Genre: LGBT Sci Fi or Fantasy.
Chapter I – Accepted
That’s what the letter said. At that moment, I felt a sudden chill go up my spine. I pretended to smile as Mum and Dad shouted their delight that their little wizard was being sent thousands of miles away to study magic at an exclusive boarding school.
I swallowed hard. Please don’t make me go, I thought.
I took another look at my letter. “Highly prestigious,” “well-accredited,” and “very sought-after” were the different qualifiers used to describe their piss of an academy. There were portraits in a brochure, mostly in sepia-tone black and white, of their most famous students, yet I didn’t recognize any of them. The more I looked at all the rubbish they’d sent me in that big yellow envelope, the more I wanted to vomit.
Everything had been arranged: the three tickets for the next available ship from England to Aradia, the meeting place three days from now in the Aradian port-city of Navona, and our guide who was to see us at the harbor take us to the school. The whole lot, including my school uniform, was all-expenses paid.
Seeking to break the jovial mood that’d taken over my parents at the breakfast table, I told them that I wasn’t going to that school.
“Not going?” Mum asked me, wide-eyed. “Why? This is the opportunity of a lifetime! A prestigious school, fancy uniforms, and a better life for all of us! Are you going to sit there and tell us that you don’t want what’s best for your family?”
Yes, I was, I told her. I wasn’t going and that was the end of it.
My parents then began to lecture me, whilst I kept buttering my toast, about how they never had an opportunity like this when they were my age and how I’d be letting down several generations of our wizard-family if I didn’t go. Dad was especially determined because both he and Granddad had been rejected from that school numerous times.
Despite my pleas, my constant whinging, and even throwing a teary-eyed wobbly like I used to do when I was a tiny tot, I was going to that ugly academy. Mum said my name, middle name and all, and insisted that I get packed.
“We’re leaving tomorrow,” she said. “End of discussion.”
Without another word, I stormed into my room, slamming the door after me, and buried my face into my pillow.
It wasn’t fair! Other kids would be pretty chuffed about going to such a distinguished wizard-school, but not me. This sort of thing should’ve gone to those who needed it or wanted it more. Instead, I was the one who got…accepted.
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be part of the “next generation of great sorcerers,” nor follow in my father’s or grandfather’s footsteps. I just wanted to be me. I didn’t want to leave my mates or live away from home. What’s more, I’d be going to a foreign country where I didn’t know anyone, much less the language they spoke.
Things had been much simpler and I’d been a lot happier before I got that stupid letter!
I didn’t want to study in some shite academy, the name of which I couldn’t even pronounce, and where mobile phones were prohibited. All I really wanted to do was enjoy life, hang out with my friends, and go to the beach to listen to its lush, serene music. Yet more than anything, I wanted to do nothing. That’s what I desired most. I simply wanted to do nothing, yet my parents, on numerous occasions, would never hear of it.
I began thinking about turning Mum and Dad into frogs or making them both disappear so that I wouldn’t have to go to Aradia, but I really didn’t want to do any of that. Deep down, I didn’t believe in using magic to hurt or endanger the lives of others. To me, magic was this beautiful yet mysterious thing that was all about me and always made me feel happy. I loved magic, bloody lived for it, but hated the idea that someone could use it for evil when it could be used for good. Not to mention, the last time I’d made my parents disappear, they had simply found their way back.
I sat on my bed awhile in thought, then caught a glimpse of myself in the tall mirror next to me. There was a scrawny, pale fourteen-year-old lad with light-brown hair and blue eyes staring back. He was nicely dressed in a smart shirt under a waistcoat, long socks, and an adorable pair of shorts. His hair looked good but there were blemishes all over his face.
Suddenly, I heard a strange yet familiar voice calling my name from out of nowhere. I looked left, right, and center, seeing not a soul, until I traced it to inside the mirror. My reflection was talking to me! Strange and magical things were happening all the time in Manley, but I must say, this was the strangest and most magical thing yet!
“Edward,” the boy in the mirror said in my voice. “Go to that school.”
I stood in absolute shock. Slowly, I began to wonder if what I was seeing was perhaps some peculiar mirror with a talking reflection. I went over to the tall, oval-shaped mirror, the same one I used to look at myself each morning, which was mounted between two serpentine risers and standing upon swept, scrolled legs, and rested my hand precariously on its cold glass. At once, it entered into a bizarre, liquid world that felt like a pool of cool water!
I quickly took out my hand and noticed there were ripples forming in the mirror where I’d reached in, like a crystal-clear lake after a stone had been cast. I reached in again and felt another hand touch mine—it was the hand of my reflection! His hand felt real, very much like my own, and I noticed my double was no longer copying my every move, as he always had, instead backing away when I tried to touch him.
“Go to that school, Edward,” he said a second time.
I was beyond shocked. I stared at my hand and then the mirror, my mind still not able to grasp fully what was really going on, and it felt as though I were changing into some weird being with some far weirder power.
This can’t be real, I thought to myself. This all had to be part of some insane joke! Come on, Ed. Get a grip!
My reflection’s hand felt quite real, which meant my reflection had to be real. Another Edward Peach to do my bidding! I spied the acceptance letter and the large envelope that both lay on my comfy bed and came up with a devious plan: the academy was expecting me to appear at the New Student Orientation three days from now, but they never said it had to be the original me! Just a likeness of me would suffice!
I stared back at my double, smiling a devilish grin. He spotted the letter and stared back at me, shaking his head at once. In less than a second, I seized my reflection by his light-brown hair and began pulling him out from his fluid sanctuary.
“Go in my place!” I shouted.
“No!” he shouted back. “You fight your own battles!”
The two of us wrestled for a bit until eventually my twin won and went back into the mirror-world. He must’ve sealed up the entrance afterward because I wasn’t able to put my hand inside again.
“Go to that school, Edward!” my reflection cried. “I know you’re scared, but you can do this! I know you can!”
“I’ll never go to that school!” I cried back. “You can’t make me! I shall never go to that school as long as I live!”
“It’s an all-boys school,” he then said to me in an enticing voice.
Was it? I quickly retrieved the acceptance letter to check and, true enough, there it read: Prymoutekhny Wizards Academy for Boys!
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed that before! Brilliant! An all-boys school!
I hurriedly took out all the contents from the big yellow envelope. There had to be some pictures of lads in there somewhere! To my delight, I found an oversized portrait of a group of boys in smart uniforms standing in formation before the stately institution. The lad in the first row looked bloody cute, I thought, whilst some taller lads in the back row had muscular chests that looked absolutely divine!
“It only gets better,” my double replied, smiling. “I foresee nothing but good things waiting for you at that school. Perhaps even a special boy who might fancy you, Edward.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Trust me, mate. I have sort of a ‘second sight’ about these things. That academy will be the greatest thing that ever happened to you, I promise. Try it for yourself and you shall see.”
Book published 07/9/19