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Charm

by Noa Covo

           When we were seven years old, Dave bought a levitation charm from the candy store on our street. I was a nickel short, so I got a sour gobstopper instead. He hovered a few inches off the sidewalk and I rolled the gobstopper around in my mouth as we walked in the afternoon sun. When Dave’s mother called him in for dinner, the charm had almost worn off. He walked back to his porch with a slight spring to his step. The gum in the middle of my gobstopper had lost its taste, and I spat it out so that my mother wouldn’t see.

           The day I turned sixteen Dave came knocking on my window, ten feet off the ground. I opened it and he tumbled in, hands shaking.

            “What are you on?” I asked him.

           “Pixie dust, dude. I have a friend that grows pixies in his backyard.” he grinned. “Also, I nicked a courage pill from my mom.”

           “What for?” I asked, trying to pretend I wasn’t interested in how big his eyes were, how blue they were.

           “Happy birthday.” he replied, and kissed me. I felt a buzz when our lips met, and I knew it wasn’t because of the pill.

           Our last year of high school, Dave got hit by a truck in the middle of the night. He had snuck out to buy knockoff magic, the type brewed in plastic buckets and handed out in paper cups. His pockets had been full of Invincible, crushed into pink powder by the huge rubber wheels.

            At his funeral, I cried. I had a vial of Relief from the pharmacy, but I didn’t touch it until I got home. Then I wept in bed for another hour before drinking half of it. It burned when it touched my tongue and my tears subsided, but I didn’t drink the other half. Dave deserved better. I could still feel the courage pill on my tongue from the first time we kissed.

            My second year of college, I met Erik at a bar that brewed drinks right in front of us, Courage, Strength, and Invincible mixed with vodka and tonic. The fumes were yellow and pink, and Erik seemed to glow. We downed a few drinks. The waiter offered us an exotic spell that was half off if we got it with Budlight. Erik agreed. I drank the Budlight and he mixed in the spell with his whisky. It made it turn bright green and we both giggled.

           When the two of us went to meet his parents, his father spiked his tea with a jinx. It smelled bitter, even though he’d tried to cover it up with mint. Erik threw the mug on the floor and demanded to know what they were doing and Erik’s father told him it was bound to work, that it was a well known home cure and it would make both of us better. We never came back to Erik’s parents’ house.

A year later I found myself making my way to a store that made specialties. The brewer at the counter had attended high school with me. She didn’t seem surprised when I said what I wanted. She congratulated me for the engagement ring on my finger when I left with the special mix.

           On our wedding day there was bubbly champagne and Memory incense. We exchanged our vows under a gentle shower of golden rain that rolled off our tuxedos. Erik’s parents weren’t there, but mine were, with a digital camera charmed to make the lighting perfect. Before I toasted our marriage I took my bubbly champagne and poured just a single blue drop of Forget. I wished the two of us the best, and downed the mix. For the last time, I felt the taste of Dave in my mouth.

About the Author

Noa Covo is a teenage writer. Her work has appeared in Reckoning, Newfound, and Vamp Cat Magazine. Her microchapbook, Bouquet of Fears, will be published by Nightingale and Sparrow this July. She can be found on Twitter @covo_noa.

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