” the day of the crash. Her accent was for disguise, to make sure no one knew she was magical. Some people can tell by the voice, and they aren’t kindred people. The voice didn’t fool me, though. Our kind can tell. The children weren’t fooled, either. But they didn’t say anything when the accent disappeared.
They searched in the wreckage at the beach…for what, they weren’t sure. Donald looking everywhere, Annabelle searching rationally, the twins just swimming in the ocean, Min staring out into space and visualizing the object, and the Aunt using searching magic (a little trick learned in school), they all tried incredibly hard. And so the beach became their home. They brought blankets to sleep in, though there weren’t many. Hanna and Josi were more than happy to snuggle up to Min, who was, like Annabelle, more often than not, awake, the tide lapping against his toes while he watched to sunrise and thought. Donald, however, sawed logs.
On day 13 (who said it was unlucky?), Hanna was swimming when she stepped on something. It was hard and made a dull metal sound when she stepped on it. What was it? She dove down to grab it. But something zapped her as she touched it, and she swam back, gasping.
“I found something.” said Hanna, still gasping for breath.
“What did it look like?” the Aunt asked.
“I don’t know…it zapped me first.”
The Aunt knew this type of spell. You had to enter an activation code for it to stop zapping you. But should she tell them about her magic? She very much trusted these kids. Yes. She should tell.
“I learned a little magic in my early years…” Donald and Annabelle stared. The twins continued tanning. Min gazed intently, slightly confused, but not very.
“Well, I’m just a little rusty, but I know that spell. Hmm…I can protect my hand from the zap. But only for a few seconds.”
She dove down, made the hand motions for the spell, and attempted to retrieve the object. She barely managed, dropping the mysterious object into Min’s hands. Now they had to figure out what the heck it was.
It appeared to be a timepiece. But it didn’t seem old at all. It seemed to be new, shiny and with a digital time. It had to be magical. It was golden and round with changing figures, from mermaid to unicorn to harpy. The Aunt could see it had a lot of potent magic in it. It would be incredibly dangerous in the wrong places. Were the children’s hands the wrong hands? She hoped not.
“Now, you need a password.” said the Aunt.
“Time!” said Hanna. Nothing.
“Piece!” said Josi. Nothing.
“Magical.” whispered Annabelle. Nope.
Min Soo said something in Japanese. Nada.
“REALLY COOL MAGICAL THINGY!” screamed Donald at the top of his lungs. Clik.
Donald opened the timepiece. It made a popping sound.
“Enter Time.” it beeped, in a cold voice.
Donald, like any 6-year-old would do when asked the time, asked the Aunt.
“Er…it’s 2:03.” Donald entered it in.
“Would you like to restart the day from that time?” the timepiece asked, like that was perfectly normal.
“We can go back to before our parents crashed!” Annabelle yelled, in one of her rare happy moods.
“And I can go back to my real family…” Min whispered, with a touch of wistfulness, but no one heard him. The Aunt wanted to look at the timepiece. There were engravings on the sides. The Aunt read them.
‘Changing history is not recommended by the Board of Magic. Side effects may include: amnesia, loss of personality, loss of body parts, loss of care..’ The Aunt didn’t read any more. She knew she had to stop the kids from using it…but she couldn’t tell them now. They were all so excited. The Aunt listened to their jabbering until she heard Donald say;
“Let’s use it now!”
Interestingly enough, the Aunt did not jump, slow motion , like in human movies, screaming,
“Noooooo!”, nor did she make any final speeches. She just sat there, almost like she knew it was my turn. I leaped from where I sat in the sand, where I had watched them foe 13 days, and grabbed the timepiece in my teeth. I looked at it, licked it, then waded down to the water (although I do hate it) and tossed it in. I went over and rubbed up against the Aunt’s leg. The children weren’t happy.
“Why did that cat take our only chance away?” Josi wailed. A chorus of “Yeah”s rose up from the crowd.
“Honey, that timepiece would hurt, not help. It might give you amnesia.”
Josi made a remark about everything being too good to be true. The children brooded for a while more, until Donald said,
“Can we have the kitty?”
Everyone wanted me. I disagreed, and expressed it by scratching Donald and hissing. I would remain a wanderer, but I would watch the family. They were worth enough to keep an eye on. As they went home, they thought about how much more they had to learn from the Aunt.
In 3 months, the kids were being taught magic by the Aunt. Donald had a natural talent for it. The first month, he had mastered invisibility. It was strange to see a toy hovering low above the ground. But Donald used magic too much. Once, company was over. One of the Aunt’s unknowing friends had to watch forks fly by themselves during dinner. Min was pretty good at magic, too. Hanna just said,
“Bah!” to magic, but Josi was a extraordinary student. In 3 months, she mastered most spells you learn in a year. Annabelle just didn’t have the knack, even though she loved magic. After 3 months, the kids got a call.
“I’m sorry to say this, but your parents must stay for a while longer.” said a nurse.
“Oh..well, that’s…” She tried not to jump up and down happily. “that’s too bad.” she said with mock wistfulness.
“WE’RE STAYING FOR TWO MORE MONTHS!” Annabelle shouted. And so it went, until the day their parents came home…and said this.
“We’re getting divorced.”
They had gotten sick of each other at the hospital, they explained. Were the parents happy or sad? Wistful or excited? In any case, the children had an interesting idea.
“Can we stay with the Aunt?” Donald yelled excitedly.
The parents didn’t much care and said yes. So, finally, the kids lived a magical life.
As for me? I hang around a lot. The Aunt calls me Destiny. I don’t know what it means, but it sounds right.