art by Justine McGreevy
by Jasmine Fahmy
Her eleventh birthday came and went, with no sign of a Hogwarts letter.
But that was okay. Hogwarts was in the UK, so why would they send her a letter? There must be another magical school in America, and they probably took older students.
So she waited. And waited. Her twelfth birthday came and went, then her thirteenth.
But that was okay, because talking lions were much more interesting. Every night she clambered out of bed and peeked into her wardrobe, trying to catch the winter wonderland unaware. She searched in her parents' wardrobe, in cupboards, drawers, even ovens.
Her fourteenth birthday came and went, with no sign of Narnia.
But that was okay, because her eccentric uncle had returned from far away lands.
Any day now, he was going to give her a mysterious magical artifact that would send her on weird, wondrous adventures.
Any day now.
Her fifteenth birthday came and went, and the most interesting thing her uncle gave her was a pair of shoes that didn't transport her anywhere.
But that was okay, because a new boy transferred to her school. He was very pale, very handsome and very promising as far as magical potential went. She watched the boy intently for weeks, looking for any sign of fangs or sparkling.
Her sixteenth birthday came and went, and the boy came back from vacation with a tan. An admittedly gorgeous tan, but she didn't like werewolves.
Still. It was okay. There were only a few months left 'till the end of the world, due in 2012. Surely that was it? Seventeen was the age of miracles, after all. Surely she would save the world.
With her two friends (read: sidekicks) she searched for clues, and even put together a survival pack of dried foods, flashlights, matches and the like.
Her seventeenth birthday came and went, and 2012 passed by uneventfully. She stayed up, staring at the night sky, but there were no aliens. No giant robots. No evil wizards and no mysterious magic.
And it wasn't okay.