Monday 3 June 2013

Magic Falls Part 20


“I’m not convinced this is a good idea,” Maria says to me.

“I know,” I reply.

“I can do it if you want, though.”

“That’s why I’m here.”

“And I thought it was because you’d seen the newspaper coverage, saw that I’d had a haircut and came running with erotic thoughts of hopefulness.”


“Yes, yes, I know, don’t joke.”


“I joke when I’m nervous.”

“And you’re nervous now?”

She looks at me, and sips her tea. “Darling, I’m utterly bloody terrified, and if you knew what was good for you, you’d be terrified too.”


Three months, I was down there.

Three months.

When I came back, the world had changed. Not much, but little by little.

People were beginning to accept that magic may be real. It was happening slowly, but it was definitely happening. You could see it from the papers. Belief was flying around, and the more belief there was, the more magic. If you knew what to look for, the stories were there. More and more stories about unexplained phenomena, not to mention the continuing case involving the stage magician that had uncovered a murder during a mind-reading session.

But the biggest change was that Nina wasn’t responding to my messages.

I don’t remember much of the evening after I got out from the faerie realm. After I found out how long I’d been down there, I passed out, and woke up in a hotel room in Leeds. If I’d been conscious during that time, I had no idea what I was doing.

When I came to, the first thing I did was try to phone Nina.

“I’m sorry, the number you have called is unavailable.”

Her phone didn’t ususally do that. Even out of signal, it would normally default to an answering machine message instead. This suggested she’d changed her number.

I looked up her facebook, to find that had been deleted. The same with her twitter.

Nothing. They’d obviously both been deleted.

I called her parents, but, again, nothing. The number just rang and rang. Again, it didn’t go to the voicemail it normally would. I tried their mobiles, but nothing.

Trying to choke back my own concern, I started trying to contact her friends, but nothing. My calls just either rang through, or they were “unavailable”.

Google News. Emails.

Mutual friends’ social media accounts.


On the way back to London, while I tried to figure out the best thing to do, I checked my bank account. I was concerned that I’d obviously missed quite a lot of work.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds had been deposited into my account.

I had no idea where it had come from. It had been put in there not long after I’d left.

I got back to London, and started trying to track down people that knew Nina, but something strange started happening.

I tried to go to one of her friends’ house, and I couldn’t remember the way there. Despite the fact that I’d been there dozens of times.

When I thought about it, I knew where it was, but when I started travelling, I couldn’t remember. If I wrote it down, the words stopped making sense within minutes.

Something was stopping me.

I was frantic. And I needed information.

“So, you’re sure,” Maria said. “You don’t think skinny bitch will just turn out to have gone to South America for a few months of shopping for products for her irritatingly perfect skin and just neglected to mention it to you? That sounds fashionable, so it’s probably the kind of thing she’d do.”

“Maria, if I had anywhere else to look, I’d have done it. In fact, I probably already have done it. I’m coming to you as a last resort.”

“A last resort,” she said, lighting a cigarette. “Well, that’s me put in my place, isn’t it? She has no breasts, you realise that, don’t you? I have magnificent breasts, capable of knocking a man out if I turn around too quickly. My breasts alone should afford me more of your time.”

“Can we just do it, please?”

Her eyebrows crease into a frown, as a tear forces itself from her eye. “Darren, I’m bloody scared, okay? Just give me a minute or two.”


She stands up, and takes a deep drag from her cigarette while walking over to the window. I know her well enough to know that me seeing her scared will make her furious at me, and I need to keep her onside with this. “I’m sorry for pressuring you,” I say to her.

“Oh Darren,” she says. “Damn you for being one of my best friends. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t you.”

“Thank you.”

“You think she’s dead?”

“I don’t know.”

“If she is, you’ll know. But if she isn’t… I can’t control who we may end up speaking to, and they may be liars.”

“I’ve got to take that risk.”

“I know you do.”

“Let’s not wait around any further then.”

She smiles again, her face clearing with false bravado. “Then let’s start a séance.”

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