Once a Wizard

Sarah Ryan

Once upon a time, too near and yet too far away, in a little dark town there was born a wizard who just happened to be a little girl.

No, her life was not very good because all her relations were either insane or cruel or not there.

For when her father got carried away by a dragon, her mother took to her bed in the tall, thin tower and lamented the day long. And nights, too, often.

Now, one night while this lamenting was going on, a magic white dragon, who happened to be flying overhead, objected, freezing everyone but the little girl who just happened to be a wizard, in time.

So the wizard who just happened to be a little girl had to grow up fast without appearing to in case the dragon’s spell wore off and everyone woke, because, naturally, she didn’t want her mother to wake and find her little girl gone.

No, you’d think that the life of this little girl, who just happened to be a wizard, couldn’t possibly get worse,

But it did.

Her mother, who was asleep from the wicked dragon’s spell, married a drunken beggar, who made them sweep out the hearth and muck out the swine and the wizard, who just happened to be a little girl, was very miserable.

And, no you know, it can’t possibly get worse...

Unless you consider that the ghost-ridden ivory tower that her stepfather locked her in to keep her from being harassed by the other wicked and cruel relatives, who were, even so, still asleep, is worse. But being as the little girl was a wizard, she spent her time learning things like how to become invisible, and how to be a robot, or a stone...

Which killed her wizard powers almost totally.

And then one day, having forgotten she had been born a wizard, she jumped out of her ivory tower, hoping to land on the very sharp and rocky shores of life below and die.

But she didn’t. So she just walked away. and tried to make of life of her own, but the ghosts of her former life followed her everywhere.

One spring day, she got really irritated with the ghosts who were jeering her attempts to do anything and hollered back at them.

One stalked off offended, threatening the most dire of happenings. The only thing that happened was that there was one less ghost to make fun of her, so she began to
offend the ghosts one by one, even the shape-changing ones, even the invisible ones, even the ones seven-hundred feet tall with fangs and claws.

And finally she remembered, very slowly, ghost by ghost, that she had been born a wizard. She walked up to the top of the nearest hill and stood there and raised her arms, and her power shown out from her like a thousand candles and fourteen resin torches and she said, "I love you. I forgive you," and she meant everyone, even herself.

And the rest of the ghosts were extremely offended so all went home.

1998 Syd Weedon.
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