Mar 24, 2019 3:04 AM
A Margaret in Fabulous
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"Oooh, what?" asks Sumiko.

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"My swarm-sense was, like, predictive? I could sense where the bugs were, but I could also sense where they were about to be. It sounds confusing but it was actually really helpful, I needed to kill a bunch to get out and I could see which ones were going to get to me first."

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"That's very cool," says Larissa. "Does it only work on swarms, do you think?"

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"Hard to tell! I hear we're playing dodgeball in gym today, maybe it'll work for anything coming at me."

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"If it does they make us rejigger teams so no side has a magical girl advantage," scowls Sumiko. "If there isn't another magical girl in your gym class - not all of them are in the club - then they just load up the other side with extra people."

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"That's probably better than not doing that, I guess. Otherwise one team might give up and then it would be boring. There's no others in my class, so I guess we'll see if I have advantages in anything."

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"I always used to love doing boys against girls and now I never will again," pouts Sumiko.

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"Yeah, it is kind of sad. Maybe if you ever get a class with a lot more than half boys for some reason."

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"Maybe. Whatever, I should be getting gym periods free to fly, but they won't even let me do that."

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"They really should be more flexible. At least dodgeball is exercise, the days when it's just a lecture on stuff we all know already are worse."

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"Ugh, yeah," says Larissa. "I used to wish they'd do that? Like I used to be super out of shape. But now I'm not, so I wanna move around."

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"Exactly! I never really cared about athletics until it started letting me do things like fly around."

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"Poor nonmagic folks," says Larissa.

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Nod nod. "I can't imagine getting magic and then letting it go away without doing anything. Say, Larissa, does your church have an opinion on that?"

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"On turning down magic?" asks Larissa. "I mean, it's not actually forbidden, but it's discouraged."

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"That makes sense, I guess. If there's a God who gives you magic it's because they want you to have it, but they won't insist on it, or something."

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"We say 'she'," says Larissa. "Anyway, it wouldn't work very well to forbid it, all you'd have to do would be ignore it for a week and not tell anyone."

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"God being a she would sort of explain why it's only girls, wouldn't it. And yeah, it's a lot easier to hide ignoring the magic than taking it!"

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"Some people do try to hide taking it," says Sumiko. "Try to keep everything under their clothes or under their hair. You can do it if you try really hard to get everything you can out of every square inch of skin, but I'm so glad I didn't have to hide from my parents or anything."

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"That does sound awful. My parents were really cool about it, I called them at work and was like "don't freak out when you get home and see that I have dragon wings" and they didn't. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to let magical girling stop me from doing my homework."

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The other girls giggle.

When gym class arrives it is indeed dodgeball time. The teacher asks Margaret what her powers are.

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"Well, I can fly, but I can promise not to if you want. And I have some kind of precognitive thing that might kick in for dodgeball where I can see where things are going to move before they do it. That one I can't turn off and on, it just happens or it doesn't."

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"You can turn it off if you wear gym clothes like everybody else," says the teacher, raising an eyebrow.

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"I want to at least find out it it works for dodgeball, though! I'm still trying to get a handle on what I can do. And isn't the point of gym class to get practice using our abilities?" Also the gym clothes are grey and olive green, and after a few days in her color-coordinated gown she'd rather not be caught dead in olive green.

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"You can practice running covered in tinfoil or whatever that is," says the gym teacher, "in gym clothes like everyone else."

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