Category: Modern magic


Since Jed had met Harland Bonaventure, he’d been quietly aggravated. He’d held his tongue and borne with the other professor in the years he’d been teaching. Harland was in the habit of casually insulting people.

It never seemed intentional. He would simply say whatever crossed his mind at a given moment, whether it might be hurtful or not. Generally it was something about Jed’s wife’s job or his own quirky behavior. One day however, Harland grinned as he remarked that Caden was growing up to be just as weird as Jed himself.

“He’s four,” Jed snapped, as he smacked Harland on the back of the head. “You’re thirty. Learn to think before you speak.”

But it May Just be Some Tuna Fish You’re Looking For

Jed stirred the bubbling pot and glanced over at his wife as she breaded the chicken to be fried. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “You seem a little quiet.”

“It’s weird,” Naomi replied after a moment. “Here we are making chicken with rice and gravy and all I can think it this breading would be great on fish too.”

Jed set the spoon down and grinned at his wife. “You’re craving fish?” he asked. “Do we need to stop by the drugstore tomorrow?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, returning her focus to the chicken.

Jed caught her hands and brought her to him, murmuring, “Naomi, every time you’ve gotten pregnant, the first thing that happens if you want fish. It’s not outside of the realm of possibility, you know. I know we’ve been busy but… we still… make time for that and they do know that there’s a direct correlation now.”

“Are we ready for another one?” she asked softly.

Picking up on the tension in her voice, Jed snuggled Naomi a little closer. “Whatever happens, we’ll be fine,” he assured her.

You Gave Love a Band-aid

Jed smiled as he watched his youngest students. They were only starting middle school and everything seemed both simple and dramatic at the same time. He watched as a boy, Kyle, caught himself on a piece of paper or staple. Either way he got a small cut on the tip of his finger.

Claudia, one of the little girls in his class, handed Kyle a band-aid before anyone else could react. The shy smile that passed between them could have been one between himself and Naomi or between Joshua and his new girlfriend. They were sweet and adorable but class needed to start.

“Alright, folks, let’s begin,” he said, clapping his hands sharply.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

“Mice!” Jed growled as he stamped into the teacher’s lounge. “Oh how I hate mice.” He flopped into an overstuffed chair and shuddered. “I don’t care if they make good practice subjects for spells, they creep me out.”

“Being the English teacher, you ordinarily don’t have to deal with them though,” Thaddaeus pointed out. “What’s wrong?”

“Brigitta had some escapees from the batch she was raising for Christian and Morwen and since my classroom’s right next door to hers, they made their way in there,” he explained. He pulled out his cell phone and cursed when he remembered that the device didn’t work on school grounds.

“Who are you calling?” Thaddaeus asked.

“I was gonna call an exterminator to get rid of the things,” Jed replied. He stood and stretched before making his way to the landline that was connected to a nearby wall.

“You don’t need to do that,” Elena Ridgeley said as she scurried by. She paused long enough to snap, “They’ll kill the poor dears.”

“That was the idea,” Jed murmured, setting the phone down and smirking at Thaddaeus wryly.

Jed looked up from his book to find Caden frowning as he looked under the porch. “What’re you looking for, Caden?” he asked.

“I’m looking for Liang,” he said. He tilted his head inquisitively. “We’re playing hide n’ go sneak. Have you seen him?”

Jed shook his head in reply but then a thought occurred to him. “Don’t you mean hide and go seek?”

“No it’s hide and go sneak, Daddy. Liang counts an’ I hide and then he comes and sneaks up on me. I’ve been waiting a long time and he still hasn’t found me, so I thought I’d look for him,” Caden explained. Jed grinned as he continued, “Maybe he thought we were playing hide and go fish.”

He couldn’t help but chuckle as the four year old trotted off around the corner to find his friend.

“It’s very hot,” Chloe complained. “Even when we go outside to play it’s too hot. But inside is boring.”

“I’m bored too,” Caden said softly. He stood up and looked outside. “It’s very hot,” he added, repeating his sister.

“I have an idea for something to do that will cool you off and be fun at the same time,” Jed said. He waved a hand and they followed him outside. Once in the yard, he filled a few buckets, as well as balloons left over from Caden’s birthday, with water. His arsenel ready, he grinned wolfishly. “Head’s up,” he called, tossing a balloon at Chloe.

The five year old shrieked as she missed and was splashed with water. It only took her a moment to realize what was on her father’s mind. She grabbed a handful of absorbent toy balls that lay nearby and ran toward the buckets that Jed had readied.

Caden caught on just as fast and grabbed the hose. Then it was Jed’s turn to scream as his four year old son sprayed him with the water straight from it’s source. The child even managed to use the hose to deflect a water balloon that Jed sent his way. However, Chloe got him with a squishy wet ball.

Then the battle was on in earnest. Amid shrieks and giggles they spent the better part of an hour cooling off and having fun. At one point, Jed wrestled the hose away from his son and turned off the water so they only had the buckets and other water toys to use. Soon enough their resources were used up and they settled back on the soft damp grass to rest.

“Are you two less bored now?” Jed asked, chuckling softly.

“Thanks, Daddy,” Chloe said. “How are we going to get back in the house without getting everything wet?”

“You two can change in the mud room,” Jed said. “Pull the curtain up between you so you can have some privacy. I’ll cange in the bathroom that’s just off the kitchen. I have some clothes in there and you two have your bags from karate in the mud room. Just replace the spare clothes before Tuesday.”

“You’re so smart, Daddy,” Caden said. “Can we have ice cream too?”

“How about we wait until Mommy gets home to have ice cream. She won’t want to miss that,” Jed suggested. “Would you two like to help me make supper? We’re going to have salad.”

“With eggs and cheese and rolled up meat?” Caden said.

“And pepperoni and olives,” Chloe added.

“Sounds good,” Jed said. He got to his feet and led the way inside. Soon Naomi would be home and they would get into their evening routine. The water fight had served its purpose and gotten them over the late afternoon hump.

Spring was the time for visiting the Farmer’s Market and getting fresh vegetables as far as Jed was concerned. Since there were certain vegetables that he would only eat fresh, not frozen or canned, they only entered his diet for the spring.

Caden who, at only four really didn’t remember the previous year, scowled at the vegetables his father was perusing on the farm stand. “What’s that?” he asked as jed picked up a bunch to put in the shopping basket.

“Asparagus,” Jed replied. “Mommy and Daddy love them. Chloe liked them when she tried the last year too. You wouldn’t try them though. Maybe this year?”

“Is it the age of asparagus now?” Chloe asked.

Jed grinned but looked closely at his older child as he asked, “What do you mean?”

“Like the song, Daddy,” Chloe explained. This is the dawning of the age of asparagus. Right?”

Chuckling softly, Jed nodded. “Yeah, it’s the age of asparagus, sweetie.”

They were just getting to the beach when Caden tugged on his father’s hand. Jed smiled, knowing how much the boy hated crowds. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“My eyes hurt, Daddy,” Caden replied. “I don’t like it here. I think it’s too bright.”

Chloe frowned and Jed was about to intervene in what might turn out to be a sibling argument when she said, “Her shirt is very shiny. It’s like a light bulb.” As she spoke, she pointed boldly at a woman wearing a top of some sort of shimmering fabric.

“I suppose it is a little bright, but it’s not polite to point, Chloe. Caden, how about you put your hat on, then the sun won’t be so bright. Then we can look for seashells for our sand castle.” The subject changed, the children quickly set off down the beach in search of the perfect shell.

The young man caught her eye as she came in the club. He had short red-brown hair and an easy laugh that carried even in the busy room. He also moved with a grace that accentuated his lean muscular frame.

“Macie, you like him?” Charlotte asked.

“He’s cute,” Macie replied. “I wonder if he works around here.”

“Dare you to kiss him,” Charlotte said, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “Go on,” she pressed. “What’s he going to do?”

“You’re so childish – like a teenager,” Macie said. “I’ll talk to him, that’s all.” She ducked and weaved through the crowd and looked up at him. He looked very familiar but she couldn’t place him. “Hi,” she said. “You look… a little familiar.”

“You do too,” he said. “I’m Joshua Eckstein.”

“You’re that resident in the ER,” Macie said in shock. She felt herself blushing and looked away. “I’m Macie Chandler.”

“You’re a nurse,” he said. He grinned at her. “Pleased to finally meet you, or get your name rather since I’ve seen you before.” For a moment Macie almost wished she’d taken Charlotte’s dare. Then she grinned and settled down next to the young resident to have a drink.

“Joshua,” Jed called. He peeked out into the corridor and called his brother again. When the fourteen year old stepped out and looked curiously at him, he asked, “Have you seen my jeans? The stonewashed ones, like you’re wearing.”

It took him only a second to realize why his brother looked down at his own slacks. “Those are my jeans?” he asked, shock and aggravation coloring his tone.

“I grew out of mine,” Joshua replied.

“That’s just not right,” Jed groused as he returned to his room to pick out a different pair of pants for the day.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

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