Andy short story by Iris Carden
Mum said keeping a diary might help me adjust to all the changes. I’m giving it a go, but it’s all just so much.
Two weeks ago, I just had normal grade eleven girl problems. Could I juggle Debating practice with Netball training, with my Ancient History and English assignments? Would I be the only girl to get through high school without ever having a boyfriend? Would other kids stop picking on me for being named Andromeda? Would I always feel left out, as if I didn’t belong?
Well I know the answer to that last one now. I don’t belong.
The day after my sixteenth birthday, I woke up with horrible pains in my back. Mum called the school and said I was sick and couldn’t go to school that day or the next. Then she made me my favourite breakfast, pancakes, and told me the truth.
I’m not human. The pain in my back was my wings beginning to grow.
My mother’s not just an ordinary lawyer, like I’d always thought. She’s Lady Justice, the arbiter of all magical justice, and I’m going to be the next Lady Justice. My mother’s over five hundred years old and got her wings when she was sixteen. She says it’s always been like that.
She also tells me that every Lady Justice has a daughter when she’s five hundred, and then only lives another hundred years to train her daughter to take over.
For years I’ve been asking about my father, and my mother’s refused to tell me anything about him. Now she tells me I don’t have a father, and my daughter, who I have when I’m five hundred won’t have a father either.
She’s taught me how to do a “glamour”, magic to make my wings invisible to humans. The whole magical world is some kind of big secret. I can’t tell any of my school friends. So yeah, if I felt like I didn’t belong before, I feel even less like I don’t belong now.
There was one human who knew about the secret. She’d stumbled into it and there was no point hiding it from her. Her name’s Ariana. She’s my hairdresser. Just a couple of days ago, my mother and Merlin (Mum’s friends with Merlin, yes that Merlin) explained to her that she’s actually some magical creature as well. She’s some kind of witch from an ancient line of powerful witches. In among her family was a witch so evil the guy who wrote Dracula also wrote a book about her. (I wonder if that means Dracula is real as well? I should ask Mum.) So I guess Ariana knows what I’m going through.
My mother says she thought it was important to give me time to be a normal kid. Her mother told her who and what she was right from when she was little, and she never had anything to do with humans for years. But she says She says me growing up as human lets me learn about that world, and now I have to learn about my own world (the magical world) as well. She says the two cross over more than I think.
I wanted to go to uni. I wanted to get a normal job and do normal things. Mum says I can still do all of that. She says I’ve got till I’m about a hundred before I have to take over from her. I can have a human lifetime, as long as I learn from her as well, and then go on and do my “real” job when she dies.
But what if I don’t want to be the next “Lady Justice”? My mother says no-one in the family line has ever refused. She says the whole magical world and the non-magical world, depend on someone ensuring that no-one misuses magic. She says I will accept my “responsibility” by the time I’m a hundred.
I want to go back to the day before my birthday, when I was still just another teenager who tried too hard and still didn’t fit in.
Orsinius Wishlet Stories
Lost and Found was originally a one-off story, until the day I had the idea for A Wish Come True. After that, Orsinius and the world built around him just kept coming back to me.