Once upon a time not so long ago, in fact a few, or several, or some weeks ago just before we were ordered to shelter in our abodes because a deadly virus was encroaching upon the world and getting closer to home, I paid a visit to the local library. And, boy, am I glad I did because I checked out two interesting books. Did I read them? Well true confession: in parts. Both books are a series of short stories each by its own author, and the one I’m going to talk about now is by a very famous science fiction writer of the past, who wrote the novel “Stranger in a Strange Land.” A book I’ve never read but would like to. Short stories seemed more manageable. So the short story I am finishing now, is about someone’s house that mysteriously and tragically went up in flames and it turns out the perpetrator was a person who practiced witchcraft, or black magic, making it more difficult to fix the problem. The architect who’s hired to do so is an honorable and thoughtful man. Anyway, the truth of the matter is that I stopped in the middle of this story, and have no idea if what I told you is really what happened, or if I just made it up. I think they call that meta diction or metafiction, or something like that. Anyway, I will tell you what’s absolutely true – The title is “Magic Inc.” and in this story good people travel around on magic carpets to get from one place to the next. I also know gnomes, yes, gnomes, were hired to rebuild the house that bunted down, but since the gnomes were only four feet tall they were subject to verbal abuse, and a spanking if they dared to cross Mrs. Jennings the proprietor of the burnt house. Mrs. Jennings is just a little bit evil. Well, I think I will finish this story without looking back, as I’m fascinated with all the magic that unfolds within its narrative. My urgency to get back to it stems from the fact that the library just opened up in phase two of the sheltering in place process and they informed me that they renewed the books, but that they will be due July 21. Plenty of time!
As I look back at the strangeness of this invasive virus that has disrupted everyone’s life I can’t help but think that we are now living in sci fI times, and it truly feels like we are strangers in a strange land, and what we could really use is an army of gnomes to get us back on course, and maybe a few magic carpets to get to places we can only imagine these days, going to in our dreams. I highly recommend that you read “Magic inc” so you can tell me what happens in the beginning. Happy magic carpet flying! And watch out for bad witches.