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4

Alas, the first day did not prove successful for Mel. Not from lack of trying, either; he thought he had the perfect chance when Professor Poppin Molly asked for him to show a bit of his “gift” –another sentiment that drove him up the wall. For almost an hour, at least it felt like an hour, she drilled it into his and the others heads (which, considering they must have had to sit through this multiple times now, must have been an eternity to them) that they were all “special”.

“Magic is not to be treated lightly,” she would say, and keep saying just in different ways. “Never take it for granted. You wield something most humans only dream about having.”

On and on, again and again and so on and so forth; Mel was truly tempted to make a return of the Vagina Monologues, but 1) nobody likes a one-trick pony. No one. 2) She was going on in years, and he doubted anybody wanted that picture in their heads. And 3) Why limit himself? There were plenty of other things he could do.

So, imagine his choice as she asked for the students to show off a bit of their talents. “To make our newest addition feel welcomed,” she added as the reason, but there was no denying that this was going to be a glorified pissing contest. The first student was just setting the bar, a low bar but a bar. After the class pushed the desks into a circle around the room, the first one up was a rather mousy looking lass. Probably from Rhode Island or Maine –more than likely Maine. He could see her finding a random author in a snowbank and taking him home to nurse back to health only to threaten his life. The true misery, though, was her voice; sounded like she was trying to belch out a small dog. With all said and done, she barely managed to conjure a tinkle of water to sprinkle in the middle of said sharing circle. The next one up was the token minority of the group, from New Jersey. It was a wonder he could keep his hands still enough to cast a spell, but he managed at least a dime of fire before he, too, leaned back against the jagged circle.

On and on they went, each one marginally better than the last, until it was Mel’s time to shine. The last person, a bright-eyed lass from Ohio, managed to actually set the ceiling on fire, though he doubted that was the intended result; the ice sculptor in the room still smoked as the Poppin Molly waved it away, dispersing it and the growing flames with a soft, pink mist. All eyes were on him once more, something that really shouldn’t becoming common, but what was he going to do? Even after all this time pondering and only somewhat paying attention to the meet-and-greets, he still had no idea what he was really going to do.

“Mister Llorwyn?” Poppin Molly spoke up after a moment. “Mel?”

“Sometimes,” he said, garnering a round of malicious chuckling... He knew what he was going to (try to) do. He waggled his finger before him, whistling a little, and the burnt orange tile in the center of the room cracked a touch. It was the smallest line, but it was a start at least. He spun his finger a little faster, whistling more, until a single, green root peeked out. It quickly became of a flood of foliage, sprawling out, vines snaking towards legs and beyond to the desks then walls as a large bud grew. Slowly, the dark, forest green started to glow, red, yellow, then white as all eight petals at its top slowly unfolded, revealing a four-armed seven-horned man with an accordion and banjo. A little lady growing out of his back started to yodel along while his foot’s denizen, an eight-eyed midget, played the castanets, all ending with an explosive crescendo that turned him into a sardine can. Mel picked it up out of the withering greenery and rolled it open. He reached in and pulled out an acoustic guitar, which he then bashed against one of the desks behind to reveal a can of soda inside, cracking it open and taking a drink, all the while the other students were just staring in awe.

“... What the fuck was that,” the New Jersian exclaimed. “W... what in the flying fuck was all that?”

“I unno. I was thirsty.” He took one more drink, then turned the can over, pouring out the contents... milk. It splattered on the ground, hissing and eating through it a touch before all was returned to normal with another round of the pink mist.

Poppin Molly cleared her throat, clasping her hands together, and gave Mel a rather pained smile.

“You have a lot of potential, Mister Llorwyn, but we need to get it focused.”

“But that was focused. Who doesn’t love a little Psychobilly Rock with their sardine can-acoustic guitar-soft drink-milk?”

“Regardless. That was all a touch too... extravagant for the modern mage. Now, let us return the desks to their rows-”

“And go? Are we done?”

She chortled, shaking her head. “Not even close.”

“How long do these classes last!”

“About four hours, depending on the subject matter.” She unfolded her hands, and snapped her fingers on her left while her right was held out flat. In it, a thick, red tome slowly appeared through a ripple purple orb, settling itself onto her palm before being wafted over to Mel’s desk, opened to page 42. A notebook joined it, as well as a black ink pen before she rounded around her own desk, focused on the board once more. It flickered and shown such notes, wrote on autopilot as Mel’s mind did what it usually did best in these situations and shut itself off.

Four-hour classes... w... was this for real? Or was he being fucked with? The ship has sailed already about the magic being a fucking joke, but he could still argue that a magic school- let us take a step back from that and reiterate that this place was called IIII. Four I’s. In a row; not only was that displeasing to see, but even saying it aloud was a joke. The idea of sitting in one place, listening to a frumpy woman with a name that he wished he was doing instead for an hour was already torture, and the others were fine with this? Even the guy from New Jersey? It was a wonder his head didn’t explode from his hands not inflecting for twenty sec-

“Hey,” the girl from Ohio hissed into his ear. At least she made it into a word that time instead of a weird spitting sound. Why did people make that noise to try and get others attention? Just comes across as c- she did it again! And she repeated herself, to boot... Mel looked around, ignoring the person that had moved four desks back and one row over to sit beside him, looking for what she was demanding.

“Nope. Don’t see any here,” he said, then raised his voice as well as his hand. “Miss Molly! Is there supposed to be hay in here or something? Poplio’s looking for some.”

“It’s Penelope,” the woman mumbled, her round cheeks a touch redder now that all eyes were back on them –them! Not only him! We’re getting back to a shred of normalcy.

“I don’t know... you look more like a Poplio to me... Still. She keeps asking for hay.”

“There’s none currently in here, but there’s plenty out in the Griffon stables,” Professor Molly said. “You two can handle that after class is over.”

“Nah. I dealt with twelve seasons of Griffons. I don’t need to interact with anymore. Especially Meg. Fucking Meg... what with her sexy voice actor and actually not-too-bad body blown completely out of proportion because they can...” Poppin Molly returned her attention back to the board, and so once more Mel was back on aut-

“Hey,” Penelope the Poplio repeated- stranger danger! She touched his arm! Panic! PANIC!!! Activate scared shitless mode: Mel completely froze, as still as stone, staring at the hand wide-eyed, as if they could pop out any moment. “You did great.”

“How do you know my language?”

She giggled, and finally let his arm go, but he did not stop staring at her hand.

“You’re funny. Everybody is too serious around here.”

“I doubt it.”

“But they are. Just because they can shoot off a bit of fire they think they are too above acting childish and random?”

“I take offense to that, miss!” He boomed, standing up from his desk. He puffed out his chest, and put his fist to it, beating it thrice. “I am in no way childish or random. What I am doing is serious business! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got to go teach tuna to play La Macarena. Besides, you’re a bit weird.” He huffed, and marched out of the classroom, passing through the ripple door and heading up the hallway... only to turn around, return to the class, and stand in the archway. “I have no idea where I’m going!”

Poppin Molly huffed, and wiped her hand across the board, clearing it of all writing.

“I suppose we could call it an early day. You are new, after all, and still acclimating to how this school operates,” she grumbled, and met him at the archway before passing, having him follow to where would be his room. The original password was Apple, but what asshole used Apple? He changed that right quick- but, alas, he was not free of that weirdo from before. He had thrown himself onto the four-poster bed, more than ready to accept sleep... when the room became a giant vibrator. Every inch of it rumbled and shook, the glass orb lanterns on the walls shuddering until, at last, he got out of bed and thundered to the entry, wondering what the hell.

He stuck his head out into the hall, just in time to hit it against the red tuft of hair on top of Penelope’s head. She cried out and backed away, rubbing her head while trying to hug herself with one arm, still so flushed.

“Ow,” she mumbled, giving Mel a hurt look. “You should be more careful.”

“I know! I almost bent a follicle,” he said, and yawned. He was already tired when he was going home, so now that the excitement had fully worn off from being abducted and potentially crucified- no; too Jewish. Probably burned or hung, instead, but wouldn’t that be ironic, mages executing mages? That would be like Salem witches accusing one of their own, or a rapist outing another rapist that knows they are a rapist; chickens of a scale and all. “It’s been a long day, so unless you plan to drop to your knees and tickle my prostate this very moment, I think I’d like to go eat my bed.”

“O...oh... Well... I was simply wondering that... when you get up tomorrow... m-maybe you’d like to join me for breakfast... I-i-if that’s all right with you.”

“I don’t see a reason why not.”

Her green eyes lit up, and she let go of her middle and head, clasping them.

“Really?”

“Yeah. Everybody wakes up, and who doesn’t like food?”

“W...wait... what about the part of me joining you?”

“Good point. I should try not to wake up and starve myself.”

He pulled his head back into the room and lumbered back to the bed, tossing himself into it once more, an act he shall repeat even to the present. He tried so hard on so many occasions not to wake up, but he simply kept doing so, as if pissing himself off. How dare he think he got to stop himself from not waking up; he’ll show him... At least he wasn’t alone in the room anymore, but he found it rather a waste to strewn about so many newspapers.

Mel yawned loudly as he stirred again, another long night of watching horses’ ball shrink in the cold long over, and tossed a taco at the closest succubus.

“Ultimate retribution!” He shrieked, voice tearing, racked by sleep, but the message got across as the Mexican hard-shelled treat hit the woman right in the thigh. She jumped, kicked out, which kicked the other, “younger” succubus in the head, which woke her to punching the former in hers and both ended up knocking themselves out again, falling onto the mounds of newspapers. Mel clicked his tongue and hummed as he headed towards the door at the back of the room, taking a shower, ready to face a new day.

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