Tuesday, April 1, 2014


The phone rings. It’s your mother and she’s upset. “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t : 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” Write this scene.
Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.
        Zoey's mom doesn't look happy.
“Callie, did you tell your parents you were coming over?”
“Your mom's on the phone. She sounds upset.”
With her hands on her hips, she's making her best attempt to look angry.  She's not doing a very good job. Sadness lines her face.
Her eyes say, “Her daddy is dying.”
I know that look. 
I see it all the time.
I shoulder past her to answer the phone.  Cradling the receiver, I listen.
“Callie May, come home right now!”
“Please Mom, just a little longer.  I never get to play anymore!”
“This isn't a joke, Callie,” Mom says angrily.  “Your father is frozen.  It's like someone cast a spell on him.”
We both know who that someone is.  
As soon as I'm home, Mom marches me to Dad.  
He's on a cot in the living room; blankets piled high. There's life in his eyes and his skin is a normal color; not the yellow color of sickness.  His face is curled into smile and for the first time in a long time, he looks happy.  
Except for the fact that he's frozen, he looks normal.  Not sick.
I curl up next to him, taking in the warmth of his body.
“Callie,” Mom says gently.  “Just because we have powers, doesn't mean we should use them.”
I stare at the threads of the blanket, tears blurring my eyes.
“Why not?  What's the point of having powers if I can't save him?”  
Our family has the gift of magic and Dad is still dying.  Dying of bone cancer.  Over the past month, he's gone from energetic and happy to practically an invalid.  And Mom won't do anything—not a single spell to help him.
“Everyone dies, Callie.”
My chest heaves at her words, fresh tears warming my cheeks.
“Not Daddy,” I whisper. 
Mom's crying, too.
“I don't want to lose him either.  All we can do is enjoy the time we have left.”
I tilt my head to look at Dad.  
If I unfreeze him, we'll only have a few days until he takes another turn for the worst.  He'll try to hide it, not wanting to scare us.  But I'll see it; the look on his face when he can't do something he used to be able to.  That breaks him almost as much as the cancer does.
I hate it. 
“Callie,” Mom says.
“Fine, I'll unfreeze him, okay?” 
Placing my hand on his cheek, I whisper the spell.
Dad's eyes open, as if waking from a dream.  He yawns and smiles sheepishly.
“How long was I out?  I hope I didn't sleep the day away.”
“You didn't,” Mom says, scooting close to him.
We lay sandwiched together. I don't want to move.  
I'm afraid to miss a single moment with him.  
Instead, I memorize every line of his face; every glance of his eyes.  I want to keep him frozen forever.  The memory of Dad when he was normal. Not sick.


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