Flash Fiction contest found here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/01/23/flash-fiction-challenge-must-contain-three-things/
Everyone thought they were better than me. Everyone.
I was a nerd in fourth grade. Loved computers. Loved books. Loved magic. Hated sports. It was a bad combo.
Throw in a clunky pair of glasses, emo-looking hair, nylon pants, and I was the lead of half the jokes coming out of my school.
I hated jeans as a kid. I still hate jeans as an adult. Jeans are not a comfortable thing to wear so it makes perfect sense that I didn’t like them.
In elementary school you can do whatever you want with almost zero consequences. Wearing nylon pants every day of my life was one of the things I did. Another one was trying to be a magician.
We had a career assignment one week in class. I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up and looking back at it, why the HELL should we know what we wanted to be in life when we were only 10 years old?
People make too big of a deal trying to force kids to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, especially at a young age.
“This assignment SUCKS! I’ll fucking figure out what I want to be when I figure it out, and NOW is not the time!”
That is verbatim what I told my teacher way back in fourth grade. He didn’t really care what I had to say, though.
“Jack, do your assignment, or you’ll be in my class again next year.”
Teachers can do whatever they want in elementary and Mr. Jackass pulled that classic line on me. ‘Hey, if you don’t do this, I’ll flunk you.’
So simple. And no kid ever wants to repeat a grade. It’s the equivalent of moving, but worse.
After you’ve already made friends, to move back a grade, and then to be looked down upon by the kids that used to be your friends. It’s not great.
And so, I was forced to pick a career. I liked computers, but that was too complicated for me to actually get into in fourth grade. I liked books, but it wasn’t like I was going to become some kind of dumb writer. I liked magic and… yeah, that could work.
My interest in magic started with Hermione Granger. She was and is my dream girl. I thought I was in love. No, I definitely was in love, even before the movies came out.
Sure, Harry Potter is a cool kid and all, but the only one I cared about in that series was Hermione. She brought me into the world of magic. Like her, I was born a muggle and like her, I was going to become a great magician. We were meant to be and it only made sense that I did my report on becoming a magician for my career project.
In fourth grade, wanting to become a magician was not a cool thing so that only made things worse for me.
Once word got around that my dream in life was to become a magician, the ridicule was non-stop.
“Hey Magic boy, you going to curse me today?”
Some lame shit like that. Fourth graders weren’t really all that creative.
But there was one kid that took it a little too far. Teddy Matheson.
A lot of kids used their words to try and get my down, but Teddy, he was different. Someone must’ve hurt him as a child and it was his goal to hurt other people.
I was a small kid in fourth grade, under five feet tall and well, he was bigger in height and in girth. I truly had no shot. So when he blindsided me multiple times with a tree branch to my face, I couldn’t really do anything about.
“Hey, look at my wand! I am the greatest wizard alive!”
Yes, he was using a tree branch like a wand, but instead of waving it, he was smacking me in the face. And it was much bigger than a Harry Potter wand.
I didn’t like him so I decided one day to have a little fun. I asked him to be my partner for the magic presentation I was doing for my career project.
He was all about it for some reason.
“Hey Teddy, I need someone to assist me with my magician skit and I don’t really know who to ask.”
“Yeahhh, Magic boy, I’m in!”
Obviously it was a ploy by me, but he wasn’t the smartest kid.
My plan was to create a mixture in front of the class, a type of Harry Potter style potion. I told him it would be Felix Felicis, the potion known as ‘Liquid Luck.’
This wasn’t possible, so I threw a bunch of random stuff in a beaker to make a clear liquid.
Little did Teddy know I had access to some poison. Unfortunately for him, poison is not lucky at all.
The day of the presentation came and Teddy was actually excited, mainly because he really thought that I had this secret formula to create Liquid Luck. But alas, there was no luck to be had that day.
I whipped everything together in front of class while talking about my prospects of attending Hogwartz and my likely future with the one and only Hermione Granger. He downed the potion in one gulp. It was pretty easy.
Before the poison kicked in, Mr. Jackass decided to speak up.
“Clever presentation Jack, but uh, you know Hogwartz isn’t real. You cannot become the same type of magician that Harry Potter is. Life just doesn’t work that way. Do you know what I’m saying? This was supposed to be a real-life assignment. Not some fiction land based off of Harry Potter.”
“Right, right, but like I said, I don’t care about Harry. I am in love with Hermione and she used to be normal like you and I. I did this assignment for her…well, Teddy, how are you feeling?”
“Yeahhhh, I feel weird. I think it’s starting to kick in! This is great guys. He really is a magician!”
Teddy dropped to the floor, foaming white from the mouth.