Pocket Full Of Magic


aura_icon.gif carl_icon.gif seren_icon.gif richard_icon.gif walter_icon.gif

Also featuring: Ricky and Lili

Scene Title Pocket Full of Magic
Synopsis The children's library hosts several events a month for summer programming, and Seren volunteers to perform a magic show for the kids.
Date July 19, 2019

“Ready?” Seren asks the children on either side of them, their hands balled and clasped together before them. The young children nod vigorously, hands tightly pressed together in a like fashion. “Squeeze, squeeze! As hard as you can!” Seren urges them, voice light and exuberant. The children squish the tiny foam objects in their hands even more tightly, and Seren joins in, the gilded black cape draped over their shoulders shifting.

“Now, let them go!”

When the kids open their palms, motes of rainbow-colored light spring forth where before there had only been boring, tan foam. The floating lights shimmer brilliantly as they float up and away from the awed children, Seren grinning broadly at the widened eyes they see. They'd done some practical magic before, but this trick had been too fun to pass up.

Summer Community Programming Series

Eric Doyle Children's Library

July 19, 2019

“Okay, now I still need your help with this one,” Seren tells the kids. “On the count of three, I need you to wave your hand just like—” they demonstrate with a spiral motion, their mote of light swirling. “Like this, okay?” Nods all around, they count down, “One… two… and…!”

On the count of three, Seren and their helpers wave their arms and the motes of light collide together, exploding into sparkles of light that shimmer down over the sitting crowd of kids. With some gasps and grasping at the light, even though some of them know it can't be real, the tiny specks of light snowflake away into nothing with scattered applause made by tiny hands.

Seren applauds, too. It wasn't all by their effort, after all! “Thank you both so much,” they enthuse at their helpers, stepping back to a table to palm a deck of cards. “I think I have maybe one or two tricks still up my sleeve… Any volunteers to help me with this one?”

Though it isn't replacement for a sitter, Delilah lets Walter do a lot of summer programs to keep his attention occupied. It's difficult, sometimes, knowing how precocious he can be.

Walter has seen almost everything a little dude like him can see, but Seren's ability still tickles him and his awe. He's right there in the thick of it, hands out when the last shower of sparkles comes drifting past his head. It reminds him a little of fiberoptics.

Sometimes his mom does tricks, though not as much anymore. Seren, on the other hand, totally in his zone. "Oh," Walter goes to raise his hand, though hesitates to make sure none of the littler ones are hopping around to do it too. He's Big Kid, he's an example.

Off to the side a little, curled up on a cushion with book in hand, Carl Sumter is watching everything with a mix of emotions. He hadn’t wanted to go there, even if he remembered Seren. In fact, the youngest Sumter had been in an off mood as of late. However, what Seren was doing fascinated him and brushed at that curious streak he inherited from his mother.

There is a part of him that wants to volunteer, but he hesitates. Instead he slowly closes the book and sets it next to him, finally giving Seren the attention they deserve. Elbows rest on knees as he leans forward to watch.

Aurora loves the library. Her mother brings her every chance they have and the little girl, starved of books for the past two years, stays for hours if she's allowed. She's sitting near the circle of children, her eyes on Seren, but she's been sitting close enough to Carl that he's not technically alone in his cushion. She doesn't like that he's so quiet lately.

She giggles as Seren creates the trick, her hands waving to send the mote of light spinning and exploding. "Primal!" Where the boys are holding back, she bounces to her knees, waving energetically. "Mememememe!" along with other kids in the excited group.

Of course, Ricky’s hand is up in the air as well right after his sister’s. “Me,” he echoes her, grinning broadly ashe waves it in the air, “I can! Orrr— Rora can!” He’s trying to be a good big brother, pointing at her when he realizes she’s bouncing so excitedly. Even if he’d rather do it himself. Of course.

Lili, for her part, is holding back a little to let someone else go; picking at the hem of her dress, she’s been watching Seren intently the whole time, as if trying to figure out how they’re doing it! There has to be a trick after all. She squints at the glimmering motes that still linger in the air, screwing up her face in thought.

Richard is supervising, so to speak, in the background; mostly he’s working, honestly, a phone in hand as he sends off emails and texts while keeping an eye on the four kids from the table he’s seated at.

Seren grins broadly at the enthusiasm received, the energy its own type of magic. “All right, all right…” They squint and hmm, gaze roaming as they look for their volunteer. Eyes settle on someone unexpected, but ultimately someone who looks like they could use a little bit of magic added to their day.

“How about you,” Seren lifts their head, brow arched with a warm smile. They turn over a single card in their fingers. “Over there?” They snap, and the card's vanished.

It's now lying over the screen of Richard's smartphone, making it a little difficult to continue typing.

That's the point, after all.

He's being voluntold to live in the moment.

They flatten their palm, thumb to nose with one eye squinted in a faux apology. “Just one card trick,” they promise. There's heads turning to see who the lucky pick was. They single out the object of Seren's stare faster than a searchlight.

Walter seems glad that Aurora is so enthused about it, a look going from Ricky and Lili to their half-sibling before adjusting his sit on the floor when Seren hmmmmms their way around. His head and shoulders lift up when they pick a mysterious volunteer, and the card *poks* out of sight. Kids peer around at one another before figuring out where it went. Some of them show empty hands. One kid looks up his sleeves.

The ginger-haired boy pinpoints where it ends up as one of the others does; he laughs and twists around to watch. "Do it!" Be a fun dad!

Bouncing up and down when she spots it, Aura squees, "Look, Ricky, Daddy gots it!" She claps enthusiastically. She drops back down to sit nicely, sharing a grin with her brother. "C'mon Daddy, you can do it!" she encourages brightly.

Hands fold in Carl’s lap as he watches everything unfold. His cousins get an amused grin, but there is an actual laugh at Seren’s pick. “Come on Uncle Richard! Daddy would do it!” The guilt trip, a classic kid move. “Even Mommy would.” And Carl is doubling down to help out his cousins. It was questionable if his parents really would, but they were not there and Uncle Richard was.

Richard’s finger pauses in the air as a playing card appears over the phone, and he looks up, eyebrows raising dubiously over the edge of his sunglasses.

“Do it, Daddy,” Ricky cheers after turning at Aurora’s observation, grinning a gap-toothed grin, “Doooo itttttt!” He’s bouncing a bit himself, although he’s still sitting. Lili squints at the phone, then back at Seren, “How did it get there?” She’ll figure it out yet!

A heavy sigh, and a chuckle, and then Richard is pushing up to his feet and tucking the phone away before walking forward, “Alright, alright. I surrender. One card trick.”

Seren tries to disguise any metaphorical or actual fistpumping, asiding to Richard as he approaches, "I'd have picked on you anyway, with your head in your phone like that." They shuffle the cards to din the noise of their voice. "If it's any consolation."

Clapping their hand down on the deck, Seren turns back to the crowd settled in, swiping one card off the top and flourishing their arm out with it. The magician's cape draped around their shoulders swishes with the act.

“What we’re going to do is have Mr. Ray pick a card, just like this one. He’ll keep it to himself, and not show me, and put it right back in the deck. Then we’re going to have to figure out which card he picked, okay?” Tucking the card back into the deck, they spread the cards in a fan and gesture with them at Richard to make his pick. “Any old card will do…”

Looking back at the kids, Seren stresses, “So this one’s really hard. Sometimes I don’t always get it right the first time. Give me three tries, okay?” Once the card is picked and replaced, they grin and turn the full deck over, squinting at it like they might count where the card was hiding at. “Hmmm… all right.”

“So there’s four possible suits it could be! You’ve got the red suits, which are hearts and diamonds,” And pop, a floating heart and diamond are suddenly there, hovering over the heads of the kids. “And then there’s the black ones, which are spades and clubs.” Pop-pop go the second pair, the colors staggered. “Each suit has numbered cards two through ten, and then they’ve got what’re called face cards, which are the Jack, the Queen, and the King.” The symbols flip in the air, stylized images of the cards taking their place without the border. The final Spade symbol continues to float unchanged.

’But Seren,’ you might say, ’what about the number one?’ Well, there’s a special card called an Ace. Different card games have the Ace serve different values. In some, it means ‘one’, and in others, the Ace trumps, or beats the King card.” The floating symbol, rather than turn into any shape in particular, shrinks down into a boldfaced A. “Pretty cool, versatile little card, huh?”

Tapping a finger thoughtfully to their chin, they look down at the deck in their hand. “Now we just have to figure out which one was Mr. Ray’s… hmmmm.” Seren flits a glance in Richard’s direction, shuffling the cards in a seemingly whimsical fashion. They make a dramatic flair of their fingers over the top of the deck and the floating symbols vanish. “Is it … this one?”

The plucked card is shown out to the kids first, and then swiveled over to Richard.

With Richard game to play along, Walter re-crosses his legs and sits up to watch, eyes on Seren and the showmanship. He takes them at face value, of course, with the show itself being way more important than wondering if there's legitimate deception. The faith of a kid. With the others his head cranes to watch the bobbing and swaying shapes above, blue eyes lit up. He knows the suits, so he has all the time to watch the illusory effects, even reaching up to try and poke one.

When Seren gets to shuffling he refocuses, leaning forward as they flip up the card to show it off to the rest. Walter's head swivels around to see what the result is.

The littlest Sumter settles in watch now that his Uncle has been drawn in. Carl watches with awe as the trick unfolds. He doesn't take his eyes off the hovering suits, but still manages to lean over and whisper to Aurora, “I want that kind of ability when I grow up. It’s so cool.”

Even if Carl know he can’t pick, a boy can hope.

Grinning at her cousin, Aura whispers back, "I wanna do somethin' really cool too, like daddy. Turn into shadowbirds or somethin'! Maybe you can turn into colored stuff an' I'll be shadows an' Ricky can turn into light! And Lili can be supersmart like Gramma Chel!"

She pauses and then adds judiciously, "A'course, Mummy's 'bility is cool too, an' Aunt Kaylee's."

“I swear, if I catch the kids playing poker,” Richard jokes as the cards and suits are explained, reaching out to take one of the cards when prompted. He scans the back of it, returning it to the deck afterwards, and then takes a step back and folds his arms as he watches her showmanship. Which, admittedly, is impressive.

The card produced is squinted at, a brow lifting. “No,” he answers.

Ricky half-covers his mouth and stage whispers to Aurora, “Lili already thinks she is.” He gets a smack in the shoulder by his sister, who of course heard it, “Ow!”

“Kids,” Richard says dryly, glancing over. Quickly hands go behind them and the twins assume surprisingly similar innocent looks.

Seren’s snap of their fingers and exaggerated dismay at being wrong might indicate to the more savvy that perhaps it was a part of the plan after all to be wrong the first time. They’re impervious to the kids’ rumblings, keeping on with the flow of the trick. “Let me just …” they say, taking the next card off the top of the deck — because surely that couldn’t be it, right? “See if…”

And then they take that card and place it against Richard’s forehead, face down. “Just think about your card really hard! I swear this should do the trick.” And currently, they are the most trustworthy source about this spot of magic, right? Seren seems to place a lot of mental energy into this task, and look super proud about their efforts. When they peel the card away, they show it off to the crowd with a flourish, and then show it back to Richard with so much confidence they don’t even look at him. “Is this your card?” Seren asks boldly.

It is not.

Richard’s card is now stuck to his forehead, face up, though the lightness of it surely ensures it can’t be felt there.

The other kids, watching the magic tricks as they are and whispering amongst themselves about what they want to be able to do, should entirely miss the uneasy look Walter serves to the backs of their heads. Richard might catch it, though. He doesn't add his own thoughts to the pool of kid wishes, either.

A little boy like Walter can't focus for long on all of this- - which is probably a given- - and Seren's tricks and theater takes back his attention and anticipation despite his quiet.

“Mommy’s ability is okay, but you do not want that,” Carl whispers in a very blunt and matter of fact way. “She says it is like being in a crowded room all the time and I like quiet… plus who wants to hear what people think all the time? Adults are weird, their thoughts are probably super weird. No thank you.” The boys nose wrinkles.

Watching Seren Carl adds quietly, “Maybe a telepath for a dog or a cat, maybe. That would be cool. I met someone once who could hear birds. That was way cool.”

Carl goes quiet watching Seren fail to pick the card, Brows furrow a bit. His voice is very quiet, but highly amused, “I wonder if they might need to go back to magic school.” He scratches the side of his face with confusion. He straightens a bit noticing the card still his uncle’s forehead.

“Uncle Richard! You still have a card there,” Carl pipes up excitedly, pointing at the object.

Aurora agrees. "I wouldn' want Aunt Kaylee's 'bility neither." Even though Aunt Kaylee did help her lots, that's just too noisy. She stifles a giggle at her father. He looks silly with a card on his forehead. Wiggling in a little in her seat, she looks over the crowd of kids all excited about the card trick, and she tips her head to see Walter distancing himself. Leaning sideways, she whispers to Ricky and Carl, "Walter's worried." It makes Aurora worry — cuz grown-up Walter was really smart about when to worry.

“It is… not my card,” Richard replies with an eyebrows lift that almost dislodges the card stuck to his forehead but not quite. He clearly hasn’t noticed it just yet, at least until Carl points it out and his eyes roll up to try and see it, “Do I?” He doesn’t reach for it, though. He doesn’t want to ruin whatever the trick is for the kids.

“Maybe I could fly,” Ricky whispers, spreading his arms out, “Zoom— oh! There’s two cards now!” He leans forward a little, eyes wide as he watches the show. Lili scoots up closer to Walter, leaning in to whisper, “It’s okay if you don’t have an abil-iby, Daddy says that what matters is your, um, is what you do with yourself!” She has entirely misinterpreted Walter’s worry, but she’s trying!

Seren looks suitably dismayed at their failure, knees buckling, slumping over … until Carl’s comment. They sweep back upright and look over at Richard with an exaggerated blink of surprise. “Oh my gosh, would you look at that.” They set aside the deck of cards in their hand to better marvel at the mystery of it, shaking their head.

“Would you believe me this has never happened before?” they ask, and an onlooking library employee has to stifle a good-natured chuckle, turning away from the show with a hand covering his mouth, lest he spoil anything.

Seren delicately removes the card from Richard’s forehead, making sure he sees it. “Was this your card?” they asks a bit sheepishly, but their grin is a bit earnest for it. They’re enjoying themselves for sure.

“Oh, wow,” Richard says in exaggerated surprise, hands lifting, “It is my card? Where did that come from?!”

Aurora's whispering to Ricky and Carl isn't exactly unnoticable, but Walter can't hear her even if he catches the look she tips his way. Now he's just feeling self-conscious, and tries to concentrate on watching Seren and their card tricks. As he's sitting up to see if the card on Richard's head is the one he picked, Lili moves up in his periphery and leans into his ear.

Immediately, Walter's ears turn pink and his face flushes a bit, eyes darting from Lili to Rory to Seren and back to Lili.

"N-no I know," is his whispery stammer, looking at his crossed ankles and his hands perched there, rather than at the magic show. "I will, mum said. My- - test said so."

“What’s there to worry about,” Carl wonders, not taking his eyes off the trick, staring with an intensity like he is trying to figure it out. He’s invested now. “We got plenty of adults to protect us, Uncle Richard would call mommy and the other Police.” Shoulders lift in a quick jerking movement, “Nothing to worry about.”

There is a soft “Whoa” from Carl when it turns out the card is the right one.

Carl gets a nod, and Aurora watches carefully when Lili slides over. Walter looks pink, and so she turns around to not make him squirm more. Her cousin's point about Daddy calling in Mummy and Aunt Kaylee and Unca Felix makes her feel better — Even if something happens, Daddy won't be alone too long before help comes. So she relaxes and watches the cards… and it is Daddy's. "Oooh! I wonder if Seren can teleport cards!"

Then she pauses and tips her head. "No… wait, Seren makes pictures and Baird in the air. Did Seren color the card to be the right one?" And is it cheating if that's the answer? Now her mind wanders off on that tangent.

“Oh.” Lili fidgets a moment, “Are you worried it’s gonna be bad?” She’s trying so hard, but has no clue the source of Walter’s discomfort.

Ricky, on his part, hasn’t noticed. “Ooh, it was on daddy’s head,” he crows, looking at Aurora and then back forward, grinning and clapping.

There’s ‘wow’s and ‘ooh’s and some scatterings of claps — because that’s what you do, right? — so Seren’s going to call the trick a success. Seren lets out an audible phew that everything worked out in the end, both hands waving before them. “Thanks, Mr. Ray, couldn’t have done it without you!” They applaud politely for the help they’ve been giving before looking back out at the kids. A split-second decision is made.

“I think that’s all I’ve got in me for today. Magic’s hard work, and that last one took it out of me!” They grin, arms swinging down to rest by their sides. “Thank you guys so much for being good sports and helping me with my show.”

The library employee turns back, clasping his hands before him with a clap. “Let’s give Miss Seren a round of applause for coming out here today,” he says politely. Seren’s smile twinges but doesn’t falter, one arm folding before them as they tip forward in a small bow. Looking to Richard again, nodding briskly. “Thanks,” they tell him in a more conversational tone. “For joining in on the moment.” Their hand is lifted up to brush the underside of their nose, careful to dab instead of smear.

There isn't a lot for Walter to really say in response to all of that. He just tips his eyes away and mumbles.

"I don't wanna talk about it." It's a distinctly adult feeling, and yet there it is. Fingers pull at threads at the hem of his pants as Seren manages to distract most everyone. Looks like the magician wins after all? At least that seems to please him, cracking a shier smile for Seren's bow and clapping in tune with the other kids.

“Don’t think too hard about it,” Carl offers as rather adult like advice to Aurora. “You think about it too much you lose the magic.” He might have read that in a book… maybe. The young boy offers up his own applause with a toothy grin. Though it falters a bit, turning into concern for Seren, when they dab under their nose. He’s seen that move many times with his own mommy when she uses hers too much.

Lili frowns a little, watching Walter for a moment, then lunges out to give him a quick hug before scooting back to hide in her brother’s shadow, clapping for the magician’s success. Ricky, for his part, is enthusiastically clapping and grinning still. As Lili scoots back, he loud-whispers, “Did you see?!”

Richard sweeps a bow in return, breathing out a chuckle as he steps back and out of the spotlight - so to speak. “Thanks for letting me,” he says with a wink to them, turning to stroll back over to the table where he was sitting.

Aurora crows with laughter, clapping along with her brother. She shoots a grin at Carl and just bounces in place. "I like this magic much better than doorway magic," she confides in her cousin.

Noticing Carl's shift, Seren lowers their hand and winks in his direction, no telltale signs of stress visible on the back of their hand. They even show it out in a brisk motion just to be sure he knows.

When their arm falls back down by their side, they surreptitiously wipe away the previously-invisible dab of blood on the black of their cape.

One last magic trick for the afternoon.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License