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Principals of Magic
“Here we go again,” thought little Lewis Fatius as he sat in the principal’s office at Washington Elementary School, a suburban school outside of Kansas City. His brown eyes observed the familiar room. He looked down at the black and white checkered tile, then outside through the windows at the cloudy sky; just waiting for the principal’s arrival. For five years now, Lewis has been in these situations. It was no different from when the school’s sprinkler system went haywire, or from the time somebody pulled the fire alarm. Lewis always ended up getting blamed for everything. This time he was accused of overflowing the toilets in the bathroom. Of course, it was never actually Lewis who performed all these mischievous stunts, but he was the one always in trouble. Lewis was just an innocent fourth grader, who got blamed for everything because he was different from everyone else.
Lewis was a normal child in appearance. Average in size for a ten year old, Lewis had fair skin, a round shaped head, and thick ink-black hair. However, since preschool, Lewis had acted different from his peers. He had always preferred to separate himself from others. While the rest of the class would play games and sing songs, Lewis was engulfing himself in books. He also had a vivid imagination and loved to play dress up by himself where he could become someone else. As Lewis aged, he continued to be eccentric. Unlike his classmates who wore shorts and play clothes, Lewis liked to wear
bow ties, knickers, and knee socks. His toys did not consist of cars and balls, but instead for entertainment he had costumes and books and a passion for magic. His favorite costume was a white cloak, a magic staff, and a pointed purple wizard’s hat with yellow stars and moons on it.
For being so different and dressing up the way he did, many of the other kids at school would make fun of Lewis. One small red haired boy, Ben Harrison, had a mean streak in him. Ben was especially mean to Lewis. He would knock books out of Lewis’s hands and call him names like “Lewis the Loser.” Many times Ben was responsible for getting Lewis in trouble. Teachers took notice of Lewis’s oddness, leading them to stereotype him as a troublemaker. They thought his actions and dress were a cry for attention. So whenever a problem arose at school, Lewis was a prime suspect. “Why did you do it?” questioned Principal Griswold, a tall, grouchy old woman with a hooked nose.
“I don’t know,” Lewis would always respond, unable to stand up for himself. He would always just take the punishment, which normally was a few detentions. Lewis could never manage to tell his side of the story to the intimidating woman he despised so much.
One rainy day in November, Lewis’s class was going to have show and tell. Lewis was going to speak to the class about his favorite hobby: magic. For the occasion, Lewis dressed up in his special cloak and hat and also brought his staff. He was planning to give a detailed speech on the mysteries of magic and its history. On the way to his classroom, Lewis stopped in the bathroom to make sure his attire looked presentable. As
Lewis walked into the bathroom, Ben ran out noticing Lewis. Lewis looked into the mirror and noticed the floor was wet. He opened one of the stall doors and discovered that the toilets had been sabotaged. Paper towels were clogging the toilets and water was overflowing. Trying to clean up the mess, Lewis grabbed some paper towels and started drying.
While drying, Lewis heard a voice from the hallway. “Right in there Mr. Maddox,” directed Ben, “I saw him doing it.”
“Lewis! What do you think you are doing with those paper towels?” screamed Mr. Maddox.
“I was just trying to…”
“I don’t want to hear it. Get to the principal’s office,” the teacher bellowed. Lewis obeyed. He slowly walked, staff in hand, to that evil woman’s office. He looked at his staff wishing it was real and could get him out of trouble. Lewis entered the office and thought to himself, “Here we go again.” The innocent boy looked around the room; he just wanted to be given his punishment so he could leave.
Principal Griswold entered the room and screamed at Lewis, “What did you do now and why are you wearing those ridiculous clothes? Hand over your hat and wand, Mr. Wizard.” Upon hearing this, Lewis, for the first time began to get really angry. He was not going to let her take his prized possessions. This time she’d gone too far.
“No,” he firmly replied; his voice rising. The space around young Lewis became full of tension. He was so furious from being bullied his whole life he started to overheat and break out into a cold sweat. Lewis refused to allow Principal Griswold to take his
staff, so she tried taking it. When she did so, for a split second Lewis’s brown eyes saw nothing but black space. Then he saw something quite unusual. The bulb of his staff was glowing bright white as Mrs. Griswold held it. Her face started to transform, and then her whole body. Within a few seconds, Mrs. Griswold had turned into a gray rabbit and hastily hopped out the door. Amazed, Lewis looked at his staff which had fallen to the
ground. He picked it up; thoughts were racing through his mind. His staff actually had powers! Lewis thought to himself that this would be the perfect chance to get revenge on all who had tormented him for the last five years. Lewis, however, decided to not get revenge. Instead, he wanted to use this as a chance to make friends.
Lewis began to walk back to class, but on his way there, he again stopped in the bathroom. He caught a fly on the wall and put it in a jar. Lewis entered his classroom but nobody paid him much attention; some people just stared at him funny. “It’s my turn for show and tell,” announced Lewis. “I have special talents. Watch the amazing things I can do.” Still, he did not gain the attention of his classmates. Lewis then took his staff and turned the fly in the jar into a bird. At this all the heads in the class immediately turned toward Lewis. He continued to perform magical spells for the rest of the class period. He started by turning books into chocolate for the students. Next, Lewis assembled a giant castle in the middle of the classroom for his classmates to play in. Everyone was appreciative and all of a sudden wanted to be Lewis’s friend. That is everyone except for Ben. Even after all that Lewis had done Ben continued to ridicule him.
“He’s a freak, just look at him,” said Ben. At this, Lewis had again had enough.
“Are those fighting words?” Lewis asked, “Because we can fight.” With a wave of his staff Lewis turned the bully into a bull and his staff transformed into a sword. This was it. He was the matador and nothing would stop him from finally getting his revenge. Boy was this going to feel good. Lewis raised the sword above his head, ready to strike.
“Lewis…Lewis wake up,” the voice of his mother called.
“What? Where am I?” Lewis asked confused.
“You’re in the hospital. You passed out in your principal’s office and got a bump on your head.”
“Oh. About the principal’s office, I didn’t do anything, I swear,” Lewis tried to explain.
“There’s nothing to worry about. Somebody stood up for you. There was a fly on the wall that saw the whole thing, and a little bird told Principal Griswold it was Ben and not you.”