Saturday, May 24, 2014


It’s unnerving the first time you look into a mirror and don’t see your reflection. If you are a magician, it means someone has stolen your face – identify theft can be very literal where magic is concerned. If you are not one, it is a yelp of shock and Jay running out of the bathroom.
        “My fathe ith gone!”
        He pointed to his head, then grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bathroom, pointing his left hand at the mirror. “Look!”
        I stared at the mirror, ran my right hand over it. No hint of magic, no sense of anything awry in the world. My reflection was visible in it, and made faces at me until I raised an eyebrow. Jay’s wasn’t visible at all.
        “Huh.” I drummed my fingers on the mirror, then glanced down at Jay. “Nightmares again?”
        He shook his head. “Nope,” he lied.
        I didn’t press him and walked back into the motel room. The beds were clean, which was more than could be said to the rest of it. Jay followed me to the window and looked out at the city, then back at me when he showed no reflection in it either.
        “Honcho?” he said after poking it with a finger and making faces closer to what my reflection had done in the mirror to me.
        He blinked, then nodded and hurried to his bed to get dressed. Jay looked human, even to magicians, as long as he wasn’t naked: few ten year old boys are as sexless as a ken doll. He pulled clothing on and hurried to the door, not hurrying into the hallway on his own even though he hadn’t had breakfast yet.
        I grabbed the duffel bags with out stuff and placed them sideways from the world. it took half a block for us to find a decent puddle and Jay peered into it, knelt, ran his fingers through it and stood up after. “I don’t have a reflecth – that.”
        “No, you don’t. And you’re good at hiding your nature, and very good at hiding.” He grinned pridefully at that; when you don’t have many talents, you appreciate what you have all the more.                 “Which means you’re hiding from your own reflection. Because?”
        “I don’t know,” he muttered.
        “It wath a bad nightmare,” he whispered, trembling a little as he stared up at me. “Thomething ith coming out of the placeth the dark ith thcared of,” he said, not trying to avoid a single ess.
        “Magic can come from places the light is scared of,” I said, and he relaxed visibly at that, not even trying to suck on his thumb to comfort himself this time. His reflection hasn’t returned, but I figured it would in time. I headed toward the nearest coffee shop and he hurried beside me, humming happily and tunelessly under his breath.
        Jay wasn’t good at lying to me at all; I could still manage to lie to him just fine.

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