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Believe in Magic

First Assignment - A Stranger Comes to Town

I saw him from afar, walking on the dirt covered road. He looked like a gentleman with his top hat … no he looked like Mary Poppins with his big bag and umbrella. Either way, he was obviously not from around here. It was much too hot to be wearing a top hat and long black coat. Here in this little town just south of Phoenix Arizona. I never knew why they called it Phoenix. I would like to imagine there were Phoenixes at one time, giant birds that got their fire from the sun. As he got closer, it was very peculiar. He didn’t have any dirt on his coat or shoes. My mother was always yelling at me about how dusty I got, but I swear I didn’t roll in the dirt. Black was his coat and top hat, so black.

He walked past me, I called out to him “Are you lost?”. He turned around and stared at me, and then he grinned revealing a gold front tooth. “Are you lost?” I ask again. “Are you lost?” he asked. I stared at him; he must be insane I thought. He dug in his pocket and revealed a pocket watch, or so I thought. He handed to me and on closer inspection it was a silver compass, but it wasn’t like any compass I had ever seen. There were four arrows instead of one, and there were about thirty or so little pictures. The pictures seemed very random to me, there was a moon, star, then a snake and even a dragon. On the back of the compass were the inscription The Magic Circle. “Where are you from?” I asked. He stared at me and I swear one of his eyes changed from black to blue. He opened his bag and took out a torn old book. He opened it and out came a rabbit and bouquet of flowers. He flipped the page and water gushed out. My shoes got wet. Then he flipped it again … nothing happened at first, but then I saw it from a distance in the sky, a phoenix, a real phoenix. The wings were as long as a football field. Then he closed the book and everything disappeared. “Wow” I thought “magic”. Then I felt the wind picking up, a sand storm was forming. It didn’t take long before the sand was blowing through my hair. I closed my eyes. When I opened them, he was gone. The man with the black top hat had disappeared. But, the silver compass was still in my hand.

I walked home thinking about everything I had witnessed. “Was it real?” I thought. I entered the white gates and my father was fixing the stairs. I ran to him excited about what I had seen. He smiled and patted me on the back “You have such a wild imagination”. But it was real. My mother came out and my father retold the story. My mom looked at me “Magic isn’t real dear” she said. I looked down at my shoes; they were muddy. I smiled and walked inside.  I knew that I wasn’t going to convince my parents to believe me. I heard a whir and looked at the compass, it was spinning. Around and around it spun. Then it stopped. All four arrows were pointing to a bird, the Phoenix.  

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