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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2212271
Evelyn isn't sure what to do now that her demon-hunting days are over.
Evelyn shot up in bed. She walked over to her dresser and pulled open the bottom drawer, running her hands over the weathered red horns. She had bested thirty demons; nightmares couldn't hurt her. Nonetheless, it was one of those nights when she felt young again, afraid again, Putting on her slippers, she went downstairs, lit a couple candles, and brewed herself some tea and watched videos on her phone. Most of her friends found that stuff boring, but she thought it was a tremendous way to waste time.

When the sun came up again, she got dressed and went to work. As always, it was dull.

At home, there was a note waiting for her. Her stomach filled with dread, which quickly dissipated and then returned as she read it.

It said in a slanted scrawl, "Do you know magic things? I heard somewhere that you could help me. Sorry to bother you, but we're really lost. Call me at," and then the number was listed.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Sam was watching the sunset while his cousin Lindsey answered a slew of inconvenient spam calls.

"I thought you were supposed to have good luck," he remarked.

She hung up again and sighed. "Me, too."

"Maybe there's a curse that's, um, you know, making it harder for you to unlock your true potential."

"I don't know if that would make me feel better or worse." Lindsey drummed her hands on the picnic table, which was getting uncomfortably cold as the sun set. "You know, we should probably leave soon. I didn't bring a jacket or anything."

"No, no, I have the feeling it's gonna be tonight. And what if this lady turns out to be a creep?"

"Alright, sure, but it's not gonna be my fault when your parents get pissed at you."

He smiled. "Hey, I'm an adult. They can't tell me what to do."

Lindsey rolled her eyes as her phone rang again. "Hello? Yeah, yeah. Yes!"

"Is it her?"

Lindsey nodded.

"Yeah. No, yeah, I don't mind. Anything you know. Is it alright if I just come over? Okay. No. I wouldn't take long. Okay, Thank you."

Sam stood. "What did she say?"

"She said that she might know something, and that I could come over to her house."

"Nice," he said, setting off.

Evelyn looked through her refrigerator and got out a carton of apple juice. She had friends over sometimes, for movie marathons and corporate gossip sessions, but it had been forever since she'd let a stranger in. As she sat at her counter in anticipation of the girl's arrival, she realized that the possibility of the girl being a demon hadn't crossed her mind. Maybe it was the fact that she sounded young. Maybe her bottom drawer was full enough already.

The doorbell almost gave Evelyn a heart attack; she'd forgotten how loud it was. She walked over to the door and found a skinny Asian teenager and a redhead boy who looked about college age.

"Hi, I'm Evelyn. Come on in."

"I'm Sam, this is Lindsey," the redhead said, stepping casually over the threshold.

"Nice to, um, meet you guys." Evelyn backed off, towards the kitchen.

"Should I take off my shoes?" Lindsey asked.

"Yeah, that would be great."

Sam turned around and kicked his chunky sneakers in the general direction of the door.

"So, you kids need magical help?"

"Yeah, I think I started developing powers recently."

"What kind?"

Sam wandered towards the living room, where he saw a low bookshelf.

Lindsey began counting on her fingers. "Well, I can control water, which is pretty cool. I think I heal faster? Not completely sure on that one. And sometimes, it feels like I can almost float."

"Sorry, not my area. I mostly- well, exclusively- dealt with demons. Hey, where'd your friend go?"

"I think, over- Sam, what are you doing?"

"Check out this cool book!" He held up a book bound with dark brown leather.

"Oh, that was my ex's. She was a demon. I stole it from her house when when we broke up, but I never read it."

"It looks like it has info on every type of magic. I bet that includes you, Lin."

"Oh, sick!" She rushed over.

After half an hour of discussion, they determined that Lindsey had a type of magic called Bubbles, and that her friend Hailey had a kind called Tornado.

"How didn't you notice?" Sam asked.

"I dunno, I didn't notice about myself until it was blindingly obvious. Maybe magical people subconsciously group together, like queer people. A year ago, I thought all my friends were straight."

Evelyn nodded. "A good point. This stuff is fascinating."

"Hey, you should become a magical consultant, the lady with the book! Imagine how many people won't have to stumble through it blind!" Lindsey's feet rose a millimeter off the blue rug. Sam smiled at her.

"Yeah." Evelyn ran her hand reverently over the cover of the book. "Yeah."

Three nights later, Evelyn had another nightmare. She left the bottom drawer to be, and went straight downstairs. Instead of candles, she turned on the stark overhead lights.

After brewing some tea, she opened the book and began to fashion a spell that would be able to attract more magic users. Attract more clients.

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