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Short Story

Magic Lost


Journal entry, Patient 197 name, unknown.

It is gone. A rough stretch of dirt, is all that is left of my dreams. My love is gone. Now, I
am just an old woman, and I feel useless in what I have left behind. Damn this world, this horrid mortal world...this world where I have not belonged for hundreds of years. Now this journal is my sanity.
Can he hear me? Is he screaming my name? IS HE? I have screamed his, so many times these past weeks. I believe it is only the magic of his love that is keeping me alive in this cold, ugly, modern world. I should have become my own age when I arrived here. I should be very old dust. Yet here I remain, ancient and hopeful. The eternally young girl I am is still here, under this old shell. Still trying to find a way home. To HIM.

Personal Journal of Kate Tearny
They think she has lost all touch with reality. I don't know. Something tells me that she hasn't. Her eyes are so eerily bright and aware--like she sees everything, and much, much more. Maybe they think she's lost her sense of reality because she's so tragic. I hate to see someone so delicate mourn the way she seems to. But mourn over what? She won't really talk about it. She just mumbles about "this horrid world...", and "Cade...??

Journal Entry, Patient 197
They call this a "home". Home. What a horrible mocking thing to call this place. I suppose this is where they put old "crazy" people. I have been told that I am lucky. I suppose most old; half-naked, crazy women are left right where they do not wish to find them...on the streets. But Katie found me. This young woman with her inquisitive nature who volunteers here. Women go to "college" now. College! But dear Katie studies this world's reality. She has forgotten her childhood dreams. Her sweet nature reminds me a bit of Oeana, my friend... Oh, I detest it here! Powers of Nature I do not belong! Why was I so cursed as to fall back into this world!?

Personal Journal of Kate Tearny
I've been able to start a kind of tentative relationship with "Ms. Rose". I just have to call her that because she won't tell me her real name, and she happens to love roses. As far as I know, she's mourning a part of the park down the street and because they, "murdered the flowers", she can't get home. "Home". Home is a word she says blissfully, as if hers were the most beautiful place on Earth. The one mystery I'm dying to solve is the identity of this Cade. Her son? Her long lost husband? ??? Does he exist at all? I don't know. All I know is that she's miserable without him.

Journal Entry, Patient 197
Cade, my love. Your magic is fading. I feel more like dust every day. They have no faith, no belief here anymore. Their modern world and devices have left them blind to the simplest magic. They are greed. Oh, perhaps I am being harsh in my judgement of them. But they do not see the possibilities within themselves or their world. They take for granted and abuse more than they heal and realize. The beauty is draining from this world as I am feeling you fade from my dreams. I cannot survive in a world that has all but lost their belief in magic. Their belief in YOU.

Personal Journal of Kate Tearny
Ms. Rose has made a very strange request. Lately I'm beginning to think that maybe she's a few floors shy of the penthouse. How's THAT for the diagnosis of a future Psychiatrist?
But, well. What harm is there in fulfilling her request? I don't have class that day...and I'd like to see her happy. I've become very fond of her. It's so sad, but I don't think she has much longer to live. I have to say...her heart just isn't in it. She's giving up on life. Some things are too obvious to be technical. Crap. Do I even make sense anymore? Pre-Med is frying my brain. I'm going to bed.

Journal Entry, Patient 197
I am going back to the park. I am not really sure why they are letting me. I do think sweet Katie had something to do with it. She is sure that I am dying. She is not very good at hiding her feelings. I do believe she will have to work on that--to survive in this world. But no matter how I shall get there, what is important is that I am going. If I must die in this wretched world, I will die trying to find my way home-- to you Cade. Perchance there is enough magic left...somewhere. I am coming home to you My Love...I will find a way...

Personal Journal of Kate Tearny
This is the strangest day I have EVER had! I took little Ms. Rose to the park, and we went to the place she had been mourning over...
"A great oak tree was here", she told me. "An ancient oak tree". I think she felt she had to make me understand. "Underneath was a beautiful ring of wild flowers...special flowers".
Special flowers? I was afraid that my earlier testimony to her sanity was a bit pre-mature.
"They are a doorway to another world." Ms. Rose told me." A passage where mortals can travel to a land now forgotten".
I thought she was crazy.
"I sat in a ring of flowers under that old Oak tree two hundred years ago. I wished for something to happen. I believed. Then HE came. Cade. I happily disappeared into his world with him, and I have been there ever since. Until now. Until some horrid trick of time...or the destruction of the tree and flowers...brought me back".
OK. I thought. What do you SAY to that?
"I may have to die here--never to see my beloved again. Perhaps the flowers were the only way... but if there is another way...another ring..."
Oh boy. I couldn't believe I was going searching for a magic ring of flowers...but I wanted to. How weird was that? Part of me wanted to believe this Twilight Zone episode. I knew she felt it, my belief growing. And she seemed stronger, like my glimmer of belief was as potent as any magic spell. She took me deeper into the park. To where it was still a wild Forrest like the time before the land was tamed and the city developed around it. We kept going deeper-- where very few would go. "Deeper, to the magic..." As she told me.
She seemed to know where she was going. I was nervous. I mean, we don't live in a world where going into the more deserted part of the park is exactly smart--or safe! But, it was so strange. I felt like I was on a quest. Then Ms. Rose started talking to herself, thinking aloud.
"It is so quiet here, it feels as if the horrid modern world does not exist outside the trees. But it does. I feel it draining me even as I feel a remnant of Cades power. Ahhhh. The trees are old here. Sweet love I may have a chance!!"
Well, even if she was crazy, I could understand not wanting to die in a world that you can't recognize as your own. I was wishing so hard for her...I actually began to think I felt something.
Then she called out; "I feel it! Oh sweet love! I can feel your power. Find me...dear Heaven Cade, I am here. Take me home..."
She stopped and I saw that she was standing in front of a big tree. The growth was less dense there, and the sun could shine through. All the gloom had been making me nervous. Then I saw it. An oak!! An oak with wild roses growing around it. Wild roses in a crude circle... Her circle! Well, it wasn't like a circle of flowers--but it was kind of the same thing. If there was any magic left in this world I prayed to let it work for Ms. Rose. I watched her walk forward and enter the circle of wild rose bushes.
"Here I am Cade!" She called out, her voice the strongest I had ever heard it." I am in your circle. No one could have made this circle of roses but you. I know it is you. Take me. Take me home My Love!"
She then raised her arms and murmured words I couldn't hear. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. She started to glow!! Dear Lord! I saw the years melt away from her. Her silver hair turned a deep auburn, her wrinkles disappeared, and she stood young and straight and beautiful. All of the roses on the bushes began to bloom. I couldn't breathe.
"Yes. Take this shell away. This is who I am. Come to me..."
Then I saw someone appear in the circle! A tall man with deep eyes and dark hair. He was as handsome as a Faerie Prince...
"Time to come home my love", I heard Cade whisper to her. "Yes, this time forever" She told him. "This world can never pull me back again."

He then pulled her to him in a kiss that broke my heart. Smiling, they then turned to me.
"Do not forget the magic, Katie" the now beautiful Ms. Rose called to me. "Do not let it fade from this world and disappear forever". With one last smile, she took her lover's hand and disappeared. She was GONE! I almost couldn't believe it was true. My dear GOD in Heaven, she wasn't crazy. I stared at the ring of rose bushes, now in full bloom. Part of me wanted to follow. But I knew I couldn't. I realized my cheeks were wet. I was crying, and I didn't know when I had started, or if I could stop.
I went back to the Home and found Ms. Roses journal. It didn't explain everything, but how much do I really need to understand? Now I am a believer. One more person, fighting for the magic my modern logical world is killing. She is right...we have lost so much. I have to go to sleep now. I feel too overwhelmed.

Personal Journal of Kate Tearny
So, here it is the next day. After class, I went to the library...Children's section. I lived Faerie Tales for hours. I remembered childhood dreams. Nothing seems impossible anymore. Great. What kind of Psychiatrist am I going to make, when I just might believe half of my patients!? No. Ms. Rose gave me a gift...a true gift. I believe in magic! I really do. And I vow to create more magic with all of the people I'll help throughout my lifetime. I feel like I know my mission now. I've been inspired.
Thank you Ms Rose and Cade...wherever you are...