Tales of magic have existed for centuries. Elves, witches, fairies, warlocks, spells, wands, cauldrons, potions. How much is of your stories are real? How much is folklore? What happens when the magic world seeps from the seams and leaches into your world?
Day 1, 4:03 pm
Natasha Gill couldn’t remember arriving at the airport. She found herself sitting on a bench by the Arrivals gate holding a coffee in her hand that she didn’t remember purchasing and wearing different clothes than she remembered putting on that morning. She’d been planning on showing the Stevens’ house to the Marshalls that morning so she’d dressed in heels and a blazer. Now, her long brown hair was pulled back in a braid and she was in yoga pants and sneakers. New sneakers. When had she bought those?
She checked the clock on the wall and saw it was five hours fast. Her cell phone gave the same time. That meant her husband, Jason’s, flight was about to arrive and she hadn’t even dented her to-do list for the day. The last thing she remembered doing was walking out of her doctor’s office. That had been around 10:30 am that morning. She flipped her phone to the screen with her list.
Not only was “doctor’s appointment” checked off, but it looked like everything else too. Even things she didn’t think she’d get to until tomorrow. Doctor’s appointment. The laundry. Update her website. Take photos of the Hassan’s house. Grocery shopping. Clean the house. Pick up Amelia from school. Drop off Justin’s trumpet. Drop Amelia off at ballet. Check. Check. Check.
Halfway down the list: Show the Stevens’ house. Check. That one scared her. She had just started her real estate business and things were slow. She was counting on that sale. She didn’t know what was worse: not showing up at all or trying to show their home in whatever state she’d been in today. Had she been wearing these sweats?
She continued to scroll down the list and noticed that there were a number of items added that weren’t there this morning, including “rent car.” Why would she need to rent a car? She rifled through her purse to see if she had keys or a receipt. Sure enough, there was a rental agreement signed for today at the airport for a blue Acura SUV. After looking further she couldn’t find the keys and realized she must not have gone outside to pick it up yet.
She scrolled to the very bottom of her list and saw that the very last item hadn’t been checked off. Pick up car from Justin’s school.
The arrival doors opened as the first passengers from Jason’s plane began to file through, some greeting people who were waiting, others heading straight for the door or the luggage carousel. She quickly jammed the paperwork into her purse, checked her make-up, practiced a smile, then stood up on her tip toes see over the heads of those waiting in front of her. A few moments later, Jason came through the crowd. He grinned when he saw her.
“Hey beautiful!” he said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders and rolled his carry-on behind him. as they began to walk out to the car, rolling his carry-on behind him. As they walked outside, he started to walk towards the parking lot, but she steered him towards the rental pick-up.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“I had some car trouble, so I rented a car.” She smiled like it was no big deal.
“Everything okay?” he asked.
“Uh-huh.” She pulled the rental agreement out of her purse again as they arrived at the booth and handed it to the woman on duty.
A few minutes later they were on the road. “Wait a minute,” Jason said. “How did you get here if you didn’t have a car until you got here?”
That was a great question. How did she get out here? She cocked her head thinking fast. “Taxi.”
“Oh,” he said, pausing for a moment. Then he launched into the details of his conference.
She breathed a sigh of relief. Normally, she shared everything with Jason, but she was so rattled she wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. At least, not until she understood it better. She knew he’d be concerned and would start asking questions. Good questions that scared her. Like how did she get out to the airport without a car and no sign of a receipt for a taxi. Why didn’t she rent a car in town? Had she been with someone? The black gaping hole of time in her mind scared her. What had happened to her today?