The Boring Teacher and the Magic Wand
by William Shaw
"But it's my birthday!" I said. "I don't want to go to school!"
Mum looked at me tiredly across the kitchen table.
"You have to go to school, Jenny," she said. "It's the law."
"It's not a proper school anyway," I said. "Why can't I go to magic school like Cousin Charlie? He's got a wand and everything, and he's only nine. I'm ten today."
"Because it's important for you to grow up around normal kids. We've been through this."
"But why is that important, Mum?"
She sighed again and looked at her watch.
"I don't have time to argue with you, Jenny. You'll just have to take my word for it. Plate, please."
I handed Mum my plate, and with a wave of her wand the toast crumbs were gone.
"Now, I need to brush my hair, and you need to get your shoes on, madam," said Mum. "I don't want us to be late again."
As Mum left the kitchen, I noticed that she'd left her wand on the table. I was about to call after her when I realized she probably left it there on purpose as a birthday present for me. I was in double figures now, after all. I put it in my book bag and went to put my shoes on.
Mr. Whitaker was telling us all about the sun.
"The sun is ninety-three million miles away from the earth," he said. "It’s so far away that if the sun ever went out, we wouldn’t even know about it until a whole eight minutes later."
I put my hand up.
"How do you know that, sir?"
He smiled in that annoying way that grownups do, like they don’t really mean it.
"That’s a good question, Jenny. And when you grow up, maybe you can put it to the test yourself. But for now, you'll just have to take my word for it."
"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir."
I did my own smile that I didn’t really mean and slid my hand into my book bag.
Mr. Whitaker was wrong. Going by the clock on the classroom wall, it was seven minutes and forty-two seconds before it got dark outside and the little kids started screaming.
I know. I counted. I’m good at counting.
But I’m the best at spells.