Read the Whole Story beginning with Part One here!
She opened her guidebook, and put pen to paper.
It’s been nearly a year inside this strange new world. At least, within our perceptions of time. We may be trapped here for the rest of our lives, but at least those lives may be long and happy again.
We’re no longer threatened by the shadow beings who dwell here. If we’re dead, they may have been too, and just couldn’t figure out how to light up the darkness. Bonnie said they wanted our light and color. We thought that meant they would take it by force (which, let’s be honest, they would have). But now that we’ve learned to bring all of our light and color out into the world, they can share in it without hurting us. It’s made them almost human. Who knows? Someday, there might be more than the four of us.
Bonnie and Raven are happily in love, and their love has amplified their magic. I’m no longer the best at it. Now, my job is mostly to record what we’ve all learned, and to keep Benny’s education on track.
Benny is a smart kid. He didn’t want schooling at first, because, well, why bother, wherever we are? But I promised it would be fun, and he doesn’t have to worry about bullies or getting in trouble over silly things like talking to dogs. We’re actually working on magicing up a little pug for him. And somehow, that doesn’t sound so weird anymore.
As for me, though I miss my children terribly, this new family has brought me a strange new happiness. My kids were starting to reach the “I don’t need my parents” age, and here, I have a purpose again. Learning and teaching magic, raising Benny, and helping Raven learn that’s she was never as bad as her parents told her she was. From everything we’ve all learned, I think the most important lesson is this: Magic is easiest when done as a family.
“It worked. They’ve learned to manipulate their surroundings. Do we wake them yet?”
“No… It’s clear they all possess magic, but not clear enough yet how much, or what kinds. This only raises further questions. Do people from the non-magical world have gifts, or are they all, as we thought, possessing magic but ungifted? The boy in particular is an anomaly. If someone as young as he can do what he can, it seems he is gifted. But his other talents so far have proven nearly as strong, which might mean something we never thought possible. People from the non-magic world may be able to be multitalented.”
“Perhaps, but we’ll need more tests to be sure. Is the next group of subjects ready?”
“Nearly. They’re hooked up and sedated. We’re nearly finished programming their world.”
The two scientists left the lab where four people lay in hospital beds: one middle-aged woman, two twenty-year-old girls, and one ten-year-old boy.