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Real Life ‘Magic’
By: Pavarti K. Tyler
otherworldly stories that catch the imagination and force us to look at the
darker side of ourselves. But what is Halloween really? Through all the
traditions I can find, from The Roman Catholic All Hallow’s Eve to the Roman Parentalia
and even to the Celtic Samuin, the
connective tissue of these events is the idea that the wall between reality and
a spiritual world is thinner on the night of October 31st.
candy, Moms and Dads watch The Nightmare Before Christmas with their progeny,
and teens and singles alike dress in ever increasingly evocative clothing in
the name of Halloween. Do you think of horror movies or naked wiccans dancing
in the woods that night? I don’t.
little bit of magic kept him alive.
traditional sense I’ve always believed in a world within worlds, one which
connects us all and can give us power and insight into things that defy
definition. The story I have to tell you isn’t a scary one, but it’s one about
a time when the curtain of reality parted slightly, just enough for me to peek
through and see something I would have never been able to stop otherwise.
filled throws of looming graduation, love, self-discovery, and self-sabotage. So
basically I was exactly like everyone reading this. An emotional roller-coaster
on many levels, I never seemed to be able to get myself set straight or figure
out what I was doing. Words had a tendency to fall from my lips before I’d even
completed the thought behind them and any day I didn’t cry I considered a
success. Oh to be sixteen again.
streets with and a general feeling that things might actually be okay for me. What
could go wrong? Like everyday before, my fella and I met between classes,
walked to our lockers with goofy looks on our faces, pretending we knew what it
meant to be in love. That day I remember quite vividly, it was after AP
Government and he met me as usual, but something was wrong.
the shading of his already pale skin.
something, I don’t remember what now, but him not feeling well wasn’t
unreasonable. I remember a certain
dullness in his eyes though.
just knew there was something wrong. Something
deep inside me screamed out that he needed me. It wasn’t hormones or some other
desire to skip school; I had plenty of opportunities to exploit both of those. It
was definitely something deeper.
check on him, but the conversation in my mind wasn’t one that I could see being
this feeling there’s something wrong and maybe someone should go over there –
you know, see if he’s still breathing?
so I knew they wouldn’t go check. I called the house between classes and no one
answered. There was no one left but me. I knew where the spare key to his house
was and I had my own car.
II (a class I failed twice by the way) to leave early. I signed my mother’s
name and as per usual I completely fucked it up. I dated it September 31st. Guest
what day Halloween is. Yeah, I’m just that smart.
boyfriend, dread and concern mounting the closer I got. I had visions of finding him passed out in
the kitchen or worse. Something demanded
I get to him and I drove faster.
ridiculous little car up the steep hill of his driveway. Inside the garage against one wall was a
magnetic box holding the spare key. I
grabbed it and let myself in.
from the living room.
said. I started to calm down, he was
alive, he was just sick. I’d been
foolish to rush over here and worry.
There wasn’t anything wrong. I’d
make him some lunch and go back to school and it would all fade away. Another moment of over-reaction in my
hyperbolic life had been survived.
time. You know, protecting the innocent
and all. What I can tell you is he is
still a dear friend and not one to admit weakness lightly. Always working to over come the next obstacle
either internal or external, “I can’t” or “I’m not alright”
are things he rarely says. So I knew he
had to be really sick.
still vomiting but hadn’t eaten anything.
The sound of his retching got worse and worse until I had no idea what
I could feel the panic rushing through the phone lines. There was something very wrong.
a bucket next to him. I sat in the very
back, his head in my lap, despite his protests.
He was just too weak to pretend to be okay. That vision I’d had of him
passed out was coming true, but now, instead of alone in his kitchen he was
with me and his mother, on our way to the hospital.
erythromycin he’d been taking. The
reaction had been so swift and violent there was a possibility that he wouldn’t
have survived it, but thanks to whatever sense, or intuition or touch of magic
that had told me something was wrong, he was alive.
fairies. This isn’t a blurry picture of
a moving Bigfoot or and bright light skittering across the sky at an impossible
speed. What this is is just a moment in
time, a small thing really from the outside.
But to me, this was a moment when something outside of myself forced me
to act. When the forces at work in the
spiritual world around us crossed over and whispered for me to do something.
the thinning of reality made it easier to hear, my friend is still around. He is as difficult and stubborn as always,
but I wouldn’t have survived losing him and the world would have been a much
darker place without him in it.
forging a note, and skipping school. I
was almost suspended but instead was given detention because both my mother and
his asked the principle for leniency.
The adults around me claimed I should have done something else, told
someone, anything but what I did.
graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After
graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge,
Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off
freelance accountant for several international law firms. She now
operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she
lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not
preparing taxes, she is busy penning her next novel.
many short stories, Pavarti spans genres from Horror and Erotica all the
way to Fantasy. Currently Pavarti is hard at work preparing for the
release of her upcoming novel Shadow on the Wall, a Muslim Superhero
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supernatural transformation. This short piece is written in the style of
a classic horror story with a dark take on the addictive nature of