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Epilogue to the story of The Farm.
Anyone who even remotely considered my signed statement as 'fact' was politely encouraged to find something else better to occupy their time with.
It was just mere coincidence then that the restoration work on all of the other vintage Arc Deco theaters immediately and completely stopped for good and all of their original artifices and artifacts were completely torn out to the very bare walls. Protected registered historical landmarks or not, nearly every single old theater suddenly experienced arson, accidental terminal foundation problems, or had their roofs mysteriously cave in after minor rainstorms. It seems that someone was taking absolutely no chance of another El Marvelo incident.
They gave me the standard Magical Aptitude Test, which mostly consists of placing a specially crafted artifice, a round crystal ball into your hands to see how bright it glows according to your affinity for magic. Mine stayed dead dark. The other tests that followed confirmed a big fat new BMA score of zero. My magic was gone and I was now a 'normal'. At this point the BMA had virtually no interest in dealing with me any longer. My 'Internal Review' courts-martial before a panel of Wizard judges was now deemed unnecessary and cancelled. Now useless to them I was drummed out in record speed.
My Public License to practice magic was revoked and my BMA folder was stamped 'Retired' and sent off to some warehouse for long term storage. I was still placed on every governmental watch list imaginable. What they thought I'd burn down next, I'm not sure.
Money was going to be tight, but not impossible. I'd inherited my house from my favorite Aunt free and clear. There was a small annual trust fund that paid most of my normal living expenses and I had some savings, so I wasn't desperate to find another means of earning a living.
Mostly I was just too dead tired and sad to do much of anything expect mope about at home and sleep. I slept a lot… and thought about Harriet and what might have been.
I understood now exactly why she and her sister were utterly inseparable; her soul had split when her twin fetus separated from her in the womb. They had really been one person all along trapped in two separate bodies. Now they were reunited as one and roaming the multiverse… it wasn't quite a happy ending, but I eventually convinced myself that maybe a small tiny bit of good had resulted from the fiasco.
"Wake up!" I heard a small cheerful voice sing out into my ear early one morning about four months later.
I hadn't seen or heard a peep from him since the debacle inside the El Marvelo. I hadn't mentioned him in my statements to the BMA; just as well, they thought I was crazy enough as it was. Naturally, I assumed that this very odd visitor had gone off somewhere else to see and do something much more interesting than hang out with a burned out former minor magician very down on his luck. I soon learned otherwise… I was still 'interesting' apparently.
"Hurry up and get dressed and drink a cup of coffee, fast! You've got company coming! Another day, another new opportunity! Chop! Chop!"
The little guy, today about three feet tall, was wearing my best (and only) smoking jacket, now shrunk to fit his size and he was enjoying one of my better Cuban cigars along with a snifter of brandy.
"So, some building contractors need a building torched and want to contact the infamous Zak Pyro, arsonist for hire? Or maybe the Aggies want a consult for their next University Bonfire?"
"Laugh now, repent at leisure!" He brightly chirped. "Besides, this is going to be a good job. Snap out of it – your star is on the rise again!"
"Rising how? And what is it going to crash into once it rises? No one would hire me for any job – my powers are gone and my name is mud."
"My you're a pessimistic bugger early in the morning! I told you to go get some coffee… I swear you are quite impossible in the morning! And while you're at it, take a look at your Ley's, they're