Plain Old Magic

by Sasha A. Palmer

This is part six. Read the suite from the beginning


She was not beautiful. She learned and accepted that early in life. Growing up, while other girls spent hours in front of the mirror, she never bothered. She was what she was–plain–and that was not going to change. And yet, somehow, effortlessly, she was always popular. Everyone liked her. In high school boys were competing for her attention. She finally noticed one of them, the tallest and best looking, and if at the prom there had been a contest for the most mismatched couple, they would have taken the prize.

They married two years after graduation, as soon as she got her nursing degree, in another year they had John, and in another two she became a widow. Her husband was an arborist. A tree man. Had a bad accident. It was one of those surreal things you can never prepare yourself for or understand completely. Sometimes Grace wished for the blissful unawareness of her patients. The comfort of their worlds. She envied Julie Cooper. The ninety-year-old Julie, forever fifteen, reliving the happiest days of her life over and over again.

“Shouldn’t she know about her husband, Mrs. Miller?” Sergeant Parker said in a low voice, glancing at the old woman smiling at him from a hospital bed.

“I’ll be back in a little while, Ms. Julie,” Grace called.

 “She won’t understand,” Grace said, once they were out of the room, “let her be, Sergeant.”

“It’s Bill actually,” said Sergeant Parker.

“Okay, Bill,” Grace said, “call me Grace.”

“How’s your boy, Grace…how’s John?”

“He’ll be all right. Thank you, Bill.”

“Mr. Cooper left something for him.”

“He did?”

“It’s in the car, I’ll be a minute.”

Sergeant Parker returned with a long carefully wrapped L-shaped object.

“Whatever it is, it’s heavy,” he said handing it to Grace.

The inscription in black marker read: To John Miller Jr., Grace Miller’s son.

“It’s obvious, you’re new in town,” Grace smiled.

“Why is that?”

“Everyone around here would know what this is.”

“What is it?”

“It’s Mr. Cooper’s magical hockey stick.”

“Magical…” Sergeant Parker raised one eyebrow.

“Brings happiness,” Grace nodded.


“We’re about to find out,” Grace said.

“I would like to see it someday,” said Sergeant Parker.

“John will be happy to show it to you.”


“I have to go check on Julie now. Thank you for everything.”

“When can I see you again?”


“About the Coopers,” Sergeant Parker cleared his throat, “I still have some questions.”

Grace looked closely at Sergeant Parker.

 “How about tomorrow?” she said.

“When do you finish work?”


“I’ll be here at six.”

“Till tomorrow then, Bill?”

“I’ll see you soon, Grace.”

Sergeant Parker was a respectable man, in his forties, uniformed. Walking back to the car he only skipped on one foot once. But he whistled all the way.

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