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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Microstory 1028: Alfred

Nobody calls me by my name around here, but different people will have different nicknames. Al, Alfie, Allie, Fred, Freddie, and Batman are some of the more common variations. I don’t really like any of them. My parents named me Alfred, full stop, and that’s what I prefer. Viola was the only one who respected that, which was this small but courteous thing she probably didn’t think twice about, but now it seems significant, because of her death. I’m a pretty big nerd, but I’m not that much into comics, which is why I’m not all that fond of that last nickname I mentioned. It doesn’t even make sense. Alfred wasn’t the superhero, he was the butler, and didn’t have his own codename. Or maybe he did, but that’s not something I would know. What makes me a nerd is that I’m into magic. I feel like back in the day, liking magic wasn’t a nerdy thing. It seemed more accessible back then. Maybe people were easier to trick, because humanity as a whole was less educated? I don’t know. Now it’s just so universally hated that I don’t understand how professional magicians even exist, and are able to sell tickets to their shows. In junior high, I was the president of the magic club, and I wanted to continue that when I got here, but there was no such club at the time. I guess it’s more acceptable to be into it when you’re younger. And so, of course, I decided to start the club myself, thinking that if I built it, they would come. You have to have at least five people sign up for any new club, and prove that they’re coming to regular meetings, in order for the school to sign off on it. I bet you can see where this story is going. Not a single person showed up. I held introductory meetings every single day after school for nearly a week, until one person finally came. Viola. She was not into magic, but she felt bad that no one came, so she just made an appearance to boost my numbers. Like I said, that still wasn’t enough, so she also somehow convinced three other people to come over the course of the next few days; the last one just by the deadline. So she managed to find, not just random people she could coerce into making me feel better, but also ones who could actually learn to like magic. She even kept coming to meetings with us the rest of the year, never missing, and occasionally participating. The following year, two freshmen wanted to join right away, which allowed Viola to quit, and our numbers have increased ever since. I’m proud to say that Blast City Senior High’s Magic Club boasts one of the highest memberships of the school. We have to meet in the cafeteria now to have enough space for everyone. Viola did this for me—for us—and I will always be grateful for that.

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