Do You Believe in Magic?

Adore Angel

Today is a good day to die
If Adella was being honest with herself, she wasn’t too sure how she felt about the New World yet. She was leaning more on the side of… distaste for the New World. To her, it was completely different from her old life in France. In France, the city was large and bustling. There were always people around, fires burning food being baked and there were always other children her age and things for her to do. Her older brothers were still in France. They didn’t decide to move to the New World with the rest of the family even though their black smithing skills could greatly improve life in the fort. The current black smith didn’t have nearly as much skill as her brothers did and they just stopped being apprentices.

Here, in the New World, everything was different. There weren’t many children in their fort, let alone other kids her age let alone her sister’s age. There were forest and green everywhere. Everyone had to work together to make sure there was food on the tables, and enough firewood to keep warm at night. Sometimes she heard whispers from the adults about attacks from the Indians. Whoever the Indians were. All she knew is she never wanted to meet one after hearing the stories told around the fires at night were any indication.

She thought after months at sea, she would finally be glad to be back on land. But, as the days dragged on, and turned into weeks and then months, and even a year, she continued to question the choices of her father. Why did he feel it was necessary to pick up their entire life and move to a completely foreign land? One that wasn’t as well established like France or England? Sure, this New World has proved itself even in its infancy, but it was far from established. Most of the land was even unexplored and still dangerous.

For some reason, she always felt that her father was running away from something. But, she never knew what that something was. And she was always too afraid to ask.

Now, a year after they moved to the New World, Adella had found at least some semblance of normal. She became reluctant friends with the local son of a scrivener who was about her age all because he had a younger brother who was the same age as Adella’s younger sister, Clara. Adella always thought her friend out of convenience was too dreamy. He never had his feet planted firmly on the ground and would always rather read a good book about dragons and princes and princesses than go to Sunday mass. He would rather listen to tales of dragon slayers than those of the bible. Adella didn’t have much in common with Jeremiah, but her father insisted that she befriend the tall, muscular son of the scrivener.

It didn’t help that both her parents, and Jeremiah’s parents always put them in charge of their younger siblings, and their younger siblings were best friends so they played together in the woods nearly every day. So Jeremiah and Adella typically saw a lot of each other.

It was another normal day. Her mother had made their usual breakfast, porridge, and of course right after breakfast, Clara demanded Adella take her out to the forest to play with young Peter, and of course her father agreed that it was a good idea for Clara and Peter to play together, like he ever thought it was a bad idea, and off they went.

Just like every other day, Peter and Jeremiah had beat Adella and Clara to their usual clearing in the woods since Clara had to stop and look at every flower or pretty budding plant or animal along the way. And like normal, Jeremiah brought a book with him that he would usually try to convince Adella to read with him. Sometimes she caved and they would read the book together while their younger siblings played, other days she would try to get Jeremiah to listen to the scripture that she would recite by memory.

Adella’s frown turned into a small smile as Clara shouted Peter’s name and rushed over to him, talking about playing Dragon and Knight with Peter where she would be the damsel in distress and Peter had to “save” her from the imaginary evil dragon.

Her attention went back to Jeremiah as Peter and Clara started to act out their little play. She has only ever been vaguely aware of how close she’s grown to Jeremiah over the year. She never thought it would happen, but she enjoyed his presence. His perspective in life was refreshing and his crazy ideas that magic existed always managed to bring a smile to her face even though she knew better. Magic doesn’t exist. And it never would

“Good morning Jeremiah,” Adella greeted, making her way over to him as she watched their siblings run away from the imaginary dragon screaming in pure joy and excitement, “What kind of book are you reading today?” she asked, pulling her green eyes away from the youngsters to try and get a peek at the title of the book he was reading.

Adella was wearing her typical brown, boring dress. The corset was restricting her normal breathing, like normal. At 16 years old, she still could not figure out why corsets were a fashion statement. To her, it was the most inconvenient garment invented other than cage skirts. Thankfully, she wasn’t wearing one of those today and went for the many other layers that were necessary of female attire. Her light brown hair lay loosely down to her waist, and even though winter was drawing near and it was becoming colder, she couldn’t feel the cold and didn’t find a need for a heavier overcoat like everyone else in the fort was beginning to wear.
Jeremiah looked up and grinned as Adella walked up. "I thought you would be late!" he greeted her in his baritone voice. "Peter has been asking about you and Clara every five seconds!" He gave a dramatic sigh then finally answered her question. "I'm reading about Indians, and I feel like we have about as much factual information about them as we do about fairies." He shook his head with a faintly annoyed huff. "Really, people give me so much guff about reading fairy tales, and what would they call this?" He waved the book disdainfully, though still gently, and set it aside with care. Books were not easy to obtain, even for a scrivener.

He shifted to his other hip and turned to look at Adella, his black hair flopping messily. Without a mother in the house, things like proper haircuts tended to go forgotten in a family of four boys and a busy father trying to write fast enough to keep them all fed and in shoes for winter. In all honesty, it was amazing he sent Jeremiah and Peter out so often, and Jeremiah had a few theories as to why that happened, but soon Peter would be apprenticed as well, and then play-time would be severely restricted. With Peter's play-time restricted, that meant Jeremiah would not have nearly as much free time to read, either. He wouldn't complain about getting sent off to sort of watch his brother so long as he had time to read!

Speaking of his brother, Peter was trying to talk Clara into playing a more Arthurian-themed game where he was the Knight Lancelot and she was the Lady of the Lake. Peter had really been into King Auther since Jeremiah had read him a few bits of the story a few nights ago.
Adella giggled, "Weren't we late though? Clara couldn't help herself and chased after a butterfly before coming here," she replied to his comment. She listened to him talking about the Indians in curiosity. She was always too afraid to read about that stuff, or ask anyone about the Indians. As long as she never met one, she would call it a day and she'd get any information she needed on the Indians from Jeremiah.

"What are they saying about the Indians? I mean, they're a backwards people with no real form of government, or right or wrong right? At least that's what I've heard the adults talk about. They seem pretty scary to me I don't think I could ever live life like they do," she smiled, and nudged Jeremiah with her elbow, "And don't you think we should know more about them other than a mythical creature like the Fae?"

She over heard Peter telling Clara of his idea of Knight Lancelot and Lady of the Lake, to which Clara quickly agreed to play out and Adella laughed, "You're reading that book again huh? With the... What was it? Sword in the stone? Excal-excil-something. But, there was a King in there, wasn't there? King Arthur, right?"
"Excalliber! The greatest sword known to mankind!" Jeremiah reminded her, his eyes lighting up. "Yeah, just a bit. Not all of those tales are, uh, good for little kids." He blushed slightly and laughed it off. "Anyway, the Indians are just as civilized as any of us, just a different type. And not all of them are killers, just like all of us aren't savy business people. After all, some of them helped the first settlers, didn't they? People are just people." He hesitated. "Though you probably shouldn't go introducing yourself to one by yourself..."
Adore giggled at Jeremiah's excitement, "Yes. That's the name. Excalliber. Don't tell me you think that sword exists too?" she asked as a slight joke. As they went back to talk of Indians, her gaze went back to their siblings, "You think they're just like us? I'm afraid of them to tell the truth. I heard my dad talking to some of the others, apparently scouts have been reporting that Indians have been near here recently. The only reason he's okay with us going in the woods is because there's a trail not far from this clearing where a lot of travellers go through so if anything happens, we're not far from help. I'm worried they may try to attack us. But, I think you're right. I think they did help some of the early settlers. But I'm not too sure."
Jeremiah shrugged, watching as Peter fell splat on his face, got up, dusted himself off, and ran after his playmate. "They would be idiotic to attack an entire fort. A lot of those stories are overblown because people like a good scare, and what they don't know scares them. But you don't have to worry." He flashed her a grin. "You've got me to protect you!"
She watched Peter fall down and shook her head. She could remember when she was that age, but it was always funny watching them play anyways. She turned back to Jeremiah when he told her he would protect her and a slight blush formed on Adella's cheeks. Every now and again, she could see something around people, almost like a glow. But the glow always had color to it. For a second, that glow around Jeremiah looked almost pink, but it faded before she could get a good look.

"Yeah, because the only thing terrifying about you is your size. I bet you couldn't hurt a fly!" she teased, poking him in the ribs.
Jeremiah clasped a hand to his side and recoiled, gasping in mock-pain. "Oh! I have been slain! By my closest friend, of all things! Oh, woe is me! How could I have been struck down by my closest of friends! Et, tu, Brutus?"

He flopped over dramatically and lay sprawled on the grass, his tongue hanging out to one side, one hand still on his side. Peter slowed in his play and looked over quizzically as his brother lay still and quiet.
Adella laughed as she watched his dramatic show as he fell to the grass. But, she was slightly surprised. She didn't know he considered her his closest friend. Her heart felt a little lighter in that moment. Maybe she was adjusting to her new life in the New World better than she originally thought she was.

"Et, tu, Brutus? Now, where did that reference come from?" she asked, sitting down in the grass with him. tucking her skirts underneath her as she leaned her back against the tree.
Realizing everything was fine, Peter ran off with Clara once more.

Jeremiah's heart gave a happy flutter at Adella's laugh. He opened his eyes and folded his hands behind his head with a grin. "It's recorded as being Julius' Ceaser's last words when he was stabbed to death by the council." He frowned slightly. "No, not council, that's the wrong word. Started with an S. Senetors? No... Anyway, a bunch of the under-rulers felt like the Ceasar was leading the country astray, so they decided to all kill him jointly. One of them, sadly, was his closest advisor, best friend, and adopted son Brutus. He's saying, 'You too, Brutus?' to they guy whom he helped raise."
"Oh, I didn't know you were into history too. I thought your love was only for everything magical and mythical," she replied watching as their two siblings played, "Poor Ceaser. Betrayed by the people closest to you. I couldn't imagine something like that happening to me,"

A moment later though, she cheered back up and poked his leg with her foot, "On another note though, It's almost time for a snack. It is your turn to bring snacks today. Did you remember? Or forget again like last week when you got that new book?"
"The only difference between history and myth is one is taken as fact and the other not," Jeremiah said, pulling a face at her as he sat up. "And as it happens... I did remember the snacks!" He pulled a satchel from where it rested in the shade and opened it to reveal dried apples, cheese, and a canteen of water.

"Is it snack time? Yay!" Peter cheered as he ran over. "Clara, you'll like the snacks I packed today!"
"Yeah, everything not real is not taken as fact," Adella teased as Jeremiah pulled out the snacks. She watched as the two younger ones completely forgot about playing once any kind of food was mentioned.

"Food! What did you bring today Peter? Did you bring cheese?" Clara asked, chasing after Peter.

Adella made sure the kids had their snacks first before she grabbed some of the dried apples and cheese for herself and made sure to leave a larger portion for Jeremiah since he was a growing boy.

"Yummy! Cheese!" Clara cheered, as she sat down to eat her cheese and dried apples.
Jeremiah ignored Adella's response as Peter and Clara came tumbling over like a pair of giant puppies. "Oi, I brought the cheese!"

"Only after I reminded you!" Peter retorted plopping down to take his portion.

Jeremiah took his bit and cradled it in one massive hand. "And then I carried it all the way here!"
Adella giggled at the brothers exchange, "It sounds like we may have a few love birds in the clearing with us Jeremiah. Peter reminded you to bring the cheese because that's Clara's favorite snack? Sounds like love to me," Adella teased.

The tease went right over Clara's head and she looked around in the trees, "Where? Where are the love birds Adella? I don't see any birds,"

Adella laughed, leaning her head back at her little sisters complete confusion unable to answer her question.
Peter scowled at Adella. "I like cheese, too! It's not just for her!" he sulked.

Jeremiah let out a throaty chuckle and ruffled his brother's hair. "Never mind her. She just likes stirring up trouble and teasing people."
Adella huffed, and looked up to the blue sky through the treeline and frowned. It was going to rain later. Even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, some how she just knew this evening was going to be a stormy evening.

"We'll probably have to head home early today kiddos. It's gonna rain later," Adella told them, "So make sure you get all your playing in before we leave,"

"Aw, I hate it when you say that it's gonna rain. Both you and dad always know that kinda thing and you're always right," Clara complained around a mouth full of cheese and dried apples.
"Yeah, it's almost magical the way you know exactly when it's going to rain," Jeremiah said significantly, a twinkle in his eyes.

"I don't want to go home early. Papa is just going to make me practice my numbers," Peter said, pulling a face.

Jeremiah poked him gently in the arm. "You want to become a scrivener, don't you? Then you have to know your letters and numbers."

Peter hesitated then sighed in reluctant agreement. "Okay."
Adella laughed with Jeremiah's use of the word magical and poke his shoulder, "Yeah. You know what? I bet I'm a Fae, and you're a wizard. Like that one from the book with the sword. Wizard, oh what was the wizards name? Mer something? It would explain why I can read the weather, and you being a wizard would explain your love of books and magic,"

Adella teased.

"Well, I'm done with my cheese, you wanna go play Peter?" Clara asked.
"You don't have to be a wizard to love books and magic, but you are totally a Fae!" Jeremiah grinned at Adella. "Your constant denial of everything but visible, provable facts is, in of itself, proof! Right?"

Peter shoved the last of his apple into his mouth and sprang to his feet, nodding. "Mmm-hmmph!" He trotted off eagerly, looking for his stick that he'd been using as a sword.