Practical Sorcery

Meniscus Plevens rolled his eyes. His sister, Cleopatricia, shot a dark, menacing glance in his direction, a glare hot enough to melt the bacon-grease-saturated smile off his face. Every time she started to tell the story about her conversation with President Roosevelt, Meniscus rolled his eyes in disbelief that she was willing to embarrass herself by telling such a preposterous tale and insisting it was factual. Still, each time the coals in her eyes tamed his overt disdain.

“Seriously, it was four years ago and I was like seventeen years old. I was alone in the shop, mopping up ice cream melts from a rush of customers a little while earlier, when he came in. When I looked up and saw him, my jaw dropped. It was FDR! In the flesh! We’d just studied about his presidency in my history class, so I knew exactly what he looked like. It was so weird; he was like a black and white photo, but in 3-D. And he just started talking to me.”

Meniscus swallowed the last piece of limp bacon, wiped his slippery face with his sleeve, and glanced at Dahlia, Cleopatricia’s roommate. Dahlia’s face betrayed nothing about what she thought of the story; she sat stone-faced as Cleopatricia continued.

“He said he just wanted me to understand why he always insisted on hiding his wheelchair from public view.  But, next, he started speaking in gibberish for a minute. And, then, he smiled and put a big cigar in his mouth and said, ‘Do you understand what I’m saying, sweetheart?’ And he turned and walked out the door. Yeah, I said he walked. He didn’t need a wheelchair. It was all a stunt.”

Meniscus watched Dahlia’s mouth twitch slightly. But her eyes remained fixed and vacant, revealing nothing of what she might be thinking until she blurted, “My god, Cleo, you’re about as delusional as anyone I’ve ever met. And I’ve met some crazies in my time.”


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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