Fiction is the most pervasive form of magic that human beings practice. In fiction one can revive the dead and travel through time. It’s just a matter of flipping back a few pages. Even after the end, one can begin again, at the beginning. Fiction is a way to live hundreds of lives in the span of a few years, to die countless deaths, and have dozens of passionate love affairs. Fiction is immortality, one of the truest ways that the dead communicate with the living.
The act of telling stories is an ancient magic, and a practical one. Fiction brightens a dark world, and helps us be who it is that we really and truly want to be.
It also warns us of our follies, makes us face our weaknesses, and forces us to consider points of view that are not our own.
To be a writer, one must -- by necessity -- also be a witch.
In the Green Mountains of Vermont State, there is a school. This school has stood for more than three hundred years hidden among spruce and fir trees. From even before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this school has been a place where children grow into themselves, and become what it is they mean to be. It is a small school, woodsy and homey and old fashioned. There are no sports teams to rally behind, no marching band that travels to competitions near and far. To be sure, it is such a quiet school that some students inevitably find it to be tedious and boring.
This is Iris Academy, a school for witches.
You don’t believe in witches? Well, that’s understandable, because witches don’t want you to know about them. The witch world is kept strictly secret. It’s kept hidden from the mundane world of taxi cabs and insurance premiums and the Hubble telescope. That’s both good and bad, but it is what it is. That’s just how the world works.
Every once in awhile, a child who don’t know a single thing about the witch world will discover that they are a witch or a wizard themselves, capable of painting their own vision of the world across the wide, beautiful universe.
When this happens, the child is given a Choice: either they take a chance and enter into the mysterious and arcane world of magic, leaving their friends and family behind, or they forfeit their gifts forever, and their magic is sealed, leaving them a mundane human being with no memory of what it is that they have given up.
This is the story of one girl who chose to open the gate and cross the threshold into the witch world. This is a story about what she found there.
She found good friends, the kind she would keep for her entire life. She found that there were quite a lot of things about the world that she did not understand, and that the things she did not understand were not all magical in nature. She found that not everyone thought the way that she did, and sometimes she was right about things, and sometimes she was not right about things. The people she met became the new fabric of her life, and that sometimes she fought with them, and sometimes she laughed with them, and sometimes she cried with them. She worked very hard, she played very hard, and she thought about lots and lots of things.
She also found the place where she belonged, and the one person that she belonged with.
This is a destiny that she wrote herself.
For good or for ill, this is what she chose, and the world that was created as a result.
Pentagrams and Pomegranates Part I: An Ideal Husband Initium
And now, you have also made the Choice.
I’ll see you at school.
- L. B. B.