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Writing Magic 

1st Prize Winner

Veronica Shreve




“Very funny, Reggie.”


I furrow my brow and make my way to the front desk. “Were you talking to me, Madame Aubrey?”


She sighs. “For the last time: no telekinesis in the library.”


“I didn’t!”


“Don’t even start with me, Reggie. You’re the only student who can do telekinesis without a direct line of sight.”


I set my stack of books on the desk. “Really, it wasn’t me.”


“Mmm-hmm. These are due back in two weeks. And don’t forget to change them back this time. Last time you left them all in braille.”


I wince. “Sorry about that.”


I exit the library. Warm sunlight washes over me. The wind swishes my robe and tousles my hair. I hear students and mages moving about the courtyard, chatting and laughing.


I walk to my favorite bench. As I get close, I hear soft sniffling.


“Hello. Mind if I sit next to you?”


“No.” It’s a young woman’s voice. She sounds as if she’s been crying.


“Tough day?”




Her voice doesn’t sound familiar.


“I don’t think I’ve seen you around.”


No reply.


I chuckle. “That was supposed to be a joke. I’ve never seen anyone.”


Silence. Maybe she wants to be alone. I stand up. “Well, I hope you have a good rest of the day.”


She grabs my sleeve.


“Oh! You… don’t want me to go?”




I sit back down. “May I ask your name?”




Moments pass. “Is… your name ‘Yes’?”


She chuckles quietly. “No.”


I grin. “Do you ever say anything other than ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”




Her eagerness catches me off guard. “By choice?”




“Hey Reggie! Who are you talking to?” It’s Bruce from Alchemy.


“A new friend.”


“What new friend?” asks Bruce.


Realization strikes. “You can’t see her?”


Bruce laughs dismissively as he walks off. “Good one, Reggie.”


The girl’s grip on my sleeve tightens. I reach for her hand. It feels warm, human. Good, so she’s not a ghost.


“Have you been cursed?”




“So you’re invisible and can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”




“I’m sorry. That sounds so lonely.”


“Yes,” she says softly.


I feel a ring on her finger. “Wow, this is a large stone. Is it real?”




So she’s wealthy. And she’s been cursed, which means she must have enemies.


A crazy idea enters my head.


“Have you been this way for two years?”


“Yes!” Her excitement is palpable.


“Are you… the lost Princess Opal?”




My mouth drops open. “Your Highness!”


I immediately release her hand, but then she takes my hand in both of hers.


“Thank you,” she says through tears. “You guessed my identity. You broke the curse!”


I gasp. “I did?”


The princess laughs. “You’re Reggie, the academy prankster?” She gives me a light shove. “Every time I moved something around to try to get someone’s attention, they assumed it was you.”


“Then you’re the one who’s been getting me into trouble!”


The two of us laugh together as a crowd gathers around us.

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