Magical Girl Syn, Chapter 1, Part 1

Cynthia chewed her pencil as she
watched the clock slowly tick its way to 4. Around her was the buzz of hushed
conversation, the barely restrained exuberance of bored teens whose exams are
over, trying to stay beneath the notice of a strict but slightly deaf nun, but
at the same time vibrating with the awareness that there is very little she
could do in the scant minutes between them and freedom. 

But for Cynthia, this was more than
the countdown to her final day of high school. This was her birthday, the day
she became an adult, and she and her best friend Ruth planned to spend the
entire afternoon celebrating. But of course that meant time was slowing down as
she stared at the clock; clocks, Cynthia had always suspected (as, on some
level, most people do), know when they’re being watched, and deliberately, maliciously
slow down. 

She believed in magic. We all do, of
course–magic is just talking at things to get them to do something. It works
on people all the time, and sometimes animals, so we never entirely learn that
it doesn’t work on anything else. Even if you think you know better, you don’t;
every time you sing “come out, come out, wherever you are!” to your
keys, or curse your crashed computer and call it names, or chant “come on,
come on…” as the man on TV carries the ball toward the end zone, that’s
the part of you that believes in magic trying a spell. 

Cynthia didn’t believe she knew
better. She was convinced that there had to be more to the world than “go
to school, get a job, marriage, kids, retirement.” There had to be more
than the gray city with its gray sky and gray people. She knew, not just deep
down but out on the surface, that she was destined for adventure, excitement,
and romance. 

Unfortunately for her, she was

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