The Six and the Magic Circles Excerpt 3

Again, a disclaimer. This is a first draft so it may change before publication or may be omitted entirely. Nothing is certain with first drafts.


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Garrett may have sounded a bit apprehensive when he hollered down to ask what he should do, but now Leyton looked up into the tree and saw he was sitting on a branch swinging his legs.

“Garrett, what are you doing?” Leyton called, worried that his cousin wasn’t being careful.

Garrett grinned as he looked down. “Just waiting for you guys to decide how I should get down.”

Grant looked up. “Garrett! Are you secured to the tree? It’s dangerous up there.”

“Nope. Just sitting here. How dangerous could that be? Don’t need to be tied to the tree.”

Grayson sighed. “Garrett!” he called. “You secure yourself right now. Don’t be so cocky. You never know when you may slip.”

“Not me. I’m a good tree climber.”

Suddenly a raucous “Screee!” sounded loud and close. Garrett startled and slipped, “Whoops!”

Everyone on the ground caught their breaths and peered upwards.

“You okay?” Leyton called in a shaky voice.

“Yeah.” Garrett still sounded confident, although his confidence had slipped a bit. “Oh, oh. That feathered giant doesn’t seem happy with me.” With shooing motions, he yelled, “Get away. Go on.”

But the bird continued to fly directly at Garrett, actually flying against him, knocking him off his seat.

“Oh, oh,” said Leyton. “He slipped. He’s falling! Mady, do some magic!”

Thumbs playing nervously in her loose fists, she replied, “Leyton, I don’t know how to do magic.”

“Well, you did some last night. You have to save Garrett. He’ll break his neck!”

“Garrett! Don’t fall!” screamed Mady. “Hang on. Don’t fall.”

But it was too late. Garrett was already plunging through the air.

Suddenly Mady’s ring flared a bright blue, burning a path upward toward Garrett. Then her eyes flared a matching bright blue streaking toward the falling kid. Garrett’s downward progression slammed to a stop; he hung in midair with no discernible means of support!

He grinned down at Mady. “Hey, Mady, let me down easy, will ya?”

Still not quite believing she was making magic happen, Mady looked astounded. Shrugging, she held out her hands, palms up, making motions as though she would catch him in her cupped hands. “Come down, Garrett. Come down slowly and land gently.”

Now bathed in a gentle blue light that emanated from her eyes, Garrett descended slowly and lit as gracefully as a bird, still grinning. “Knew you’d do it, Mady.”

Leyton threw his arms around his sister and said, “Mady, that was great! You’re the boss! You can make magic happen!”

“Yes,” said Mady. “It appears I can, at that. But how?”

“Dunno. But you had scary blue streaks coming from your eyes.” Remembering that, Leyton dropped the hug and stared at her as if she were some sort of ghoul. The others were looking at her with some evidence of trepidation, as well.

Mady didn’t notice. She was moving her hands and appeared to be whispering to herself.

Coffee Break

I snagged this from between the walls. It dates back, waaay back. But here, shaken a bit to remove the dust, it is.

Coffee Break

Beverly sighed as she filled the coffee maker with water, closed the lid gently, and sighed again. Was it for this she had worked so diligently in college?

She hadn’t taken “Coffee Making 101.” Should have, though. Should have taken “Shopping for the Boss’ Relatives and Friends,” too. And what about “Running Personal Errands for the Boss?”

Apparently, she, an honors student, hadn’t gone to the right school. Seems all of the really important courses for succeeding in the business world, like coffee making, were lacking from her university’s curriculum.

Sucking her lower lip behind her upper teeth, Beverly grabbed the coffee can, pulled off the lid, scooped out some coffee, and dumped it into the coffee maker. There. Two scoops – the boss likes it made with two scoops. Releasing her lip, she dumped in another. Then with malice in her heart, she dumped in two more before setting the pot to perk.

Back at her desk, she fidgeted as she tried to concentrate. Soon she was interrupted by the inter-office phone. Picking it up, she made a conscious effort to moderate her voice before pleasantly inquiring, “Yes?”

“The coffee ready yet? I really need a cup. Oh, and run down to the bakery. I would kill for a Danish. Pick up a half dozen. When George arrives for our conference, we’ll have Danish and coffee. Give us a few minutes, then bring in the coffee and rolls. But first, bring me a cup right now.”

Beverly fought the urge to be sarcastic and won, merely answering, “Right,” and set the phone down.

Taking a cup from the little cabinet above the coffee pot, she slammed it on the counter and sloshed some coffee into it. Grimly grabbing a paper towel, she mopped up the overflow before it reached the edge of the counter. Placing the cup and a napkin on a tray, she carried it into the inner office.

The boss didn’t even look up, just reached for the coffee. Beverly turned on her heel to leave. She had nearly reached the door when she heard the boss choke and sputter.

“This coffee is terrible! Just awful!”

Beverly turned around and with wide, innocent eyes asked sweetly, “You don’t like the coffee?”

“It’s terrible! Awful! Dump this and brew another pot!”

“Oh, I don’t think I can do it any better,” said Beverly. “I just don’t think I can do it any better. Maybe you should make it. I’ll bet you make great coffee. After all, you are a woman, Mrs. Henderson.”