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Jayben Treat


Mrs. C gave a very wary look to the stone orb now resting silent on her kitchen floor.

“Did the salt solve the problem?”

“No ma’am,” said Jayben shaking his head seriously, “We didn’t actually petrify it, our prefect did. But when he gave it back to us, we couldn’t open it on our own; and to top that off, we were afraid to ask for help because the scarab contained a very secret message from Jenna that we didn’t want anyone else to hear.”

“Alright?” Mrs. C sighed as her eyebrows narrowed in confusion. “So what did you do?”

“I finally took it to Mrs. Beasley and she discovered the reason it was going berserk. Someone put a curse on it so that when it was opened a werewolf would have been released.”

Mrs. C shot a very concerned look away from Jayben toward the petrified orb and shook her head.

“A werewolf in my kitchen?” she gasped, “Now look here Jayben, I’ve made allowances for you using magic here this summer. But I’ll not be having my blood pressure go up whilst you tame a pet werewolf! Is that clear?” Slayer is enough of a headache!”

“I don’t want him as a pet!” said Jayben defensively, “That’s why I need the salt; to contain him.”

Jayben reached toward the counter and grabbed a silver shaker of salt. He pulled a small cork plug from the bottom, and gently poured a circle of the white substance around the orb before setting the container back onto the counter.

“Ok,” said Jayben as he held out his wand, “Better stand back ma’am, this could get ugly.”

“You needn’t worry about me!” Mrs. C defiantly winked as she raised the broom above her head, “I’ll not let a thing happen to either one of us!” She then looked to Slayer whose neck stretched toward the duo, “Or him either, the big chicken!”

Slayer’s tiny ears perked forward and a low growl escaped his throat.

“Ok!” said Jayben as he nervously pointed his wand rigidly to the floor, “Here we go.…

“Spell of treachery, cast on this tome, be removed today … go back to the unknown.”

A yellow spark flew from his wand and hit the scarab solidly on the top coverlet of its wings. The gray cement color of the orb disappeared and the shiny gold body sat silent and still. No popping, no erratic flying, no foul smell and much to the delight of Jayben, no werewolf bounding into the kitchen.

Suddenly a holographic image of a thin wisp of a middle-aged woman, wearing a long green robe and a tall purple pointed hat appeared in the middle of the kitchen floor.

“Oh look,” Jayben said pointing to the life-size image, “it’s Ms. Smok.”

“Who?” hooted Mrs. C.

“She’s the Chancellor’s assistant at school.”

Ms. Smok bowed and then cleared her throat.

 “All students new to Barmoth,” she announced in a strong Welsh accent, “should come to the Bookroom to have a picture taken for their Student I.D. before school starts next week. Due to increased levels of security it is important to have the picture taken prior to the start of school. The Bookroom will be open beginning August 30, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to facilitate the pictures. There will be senior staff meetings scheduled before school starts that will prohibit Professor Tuttle from being in the Bookroom at all times, so you may wish to scarab her to make sure she is available. Furthermore, all returning students who live within broom riding distance of the school must have their photo I.D. taken before August 30.” Ms. Smok looked away from speaking into the scarab and slid her thin finger along a parchment which she held in her left hand. “Alright then,” she said as she looked up from the scroll, “today is the twenty fifth of August, so for those students residing outside the parameters defined, please arrive early for commencement ceremonies and be prepared for a long day complete with the usual festivities. You will each be handed a list of new rules initiated because of the war.” She lowered the scroll in her arm and smiled. “Enjoy the rest of the summer!”

Jayben and Mrs. C stood silent as they stared at the image of Ms. Smock who kept staring back at them and blinking.


2007, 2008, 2009, 2010,  by R.L. Mesler
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First printing