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How to Graciously Accept a Strange & Frightening Gift


In writing my Actual Magic series for Young Adults, I drew upon all my favorite story characters I loved as a kid, and lots of strange encounters with others to create my own.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m sorry we’re late, Captain,” Lilly said as he took her hand and helped her up to the coach’s doorway.

“No worries.  You’re looking fit, Miss Noble,” Hopewell observed, and then he seemed to relax a little.  “Good to see you again.”

“Thanks.”  Lilly smiled up at the ferryboat captain.  “Good to see you, too.”

“Thank you, Miss,” he beamed.

He looked quickly over his shoulder, returned his attention to Lilly, and then slipped a small leather pouch into her hand.  “When I found out you’d lost all of your stuff in the ferry accident, I got you this,” he whispered.  “It’s my way of saying I’m sorry.”

“Captain, you didn’t have to get me anything,” Lilly whispered back.  The chestnut size lump inside the pouch squirmed and squeaked a little.  “Um, what is it?”

“It’s a Kritter pod.  The directions on how to take care of it before and after hatching are inside the pouch.  Don’t let anyone see it, though.  Minor High School students aren’t allowed to have pets until next year.  I think you’ll really like it though, once it calms down.  Oh, and don’t keep it too warm or let it get wet, it’ll hatch out a lot sooner.”

Calms down?  “Wow, Captain!  This was very thoughtful.”  She stared at the pouch rolling around in her hand, afraid to move.  “Thank you.”

“That pod should be safe in your pocket,” Captain Hopewell said, pointing to her sweater.  “Now, in you go.”  He opened the door with one hand, and used the other one to keep her from bumping her head on the carriage as she stepped inside.

The shades over the windows had been pulled down, making the coach dark inside.  Lilly sunk into the comfortable velvet upholstered bench and shoved the leather pouch in her sweater pocket.

Dares readers to believe in themselves and discover the magic within!


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