Rain poured down so hard it sounded like the porch roof was a drum. TJ liked hearing the rain song on the
roof and when it rained all day long like this he imagined that he lived in a rainforest. His mind could see all sorts of
animals and colorful birds sitting just past what his eyes could see.
Orange Sugar pranced on the porch rail next to him, her tail twitching like crazy every time a rain bubble
popped in the puddle at the bottom of the steps. She jumped down and headed for a big bubble, getting to it just
in time to touch it before it popped. TJ laughed as Orange Sugar ran back to the porch and started licking herself dry.
TJ picked up his book and settled on the porch swing, letting Orange Sugar curl up in his lap to finish her bath.
The world of heroes and wizards came alive again as he read with part of his mind and imagined with another part.
TJ knew there was a way to do pretty much anything he decided on and what he really wanted was to do important
things like the wizards and heroes did.
He was excited about the idea of flying with his own wings to the top of the tallest mountain in the world and
finding a special plant that only grew there. He loved thinking about waving a magic wand to make a birthday party
that would make Kalie laugh all day. He imagined Mattie mixing up a magical brew of weeds and flowers to feed the
crawdaddies when the stream was dry.
The rain let up a little and TJ could hear Mattie and Kalie playing in the living room, laughing at their sister
games. He really liked his sisters. Sometimes their girl stuff wasn’t very interesting and sometimes he needed time
alone but most of the time he just liked that they all belonged together.
He leaned back and started gently swinging. Orange Sugar stretched one paw and poked his leg with her
claw, letting him know she didn’t want to be disturbed. TJ laughed and patted her on the head. He and Orange Sugar
almost never sat still unless they were sleeping and it was kind of nice to sit wide awake and listen to her purr.
A big crack of thunder and flash of lightning brought TJ and Orange Sugar to full alert. It sounded so close TJ
looked around to see if anything was hit. No sign of that so he went back to reading while the rain poured down again.
TJ finished his book and sat for a long time trying to figure out how he could learn to be a wizard. He knew about
schools that teach people to be engineers, scientists, artists, woodworkers and lots of other things but he’d never hear
about a school that teaches people how to be wizards.
By the time Dad’s car pulled in the driveway TJ was beginning to wonder if the rain would ever stop. He’d done
all the thinking he could about jaguars and pythons silently creeping through his imaginary rainforest. All the wizards
and heroes in his mind had returned from the adventures they were having and were ready for new ones and so was he.
The Wizard’s Fort
A little bit of Chapter 1
Following The Stream
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