Certain Magic

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A man discovers magic in a watch given to him by the aunt he views as a mother.

Charles hurried through the train station, intent on making his connection. He almost didn't hear the familiar voice calling to him across the crowded lobby. His brain slowly registered the beckoning hail intended for him and he paused in his single-minded trek. Glancing around, mere moments passed before a figure emerged from the throng and quickly approached him with a warm smile. He started, surprised by this unexpected arrival.

“Darling! I'm so glad I caught you,” the woman exclaimed, leaning up on his shoulders and bussing him on both cheeks. “Miriam told me you'd be here.”

Though he didn't understand why his aunt stood in Chicago Union Station, Charles returned the welcome with enthusiasm. His smile brightened his entire countenance as he kissed the small woman's forehead.

“Auntie, whatever brings you here?” he asked charmingly. “I love seeing you, of course, but I haven't much time to visit.”

“Oh, no,” she agreed, brushing imagined lint from the arm of his wool suit coat. “I understand perfectly. When I spoke to your wife, she mentioned your interview and I simply had to find you first.”

“Alright,” Charles humored her, looking with fondness down on the woman who raised him when he lost his mother. “Tell me, Auntie. Whatever is so important?”

Curiously, she withdrew a tarnished, dented pocket watch from the depths of her clutch and presented it to him. With his free hand, Charles took the jewelry trepidatiously.

“What's this about?” he inquired gently, keeping any reservation from his tone.

“This,” his aunt replied, tapping the gold piece in his hand, “is true magic for the men in our family. I've been saving it for you when the time became right.”

Charles' lips curved benevolently and he stroked the older woman's cheek with the back of his fingers. “And this is the right time?”

“You patronize, but it's as true as God's breath,” she promised, taking his hand in her gloved ones. “This watch was your grandfather's and all the fathers before him. Each of them had a wish in their heart for something good and true. It was their dream.”

He tipped his head, studying the woman who had raised him. She knew his mind. She understood this interview meant more than a job as the fulfillment of a long-lived hope.

“When Miriam explained where you were off to, I knew you needed the watch,” his aunt went on, her sweet smile warming his soul. “You keep this with you during your meet and you'll have your dream, darling. I know what nonsense it sounds, but trust your old auntie. The magic is there. It's real.”

An announcement sounded over the loud speaker declaring the impending arrival of Charles' train.

“I can't promise I believe, Auntie,” he answered honestly. “But I'll keep it with me and I'll wish upon it.”

He squeezed her hand and gave her a quick goodbye kiss on the cheek before turning to make his connection.

Submitted: May 06, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Amelia Coulon. All rights reserved.

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