This is a story formed by my childhood’s summers in the upper parts of Berkeley, California. I didn’t know I had any of these images buried inside of my brain until I had daughters. Hope this blesses you. There is a special thanks given to Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press who helped me make sense out of this.
When my girls asked me if I believed in magic, I thought about my grandmother’s home in the hills of Berkeley. My youngest – a 12-year-old artist and pianist.
The two teens took their seats on the couch with the realization that mom was going to talk about her past, which is something I rarely do.
My past isn’t troubling or full of despair or painful, just uneventful-mostly. And yet I knew there was always a mystery with my girls concerning my past. Characters like my parents and grandparents were lost to them due to their untimely deaths before the birth of my children. Plus, my family rarely comes to California, where I spent most of my childhood.
I was talking about California and answering a question about the nature of magic.
My grandparents lived in an upscale community in the hills of Berkeley. My grandfather was retired from his work with NASA with research being in jet propulsion. During his retirement, he taught a class or two at UC Berkeley because-amongst his many degrees – he did have a Masters’ in education.
When I entered Kindergarten, it was his idea for me to stay a week with them. My parents agreed over the phone,claiming, “It would be good to have a break. Yes!”
On my first visit, my grandmother didn’t know what to do with me. I didn’t play with dolls, didn’t like “getting make-overs”, and wasn’t particularly active. As a six-year-old, I got the firm impression I was boring her.
I learned later the true reason why my grandfather thought it was a good idea to have me over. One Saturday morning, when the cartoons ran out on TV, I climbed down the stairs to the basement.
My grandparents’ home was built on a hill, with stairs connecting them to every room. At the bottom of the hill-next to the garage-I entered into my grandfather’s shop.
Wearing a leather apron, he pointed at me with his #2 pencil. “Hand me that sprocket,” he said. I turned around and found a series of sprockets dangling on the wall joists of the un-finished room.
“Surprise me. We’ll need to build a motor around it, so choose wisely.”
From that day, I learned what I was to do with my summer’s week at grandpa’s: build engines.
For most other girls, this would be a living Hell. However, grandpa knew-instinctively- that this was my language. I thought in gears, motors, belts, and engines. I didn’t know it yet for no one ever thought of a little girl wanting to see how things work, but I did and my grandfather brought me into his play area
For two years, we built things. He showed me the power of blueprints and oil and how to make things move. This was my new play area. With any play area, there were rules. You must always try to figure out how things work, how things move. There was also the rule to measure multiple times before you do anything. Finally, there was the golden rule: no one gets mad when things don’t turn out.
During the hours we spent in his shop,there rules would come out. “Get out all of your mistakes in the shop. That’s why engineers need to work alone. Most of the world doesn’t know what to do with mistakes,” he said when I dropped something.
Another time, more rules came, “You don’t have to have good penmanship. When you go to work, that’s what your secretary is for: make him write pretty.”
And one time, he was washing his wrenches and said, “Be kind to your tools; they’re people too.”
My grandmother became more and more of a background figure during my stay. She became part of her porcelain dolls, I think, in the collection above ground of her pristine, pastel home.
During my last night with grandfather, she asked me to go upstairs and get ready for bed. I agreed and shuffled up the stairs. Tired and not wanting to sleep, I stretched out every task to be as long as it could be. Finally, double to length I needed to take, I laid to bed. For me, sleep was a sign of defeat: why would I lay down, lay there, do nothing…
In the croak of her senior voice, I heard her ask him, “How is she ever going to get married when she has a head full of machines?”
“She doesn’t have to get married. She just has to learn how to fix and build things. That’s what makes her happy, I think.”
They talked more, but I couldn’t hear them as I headed for bed.
In between that summer and the next, my grandfather died of a heart attack quite suddenly. I attended his funeral, held at the local Lutheran church. I could tell the minister didn’t know my grandfather, pronouncing his name wrong through the message and he kept a straight, monotone cadence throughout the liturgy.
At the reception, my grandmother said that she was counting on me to come for my week’s stay during the summer.
With all of the adults in the room watching me, I agreed and said I was looking forward to it.
So, the next summer, I spent my mornings in the shop. I had to get up early, for when my grandmother got up and got herself ready, she put me to work boxing all of grandfather’s things. However, during the late afternoons, she gave me free time to wander.
“There are lots of things to do. About every fourth house, there’s a park. You just have to look for them. And there’s the Merry-Go-Round down the hill. It’s open every day for summer.”
I shuffled down the hill to the Merry-Go-Round and found the experience very lonely. Standing in line with a group of people who don’t talk to you, sitting on a horse that went up and down in seclusion, and hearing the roar of the organ without anyone else to talk to: something was lost.
The Merry-Go-Round seemed pretty proud of itself, with signs everywhere boasting that the organ was a historic recreation and that few of these kinds still existed. When I got to the tall box on cart wheels, I tried peering behind the curtain where the little wooden man conducted the music. My finger touched the velvet: smooth, slippery, and fine.
I wanted to look behind, see the machines and the gears … simply figure out how it worked. I imagined my grandfather would have been with me on this question mark crusade.
Suddenly, a voice called out from the ticket booth. “Little girl,” a man’s voice called out. “Look with your eyes only, please. You don’t want to ruin the magic.”
I didn’t see what the man looked like, for the sun blurred all four windows of the box office. Just his shadow: a taller than usual man, broad shoulders with the stature of might.
I obeyed by reeling my hand back, tucking it close to my chest.
Instead, I took the parks. My grandmother explained to me that all of the parks were hidden, often the entrances being pathways behind driveways or in between alleys of homes. If you knew where to look, you belonged and the park was for you. “It keeps those dirty hippies out of our parks,” my grandmother said proudly.
The only problem was that you could spend days circling blocks, peaking through bushes or in between cars to find the entrances.
This part of the story didn’t make sense to my girls. “You mean, grandma just let you wander the streets by yourself?”
“It was the 1980’s. Adults just left kids to be alone and work out their own entertainment. They believed they were doing us a favor.”
“Can you do that with us?” my eldest asked.
“No,” I said sharply.
If I hadn’t been left alone to wander, I wouldn’t have met Wilbough.
I found the entrance to one of these secret parks and came in to see a swing set, a teeter-totter, and a slide. None of these devices were of interest; instead, there was a blond girl marching around the perimeter holding out a stick asa rifle.
Being my age, she looked over to me and motioned for me to walk with her. I did and when I got close enough to hear her, she announced, “We’re hunting elves.
“There’s a pack of elves around the hills of Berkeley. They have a spell which makes young girls really, really stupid. We need to capture one and force him to tell us how to reverse the spell.”
I kept up with her pace. “I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
“Don’t worry, we won’t. I got a handful of cough drops from my grandmother that we’ll use to bribe the creature into telling us his secrets.”
So, we spent the day looking for elves and didn’t find any. Dooming-as we believed-most of the female population to live really, really stupid lives.
We played again during three more days until we found out we were in a similar situation: both were spending time with our grandparents for a week and were not from Berkeley.
Wilbough was very interested in my machine interests, answering every statement I made with: “Really? Really?!?” For her, she just told stories and nothing else. Looking back, this was our saving grace because we wouldn’t be looking for elves or fighting invisible giants if wasn’t for her story-making.
Wilbough invited me to her house on the final day of my visit.
I arrived at the door and was met by a plump, gray looking woman.
“So, you’re Marin?” the woman asked, taking up most of the doorway.
“Well, you’re not very big, are you?” She said this with an abrupt, soured expression that if it was a joke, I couldn’t see any of the delight in it.
My grandfather was a shorter person, like me. I heard someone say a similar thing to him and he replied, “Well, they don’t store diamond rings in piano boxes.” That line worked at that moment, but I didn’t have any such wit at age 8. Instead, I just slunk and cowered until she told me to get inside.
Wilbough’s mother spent most of her time on the couch, reading paperbacks with strange covers of women being – what I guessed at the time – wrestled by shirtless men. For decades afterwards, I’ve never seen these books anywhere else but on the coffee table of Wilbough’s grandparent’s living room.
The couch and chairs were all covered with industrial strength plastic, so whenever someone breathed deeply it would make a crackle sound. Wilbough’s grandmother sat next to her daughter reading mystery novels.
The entire house sounded like a library trying to be quiet.
Wilbough took me down the long, sideways staircase to her basement. Unlike the shop of my grandparents, it was just a blank room without any windows, art, or furniture. No toys, nothing personal. This place was perfect for Wilbough, for she could fill it with her adventures. And I was invited along.
We played that way and heading off to our separate homes. For me, it was Campbell; for Wilbough, it was Houston in a kingdom she called Texas.
The two grandparents conspired to have our visits coincide and make it a “Marin and Wilbough Week”.
When the next summer came, my grandmother walked me over to Wilbough’s grandparents’ home. The two elderly women greeted each other and my grandmother, in the middle of our meeting, exclaimed, “This is such a relief! Thank you for taking Marin off my hands.”
Wilbough’s grandmother shrugged and returned some gardening shears she had borrowed, suggesting they had become fast friends in between my visits.
Wilbough was ready for me. At first, I thought it was odd that she didn’t bring any toys with her. I’m sure she had some toys, but the kind of imaginative play she did would be only slowed down by props and figures.
Plus, during that week, she explained, “I don’t like Barbie. She doesn’t come with any pirates to capture or wizards to free. I also don’t like G.I. Joe. He’s much too violent.”
We played when we were at her house; we built things when at my house.
Wilbough would ask me to make something in under an hour; something that had a motor and made noises. “What should it do?” Willbough asked.
“Don’t worry about that. When you make the machine, I’ll come up with what it does.”
I made zombie laser nets, dragon remote controls, and a bomb that put dangerous fairies to sleep. This made my engineering brain spin faster because I knew whatever I made, Wilbough would use to save the world from immediate danger.
That week actually became two weeks, for all our parents decided that this was a good thingand good things are rare.
Wilbough told me during that time,“I don’t have any friends back in the Kingdom of Texas. Texans don’t like that I’m always looking for elves.”
We played and built and went looking for more hidden parks.
Only once did we go to the Merry-Go-Round.
Wilbough’s mother and grandmother took us there to spend the afternoon.
Her grandmother told us: “You are lucky. Not every neighborhood has a Merry-Go-Round. And all girls like Merry-Go-Rounds.”
We could hear the organ sounding in the distance. Not really music, more like a siren of a single, sustained note.
Only when we got closer, did the melody come through along with the rattle of the drums.
The organ carriage had a full orchestra; automated and set to fill the Merry-Go-Round for hours.
“Why do you have one?” I asked.
“Well,” the older woman said, baring her Texan drawl. “The adults of our city decided that a Merry-Go-Round would make our neighborhood nice. Children from this neighborhood are privileged for only they get to have a Merry-Go-Round in their backyard.”
“Do other kids outside of the neighborhood come and enjoy the Merry-Go-Round?” I asked.
“Only you two,” she said proudly.
Wilbough, when she caught sight of the striped, dome building, whispered to me, “I sense evil.”
Her mother and grandmother didn’t hear her, instead they gave her a zip-lock bag full of quarters. “We’ll be on the lawn reading our stories. Have fun, girls,” her mother said. She had one of her books out, freshly set aside. Her mother, I learned, read newspapers and tabloids cover to cover. This was her afternoon to devour such papers in daylight.
We rode the horses, but without any joy. In truth, I spent most of my time following the pipes and cranks back to the covered machine. Only once in a while did I notice the organ, playing an assortment of circus songs from days of old. Wilbough rode her horse silently, gripping her golden pole tightly.
I noticed the operator. He was a tall, striking older man my grandfather’s age. He sat in the box office, operating the controls and talking to someone. Later, when I got a better look, I saw that it was a boy. The boy didn’t look like he was in trouble or that he hated being perched on a stool outside of the tiny box office. Instead, he nodded and smiled every once in a while, listening to whatever the old man said and did.
After a dozen rides, Wilbough wanted to take a small walk around the actual carousal and headto the boxed organ.
The organ had half dozen statues. Some moved to the rhythm, most were frozen in time. Around the walls of the organ were hand painted scenes of maidens visiting knights, pretty women dancing, and a wedding at the bottom. Pipes formed a brass wall in the back of the carriage, looking like metal alps looming in the horizon as a background.
“This is what I sensed when I came here. It’s a wicked piece of machinery,” Wilbough whispered. “I’ve been investigating this … thing. I learned it’s for-real name.”
She spoke with an urgency that let me in on the fact that she was play-acting. Had she used her normal voice, I might have been nervous.
“What’s this machine called?” I asked.
“The Transcendence Machine.” She looked down and then over both of her shoulders. “It kidnaps children. I don’t know how, but it does. And it’s as old as time. Every time period, it looks different. In caveman times, it looked like a rock’ during the pirate age, it looked like a golden woman in front of a boat; and in the future, it will be a robot. This is the boss of the elves.”
We rode a couple more times, but then we had things to do back in Wilbough’s empty basement. We left the Merry-Go-Round to find her mother. As we left, the operator said almost in a song, “Come again.”
The last three nights ended in a sleepover, with the final night as sleepless one as we told stories, played games, and talked about the Transcendence Machine. I left back to my home in Campbell and her back to the Kingdom of Texas.
At this point, my daughters stopped my story to ask something burning on their minds. “How does any of this have to do with magic?” my youngest asked me.
“It’s the Transcendence Machine. It’s magical, right?” the oldest asked. “And if it is, you’re going to have to do a lot of explaining.”
“Why?” I asked.
“You’re a rational scientist, mom. You don’t ‘do’ magic.”
I continued by jumping into the next year and the final one I spent with Wilbough.
I arrived at my grandmother’s house, ready for my two weeks with my luggage, tools, and mechanical books. They didn’t have engineering books for kids back then, so I had to go to the library and wade through books for University students just beginning in the field. Only once did I find something to introduce boys into building motors, but I had to return it to the library and then it disappeared.
So(,)I had my books stacked by my bed, my clothes packed in the wardrobe, and my toiletries in the bathroom. All I needed was to call Wilbough. However, my grandmother came to my room then and sat at the foot of my bed.
“We need to talk,” she said. “Your stay will be looking a little different this year. Instead of the normal fun we like to do, you’ll be helping me pack. I’m selling the house. I have carefully organized your schedule. You can have your evenings with your little friend, but the mornings and afternoons are to put things in boxes. I’m moving to a retirement home and selling this house.”
This was not open for discussion. Instead, she got up and left me to think about how things will be.
Quickly, I called Wilbough and she was crying on the other end. For me, when I heard her cry, I realized then that I would never see her again, probably. Back in the 1980’s, a lot of friendships were lost through the process of mail, phone, and visits- social media would have been our salvation.
We decided that those two weeks were going to be special. They had to be, for I wasn’t going to (see her again.
I worked in the mornings and afternoons, boxing things and moving them around. The evenings were for Wilbough and I in her emptied basement. We did less playing that time around, more talking. I had the sense, even back then, that this meant I wouldn’t be pretending as much as I did when I was younger. It was the first time when I felt I was getting older. Before that time, I only felt myself getting bigger. Now I was older and I didn’t do things I used to do, even if I enjoyed them.
Like playing with pirates or rescuing princes from towers or saving trolls from a burning castle. We did less and less of that. Instead, we just talked.
Wilbough and I were only children. Both of us didn’t really have friends at school. I didn’t mind; it bothered Wilbough tremendously.
All four of our parents worked, so we were “latch key children”.
Wilbough struggled with school because it was hard for her to concentrate on only one thing; I found school very, very boring.
The first week was spent in the rhythm of packing and evening visits. The second week was begun with my going over to Wilbough’s house, hearing her end an argument with her mother.
“She’s tired,” her mother said in a Texan drone. “Everyday, she lives in her dead husband’s house. She’s reminded of him in every room, every corner. She’s getting old. She doesn’t need our anger, only pity. Pity, nothing more.”
I knew they were talking about my grandmother. I didn’t think much from her perspective on the move. I didn’t hate her for it, but I didn’t understand it either. I guess I was so used to being shuffled around by parents that my reaction to things wasn’t part of any factor. In Wilbough’s house, she had the right to throw a fit and be angry. The result was that she learned more about my grandmother than I did, yet I was related to the woman.
I didn’t touch my engineering books during those days, just moved boxes and visited Wilbough. Once in a while, Wilbough would ask me about machine making. “You’re really good at it. You don’t do it anymore? Why?” she asked me in her basement.
I shrugged and hoped that was enough.
She left it alone and turned her attention to somewhere else. “Why are women’s bodies so weird in comic books? They’re skinny and fat in all of the useless of places.” And that led us down another trail.
The last two nights by grandmother told me to spend my time, exclusively, with Wilbough. “You can go to the parks or catch a movie or even go down to the Merry-Go-Round.”
News came to Wilbough’s house because when I got there, Wilbough was downstairs in her basement, pacing. “It’s we have two full days left. There is an emergency,” she said with mock severity. “The Transcendence Machine has stolen another child. A big boy, who steals lunch money from smaller children and uses that money to buy hundreds of candy bars. A terrible, terrible boy-but he still doesn’t deserve to have his soul eaten by that organ.”
“What can we do?” I asked, entering into her story.
“You,” she said as she pointed to me. “You. You need to make a machine. I’ve studied this machine. Only a machine can defeat a machine. The Transcendence Machine needs to go back to being just a normal, old organ. We need to create a machine that makes a noise, but one of those silent noises that only dogs and angry teachers can hear.”
So I went to work. When my grandfather was alive, he talked to me about sonic technology. But how do you make a sonic sound? I ran back to my grandmother’s house. She was laying on her bed, neither napping or reading: just laying down. I got my engineering books and ran back to Wilbough’s house. I poured over the pages and got the idea that sonic was, basically, just intense vibrations of a machine.
“I need to make a machine that shakes,” I said and we got to work.
We talked and told stories and I worked on our Anti-Transcendence Machine.
For research, we went down to the Merry-Go-Round to look at the thing. The old man running the machine greeted us, “Hey, welcome back! You just missed the ice cream man.” I told him we weren’t hungry and we’d like to walk around the carousal.
When we got to the wagon, the art was brightly colored as if repainted. The style of the orangepanels belonged more to a Catholic altarpiece than a Merry-Go-Round. The pipes burst and trumpeted, the drums rattled, and the little conductor man waved his wand to the song.
“Tonight,” Wilbough said. “We shall bring your machine. We shall turn it on and it shall turn the organ back to normal.”
That night, I went to bed with my clothes on. My grandmother kissed me goodnight. I told her I loved her, she nodded and glided back to her room. Within minutes, I could hear her snoring. I made my exit out my window and found my machine hidden under some bushes by the front gate. Wilbough was waiting by the gate clad in black, carrying six flashlights.
She handed me two. “Let’s go do this thing.”
“How many souls do you think this machine has claimed?” I asked.
“Hundreds. It’s an old, old machine. It draws children in and then stores them like leftovers in a freezer. Only the pretty children are turned into art. Those are the statues.”
“By my calculations,” I said, quoting my grandfather. “This machine should send a pulse that will chase out all magic from the machine. It will go back to being a normal organ.”
“Good,” Wilbough said as we made our way down the hill. We could see the dome top between the trees and rooftops of the neighborhood. “Now, this next part will be extremely dangerous. We have to turn it on right in front of the thing.”
I grabbed Wilbough’s hand, holding my sonic machine under my arm. My device, once completed, was no bigger than a shoebox.
We arrived at the darkened carousal. There was only one window in the second story that was on. I pointed up to it. “Adults leave lights on to scare away burglars. We’re okay and alone,” she said.
There was a small, side window that was left open. An adult couldn’t slink through and we, as lean girls, could barely wiggle through. We did with a lot of work, but we were soon inside. The horses stood still, threatening to come alive instantly and move like wild specters in the night. Shadows were thick, mostly covering objects with only the suggestion that they’re either boxes or sleeping giants. In the far corner, there was a mound of darkness that, at times, looked like elves waiting to ensnare us with a net.
“You there,” Wilbough started in a loud, declarative voice. “I see you and I know you! My friend and I have hunted your likes for a long, long time. We have chased elves who make girls stupid, rescued princes from tall towers, and have fought giants. All of this has brought us here. To face you, the Transcendence Machine! You will no longer steal the souls of children! Instead, we shall turn you back into a normal music maker for children! This is our last night to do this! We’re leaving, but future kids will be safe from you!”
We walked over to the dark tower of pipes and wood. None of the art was visible at night. Instead, it appeared to be a giant’s head in the shadows, popping from the ground and grinning at us.
“No more! No more,” I said. I ran over to the electrical outlet on the nearest pillar and plugged in my machine. It ground to life.
“You shall leave this place! You deal in magic, but my sister deals in science!”
“Hold on,” a man’s voice called out from the shadows.
We froze. Wilbough gasped. I quickly put my arms around Wilbough.
Steps pounded around the carousal and towards us. When the man came into the streetlight, it was the man who ran the box office.
“Hold on,” he said and then pointed to the Transcendence Machine. “You’re doing it all wrong.”
“What?” I asked.
“You suspect something evil is going on with this organ, right?” he asked with a sharpness and urgency that matched Wilbough’s.
“Yes,” I stammered. I was so scared. I mean, I was frightened if he called my grandmother and told him everything. We were only playing-I thought- only pretending and probably sounded really, really crazy. Worst, we were broke in. We were burglars and they went to jail and I was terrified of jail.
“What’s wrong? I’ve suspected some really bad, arcane magic going on with this Merry-Go-Round, but I thought I was alone. What does this do?”
Startled and sounding slightly embarrassed, Wilbough mumbled, “It steals the souls of children?”
“That’s what I thought! Now what do you have here?” he asked me as he walked over to my box.
“It’s a machine to reverse the magic through the technology…of sonic stuff.”
“That’s what I thought. But there’s one problem,” the operationsaid as we he walked over to turn on the lights. “The lights need to be on and the machine needs to be running. Evil hates when the lights turn on and in order for the machine to be reset, it has to be running. It’s the opposite of a computer because it works with magic.”
We both nodded. He flipped on the machine and it roared into a merry reel from the pipes.
“We need to scream at the thing in order for it to work,” he said.
Clutching Wilbough, I screamed; she joined me. The man gave a quick yawp.
After our screaming, he bowed to exhale and said, “I think we did it. The dark magic has fled. It’s gone. We now run a normal, average Merry-Go-Round.”
“And the souls of the children?” Wilbough asked.
“Scattered through time and space, to return to their original bodies. Everything is back to normal.” He grinned. “No, correction: everything is back to better.”
“That doesn’t make sense,” I said.
“It shouldn’t have to,” he replied with a quick wink. He looked over to Wilbough. “We need to keep them away from the world, this evil magic.”
“But how?” she asked, her voice full of wonder.
“It’s done by doing simple things. Three rules: 1) Don’t talk with food in your mouth, 2) Do one kind thing for a stranger at least once a week, 3) Never give up on magic.”
“I already don’t talk with food in my mouth,” Wilbough said proudly. “And I think I can do the other things too.”
“Good.” He looked over to me. “You’re the scientist, right? Please come tomorrow and I need to show you how this organ works.”
“But why do you need to do that?”
“Because it’s utterly fantastic, that’s why. Come back tomorrow. Make your way back to your homes before your grandparents know that you’re gone from your beds, okay?”
We agreed and headed back to our homes.
The next day, we both were able to persuade our grandparents for one last ride on the Merry-Go-Round. They took us down, with Wilbough carrying her grandmother’s bag of quarters.
The man in the ticket booth ran out of his small box with my machine under his arms. “Hey,” he said to me. “Last night, the weirdest thing happened. Someone broke in and left this behind. They didn’t take anything or hurt anything, but just dropped this. I knew you’d be smart enough to figure out what this device does.”
“Who would do such a thing?” my grandmother asked.
“Someone,” he said in a feint whisper. “Who is very brave. Brave enough to fix things and build stuff.”
I looked it over and shrugged. “It’s a sonic machine, I think.”
“Take it home and study it. You might find a use for it. Who knows?” he said. “And now, please stand in line and get a ticket for the Merry-Go-Round. It’s a slow day and I promised this future scientist that I would show her behind the curtain of the organ, so she could see how the thing worked.”
“But won’t that ruin the magic?” I asked.
“I think magic will survive.”
At this point in my story, my girls jumped in full of questions. For them, they were anticipating the usual wrap up: “We went home and our hearts were full and we never saw each other again.” They also expected me to make mention my grandmother died shortly after her move.
But their questionswere to the original address: do I believe in the supernatural?
“But I just told you a story about the Transcendence Machine.”
“Wasn’t that just two girls pretending?”
“Or was it?” I asked.
I did have two Aces up my sleeve, though. Instead of the typical, adult ending being one that (where) Wilbough drifted off into my past, I told them that I was still in touch with Wilbough. We both did teach together at the University. She had changed her name and was has a PHD in mythology.
And the second was when I left them for a moment to fetch something from my study. Buried in my shelf, behind some copies of some old textbooks, was the machine we used on the organ.
“Whenever the home is threatened or I feel something wrong is going on, I turn this on.”
“And it works?” she asked.
“I’m not sure…yet. I’m a scientist and the data hasn’t come in to say one way or the other. And that, my daughters, is the nature of magic.”