a group of wizards is sitting at a picnic table near route 30. my friend and i, teenage boys, are there to become apprentices. he’s scared, but i’m determined to learn all that they know. the wizards sit in their faded robes and complain that there is not an ashtray. i offer to get them one. i have a cupboard that holds a small clean jar. it will work. i go into my dad’s old vet clinic. i don’t expect my friend to come with since i volunteered, but he says he can’t let me go in there alone. the place is full of obnoxious drinking wizards and warlocks. i’m on my tip-toes reaching up to the cupboard. the whole cabinet starts to tilt toward me and my friend cries out a warning. one of the warlocks zaps him with a spell and he becomes an aluminum yard ornament of a boy in witch clothing, hanging on to a post over a pumpkin. i’m saddened but even more determined to learn now that i have to know how to turn him back. i reach up again and feel the rim of my jar, i clutch it tightly.