Although in her local area there wasn't so much political upheaval, the local hospital and halfway houses had found the support of the local witches, invaluable. With the police now seeking magic to help solve crimes and quell trouble makers, who knew they could face the friendly warlocks and witches in times of excitement, trouble in the district had become a rarity.
The weather for the Coffs Coven's first annual picnic was perfect. Of course.
Sunshine, blue skies and a cool breeze, courtesy of a little magic. Mark's laughter and presence added to her enjoyment. Today was a good day. Perfect day to celebrate...
Bethany stirred, the gathering's guest speaker cleared her throat and on a cue from Amber, began to speak. Forty-five newly gifted sorcerers gathered closer to hear her words. Stephanie Hillstock, wife of Daniel Hillstock, the recently deceased founder and former CEO of C.O.O.N., Clean Our Oceans Now, raised one hand. She spoke clearly, though unshed tears welled in her eyes. Stephanie, the eco-biologist and nanotech designer explained the latest breakthrough. The creation of nanites designed to break down plastic into inert, harmless molecules. The application of these new machines could clean up the islands of plastic and the soup of toxic nodules floating in the ocean's deadspots. Bethany found herself rejoicing, a flutter of excitement grew in her soul.
How could magic help? This was straight science. She listened, rapt in the idea tiny machines, guided by miniscule GPS 'pearls' could rectify the vast problem of plastic waste.
The guest speaker paused. She glanced around her audience, making eye contact. "All we need is a means of funding our research to enable a large scale manufacture and deployment of these nanites."
"How do you know they won't keep breaking down plastic that is still in use?" Amber asked.
Stephanie took a breath and began to explain. Bethany listened with interest as Stephanie explained how the GPS would limit the extent of the nanite's viability. If they floated outside the pearl's range they would become dormant. If they reentered the zone they would again become active. Simple.
As Stephanie answered several other questions, setting to rest all Bethany's queries and problems she hadn't foreseen, Bethany knew she had to help. Magic wasn't exactly what Stephanie was asking for, but funding? Bethany caught her breath. Funding? Money? Her heart raced. She knew of a charity, her favourite charity, that had come into a great deal of money recently. She knew, because a year ago she had given them a winning lotto cheque. Millions of dollars...
An email explaining Stephanie's project and need for funding, with perhaps a little spell to persuade the board of directors, and C.O.O.N. should have all the funding they could possibly need.
Bethany didn't want to wait. The charity she chose so many months ago, was perfect for Stephanie's need. Their mission was to find and fund ways to improve life on the planet. Surely funding research and deployment of the nanites would be well within the criteria for donations.
She wanted to jump up and share her ideas, but for now she sat and composed an email, hit send on her smart phone, breathed the warm summer air and grinned like a Cheshire cat. Tomorrow she would follow up her request with a visit. Just in case a little magic was needed.
It seemed like the coming of magic finally would make a difference to the world. Not just to the humans but to the whole planet. This was just the beginning. Bethany had discovered the limitations of magic. Curing the world's ills was more than a single coven could achieve, but a simple gift could help find an answer to Stephanie's need.
She closed her eyes, thinking how her life had changed since a stranger gave her an even stranger cube. Her choice to believe in magic changed her life and now it would change the planet. For the better.
"Bethany," Mark's voice intruded on Bethany's introspection. "Here, I brought you a gift. It isn't much, but hey, I just couldn't resist. Happy Christmas."
He leaned forward and kissed her cheek. Bethany could feel the heat rise in her cheeks. Even knowing his preference, Bethany found Mark attractive and over the year they became close friends. He probably didn't know how his innocent kiss could heat her blood. Trying to put aside her discomfort, she grinned and opened the gift. Laughter bubbled and burst free as she revealed a Rubix cube. "Perfect." She managed to speak.
"Seemed appropriate." Mark settled beside her.
"Yes, it is." Bethany nodded. Today was the perfect way to celebrate the coming of magic.
Rosalie Skinner resides on the east coast of Australia when not totally immersed in the fantasy world of her writing.
Rosalie’s love of the ocean, nature, history and horses has enabled her to give her books an authentic air. Her latest achievement has been to ride through the Australian Snowy mountains and see the wild brumbies run. When not watching the migrating whales pass her doorstep she has more humble pastimes.
Other than being a published author, her greatest thrill is being a grandmother. Born over fourteen weeks early her granddaughter’s perfect development and growth are a miracle and joy.