Adeline Bennett was a sweet child, clever, intelligent and funny. But Adeline wasn’t like other children, Adeline was a bit ‘off.’ At least that’s what her parents, Rose and Matthew always said, “There she goes, off again.” If times were different, ‘off again,’ may have become Adeline’s nickname, but times weren’t different, at this time, things were controlled and regulated down to the very last bit.
Adeline, you see, had a tendency to disappear when she was frightened or around too many people. She didn’t do it on purpose, it just happened, when she closed her eyes during stressful situations. The first time she disappeared, her father fell off of his chair and her mother held her breath. Fortunately, her mother was a brave woman, so she walked to where her daughter had just been sitting and felt around until she bumped into her.
“What are you doing Adeline?” asked her mother.
Adeline shrugged, but no one saw her. “Just sitting here,” she replied.
“No one can see you, my love.”
Adeline looked at her hands. “I can see me,” she said. “Are you sure you can’t see me mother? Look again.”
“Yes, darling, I’m positive I can’t see you and neither can your father.”
“I’m right here,” said Adeline, but there are too many people in the room. May I please be excused?.”
“It’s your birthday, sweetheart. All of these people are here for you.”
“I would like to go to my room,” said Adeline.
“Let her go Rose,” said Adeline’s father. “It’s just too much for her.”
So Adeline toddled to her room, though no one saw her leave, curled up on her soft, comfortable bed and quickly fell asleep.
“Ah, I can see you, my love,” said Adeline’s mother happily, as she walked into the bedroom. “Everyone sends their love and birthday wishes.”
“That’s very nice mother.”
“How do you disappear, Addie?”
“I didn’t know I was doing it,” said Adeline. “I just closed my eyes and pretended that I’m wasn’t there.”
After she was tucked in and kissed goodnight, Adeline pulled her stuffed bunny close and went back to sleep
Adeline’s disappearances may have been noticed by others, every now and then, but people were far too polite to say anything. She must have disappeared while at school, or on crowded streets but everyone just looked the other way and thought of the weather, or what they were having for dinner. People are like that. If they don’t understand something they simply pretend that it doesn’t exist.
As Adeline became a young woman she wondered what she could do to make a living. She didn’t have to work, of course, her parents were quite well off, but Adeline was curious, had a sharp mind and was not interested in cross stitching or waiting for gentlemen callers to come for tea and biscuits. Adeline wanted to do something challenging.
One afternoon, as she was walking home from the bakery, she noticed a piece paper taped to the window of a small antique shop. It said, ‘MAGIC. Come inside.’ So Adeline went in and saw a tall, handsome man seated behind a high counter, reading a book.
“May I help you?” he asked, barely looking at her.
“I would like some magic, please,” said Adeline, putting the bag containing two loaves of bread and an almond coffee cake, on the floor next to her.
“The sign said, ‘MAGIC. Come inside,” so here I am and I would like some magic, thank you.”
“I’m sorry,” said the man, a warm look flashing across his face, “but we don’t SELL magic, we DO magic.”
“Well, then do some magic, or take down the sign.”
That made the man laugh out loud. “You are quite enchanting,” he said. “Come this way, please.”
Adeline followed the man into the back room, where he pointed to a chair. She sat down and waited. “Well?” she said.
The man quickly pulled a dove out of a hat and flowers from his sleeve.
“Those are simply tricks and have nothing at all to do with magic. You have wasted my time, sir. There is no magic here,” she said, standing to go.
“One moment,” sighed the man. “Please return to your seat.”
Adeline sat and then watched the man turn into a large black wolf.”
“Excellent,” she said, applauding, her gloved hands making a muted kind of sound as they hit together. “Very good indeed.”
“I’m so happy you liked it,” gasped the man. “It’s a difficult thing to do.”
“My name is Adeline Bennett.”
“My name is Jacob Witfield, pleased to meet you Miss Bennett.”
Adeline bowed her head a bit and then said, “I have a proposition for you Mr. Witfield.”
Later that year Jacob and Adeline took their show on the road. They were wildly popular and no one could figure out how Jacob made Adeline disappear right in front of them, or how he was able to make a huge wolf jump through a paper circle. After they were married they went to Europe where they performed in front of massive crowds, who were absolutely mesmerized by the incredible things they could do. Adeline still disappeared at inappropriate times but she had far more control than ever before. Adeline and Jacob were very happy together and Adeline, being a loving daughter, sent many postcards to her parents telling them of her wonderful life. You see, Adeline and Jacob WERE magic and when magic finds magic, sometimes beautiful things can happen.
The moral of the story is: Watch for signs taped to shop windows because you never know where you will find true Magic, a handsome werewolf and a career where you can put your personal skills to good use.
Photo: Free vintage on web