The Handicapable Witch
Hello, my name is Cassandra, Cas or Cassie to my friends and family. I'm named for my grandmother, Castiella. She'll tell you if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have a name. I just turned thirteen. I live in the small town in Ohio. I have three best friends, Lenora aka Lenny, Ingrid, and Gabriel. I have Spina bifida, Myelomeningocele. Its a neural tube birth defect. It just means my spinal cord didn't develop properly before I was born. Because of it, I've had some issues throughout my life. I wear leg braces, called AFOs or Ankle foot Orthotics. I have bladder problems. I have Hydrocephalus, or simply put, water on the brain. The fluid doesn’t drain on its own, so I have a tube called a shunt in my head that does the job. It drains the fluid into my stomach cavity where my body can properly absorb it. I've had a lot of surgeries and weird things happen, some good, some bad, because of my disability. But on my birthday things got even weirder. My birthday is August 28th. It was at the very beginning of the school year and its always very hot in this small, Amish country town. It started out like any other day at the beginning of the school year. Going from class to class. Getting to know the teachers. Taking quizzes so the teachers can get to know you. Picking out the perfect lunch spot, cuz it'll be the same for the whole year. And getting to lunch and having to deal with bullies. Their gang included Jacob and his girlfriend Emma. Mason and his girlfriend Mia. Liam and Emily. At the head of the group is Harper and William. Although, something tells me William is not as cruel as his friends. I don't usually see him with the group when they are pestering my friends and me. Since it's such nice weather I wore shorts which showcase my AFO's. So that leaves me open to more ridicule. Not to mention I got black ones this time around. I can never find knee high boots that'll go over them. So I got black ankle boots and therefor black AFO's. So it looks like I have knee highs on. Unfortunately, they stand out even more against my vampire pale skin. But they're easier to keep clean and if you stain them it doesn't show. Any who, we hadn't so much as opened our milks when 'They' approached us. "Nice legwear." Emma spat, acid seeping from her words. Joined by laughter from the rest of the group. We just ignored them. Its best not to feed the troll or trolls. "Did you hear me? Where did you get those, the 99Cent Store?" Again we ignored them. We'd been dealing with them for a few years now. So it was all too easy. Having been unsuccessful, they moved on to their next victims. "So!!!" Ingrid said after they were out of earshot, almost jumping up and down like an excited Golden Retriever puppy. "What time is your birthday party Saturday?" I told her "3:00."
Can't wait." Exclaimed Lenny. "Your gift should be at the Post Office today." Said Gabe, " My mom is gonna pick it up on her way home." Today is not only my birthday, but it's also the day of the solar eclipse. We had too many snow days, so the school wasn't able to let us have the day off to view it so they decided to dedicate today's lessons around the eclipse. They passed around special glasses for viewing it. It worked out that it was happening just after our lunch period. The lunchroom has large windows so all we had to do was go over to them and watch. So we put away our trays. Walked over to the windows and donned our glasses and watched as it began. As the light began to come back, I had the strangest feeling, like someone had poked me with a sharp stick. For a brief second I saw bright pops of light. I was stunned for what felt like several minutes, not understanding what was happening. A hand clasped down hard on my shoulder throwing me slightly off balance, and bringing me back to reality. "Oops. Sorry." Ingrid said, as Gabe worked to help steady me again.
You seemed kinda out of it for a second." He said "We thought you were having one of those hidden seizures we learned about last year." Said Lenny. "No I just got lost in La La Land for a moment. Sorry if I scared you guys." I answered. "You can't even stand up straight, can you. Freak." Said Liam from behind us. His insult was answered by laughter from the rest of 'Them'. "I wish someone would just kick him." I thought to myself. All of the sudden two kindergarteners that I knew from their siblings in my grade, kicked him in the shins. After a moment of shock, my friends and I burst into our own bout of laughter. For the next hour I couldn't get the incident out of my head. It was as if they did it on command. Like they heard my thoughts just before. But that’s just not possible! Right?!?! It had to be a coincidence. That wasn't the last bizarre thing to happen that day. Towards the end of the day, I was minding my own business, getting some books from my locker, when Emily approached me. Most likely to get back at me for the little coming to my defense and embarrassing her boyfriend. "YOU TOLD THOSE LITTLE BRATS TO ATTACK MY POOR LAIM DIDN'T YOU?!?!" She exclaimed hysterical. "Yes, you got me." I deadpanned. "I knew ahead of time that your lug head boyfriend was going to harass me out of the blue and told them exactly when to kick him." Now stammering, knowing she sounded ridiculous. Chin in the air. "Well. . .You're. . . Really. . .Weird." She said and stomped away. Later, while waiting to leave the last class of the day I was telling my friends about the encounter with Emily. "Well, it did seem kinda weird." said Gabe. "Yeah, they came out of nowhere." Added Lenny. "They must have overheard Liam teasing me." I tried. "But I don't remember even seeing them right before it happened. Their class is on the other side of the building." That wasn't the weirdest occurrence of the day though. On the walk, well roll for me anyway, home things took on a whole other level of strange.
Chapter 2 As we were going along on the sidewalk, my friends noticed the trash on the ground turning into beautiful plant life as I passed by it. Ingrid was the one to point it out to me. I was lost in thought about what happened earlier today while listening to a podcast about mythology. So I had my earbuds in and wouldn't have heard her say this.. "Dude!" she exclaimed, pointing at the ground, eyes bulging out of her head. "Are you seeing this?!" added Lenny "What?" I asked removing my earbuds and pausing the podcast. "THE TRASH IS TURNING INTO FLOWERS WHEN YOU PASS BY!!!!" Ingrid yelled a little irritated with my obliviousness. "Whatever. Nice try." I said, rolling my eyes and starting to put my earbuds back in. "Seriously, man. Watch." Lenny insisted, grabbing my chair's joystick and lurching it forward past some more litter. Btw, that is not okay unless you are the person very good friend, and are trying to prove that you can turn pieces of litter into flowers. Don't ever do that to a stranger. We don't like when other people touch our chair. It's an extension of us. You wouldn't just grab a stranger's hand and drag them along unless you're kidnapping them, right? As I zoomed by, I caught a glimpse a half empty pop bottle turn into a pretty blue flower. Once she let go of my joystick, I turned back around and the rest of the pieces of trash were no longer there. Instead, there was a patch of flowers matching the one the pop bottle turned into. "What in the heck?" I wandered in amazement. "Told you so." the girls said in unison. "Let's just keep this between us for now." I said. "I mean, it's not like anybody is gonna believe us anyway." Ingrid added. "What about Gabe?" Lenny asked.
“Yeah, somebody call Gabe. Tell him to meet us at my house." I agreed. An hour later we were all in my room. The girls and I got Gabe up to speed with the events of our walk to my house. Of course, he didn't believe us. "Why don't you just show him?" Lenny suggested. My parents weren't home yet, my grandma was napping in her room and we have a really high fence. Wilson from Home Improvement high. So we grabbed the trash bag from the bag in the kitchen and headed out the back door. Minutes later, Gabe let out a resounding "Whoa." Looking at small rose bush in the corner of my yard, where the bag of trash had just been. So of course we spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the neighborhood turning various bits of debris into all manner of greenery. Truth be told, the community never looked better when we headed back for dinner. This made my birthday party, the next day, kind of seems mundane.
Chapter 3 Now you would think, small children, seemingly coming out nowhere, like tiny ninjas to avenge you (even though was kind of wishing for it to happen) or litter being turned into colorful patches of flora, would be the weirdest things to me. Well, you'd be wrong. So very wrong. On my way back to school on Monday, if there happened to be a bit of debris my friends and I missed, it turned into a lovely flower or bush or small tree as I went by. Once at school, small children kept appearing out of nowhere to pull on over on any bully hassling me. Or the bully would magically forget what they were about to do or say to me. All I had to do was chant "Not me.'', three times.
Later in the week things got hairy. Various stray cats and dogs would follow me home. We had lots of strays in the neighborhood. More cats than dogs. The church at the end of my street leaves out a bowl of cat food for them. Also, one of them just had kittens, adding to their numbers.
It was really starting to freak me out. I had to have another meeting with my circle of trust. "I don't know what to do, you guys." I admitted "Maybe you should tell your parents what's happening." Ingrid suggested. "Maybe they can help." Gabe added. "They wouldn't believe me. They'd think I'm crazy like they think grandma is. And what would they do if I showed them? " I replied All of the sudden, Lenny jumped up. "You should tell her. She's always talking about how she believes in that stuff. Maybe she knows what's going on with you." My grandma and I were really close. But I didn't believe in her stories anymore than my parents did. They were always just that, stories. But now it seemed she might have been telling the truth this whole time. Lenny was right. It was worth a shot. So they headed home and I headed down the hall to her bedroom. Chapter 4 Her room looks like that of a Gypsy fortune teller.
Beaded curtains, lots of old leather bound books, glass containers with various liquids and herbs in them. There were tarot cards, a Ouija board engraved with something in Latin, candles and incense. In the center of the room, sitting on a podium, was book that was bigger and older than the others.
Hey grandma." I whispered, trying not to startle her. When she didn't respond, I remembered the woman sleeps like the dead. So I raised my voice and she woke up. I told her what was going on and without hesitation she said, "All right, shut the door. Let's talk." "Well, all of these strange things keep happening to me since the eclipse on my birthday." I explained. I then proceeded to tell her the details of the past two weeks. When I finished, she was thoughtful for a few moments. Then she smiled. "Finally, you've come into your powers. Your parents were worried, well I was worried, they were hoping, because of your SB, it would never happen." she said almost too fast for me to keep up. I just stared at her. Perhaps my parents were right about this crazy old lady. I adore my grandmother, but some of the things she says are just plain nutty. Chapter 4 Her room looks like that of a Gypsy fortune teller. Beaded curtains, lots of old leather bound books, glass containers with various liquids and herbs in them. There were tarot cards, a Ouija board engraved with something in Latin, candles and incense. In the center of the room, sitting on a podium, was book that was bigger and older than the others. "Hey grandma." I whispered, trying not to startle her. When she didn't respond, I remembered the woman sleeps like the dead. So I raised my voice and she woke up. I told her what was going on and without hesitation she said, "All right, shut the door. Let's talk." "Well, all of these strange things keep happening to me since the eclipse on my birthday." I explained. I then proceeded to tell her the details of the past two weeks. When I finished, she was thoughtful for a few moments. Then she smiled. "Finally, you've come into your powers. Your parents were worried, well I was worried, they were hoping, because of your SB, it would never happen." she said almost too fast for me to keep up. I just stared at her. Perhaps my parents were right about this crazy old lady. I adore my grandmother, but some of the things she says are just plain nutty.