Friday, May 22, 2015

WHITE MAGIC ~ excerpt


And to follow RED MAGIC and BLACK MAGIC is WHITE MAGIC, which is still in progress.

The MAGIC COLOURS series will highlight a different sort of "magic" in each story. In WHITE MAGIC, we'll hear from young teen Charlize von Hagen, who is taken from Austria to England when her mother, Mina, who is Goran's twin, marries an English gentleman.
 
Red Magic
 
 
 
 
 
"My name is Charlize von Hagen. I live in England now. Sometimes I miss Austria where I went between two big houses. The first house was really Grandma’s, down in the green valley of the River Inn. The other, my favorite, was on the high mountain manor of Heldenberg.

 

We left because my mother got married. Lord Thomas is a nice man, an English gentleman, and because Mama wasn’t married before he came along, she was happier afterward because she was almost respectable again. You see, all her friends had turned against her when she had a baby - me - before she had a ring.

 

I was happy too, when she married Lord Thomas. At first, mostly because she was happy with him and then because I learned he understood me. He still does, although he sometimes also says I’m ‘wayward’ and that most people would have me beaten with a strap every day in hope it would make me act like a lady and not a “like a two-legged mastiff puppy.” He doesn’t spank anymore, although he did sometimes when I was younger. He hit especially hard the time I was playing with Mama’s spaniels and we ran into the maid so that she dropped and broke a very fine tea set. Mama says he doesn’t beat me because I act better now and because I am older and because he is a kind person. Besides, he thinks I can’t help myself because I am a little bit mad.

 

Truly!

 

This is not rude of him. I am a little mad, because I see things and hear things that other people do not. I get scared sometimes about what I see and what I hear, those things that others can’t.  What’s scariest of all is when I try to escape from all of that and then realize I can’t, because the things I’m most scared of are “in my head” and part of me. That’s what Thomas, who is a doctor, understood about me. He said that it sometimes happened to him, too, after he’d spent years and years in the dreadful wars and 'seen too many terrible things'. 
 

He and my Mama, too, appreciate what I feel, but I don’t make them happy when I panic. My fear scares them as much as it scares me.

 

English people just say it’s all “Germany” where we are from, but that’s only the language. We are not Germans, anyway, my mother says, but Austrians, and so that makes us more refined. We  have an Emperor. All the Germans have is a lot of little bitty countries like Saxony,  Westfalia, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Hesse, Wurttemberg, Schleswig-Holstein, and also some cities that are ruled by archbishops. The land of the German-speakers is a patchwork.

 

My mother is very beautiful, a twin, and born into an old and noble Austrian family.... 
My baby nurse, Trudchen, remained at Heldenberg with my Aunt Birgit, who is like a sister to me because we were only born a week apart.  At first I really missed her terribly and cried whenever I thought about her. My Mama had taken care of both of us after my grandmother was killed in the great avalanche, the one which came during the year with no summer. Uncle Goran, Mama’s twin, still lives on the mountain. He stays there all the time now, although he too was once a handsome, brave soldier, in the wars with Napoleon for years and years, just like Lord Thomas.

 

But Uncle Goran has changed.
 
 
Black Magic
 


 

It’s not his fault, but now he’s Krampus sometimes and a stag sometimes. Mama says he can be any kind of animal he wants, or bits and pieces of several, all stuck together. Thomas says that’s what the ancient Greeks called a chimera. But Uncle Goran’s other selves are a black secret.

 

 

I’m really not supposed to talk about any of it. Sometimes, though, if I want to sound crazy to someone I don’t like, I talk about it anyway...



~~ Juliet Waldron
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