Magic Lost

When I was younger, the world seemed more magical. I enjoyed the outdoors and saw the divine in all living things. I find that, now, I’ve lost some of that. I spend most of my time indoors and miss the magic of nature. I’m not sure what has caused my change in behavior — just something that happens with time, maybe — but I have to admit that I’m not too fond of the change. I’ve noticed that distancing myself from nature has also caused a loss of energy and the positive attitude that I used to have. Right now, I’m a lump. Hopefully, if I start getting back outside, my love of the outdoors will come back, and so will the rest. My husband is expressing the desire to get a mountain bike to ride on the trails behind our house. Maybe I should jump on the bandwagon with him.

My writing prompt for the day reminded me of something magical from my childhood. What I wrote is almost entirely fiction, but it does have a glimmer of truth in it. I’ll reveal more after this creative writing exercise.

Writing Prompt:

You (or your character) find/s an item that unleashes a childhood memory.

Mine:

Amy Little grabbed another dusty box. It was heavier than the others and the handles gave way, spilling all of her mother’s memories onto the floor. Amy sighed and rubbed her head. The new owners only gave her a week to move a lifetime of precious mementos. Three days in, she had barely made a dent in the attic. The pile of knickknacks on the floor was the final straw in her attempt to go through everything. She was exhausted and could no longer make decisions. The desire to sort out what to keep and what to let go was outweighed by the need to get everything moved. Although she knew it would continue to collect dust in her own attic for years — possibly until her own passing — time was not going to permit her to carry-on with her original plan. She would let the movers handle the rest.

Amy reached for an empty box and began to fill it with the menagerie of tiny stone animals. The last figurine lay just out of reach. As she stood up, her knees let out a series of cracks. She groaned. The surgery that she had been putting off for the past year now seemed inevitable. Amy bent down and examined the last figure. It looked as if it were fashioned of tiger’s eye. Picking it up, she turned it over in her hand.

~~~

The wolf stared back at her through the window of the house on Warrior Road, his eyes glowing red. Amy was only five, but she knew that Loki was warning of a danger nearby. His eyes — normally gentle and kind with an emerald green glow — were now orbs consumed in fire. Amy ran to her mother’s room, waking her up with blood curdling screams.

“Mama! Loki! Loki looks mad!”

Her mother sighed, “We’ve been through this before, sweetie, Loki isn’t real. He’s just in your imagination.”

“He looks mad! Something’s wrong… Something’s coming!”

Her mother rolled over in the bed, swatting in Amy’s direction — dismissing her. “Go back to bed.”

“Mama, why won’t you listen…”

A loud rapping came from downstairs. It was relentless, growing louder and louder until the walls shook. The young mother jumped to her feet and grabbed the shotgun that was propped against the headboard. The door made an odd creaking sound beneath the drumming before slamming open, the knob blasting a hole in the wall.

Amy’s mother screamed for her to go hide, but Amy clung to the back of her gown. She looked on in horror as she saw her father with a rifle at the bottom of the stairs. He was advancing, his right foot hitting the first step with an eerie thud. His face looked distorted, looking partly melted as his lips curled up into a maniacal grin. His eyes were possessed of darkness.

“Nick! Come any closer and I’ll shoot!”

The young woman’s whole body trembled as the two stood with guns raised. Her gun slipped from one hand and Nick saw his chance. He was on the third step now — the woman he had sworn to love seven years prior firmly in his sights.

Amy screamed, “Loki! Please help, Loki!”

A shadow leaped onto the stairs, fire shooting from its sockets and baring glistening silver teeth. Nick stepped back from the large animal, lost his balance, and his perfectly lined shot tore through the ceiling. Amy’s mother pulled her shotgun back up and pulled the trigger. The blast ripped a hole right through his heart.

~~~

Amy gazed at the figurine in her hand. A tear rolled down her cheek as she held it to her heart. She found the only memory that mattered — the memory that would allow all other memories to be. She placed the little wolf statue in her pocket and left, never to step foot into her old home again.

The True Story:

When I was a young girl, I would often see the shadow of a wolf outside my window. He had no name to me, but I was never afraid of him. His eyes had a peaceful green glow to them and I felt comforted by his presence. One night, when I was about seven years old, I woke up to a loud noise outside. My wolf was next to my bed when I opened my eyes. His eyes were a fierce red and it frightened me enough to seek refuge in my parent’s room. Waking my father, I told him about the noise outside — I never mentioned my wolf friend, as my parents had told me many times that I was imagining him and had grown aggravated that I had not outgrown him. My father went to my window and saw someone outside our neighbors’ home with a flashlight. He turned on the light in my room and the person fled. It turns out that another house in our neighborhood was broken into that night and our neighbors’ would have been next if the burglar hadn’t gotten spooked.

Over the years, I did “outgrow” my wolf friend. I no longer see him — haven’t seen him for decades now. It’s another bit of magic that I seem to have lost.

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