The Problem with Magic – Short Story by Ramona Darabant

short story

This short story was written by Ramona Darabant.

There is no such thing as magic.

Not anymore…

Real magic is extinct.

I haven’t seen any since, huh. I can’t remember since when. Odd… Come to think of it, it’s nearly two thousand years. I remember Alexandria. Wait, no. No. That’s not right.

The last time I recall sensing magic was in the Middle Ages. It isn’t a good, nor a very successful one. It’s more of a petty attempt to hide money.  The man, in his third decade, speaks the words. A carney. Sloppy and slurred words, no meaning where it should be. He doesn’t know what he says.

I didn’t suspect that it’d be the last time I see someone cast a spell.

Disgusted by his attempt, such poorly woven multiplying spell grafted upon a basic privacy charm, I do nothing to intervene. I suppose, he wanted to equally multiply and hide his money,  but it backfires on him. Badly.

That’s what happens, when you pour fresh pigeon blood over Mandragora roots and mermaid scales, before allowing the full moon to shine upon the ingredients. A spell is like a plant, you can’t just put one on top of the other! You have to wait, so they can grow together. Magic is a living thing, having its own will, its own needs. I’ve always thought Romanies had good instincts for the cycles of nature, and for magic. Obviously not this one…

The spell makes him look like a huge burning shadow. Then, he believes he has done his job well, he leaves his caravan. Not a minute later, he is mauled to death by two horrified, and I might add, rabid wolf dogs. The man has some hilarious last words: “Not dying, abracadabra.” He might have even heard me chuckle.

What a waste!

If I had known… I would have saved the last magic user.

Then, for a time, I follow some promising individuals around. Alchemists, illusionist and some scary looking old women. Despite the public opinion, they have not an ounce magic on them.

I try children next. Nothing.

You cannot imagine how boring things get, without magic. My last straw are the black cats. Cats always have something peculiar about them, but nothing magical, to my disappointment.

I think about meddling with the tides of magic, crossing the paths of darkness and light. What I get out of the equation is: war. World War. Then the tremors of my work add up again, and there is another one, bigger and bloodier than the one before. Such gifted beings, these humans… Their talent to cause suffering impresses me. What a glorious race! Pity they have no bright future…

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against tears, blood, and despair, but it is only a cheap substitute.

Nothing tastes like magic.

Nothing else is able to satisfy my appetite….

I have tried everything else.

Author: Ramona Darabant

R. C. Darabant was born Romania and lives now near Vienna, where she works as a family physician. When she isn’t working, she writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories. She recharges her batteries during storms and night strolls. In her stories, there is a distinct lack of happy endings. It’s not pathological, rest assured, she had that checked.

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