This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence.
In the bustling streets of a city I, unfortunately, called my home, I stumbled into an old shop. There were antiques behind glass, things I’d never seen before. I was somehow drawn to the shiny artifacts. One of the things that caught my eye, was a small box with bronze decorations on each corner. The sides were made of glass, and inside the box was what looked like a small rock. I looked around, there was no one. I turned back to the small box which was shielded with glass from prying eyes and greedy hands. But when I put my hand on the glass, the box rose slightly from its place and started glowing a bit.
I heard voices coming from the back room, and quickly let go of the glass. The box fell from its short distance and stopped glowing. However, I was more interested in the voices than the magical box.
I listened to the voices. It sounded like two people arguing. I couldn’t hear it clearly, and me being curious, I quietly went towards the back room. I saw faces and quickly hid behind a big sealed crate, not wanting them to see me too.
“Don’t do it, Michael, it’s dangerous.” The woman on the left said, slightly worried but growing more agitated.
“It’s the only way to prove it!” A younger-looking man said. His brown hair was fuzzy and tangled. His bloodshot eyes indicated he had been waiting for this moment for a few nights, I could see he was at the edge of a divine explosion but kept it inside for the sake of the woman.
“Michael, you don’t know what it will do to you!” The woman had blonde hair and her clothes were more formal than the man, who had put on a T-shirt in a rush, and his pants had a stain most likely made from coffee.
“I can’t wait any longer, I have to do it now!” Michael had something in his hand that looked like a small sword protected in a case with engraved blue-silver details.
“Mike, no!” The woman tried to stop him but refrained from touching the sword case.
“We could change the world, Maya,” he said with a smirk on his face. He sliced the sword out of the case, it had blue lines on it that began to glow. Michael held up the sword with his right hand and looked at it with sparkling eyes.
Maybe the sword got hot or had given some kind of shock, because the man dropped it, clattering on the ground. One second after it had hit the ground, a shockwave of blue light exploded from it.
I felt it, the power and the unexplainable magic. But then bumped something over that stood on the crate, it fell on the ground and the stone figurine crashed into a few pieces. The two faces looked directly into my eyes at the same time. I hesitated for longer than a second, and then stood up and ran. Past the small box, that slightly floated again. Through the door and into the busy city. I kept running and didn’t look behind. I could still hear the voices shouting above the voices of everyone else.
“Get her!” The woman shouted while running and scanning the streets.
“There!” His hair had gotten messier since the shockwave. I looked behind me, he was close. It was hard to hide from these people, I mean, I was pretty recognizable with my red wavy hair and my distinctive outfit. I suddenly felt a strange tingle in my left hand. I was still running, bumping into people, towards a place I could escape to. My hand now felt numb and the tingle was everywhere like bass sound waves in a rock song.
I felt the impulse to stop in the middle of the pursuit. I saw a micro-second flashback of the flying, glowing box with the stone inside, then I saw my face covered in blue light, and my eyes looked like they were glowing too. The flashback left as soon as it arrived and I was back in the lively city with people who didn’t care about anything happening outside their own little world.
I saw Michael rushing towards me and Maya getting caught in the web of people.
The instinct took over, and I put my left hand in front of me, stopping Michael. A shockwave traveled with the speed of light through the crowd, however, only Michael and Maya were affected by it. The rest of the people just continued with what they were doing and didn’t seem to notice what just happened. I looked at my hand, out of breath.
The woman now stood in front of me too.
I didn’t know what they were planning to do, but I did know that I knew their little secret. And nobody wanted to get their secrets spilled and they would do anything to keep it that way.
After the shock of magic, I felt something in my right hand. It was the sword! I lifted it to see it better, the blue lines were glowing and for a moment, the entire street basked in blue light. My eyes felt different as if they were glowing too. Then a wave of instinct washed over me again. Maya grabbed my arm and the sword had a life of its own. My hand followed the movement of the sword, which was attacking the woman. She fell, and I let go of the sword. Michael rushed over to help Maya. I could feel eyes staring at me, everyone was looking at me, scared. They noticed now.
Someone was pointing at me and saying something. But I couldn’t hear it, my ears were buzzing with noise and my hands were shaking. I had to run away, but my feet were superglued to the ground. There was no way out of the crowd that had gathered around us.
I panicked and closed my eyes. I saw my parents. I could hear them whispering. Everything around me went quiet like a beach wave crashing into sand. And the memory came back for the first time in years. I was back at the beach, with my parents. It was the day before everything went wrong. Laughs were echoing in my head. Suddenly a loud crash followed.
I was back in the streets, everyone was yelling and pointing at me, and I couldn’t feel the ground anymore. I looked at everyone, then I looked down. I was floating! I could see my hair waving next to my face, giving off a silver-blue-ish glow. I wasn’t panicking, instead, I felt dreamy.
Then a surge of energy or magic created another shockwave, making the people around me forget what happened, they couldn’t see the magic anymore. They continued walking like nothing ever happened here, in the middle of the magical street.
My feet touched the ground again. I saw Maya standing up like the sword never existed. She and Michael unbelievably looked at me and said something. But I didn’t hear the last words, I was already running towards a place to escape to. And this time, I wouldn’t stop.
I wouldn’t stop until I knew everything about my parents and about me. About what just happened with the glowing sword. And about the strange floating box in the pawnshop somewhere on 7th street.
Inspired by Reedsy Prompts: Start your story with someone witnessing magic from a hiding place.
(Contest #176: Magic in the Air)