The Wizard Heart
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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
This story is copyrighted by Darrin Thomas, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.
While David prepared to head over and pack his stuff, Eli quickly wrote out a list of things he wanted to help move his fish. Gerald and Matt were working with Sherry to plan the move of the household stuff. Gerald was trying to talk Sherry into renting the house instead of selling it, as the market wasn't really good for selling homes at that point. Sherry was worried about Eli's fish business and the cost of not only moving it but his plans or should that be dreams of expanding it. Sherry had promised Eli 75% of the profits from selling the house. This was not a decision she could make on her own.
"Sherry, I will invest whatever the boy needs to make his dreams come true. After all, with me not having much living expenses while I am living with your Father, I can afford it. Then there is the simple fact that whatever I have left at the end would be Eli's anyway. I have made that clear to everyone," Matt told her trying to help her make up her mind.
If Sherry did rent the house out instead of selling it, she could include the furniture that was already in the house, which would cut down on what it is going to take to move. It would also solve the problem of having two of everything as Matt's house was fully furnished. Sherry was liking the idea more and more, but she still felt she needed to talk to Eli about it, so she called for a family meeting.
Everyone except David came back into the kitchen. When Sherry saw that David hadn't come in, she went and got him.
"David, you and I are supposed to be getting married, if that doesn't make you part of the family then I really don't know what would. Now that everyone is here, Eli, your Grandpa and Uncle Matt have made a compelling suggestion which I really think we as a family should talk about and make a decision. The suggestion that was made is to rent out the house instead of selling it."
Everyone started talking at the same time. David was saying he really should have no say in the matter. Eli was asking about the money his company would be losing out on. Matt and Gerald were trying to explain why it was a good idea. Finally Sherry yelled to get everyone's attention.
"SHUT UP ALL OF YOU!" She yelled. "Now, I will start with the easy one, David, you are now part of this family, whether you like it or not. That is why you need to be part of this family meeting. What you think is as important to us as any of us. Now Eli, you would be losing out on some of the money to begin with, however, if you look at it from a different angle, you would just be getting the money slower over a longer period of time. Now, Dad and Uncle Matt, I would like for one, and only one, of you to talk about the pluses of renting instead of selling."
"Well, I guess I will start. First off, my house is full of furniture, so if you sell you will have to move all of this furniture out and either sell it or store it. If you were to rent this house, you could rent it as fully furnished which would increase the amount of rent you could charge. The furniture in this house is good, but nothing that couldn't be easily replaced. There is also the tax benefits in which renting would bring you instead of selling. Right now Sherry is able to claim the interest she pays as well as the property taxes on her income taxes every year. If she sold this house, she would not have those deductions. Eli's Fish House is buying my old house, therefore, the company would get the tax breaks from it. If Sherry were to keep this house and rent it out she would keep the mortgage and still be able to claim the house on her taxes. Also, if it was set up properly the house would pay for itself with no cost to Sherry."
Everyone in the room was shocked at Matt for the way he spoke. Those who knew Matt thought he was a simple man, but they were quickly learning he is a very smart person.
"As for the money that your Mother told you she would split with you Eli, there could be a small amount each month coming in, but to be honest with you to set this up right there really wouldn't be. However, I know you have your heart set on expanding your company, and I fully support you with that endeavor. What you have been able to accomplish with Eli's Fish House is nothing short of amazing. What I am prepared to do is invest in your future. I will 'Loan' you the money, however much you need, to expand your company. You will have to pay it back, but we will set it up so it doesn't hurt you at all. The pay back is for again taxes. The money that I will invest is pretty much already yours. Remember that everything I have will be yours when I die, so this is just borrowing from yourself really."
Eli started crying hard when Matt finished talking. It took a little while to get him calmed in order to find out what caused him to break down. Everyone was shocked at what he said.
"I..I..I don't want t..to expand!" He said while still crying.
"Eli earlier you said you were excited about growing your company; why the change of heart?" Sherry asked her son.
"Cause I don't want Uncle Matt to die!" He said then broke down again crying hard. It was a bit of a surprise who moved first, but it was David who went to the boy and soothed him.
"Listen to me Buddy, your Uncle Matt is going to be around for a long time. What he was talking about was that at some point in the future we all die. He isn't saying it is going to be anytime soon. He is also definitely not saying that by helping you it is going to cause his death. Do you understand that Little Buddy?"
"Yeah, but I don't like him talking about dying. It really makes me sad to think that he is going to die at some point. I don't want everything he has, I want him!" The boy cried while hugging David tightly.
"Yeah I know Little Buddy. And I think that now that he knows how you feel, he will stop saying it. Isn't that right Uncle Matt, you're going to try to reign in the talk about your death?" David said looking over at Matt.
"Yes I will stop. I am sorry Eli, I didn't know that it was upsetting you the way it did. I have joked about the day I die for many years. I don't really mean anything about it other than reminding those around me to live life to the fullest every day. Please forgive me." Matt said kneeling in front of Eli.
Eli jumped off David's lap and into Matt's arms. Both of them had tears running down their faces. The hug lasted a few moments. Before Sherry spoke up again.
"I hate to break this touching scene up, but, I need to know what you all think, do we setup the house for renters, or do we put it on the market to sell. I already know what Dad and Uncle Matt think so Eli, what do you think?"
"Well, I know that Grandpa is pretty smart and Uncle Matt is like really smart when it comes to making money and all that stuff." There were some surprised looks when he said the last part. "So I think we should follow what they are suggesting and rent it out."
"I would have to agree with what the others are saying as well. I still don't think my opinion means anything, but there you have it." David said.
"David you are wrong there. But, we will talk about that later one on one. Now, I think that you and Eli should head over to your place and get things packed up and ready to move. At least get things taken care of so you can be here for the next week or so like you planned. I also think that Uncle Matt should take Dad's car and head home. That way he has the time to gather up his personal things that he wants to keep with him and get them moved over to Dad's house without us under foot. Dad, you can go with Uncle Matt, or stay here and help me with getting things ready for us to move."
Sherry was starting to get more confident being around David. Growing up she was more of a push over when it came to getting what she wanted. She had problems standing up for herself, however, being on her own and raising Eli she has had to be more assertive.
"I think that is a great idea Sherry. I will head home and get my things packed up, while at the same time getting ready for you all to arrive. Eli, if you tell me what you need, I will make sure you have everything there when your fish arrive. Just send me an Email and the instructions for what you need."
"Wait, you have Email? When did this happen?" A shocked Gerald asked.
"I have had Email for many years. That is nothing new. I have used Facebook for several years, and talk with Eli quite often on the computer."
"I told you that you should get online, Grandpa. Uncle Matt and I talk all the time. He helps me sometimes with homework as well as just chatting about what is going on with both of us. It's a lot of fun."
"Well, I'll be damn. I never knew my friend was so up to date." Gerald laughed.
After all the joking was done, Eli and David headed over to David's place. On the way there David explained that the estate where Stephen and he lived once belonged to their parents, who were now dead. They left the estate to both of them to share. David lived in the carriage house at the back of the property while Stephen and his family lived in the main house. This was just because David was single and felt Stephen needed the room. They had talked about selling the place and splitting the profits, but felt they owed it to their parents to keep it in the family. Eli asked if David was sad at moving away, which David told him, no it wasn't really home any more.
When they got to the estate, David backed up almost to a small box type trailer that was sitting in the driveway. David told Eli that most of his worldly belongings were stored in that trailer and he had just never gotten around to unpacking it. They went up to the apartment above the garage where David stayed and started packing his clothes. While David packed, Eli carried them down to the back of David's SUV.
On one of the trips, Eli thought he would be helpful and hook up the trailer to the back of the SUV. Eli had helped his Grandpa as well as Uncle Matt with hooking up trailers while he stayed on the farm in the summers. He knew what he was doing; the only problem was David hadn't backed up all the way to the trailer yet. The trailer jack did have a wheel so he thought he could pull it up to where the SUV was parked. This seemed like a good idea and once the wheel blocks were removed the trailer started to move on its own. Problem was, Eli couldn't control it. Eli knew the trailer was going to hit the SUV doing a lot of damage. He tried everything he could to stop the trailer, and then he panicked. The trailer not only stopped, but it started to float up into the air. Eli grabbed onto the tongue of the trailer to try and keep it on the ground, but it pulled him into the air as well. That was when he decided he needed help and screamed for David.
It was all David could do to keep from falling down laughing when he rushed out to see what Eli was screaming about. His cargo trailer was about 5 feet off the ground with Eli hanging off the tongue of the trailer. David ran down the stairs to where the boy and floating trailer were.
"Eli, what on earth is going on? How did this happen?"
"I was trying to hook up the trailer to your truck, but it didn't work. Would you please help me get down?" The frightened boy asked his mentor.
"Okay, I got you. You can let go now." David said as he wrapped his arms around the 11 year old.
Once Eli was safely back on the ground. He looked up at the trailer which was now about 7 feet off the ground. He had no idea what was causing it to happen.
"Okay Eli, looks like a new gift is trying to come out. Now this gift is called Levitation. It is the ability to make an object float without touching it. This is a very rare gift for any Wizard to get."
"That is all great and stuff, but how do we get the trailer back on the ground before it floats away?"
"You need to picture in your mind what you want the trailer to do. Clear your mind so you are not thinking about anything except for what that trailer has to do. Concentrate on what you want it to do." David said in as calm and soothing voice as he could.
Eli closed his eyes and did what David told him. He saw the trailer in his mind coming back down to earth and hooking itself up to the back of the SUV without doing any damage. When he opened his eyes after hearing a clunk, he saw that the trailer had done just what he wanted. This was so kewl!
"Great job Little Buddy! That was very impressive for your first time. You had great control after you got over being panicked. I hope you will remember that when you get more gifts. Just take a deep breath and think about what is going on, as long as you feel you have the time to. Now, this is a big gift which we will need to practice with. You can do a lot of good with a gift like this." The man told the boy with pride.
"Thanks. I am sorry I panicked. I will try really hard not to next time." The boy said with his head down.
"Do not be sorry about what just happened. I remember when I got my animal communicate gift. I just about freaked the first time a squirrel asked me for part of my lunch! I jumped so high I knocked a soda into the lady sitting at a table next to me, she happened to be a Vice Admiral who was wearing her dress white uniform. Let me tell you it was not pretty! Luckily she was a Wizard as well and had heard the squirrel as well and thought my reaction was quite funny. She became a good friend and I miss her dearly. She died of breast cancer two years ago."
"I am sorry you lost your friend." Eli said giving David a hug. "But, I am glad you told me that story. Now I don't feel so bad mainly because I know you were already an adult when you freaked out about a new gift." The boy told David with a smile. "David, can I ask you something?"
"Yes you can ask me anything. If I don't want to answer it I will let you know. I will never lie to you or sugar coat something I think you need to know. What would you like to ask me?"
"Well I was wondering. You are going to be acting as my Mom's fiancé, right?" Eli asked and waited until David nodded his head. "So, that means you are going to be dating her, which I think is awesome by the way! What I would like to know is if it is alright with you if I called you Dad?" Eli rushed saying the last part. He was fearful that David might get upset with him for asking, looking at the shocked look on the man's face.
"Oh Eli! I would be honored if you called me Dad, but we would have to ask your Mom and Grandpa if it was alright with them before you can. Eli, I like your Mom, but I don't want you to get your hopes up that she and I are going to really get married. I have no clue what is going to happen with your training or how long it is going to take, but I do know that I could never hurt your Mother. If she finds someone else, I will step aside." David said as he pulled the boy in for a hug.
"What say we get the last loaded up and head back to your house?" David asked the boy in his arms. Eli nodded and headed back up the stairs. Once he was at the top of the stairs the boy stopped and looked out over the yard.
"How long do you think it will take before I can master the floating thing?" Eli asked.
"Eli, you need to call the gifts by their names, I know it doesn't sound important, but in the Wizard World our gifts are respected. By calling them by their given names is a way to show respect."
"Oh I get it, sorry, so what is it called again?"
"This gift is called Levitation. I honestly do not know how long it will take you to master it. Why do you ask?"
"Well, I was just thinking that if I could master it, then we wouldn't have to hire some moving company to move my tanks, I could just float them out of the house into a U-Haul or something."
"Now, while I think that is a great suggestion for saving some money, I am afraid to let you try it without weeks of practice. I know your tanks are very pricey and would hate to see one get broken. If the moving company breaks one of the tanks I know your Mother will sue the crap out of them. I also know that when calling around to get prices, your Grandfather told at least one company that all the tanks would have to be insured before they could be loaded. For this move, I think it best to let the movers take care of your tanks."
The two of them finished in a short amount of time, and then headed back over to Eli's house. Eli was a bit on the nervous side about asking his Mother and Grandpa about being allowed to call David, Dad. David could tell this was weighing on the boy.
"Eli, if it scares you this much to ask your Mom and Grandpa what they think, then maybe it would be better to wait a while before we broach the subject."
"No, I am going to ask them, I am just worried they will say no. I really like the idea of not only having a Dad, but having you as my Dad. See, since the beginning of the school year, your brother has been really great to me. He has stood up for me several times, not only with the other students, who like to make my life hell, but with some of the other teachers as well. A while back I tried to come up with a way to get him and my mom together, but then I found out that he was married with a little girl of his own, and that kind of burst that bubble. But, after meeting you and how you not only act like you like me, but you have also been completely honest with me. And you stood up for me to your brother. Well, I think you would make a great Dad." Eli told David blushing.
"Wow, Eli! Thank you. That sure means a lot to me. But I do have a question for you. How did I stand up to Stephen for you?"
"Yesterday when we were all in his classroom, he started asking me questions and you kind of yelled at him that he couldn't start yet because he hadn't given me my rights yet. That told me that you were a really good guy."
"Well, Stephen was just excited that his favorite student turned out to be a Wizard." The man said causing Eli to blush even deeper.
When the two got back to the house, Uncle Matt was just getting ready to leave. He suggested that he pull David's Trailer behind Gerald's car that way it wouldn't be in the way while they were finishing packing and loading up Sherry's house. Eli asked David if he could unhook the trailer and hook it up to his Grandpa's car, the other adults thought David was insane when he told the boy that it would be good practice for him to do that. Then pulled Eli off to the side where the others couldn't hear.
"Now Eli, you need to really clear your mind and focus on what you want to happen here. What I would like for you to do is do this in simple steps."
"What do you mean simple steps?"
"Well, I want you to do this slowly, in small steps. First unhook the trailer from my Explorer. Then move the trailer over to your Grandpa's Buick. Once it is behind the Buick at that point you can hook it up to the car. That way you won't have to worry about missing a step or forgetting to do something which might cause a problem. Can you do that for me?" David asked while his hand was squeezing the boy's shoulder giving him support.
"Yeah, I can do that!" The boy said with his eyes shining and a smile on his face.
The boy walked over to David's truck and looked things over. He studied the trailer and how it was hooked up, and what it would take to unhook it. Then he closed his eyes and held up one hand, pointing it towards the connection between the SUV and the trailer. Before anyone said anything, the trailer slowly unhooked from the truck and moved back about 3 feet. Then Eli walked over to where the car was parked, looked around it and at the back end. He looked back over to the Trailer, held up his hand and closed his eyes.
All the adults except for David were shocked when the trailer lifted off the ground about two feet and slowly made its way over to the back of Gerald's Buick. Once the trailer was softly set back down on the ground, Eli moved between the trailer and the back of the car. He again looked things over then closed his eyes. Both Gerald and Matt had moved to the other side between the car and trailer to watch what was happening. They were both amazed when they watched the trailer move up to the car, and then set down on the ball of the hitch with ease. Then the hitch lock moved into place and the light cords plugged themselves in.
"Eli, that was fantastic! You had perfect control at all times. I am so very proud of you!" David rushed to the boy pulling him into a hug.
"Thanks Dad." The boy whispered to the man.
"WOW! Holy Crap that was WOW! If I hadn't seen that happen I would never believe it was possible! When did this gift show up?" Gerald exclaimed.
"Well, while we were at my place, Eli decided to help out and hook the trailer up for me. He found out by mistake that he had a new gift, called Levitation. This is a very rare gift for Wizards to possess. Honestly I only know of two Wizards other than Eli who have it and both of them are members of the Council of Wizards. Anyway, Eli was able to use this gift to hook up the trailer with no major problems. This is a gift that will need practice for Eli to really master it. He did a superb job unhooking, moving, and hooking it back up just now. But, I would still like for him to have a lot more practice before we declare it mastered." David said with pride.
Eli looked at David with confusions written all over his face. Sherry picked up on it right away.
"Alright, so what were the minor problems he had? David, I know you are his trainer, but I am still his mother! The one thing of all this I demand is to be kept up to date with his progress and of any dangers he might be in. You have to be honest with me. So what are you not telling us?"
David looked over at Eli who had his head down. David didn't want to embarrass the boy, but he knew that he had to be completely honest with Sherry for this relationship to work. There was only one thing he could do and that was to come clean.
"I didn't say anything about the trouble Eli had with his new gift first showed up because I did not wish to embarrass him. Every Wizard out there will tell you stories about embarrassing moments when dealing with new gift. A young Wizard needs to have the confidence to be able to handle the new gifts as they come, knowing that making a mistake isn't the end of the world and he won't be made fun of. I have known Wizards who were made fun of because of a simple mistake and it nearly crushed them. My sister had a gift happen to her while at school and she didn't handle it very well. My cousin was there at the time and really gave her a hard time. She got so depressed because of our cousin making fun of her that she tried to commit suicide. After that experience I try to make sure that mistakes made by a trainee is not brought back up after the fact. I try very hard to deal with mistakes at the time then move on. Mistakes are needed for learning, but they can be used to cause pain as well. This is why I skipped over telling about any mistake Eli might have had while learning his new gift." David told Sherry and Gerald in his best teacher's voice.
"I can understand that, and I can respect you don't want Eli to feel bad about making mistakes. However, I still would like to know what happened." Sherry replied with a smile looking at Eli.
"It's alright, you can tell them. I don't mind." Eli said looking up to David.
"Do you want me to tell them or do you want to do it? I don't want you to feel like I am making fun of you." David asked Eli.
"Well, I guess I will." Eli said before taking a deep breath. "Okay, so this is what happened. Thinking back on it, it's kind of funny. I was taking David's stuff down to the SUV. I thought I would help out and hook up the trailer to the back of the Explorer. I knew I could do it because I had helped Grandpa hooking up his trailers last summer. Anyway, the problem I had was the trailer was too far from the back of the truck. I thought I could just roll the trailer up to the hitch since the tongue of the trailer was on a wheel. When I pulled the wheel blocks out, the trailer started rolling towards the back of the truck. I kind of freaked out because I thought the trailer was going to damage David's truck. That's when the trailer stopped and then started floating. I grabbed the tongue of the trailer to try and stop it from floating away, but it didn't work. Then I was hanging from the trailer and it was still going up, so that's when I yelled for help. David came out and asked me what happened. He didn't laugh at me or anything. He came down and helped me to get down. He then talked to me about this gift. I then thought about what I needed the trailer to do, and it did it. David talked to me about how I would need to practice this gift before using it or considering it mastered. I asked David if I could use it to move my tanks and save us some money by doing it ourselves, but he told me at this point it would be safer to let the movers do it." Eli told his Mom and Grandpa.
"I have to know, David how did you not laugh when you came out?" Gerald asked before he started a deep belly laugh.
Chuckling David replied, "Well, I will have to admit it was a bit hard to not laugh, but I have had experience with seeing young Wizards in situations like this."
"Well, I for one would have been laughing my ass off seeing this young buck hanging from a trailer floating around." Uncle Matt said laughing. "Eli, we have all done things that looking back we can laugh about. Hell, I remember one time your Grandpa..."
"Shut it Master Sergeant! They don't need to know about our old mistakes." Turning to David Gerald said, "Sir, I applaud your loyalty to my Grandson. How you treat him and the respect you show him is above approach. I would only ask you treat my daughter with the same respect."
"Thank you Gerald. I will do so from now on. I just have to make sure Eli knows I am not making fun of him while I report to his Mother. Honestly I hope his gifts slow down arriving. He needs time to master the gifts he has been given so far."
"Don't worry Dad! I know you're not making fun of me." Eli piped up while a very shocked Sherry and Gerald tried to get around the fact Eli had just called David Dad.
I would like to send out a HUGE thank you to The Story Lover for his extremely tough job as my Editor for this story! Great Job!