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Detective Story

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The next week went by fast, filled with convoluted math and careful magic rationing. Sam and Mikayla had gone as far as to sit on opposite ends of the basement while they worked out a way to get 10,689 watts of power, because of how fed up they were with each other. Just yesterday, Wednesday, was spent finding and using pointless spells to subtract power from their current amount–6,890 watts. One of the futile spells was a spell that could break glass with the snap of your fingers. Because using a spell to fix those glasses would ruin the count of power, Sam had to throw away the broken glass and Ary went shopping for more. Siofra was procrastinating her work and kept leaving saying her cat was sick; which, of course, she doesn’t own a cat. She was anticipating the day Rahaf would be resurrected so she could stop having to avoid conversing with her boss about how little progress she was making on Rahaf Makrai’s murder case. And her co-worker Marcel wasn’t helping. ‘I would have solved the case by now if I got it,’ Marcel said, leaning against the wall Siofra’s desk was placed near. ‘It’s a shame our boss made such a big mistake giving the case to you.’ ‘You’re just jealous,’ Siofra said, baffled. She was atrocious at comebacks. ‘Ha. I’ve had lots of murder cases. And I’ve solved all of them,’ Marcel snapped back. Through the jealousy that was filling his mind, he did notice something strange about Siofra’s progress on the murder case. It almost seemed as if she was putting off solving the case. But it doesn’t make sense! Siofra has always wanted a murder case, Marcel thought to himself as he walked briskly back to his own desk. Everyone wants a murder case. Whatever, I have more important things to think about. It was around 3 pm, before most people started to clear out of the office, that a thought so sickening and horrifying pierced Siofra’s mind. She packed up her laptop and the files, stuffing them into her backpack. She unfolded her umbrella, as it was looking like it was going to rain, and got into her car, pulled away from the small secretive building she worked in, and as she came to the first stop light, the thought caused her to slam on the brakes of her car. The wet road made her skid a bit, nearly hitting the car in front of her. But the thought was worse than the fear of hitting someone’s car. What if in this time that I’m procrastinating, the murderer strikes again? She felt like she couldn’t breathe like she felt the day she found out Rahaf was murdered. She tried desperately to calm herself down so she wouldn’t crash her car, and the fear was overwhelming her. Why didn’t she think of this before? ‘SIOFRA YOU FUCKING IDIOT. YOU DENSE ASININE IMBECILE!’ She cursed herself the rest of the way home, and seeing that the whole house was vacant, felt even more useless than she had before because now she couldn’t explain to anyone what a big mistake she made. All the time she had wasted when she could have been trying to find the murderer, and now someone might be DEAD because of her. ‘You shit-head, you witless moron, you–‘ suddenly the back door opened and then closed quietly. Siofra stayed very still. Why would one of her friends be coming home and close the door quietly? Siofra came home early today, and usually, everyone didn’t start to come home until four or even five pm. Siofra, who was in the kitchen while she was verbally punishing herself, silently crept along the hallway towards the back of the house. She came to the living room and darted inside, peeking around the corner of the doorframe to the end of the hall where the back door was wide open. Somewhere in the house that was nowhere near Siofra, a floorboard creaked. And not just once, but whoever was creeping about throughout her house obviously hadn’t had much experience breaking into houses (not that Siofra had, though) because floorboards were continuously moaning and groaning, as if someone was very trying to slowly and quietly make their way towards the kitchen area of the house. Giving up on staying discrete, Siofra walked casually out of the living and around the bathroom that was near the back of the house, and around to where the kitchen connected in a loop. She stepped into the doorway of the kitchen and stared straight at the supposed burglar, who was short and Asian (Indonesian to be exact). ‘Marcel? What the hell are you doing in my house?!’ Siofra yelled, running towards him, only to see that he had her murder case file in his hands. ‘You, um, left your back door open.’ ‘Are you stealing my files?’ ‘What, this? Oh, I thought this was…’ He looked frantically around the kitchen, hoping to quickly think something up, before quickly giving up. ‘Okay fine. I was trying to take your files. But for a good reason.’ ‘What good reason?! I was working on those, and I was getting really far, what makes you think you can do better?’ Marcel saw right through her cover. ‘I’ve noticed how you’ve been putting off the case.’ ‘What? That’s stupid, why would I do that?’ Siofra snorted, but detectives are the worst at lying, and it was more than just obvious that she was lying. ‘Are- are you scared of the end of the case?’ Marcel, said, and suddenly rolled onto the floor in a chaotic burst of laughter. ‘NO!’ Siofra didn’t care about whether or not Marcel knew about resurrection, he had gone too far, and embarrassment was far worse than keeping the secret. She had to tell him the truth now. ‘That’s not why. I’d never be scared of murder, ever.’ She wasn’t sure if that was true, but it didn’t matter. She motioned for him to follow her, and he got up off the ground and did. Siofra stopped in front of what Marcel assumed was the basement door. He’d been at this house for dinner several times before but had never been upstairs or in the basement. ‘Now, this is where we hide the bodies,’ Siofra joked, opening the door and walking down the steps. ‘WHAT?!’ Marcel yelled, sanding in one place, frozen. Was Siofra the murderer? ‘IT’S CALLED A JOKE SHERLOCK,’ Siofra called back up, and Marcel rolled his eyes and started on down the stairs. The first thing he noticed when he reached the bottom were the dozens of shelves around the walls stuffed full of glass flasks. The second thing he noticed was the basement was partially finished, with a small kitchen in the corner that only held two cupboards and a sink. The rest of the walls were cement, with a couch placed against one and a big table that had strange colored stains all over it. The air also smelled faintly of Fish Eggs. ‘what the fuck is this place,’ was all Marcel could manage to say. ‘Have you and your friends started some kind of cult?’ Ignoring the joke, Siofra pointed the shelves. ‘See that giant green book? Take it off the shelf and read the cover.’ Marcel walked over and took down the book, puzzled as to how light it was. ‘Is this one of those hollowed out books?’ ‘Just read the cover, and no it’s not.’ She watched as his eyes scanned the cover, seeing the words once. Then he read, again and again, absorbing what was written down. ‘The Competent Wizard’s Adequate Manual.’ ‘Yes,’ Siofra replied bluntly. ‘Wizards.’ ‘yes.’ ‘WIZARDS!’ ‘YES! I figured this was probably the easiest way to break it to you,’ Siofra shrugged. ‘Is this some joke?’ ‘No. Your childhood fantasies are real. Magic is real. And Rahaf will be resurrected.’ Marcel stood dumbfounded as Siofra tried to explain (not as well as Mikayla or Sam would have been able to) to the best of her knowledge, everything that was planned to be done. Everything that Sam and Mikayla told her, but a little more, since Siofra already knew that magic existed when she was told about the resurrection. Marcel had a similar reaction to Megan, which was standing there with his mouth hanging open. ‘Can– can I…’ ‘No you can’t just want to be a wizard, if you were a wizard, you’d have been born a wizard,’ Siofra said. Marcel’s vague look of hope and wonder instantly faded. ‘You’re not a wizard, are you?’ He asked. Siofra shook her head. ‘No, just Sam and Mikayla. The rest of us weren’t fortunate enough to be deemed wizards at birth.’ ‘How are people chosen to be wizards?’ ‘I have no idea, I never thought to ask Sam and Mikayla that,’ Siofra replied. Right after she said that Siofra and Marcel heard a door slam upstairs. ‘It’s Eleanor, is anyone home?! The door was unlocked.’ Eleanor’s voice streamed from upstairs. ‘Yeah, Siofra. I’m in the basement!’ Siofra called back up. Soon Eleanor and Eleanor’s brown hair with bleached tips appeared as she slowly made her way down the stairs and into the basement. ‘My shift ended early today, so I decided to come home– oh, hi Marcel.’ Eleanor was one of those people who developed and then lost crushes rapidly. She had once liked Marcel from the few times she’d met through Siofra and the dinner parties they held (Siofra and her friends invited co-workers and friends over for dinner almost every Friday). It was a kind of off-on sort of thing, where she liked him and then didn’t. At some point she was positive she liked him and then even went as far as to confess her feelings to him. But after he politely rejected (you know, that ‘I like you as a friend’, kind of crap that everyone says to someone who likes them but you either don’t want to admit you like them back or you actually truly don’t like them), things got a little awkward between them. To try to patch things up a bit, Marcel agreed to become Eleanor’s wingman for Jared, her current crush (who was also friends with Marcel). Marcel and Eleanor exchanged some awkward small talk before Siofra invited them upstairs for some late lunch. Eleanor refused, saying that she was meeting up with her friends, and left shortly after. Siofra made sandwiches and Marcel asked her questions about the case. ‘So, you’re stalling the case until Rahaf is resurrected,’ Marcel asked. ‘Yes. Well, I was putting it off, but now I realize that for all we know the murderer is off to kill someone else, so I probably should have just solved it instead of waiting for Rahaf to come back and tell us.’ Marcel nodded slowly. ‘You’re a terrible detective.’ ‘I know,’ Siofra sighed. And she did actually know that very well. Someone could be dead because she was too lazy to try to solve the case herself. They sat in silence for maybe five minutes, thinking the conversation over. Then suddenly Marcel asked, ‘can I help?’ ‘What?’ ‘Can I help you find the murder? I won’t give myself any credit for it, I swear. And if the wizard minister guy is really going to wipe our bosses memory, it won’t matter anyway,’ Marcel responded. ‘Why do you want to help me find the murderer? Isn’t this like your twentieth murder case? Shouldn’t this be boring for you?’ Marcel looked down, suddenly embarrassed. ‘I haven’t actually had a murder case before,’ he said solemnly. ‘I just said that because I was jealous that Sergeant gave you the case and not me.’ Siofra contemplated this for a while. Marcel, jealous of her? She was always jealous of him, with all his ‘murder’ cases. They got along well when they had to, like when they were paired together to solve mysteries, but they generally were frenemies, always trying to outdo each other. Would accepting his help close their feud? She was willing to try, at least. ‘Ok fine. I guess two detectives are better than one.’

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