Cory’s Story: when the moon fell to the empty ocean and cried

silhouette reaching for the moon
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

I believe in magic.

Good for you, I guess.

I always will.

Okay. I was going to introduce myself. The name’s Cory.

Magic doesn’t stop being magic. I asked it.

How are you doing?

I’m the only one who blurs real things and magic things. People don’t believe I can do that. It’s because they don’t believe in magic.

I believe in magic. I’m magic, a little bit. I can make glowing shields.

No, not like that.

What do you mean then?

You want me to tell you?

Yes, I would like to understand what you mean.

I rode a five-legged turtle here. They cast sparkles in the darkness and I felt warm for the first time. I dipped my hand in the lake of stars and they laughed at my touch. I talked to the moon, it glittered, she fell into the empty ocean and she cried. I danced with a fairy, she froze and fell and shattered too, I named the pieces after colors, like her pretty wings, and put them in a dollhouse so they could tell stories to each other. About what it felt like to crack. About melting in the wind. The dollhouse has wind in it. When they all melted, I wiped up the water with a towel and wrung it out so all the colors dripped into my mouth, like sweetest citrus. Then I sang, and shapeshifted into a wolf howling at the moon, so all the colors could go make the stars laugh again and glue the fallen moon back together. Even though she was still drowning. And even though I was still crying, because my wolf skin became a forest in the wind and it was cold wind, so my tears froze, and I named them for all my colors.

I believe in that magic. Nobody believes I shapeshift into the wolf howling the moon.

I think that sounds beautiful.

You don’t believe me.

What do you mean?

It doesn’t sound beautiful. It is. It exists. It is magic.

Are you a wolf then?

I don’t count the stars, you know.

Okay. Um, what do you mean by that?

I don’t count the stars. They are. They exist. They exist to be. That is magic. They are magic.

Okay, so the stars exist. Can I see them?

No. You have to make them up yourself.

But if I can’t see them, how do I know how magical they are?

Why would they be magical? Why would you seeing them prove that they’re magical?

…I don’t know, I suppose. It sounds beautiful, so I would like to see it.

You don’t believe me.

Sorry, I’m just not sure I understand.

I believe in magic.

***

First, the bumps in the metal sharpened into spikes. Cory gulped, because his shield couldn’t actually do anything against spikes. Unless they were flying a hundred kilometers an hour at him. So he was really good against flying debris. Or bullets. Actually, was the last time he’d been near the front when they were being shot at?

Huh. Funny how he almost forgot that. Very fuzzy, that.

His shield did its best to halt the spikes’ momentum.

The spikes did their best to stab him in the arms, poking through his shield like spoons through thick butter.

The first one jabbed him in the back of the leg. Next was his back. He gasped, pulling away from the piercing pain and curling into the tightest ball he could. A spike jabbed him in his left forearm. He bit down, hard. For once he thanked Ripple’s small body. Blood trickled over his spine, warm and dribbling. He gasped, vision fuzzing out.

***

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