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Something Wicked: What I did Over the Summer


Something Wicked ST
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This is a project thread. With the end of the Independence Day thread, I intend to move the story forward to the start of the school year, but that leaves two whole months of summer fun to go by. 

 

So what I want is quite simple, I want a post, from each of you, telling us what you did with the rest of your summer. You know the kind where your teacher makes you stand up in front of the class and give a little speech... yeah that kind.

 

this will be worth 5 extra xp and if your tale is really entertaining maybe something special.

 

Let your muse flow. Once everyone has posted here in this thread I will launch the Back to School thread.

 

As always I am available if you have any questions.

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WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER: I PLANTED A GARDEN

 

Silas bent over the squash vine that was trying to run outside of the long but narrow box that he and Dylan had made for it at the start of summer and began snipping back the runner shoots. Flowers were starting to bloom, and fewer places to bud would mean larger squash to harvest come fall. The hot haze of summer had set in and the two young men at work in the garden were sweating under the unrelenting sun. The garden was in full bloom, though: healthy green stalks and vines, small bushes and verdant plants all in meticulously maintained rows. The first harvests would be in days, not weeks, now. 
 

Dylan stalked through the foliage, watering the ground and checking for pests, leaf burn, and anything else that might threaten the good eats they’d been working on since the start of summer. His wandering seemed to bring him past wherever Silas was working more often than not and this time he paused, then held the watering can over Silas’ bent head, letting down a small shower of watering-tin warmed water over the other teen’s head. 


“Hey!” Silas squawked in surprise, moving out from under the water with a quick side-step away from the squash. 


Dylan laughed, “What? Ya looked parched.” 


Silas tried to grab for the watering can, but the taller boy simply stood on tiptoes to hold it out of reach. He dipped the can again, sprinkling more water on Silas’ hair, making it curl as it got wet. 


“Not fair,” Silas muttered with a grin he couldn’t hide, then shook his head and sent water in all directions and all over Dylan’s shirt and face. The older boy laughed and dropped the can next to him; he reached out, threading his fingers through Silas’ hair and stopping the shorter boy from continuing to spray. 


Hey,” Silas protested through laughing, “I was-” The words fell off as he took in Dylan’s expression. The two stopped and just stared at each other for a moment - damp and still dripping water, only inches apart. Dylan’s hands slipped down to either side of Silas’ face and the energy of the moment abruptly shifted. Silas blinked through water drops and asked softly, “Dylan, what’s-”


Dylan put his fingers over Silas’ mouth, silencing the other boy. “You are beautiful, Silas Walsh, that’s all,” he said softly, his eyes still taking in the features and laugh-lines of the other boy’s face. 


Silas blushed deeply, but the words gave him a confidence he hadn’t had since he’d realized he liked boys, too. He pulled Dylan’s hand away from his lips and leaned forward to close the gap between the two of them. Dylan followed suit, leaning into the sweet kiss and returning it. 


“You’re beautiful, too, Dylan Clairburn,” Silas breathed when they finally pulled apart. They only had a few minutes more of gardening left but they didn’t leave the garden until well after sunset. 

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WHAT I DID THIS SUMMER: I WON TWO COMPETITIONS

 

7/13/2020

 

“Quinn!” 

 

At her mom’s irritated call, Quinn gasped and thrust the book about magic under her pillow. After borrowing it from Evelyn, she’d taken great pains to sneak it into the house and hide it. She really didn’t want to explain why she’d borrowed it. “Yes, Mom!” she shouted, hoping that the guilt she was hearing in her voice was all in her imagination. “Coming!”

 

Holly was frowning at her as she came down the stairs. Instead of demanding to know what she was hiding, her mother said, “You have company.”

 

Quinn frowned and went to the front door, opening it to see Keith on her porch. His unruly hair was slicked back, he wore dress shoes, pants, and a button down shirt. He had a bouquet of wildflowers in his hand. It would have been a perfect image, only Keith had one eye squinted half-shut as he tried to keep a monocle in place. Quinn gaped at him.

 

He dropped to one knee and held out the flowers.

 

“Don’t,” Quinn gasped, terror flooding her. If he pulled out a ring--

 

Instead he started talking. “I’m sorry that I didn’t ask how you wanted to handle Silas calling you stupid. That was your business and I’m sorry that I didn’t let you make that decision for yourself.”

 

“Quinn?” Holly asked from behind her. “What in the name of God is going on?”

 

“Nothing, just stupid stuff with friends, and Keith apologizing.” Quinn looked back at him and hissed, “Get up! You’re not proposing.” 

 

“What if I am?” he blurted, then remembered Holly was there.

 

“I’m less than five feet from our varmint gun,” Holly said coolly. “If you have a ring, it needs to stay in your pocket for five to twenty years.”

 

“Yes, ma’am,” Keith said quickly, scrambling to his feet. “I mean, no ma’am, I don’t have a ring. But yes ma’am, I understand on the five years timeline.”

 

Holly glanced at Quinn, then said, “It’d better be closer to twenty than five, young man.”

 

“Mom, he’s just being stupid.” Quinn grabbed the flowers and said, “Thank you! And thank you for the apology. It is accepted.” She shut the door firmly.

 

“Is he--” Holly stopped herself. “Let’s try this: are you okay with his attention?”

 

“I think so,” Quinn said softly. The soft smell of the flowers surrounded her and she gazed down at them, feeling her stomach twist. 

 

Holly opened her mouth, then caught herself. “Here’s all I’m going to say, though your dad may have more. I know it feels so good when someone pays attention to you, but I want you to know that if he pressures you to make that ‘I think so’ into a ‘yes’, you just let me or your father know.”

 

“Oh, my god, yes, Mom!” Quinn said, “I know. I mean, he’s funny, and cute. I’m just trying to not rush anything.”

 

Holly relaxed at that. “Good,” she said, clearly relieved. “Slow is good.”

 

After Quinn had gotten back to her room, there was a text message waiting for her. //Now that I’m forgiven, can we talk some more?

 

//What about? she texted back.

 

//We could talk about how beautiful you are.

 

Quinn’s face burned but she couldn’t quite stop her grin. //Pass. Wanna hear about my training today?

 

//If that’s what you wanna talk about.

 

“Good answer,” Quinn muttered with a little smile. Pulling her magic book out, she settled into a mixture of study and texting.

 

 

 

7/23/2020, Bonecrusher Endurance Run, South Kettle Moraine Horseman's Park, Palmyra WI

 

Bey-bey lurched with a grunt and her even gait disappeared. Quinn pulled her to a stop, but the horse was already ambling to a halt. Sliding out of the saddle, the teen gasped when she saw her beloved horse holding up her rear, right leg. “Oh, no, no, no,” Quinn whispered, sliding her hands on her Arabian’s slender leg. Bey-bey flinched but let Quinn peer into her hoof. A large rock was jammed into the horse’s hoof, and Quinn put it down quickly. 

 

Pulling out the lead rope, Quinn led the limping horse off the trail so she wasn’t blocking other competitors. The hoof pick was in her saddle bag, and the teen carefully pried the rock loose, revealing a bit of blood and a very bruised frog. “Shit!” Quinn hissed, letting go of the foot. 

 

Grabbing the lead, she walked Bey-bey, watching her move. She was still favoring that back foot, and Quinn took another look at the map. She was five miles from the halfway station, which was a long walk for a hurt horse. 

 

You are not powerless.

 

Quinn stopped, looking down at the hoof again. Tying Bey-bey to a tree, Quinn drew out her pocket knife, feeling really stupid and unsure. It took three tries to cut a line on her arm and draw blood, but every time her courage wavered, she only had to look at Bey-bey’s foot to try again.

 

When she had a red line welling on her skin, Quinn swallowed and rubbed it on her fingers, then applied the blood to Bey-bey’s coronary band and hoof. She closed her eyes and [i]focused[/i] as she’d been told, imagining Bey-bey being able to put her weight on the foot freely. 

 

For a moment, she was sure nothing was happening, then her normally well-mannered horse jerked her foot out of her hand. Quinn watched, startled, as Bey-bey kicked her leg, as if trying to dislodge something stuck to it. Then she set it down on the ground as if nothing were wrong with it.

 

Squashing the burst of excitement bubbling up in her, Quinn untied her horse and led her a few steps. Bey-bey seemed fine -- better than fine, as she pranced and tossed her head as if they were at the starting line rather than ten miles into the race. Heart-pounding, Quinn mounted and urged the Arabian into a walk. There was nothing wrong with her gait, and Quinn dared to move the mare into a slow trot. Bey-bey responded eagerly and without a hitch to her step. 

 

Quinn kept a close watch on the horse, and waited anxiously through the checkup at the halfway mark. “You’re clear to continue,” the volunteer said, making notes on Quinn’s scorecard.

 

Quinn hesitated. The prudent thing would be to withdraw and let Bey-bey rest, but the mare jerked her head toward the trail and pawed the ground eagerly. “She’s got plenty of pep left,” the volunteer noted with a laugh. “Most horses coming through here aren’t half as ready to continue as she is.”

 

“Right.” Quinn threw herself back into the saddle, turned Bey-bey toward the trail and let the mare go. She allowed her a brief gallop to work out her wiggles, then set her into a hard trot designed to eat ground. Though she’d counted herself at thwenith place, she passed five riders by the next check and ended in fifthteenth. 

 

The biggest surprise was winning the Most Fit Award. “And on your first fifty mile endurance race? Outstanding!” Her dad gave her a big hug, beaming at her. Her mom did the same, while Beau pretended he wasn’t going to, but then gave her a hug anyway.

 

Laying on her air mattress and staring up at the stars that night, Quinn wondered if she’d just cheated. Unintentional cheating, but she’d still used an advantage that others didn’t have. But wasn’t that what Jo did? Used her natural gifts to win her competitions?

 

It’s too late for this bullshit, Quinn thought to herself. Talk it out with Evelyn and the gang, and figure it out later. With a sigh, she went to sleep.

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Hank worked through the summer, far more hours than during the school year, though he of course made time to spend with his friends.   Roughly a week after the fourth of july, he had gone to ask Evelyn about something.  As he understood, Magic was give and take.   The big campout for the scouts, where the elder scouts and troop leaders took the younger scouts out for a three day, two night trip down by the lake was coming up, and he wondered if itwas possible to ensure good weather for it.   Scoutmaster Luke Hall had asked him to help with the cub scouts, since they had  eighteen of them this year, and of course, he'd agreed.  For many, this would be their first big campout, so they wanted them to have a great time.


They still had a couple weeks until the camp was supposed to happen, so Hank took the opportunity to go pay a visit to Evelyn.   He wanted to ensure the weather was good for the camp, and wanted to know if she knew any way to do that.    "The weather is tricky, as it can be fickle, and depending on what you want to actually do, dangerous."


"Is something like trading days possible?  Like we get these three days of good weather, then three days of bad weather? Or vice versa?"

"That can be done, though it would still involve a sacrifice of some kind.   Now stopping a tornado or something would be much much harder, with dire consequences if you messed up even a little."

"I understand."  Hank smiled at her.   


"Do you think you could help me with a day swap?"   He went on to tell her why he was asking, and she agreed with a happy smile.  Evelyn even offered to help with the sacrifice, though Hank shook his head.  "I appreciate the thought, but this was my idea.  I can't ask you to help pay for it.  Just you helping me ensure it's done right is more than enough."   This made her smile grow, slightly. Hank was a forthright and honest young man. He had his values, and stood by them.


They figured out the sacrifice, and when the time was right, performed the ritual.   It was odd, inasmuch that Hank didn't go to his friends for help, just Evelyn, and when she asked, he smiled.  "You're the expert, and I figure if you help me with this, it won't be so bad on the "bad" days.   Besides, my friends are all busy, living their own lives, we see each other alot but each of us has things that are special.   The Scouts have been a part of my life since I was very young, I remember my first campout, or what would have been, but the weather turned foul on us.   I looked forward to that trip for the whole summer up until then, and we ended up not being able to do it.  I don't want these kids to go through that, if I can help it.   I don't know if they can help with this like I want, but you can.  With you agreeing to help, It should be great for them all."


He smiled back at her. "If you're interested, I can see about putting together a camping trip for all of us.   I admit roughing it isn't something the others like to do as much as I do, but there's just something refreshing and great about being out in the woods, not going back to a cabin with all the amenities.   It feels cleansing to me."

When it came time for the campout, everything went off without a hitch.  The weather was perfect,  nobody got hurt, and everyone had a great time.  A week later, the weather was particularly stormy for three days. Twice, Hank almost got hit going to work, but had narrowly avoided injury, though he had to spend his day off fixing his bike after the weather let up.


"It was a good trade." He smiled as he finished putting the chain back on his repaired bike, and getting ready to go meet up with the others.   Magic could be used do do good things,  but there was a fair cost.

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What I Did This Summer

 

 

 

But seriously. The summer was pretty weird. Things happened that I didn't really understand and I met new people. I moved... here. Didn't really like that. But you know it is what it is. But hey it worked out. I met Jo... Jo is just great. I never usually go for girls who are bigger than me, but something about her just clicked with me and it just felt right. I went to her competitions and we went on some actual dates. We uh... ended up doing the deed. But Quinn ended up finding us out. That was embarrassing, but also kind of like... fuck yeah, who cares?

I started learning more about magic, trying to practice it and learn more about it, it's been a struggle for me. I am not sure I really understand it, not fully. But I've been trying. I've been trying to spend more time with the others, but I still feel a bit on the outside. it's weird. I've just felt off since coming from Savanah. I wonder if it's fate that it happened, but I still fucking hate it. Even if the good things have happened since coming here. We've lost so much.

 

--

 

Darryl stops typing on his computer and considers what he had written for the essay for the school report on coming back and just sighs to himself. He rubs his forehead in consideration and shakes his head, "Fuck. I can't tell them anything about any of this. They will just think I'm crazy or making shit up... and I'm -not- doing that to Jo." He considers a few more moments before he goes and types delete, erasing his essay. Who cared about school work anyway.

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