My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter Nine

“So, what did you do?” Jen asked, slinging off her backpack. “You didn’t get lost, did you?”

“No,” Zoë said. “I was finding my classes.”

“Any trouble?”

“The magic class took me a while to find, but no.” Zoë didn’t count her experience in the garden as trouble. She still had the made-up tune of the song stuck in her head, demanding to pass her lips. The only thing that had worried Zoë for a minute was when she’d just barely gotten changed, right when Jen walked in the door.

“That’s good,” Jen said, and by default, searched through the fridge. “Chili dogs tonight?”

“How do you make chili?” Zoë asked, as a precaution.

“Oh… you need a good bit of cumin, and paprika doesn’t hurt. But you always put dark chocolate or cocoa powder in it. There are a lot of other spices I use, too. You can watch if you want.”

“Er… no, thanks.” Zoë decided to trust the hunch that Jen would have taken the opportunity to brag about any unusual spices thrown into the mixture.

Zoë left Jen to her own devices. There would undoubtedly be several questionable noises coming from her general area, but Zoë decided ahead of time to ignore them. Instead, she went up to her bed to find the novel she was reading, but noticed, below, that Jen had her homework open on her bed. Wondering what a magic student’s homework typically looked like, Zoë climbed down and, making sure Jen wasn’t looking, inspected it.

It wasn’t the homework that caught her eye, though, when Zoë reached the mattress. The homework, disappointingly, was some kind of convoluted geometrical paper, but Jen had a notice sitting nearby:

From Prof. Wyrnen and the Magical Trouble We Don’t Want to Deal With Department:

Students should not be worried about the local Mythical Creature. Daniel Renger and Sophie Inez have both been sent to combat the problem. They will identify the Mythical Creature and transport it to the nearest empty and suitable dimension, and efforts will be made to save any and all magicians killed by this Mythical Creature, with no guarantee of effect. Molly Fletching may also be added to the search team if the need becomes great, and in case of emergency, a volunteer team may be asked for aid. No student shall be required to join any or all of these volunteer teams. No student shall leave class to search for the Creature. No student shall experience any change in scheduling or general practices. This message is not to be copied, resent, electronically transmitted, or received by any machine or person other than those to whom it was given by the original sender.

So that’s what’s wrong! Zoë thought, alarmed but pleased. She wasn’t sure what to think of this, but she was approached by this surprising stubborn determination and a cocky idea. But I need magic for that, she thought. I need to hone what skills I have.

“Kiddo,” Jen called from the kitchen. “J’ai ton dîner.”

The chili was surprisingly toned-down, but it had the classic foreign flavor that Jen liked to add. Zoë almost wondered if she’d put in rice pudding. It might have been good alone, but Zoë wasn’t sure of her opinion when it was put on a hot dog.

Zoë ate the hot dog, but she also took two Tums from her backpack while Jen wasn’t looking, just in case.

Jen got up from the table and put her dishes in the already-too-full sink. She seemed to realize something, and nonchalantly walked over to her desk-bed. Zoë watched her, out of the corner of her eye, as Jen furtively hid the notice inside a science textbook. Too late, Zoë thought.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at 7:20 pm and is filed under Zoe. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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