Turn and turnabout


It always came when I least expected…

… I have trouble controlling my random thoughts and the small irritations being a people watcher bring out in me. He was just driving his car, an ordinary day for an ordinary bloke; until he passed me outside the supermarket. He was doing that ‘look how macho I am’ thing that some men do in cars. You know, how they slump slightly in the seat, drive with virtually their whole arm resting across the top of the steering wheel?

Unbidden, my mind muttered, ‘Macho my arse, he actually looks like a vaguely grumpy gnome’.

Wham. Next thing the car is through the front of the neighbouring florist shop, glass and metalwork flying and a distinctly shaken gnome ends up sitting in the dead centre of a floral tribute to a ‘much adored nan’.

Me? I’m sidling gently backward through the gathering onlookers and estimating how long before I can start running. There’s a downside to these occurrences. Well, yes, of course, the incidents are problematic enough, but some mischievous god decided the recipients of my random thought magics are instantly aware of who was responsible. Have you ever had a heated debate about magic and blame with a purple parrot during a church wedding? No? Then don’t even begin to think you know what this might be like for me.

(Before you ask, the mother of the bride had worn the most ridiculously overblown millinery confection I had ever seen in my life and guess what I thought it made her look like…?)

Want some more examples of the joys I endure? Aged three, playing with a small friend, she got a fit of the giggles and snorted. Apparently she was thought to be happy after they re-homed her at a local petting zoo. Annoyed by the frequency of having to hoover cat hair in my apartment, I snarled something about the ease of hairless creatures. Tigger and Boots got their fur back eventually but they moved in with the family two streets over and ignored me pointedly if I passed them.

I could go on… I have tried everything I can think of to control the magic. It doesn’t run in the family, although there were always vague mutterings about Aunt Gracie. I think it had more to do with her penchant for sharp mens suits and her ‘special’ friend, the lusciously loopy Linda. Anyway, no family members to turn to, and the internet is so full of pseudo witches and whatnot that it would take me a few reincarnations to sift through to the people who could help me. So I placed an ad in a national paper:

Wanted – Practitioner to aid in the control of random thoughts and strange transformations.

I admit, I didn’t expect any replies, and I wasn’t disappointed. A month passed and no-one had responded. Then Nigel walked into me. Not into my life, or my workplace; literally into me. I was wandering along, nose in a book I’d just bought, reading that tantalising blurb on the back, and Nigel walked slap into me. I had a black eye for a couple of weeks and his crown fell out. He was reading too and we smacked each other in the face with the books. I swore, mentally called him something unmentionable and slapped a redundant hand over my mouth, waiting for him to turn into said unmentionable.

He didn’t! For a split second he shimmered, and then he was just Nigel. The rest, as they say, is history. Nigel’s not a looker. He’s ordinary and I adore him. You know they say that everyone has a partner out there somewhere? He’s it. He is everything I am not and together we negate what we can do. He has the same magic as me, but his cancels mine, and vice versa. I admit, occasionally, we agree on a transformation and ‘forget’ to cancel it out, but for the most part we have been given a gift… being normal.

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