// THE MARSCAPONE SCHOOL OF MAGIC //
Myrtle had barely dozed off when the sun began to trickle through her window. And by the looks of it, she was late.
Words rang in her head from her meeting with her husband.
WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE ABOUT YOU?
She was unaware as to whether he’d meant to sting with the words, but regardless, he had made an impression.
The pair had been childless throughout the early years of their marriage. In the early days, they’d still been keeping secrets from each other. She’d not known she’d married a vampire. She had gone off to involve herself in the Great War and come back wiser.
She’d figured it out.
No longer did she blame herself for their childlessness. But the fact still stood that she’d married a vampire.
So they’d started the school, fashioning it under the guise of an orphanage. Her students were largely self-motivated children who just needed an extra step up to get started in life. They had no magical parentage. In that way, they were alike, the Matron Marscapone and her little Orphans.
But when she looked into their eyes, they still lacked her face.
WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE ABOUT YOU?
There were certain things she wanted before she died. Certain things she felt she deserved.
A daughter. A single daughter.
Myrtle picks up a framed photograph of herself and her father from earlier in the century.
He’d died unaware that his only remaining family descendant was indeed a witch.
The world had given him a chance in Myrtle and she was not about to squander that because she’d unknowingly married a vampire. There were always options. There were always friends.
There was always the Coven.
The Coven was a set of three witches who had existed longer than anyone could remember. They helped, they hindered, they caused mischief. But one thing was certain: they were powerful.
Where did they draw their power from? Well, where did anyone draw their power from?
Vincent did not trust the Coven. When Myrtle had gone to him begging for children, he’d implored her to remember her adopted charges.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR LITTLE ONES?
WON’T THEY BE JEALOUS?
WE MADE A PACT TO RAISE THEM.
Myrtle had made friends with the Coven during the Great War. They had completed what she’d already traced out on her own. She’d mastered a number of small tricks and had completed her journey out of floundering faith and into confidence.
She was indebted to them for teaching her healing magicks she’d used while away from home.
She had become further indebted to them when they’d granted her wish of a child. Albeit not a little girl.
She was soon due a son.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A CHILD’?
EXACTLY WHAT I’VE SAID.
WE HAVE CHILDREN!!
WE HAVE MANY CHILDREN BUT WE DO NOT HAVE A CHILD.
Vincent had been furious at her for, as he saw it, going behind his back and beseeching the aid of her old friends in the Coven.
But as she gazed downward at the weathered photograph into the eyes of her father, she had the impression that somehow, someday, it would all be worth the struggle.
The house is oddly quiet even at this hour. When Myrtle emerges from her room, she finds the young girl Tzu flipping through a book.
This particular book was one of her enchanted volumes and illuminated a number of spells, and, interestingly enough, tales of when they had been used to great effect. Myrtle suspected they were mythological rather than factual, but it mattered not to teach the children the proper and improper uses of magic.
GOOD MORNING, MAMA.
The small girl used several monikers for Myrtle, but ‘Mama’ was one of her recent displays of affection. The Orphans tended toward formality and circumstance, but Tzu behaved differently. She was one of the youngest adoptees in recent years and seemed to truly have taken the Magicademy as her forever home.
These children needed protecting, too.
GOOD MORNING, TZU.
MAMA, WHAT DOES THIS WORD MEAN?
Myrtle walks over toward Tzu. Tzu stands and points at a small word in the text, handing the book over to the Headmistress.
The moving pictures stop as the book is lifted into Myrtle’s line of sight.
‘CHIDE’. TO CHIDE, AS IN ‘MY FATHER CHIDED ME FOR BAD BEHAVIOR’.
IT MEANS TO SCOLD, TO REPRIMAND, TO REBUKE.
IT MEANS THE PERSON IN QUESTION HAS DONE SOMETHING WRONG AND IS NOW BEING TOLD THAT THEY DID SOMETHING WRONG.
She hands the book back to Tzu.
IS ANYONE ELSE AWAKE YET?
I DON’T THINK SO.
FRIDAY IS STILL ASLEEP.
OKAY, THAT’S GOOD.
YOU LET HER SLEEP.
Myrtle leaves the reading corner and approaches Kevin’s room.
She slips inside quietly, caring not that for her to enter the room at this precise time was out-of-step of her usual behavior; she usually did not see him until much closer to breakfast. But the room is empty and she doesn’t expect Tzu to retreat from her book.
The curtain flutters just perceptively from a small draft in the windowpane.
Myrtle sits down and feels the silence flow through her as she gathers the downy blanket into her empty hands.
Her face goes slack as she soon loses herself in another vision.
She’s attempting to scry for her son.