November 6, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

F Trope: magic to summon someTHING

Ruby Yilmaz and Liam Kaya sat side-by-side, skimming through websites. Liam muttered in Phasa Thai.

“English, Liam. English! While we’re here, we’re supposed to be practicing our English,” whispered Ruby. English was her birth language even though her parents had emigrated from Thailand to Australia before she was born and they spoke Phasa Thai at home. “It’s the language of physics!”

Liam grunted and said, “If you want my opinion, then the English isn’t going to be the language of physics much longer – that’ll be either Mandarin Chinese or Hindi.”

Ruby grinned and continued to scan the articles they had to read for the Intro to Physics in the 21st Century class they were taking together this semester. She sighed. What she’d RATHER be reading was articles on ancient magic.

“Look at this,” said Liam.

Ruby leaned over. While she was glad the lettering was English, she rolled her eyes at the site name, “Conjuring Made Easy”. She whispered, “You’re supposed to be reading the articles updating the CERN discoveries!”

“Hey! How do we know magic is supernatural? What if it’s manipulating the laws of physics as we don’t understand them?”

Ruby rolled her eyes and went back to reading. Let Liam waste his time. SHE wanted to move to some rich country someday – like China – and get a real job as a physicist! She wanted to be in on the Chinese dream of establishing a colony on the water world orbiting Alpha Centauri A – what the Chinese called Nán Mén Èr – and what they’d begun hollowing out an asteroid to reach.

“If magic is bogus, then why don’t we print this spell and go over to my place?”

Ruby rolled her eyes again. It wasn’t that Liam wasn’t good looking – it was just that he was quite certain that she found him attractive. The fact was that she had her eye on a certain very tall, very blonde, very, very shy Swedish young man in their physics class...

Liam said abruptly, “I know you’ve got it in for Elias, but I just want to see if this magic stuff actually works.”

Ruby opened her mouth to deny her attraction to the Swede’s light-skinned, elven looks, then closed it, considered, and said, “All right. BUT…” Liam’s look of delight froze on his face. She continued, “There’s no messing around and we get back to work after you’re done summoning whatever it is you plan on summoning.”

“I’m thinking I’m going to conjure up something that understands the laws of physics AND can explain them to me.”

She laughed and, gathering up her books, followed him out of the library. By the time they reached the dorm, however, it was threatening rain. “I’d better get going to my room…”

“That would be dumb! You live two kilometers from here. You’re sure to get caught out in the rain if you leave now – and you don’t have any tunnels you can duck into. Just stay the night. My roommate won’t be back. He’s busy sleeping with his latest boyfriend down the hall.”

Ruby made a face then said, “I’ll come up, but I’m not guaranteeing I’ll stay. If it’s not raining, I’m going home.”

Liam nodded and once they were firmly settled into his room and he’d pulled up the website again, he said, “All right. This summoning spell doesn’t seem to be too hard to pull off.”

“No blood of a virgin required?”

He snorted, “I’m NOT pricking my finger to bleed for a magic spell again. We’ll have to ask the guy next door.”

Ruby gasped, smacked him and laughed, saying, “Well THERE’S a silver lining to these rain clouds!”

Liam was silent, then muttered something that sounded almost like Phasa Thai. Lighting flashed and thunder rumbled to shake the window pane of the dorm room. Ruby scowled, focusing her attention on a particularly complex abstract regarding proof of the Higgs boson they’d discovered at CERN.

She was hunched over her computer when Liam screamed…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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