Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference: 'Aurora'

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[Editor's Note: This is the eighth installment of 'Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly story-series that Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]

At a crowded community center in midsummer, one follows a figure believed to be one’s guardian for the afternoon, but after some minutes of diligent, albeit absent-minded following, the figure turns around, and one finds that its features have been subtly mis-arranged and its unfamiliar eyes are fixed above one’s head, cringing against the pan-optic and apathetic sun.

Such was my feeling as I made my way through the slick spring weeds. Looking behind me every few paces, all I saw were the slowly raising heads of clover, erasing my footsteps. After an uneasy night spent in a girl’s vacant dormitory, I was heading to an early morning seminar on telekinesis.

Last night, after the rained-out scrying class, I had sought out the conference’s latest arrival, Aurora, but all I found was Maeve Widdershins, visibly shaken. When I asked her where her recent companion had gotten to, she couldn’t say. She did, however, grab my wrist in the desperate way an ancient relation of mine used to do before dispensing with five or ten dollar bills, and say, “That sprite was not my Aurora.”

And so it was with a distracted heart that I waited for the telekinetic lecturer to begin that dewy morning. A lambent girl-child was scuttling about the auditorium stage, much too excited to settle into her presentation just yet. Finally, after several moments spent gripping and ungripping the sides of a petite podium and crackling the spittle in her cheeks, she began to explain how she terrorized an entire fraternity in the fall of ’76.

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