|Page 20. A. Valentine Smith||
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copyright © 1999, 2000,2001 Andrew V. Smith. All Rights Reserved
A bird in the hand, continued
|Melissa had said many a confusing thing about nonsensical
stuff, like magic. Even Sandy would say weird stuff, like writing in the
present is very magical. She’s always talking about conjuring up vivid
images in the ‘here and now’.
April thinks that she and Sandy are passing a grove of beach rose bushes. That’s her father’s name for the wild roses that grow on the sand dunes. The school gardener calls them Rosa Rugosa, a funny name that sticks with April. Odd, I don’t remember these bushes being here. Closed flower buds are forming on their branches. After they pass the bushes, April looks back. The bushes are gone, like they were never there.
Suddenly April’s senses feel sharper. The sun seems brighter and Sandy’s voice seems a lot louder. She feels a slight tingling sensation that she’s never felt before. April brings her thoughts out of the past and fully into the present. She tries to listen to her friend.
Sandy continues to speak endlessly to April and April alone, about these scrapbooks she inherited from Aunt Penny. Sandy’s non-stop chatter is very animated. I’m glad she’s talking again, but I just wish she’d stop talking about those damn books, April thinks.
“I’m serious, April. I think these scrapbooks are more than just books. I think they’re guides to magic.”
“Cut it out Sandy! The way you talk it sounds like witchcraft.” April shudders.
“OK, we’ll talk about something else, but hear me out first. It’s not as weird as you think.”
It’s the first time we’ve walked home together since Sandy’s Aunt Penny died, April thinks. April remembers the first time they walked home together, and promptly slips back into the past. Her senses seem to return to normal.
She was in seventh grade. It was the end of a hot May day, like today, and like today it began to cool off after school. They were at almost the exact spot where they met four years ago. April had walked this route alone for years. Suddenly she had heard a voice behind her.
“Wait . . . wait up!”
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