Grayson Ioma
Out of the weird magic train car and into the fire
Mon Jan 15, 2018 20:36

Over the past week, Grayson’s outlook on his new school alternated wildly between incredibly excited and unspeakably confused. The prospect of learning about a branch of reality that was completely unknown to science had the skinny, brown-haired boy literally vibrating with excitement. But then he’d see some new and unexpected magic thing that was apparently normal in magic world, like a painting that moved and talked, and spend hours trying to learn even the simplest things and get nowhere.

Now, entering the diner and standing along one wall, Grayson brushed his hair away from his eyes and admitted that at least he’d learned that it was apparently not reasonable to expect a painting to know where it came from or what, specifically, made it alive. In retrospect he thought perhaps he should never have assumed otherwise, just because this particular one could talk.

The diner was different. It was still a train, but now it was on fire. The fires were different colors and people were sitting around them, so probably it wasn’t anything to worry about, but it definitely struck Grayson as strange. Yet another weird magic thing that was perfectly normal to everyone else. He definitely wanted to get a closer look.

Suddenly, the significance of the different colors became clear. They were house colors, and so were probably house bonfires. Which was interesting. He was also very glad he’d done his research on the school, otherwise he probably would have been wondering about the meanings of the different colors for a long time.

Someone near the boring, normal colored fire stood up and started saying things, but Grayson was too busy wondering what the more interesting, colorful fires actually were to pay much notice. They clearly couldn’t be real fire, right? They weren’t destroying anything and it wasn’t as hot in here as he’d expect if there were five large bonfires, but… there was only really one way to find out, wasn’t there?

With a start, the bespectacled eleven-year-old realized the other kids around him had pulled out their dreamcatchers, and a few had started to head off toward various fires. He took his own out and examined it. It was gray and cream colored now. He was pretty sure it had been black before. Now it was Aquila colored. Glancing back up at all the other new kids heading off toward different bonfires, Grayson assumed the dreamcatcher was telling him he was an Aquila now. It was cool that it thought he was creative and clever and the like but more interestingly, how did it know?! Could it read his mind? How would that work? Do brains send out some sort of magical signal that the dreamcatcher could receive?

At some point while he was staring at his dreamcatcher, but at least a full minute, perhaps two, after everyone else had gone off, Grayson started walking in the direction of the Aquila fire. He hadn’t realized he had done it until he got close enough to be in it’s light, at which point it once again had his complete attention. He didn’t think dissecting his dreamcatcher would yield any information about how it worked, but he definitely could find out more about that fire.

Stepping carefully around those already seated, he moved closer to the fire until there was no one between him and it. “It’s not all that hot, is it?” He murmured to the person next to him without taking his eyes off the flickering cream flames. “It can’t actually be real fire… could it?”

Without sparing a glance for the person he’d spoken to, Grayson took a half step forward and very slowly reached out towards the light.

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