Michelle's brow furrowed into a deeply confused frown. No, no, she assured herself. This makes as much sense as the rest of the day.
Max Finch smiled, "Do you believe in reincarnation?"
Oh, no, don't tell me I was Merlin's lover in a past life. She answered honestly, frowning no longer, "No, sir."
"Good, neither do I!" Max exclaimed with a great chuckle. "Had you going there, didn't I?"
And then, came a shout form the window. "Hey, who are you talking to? Is there another man in there, my love? There is room in my heart for two, if it gets me closer to --"
Max thrust a hand artfully towards the window. Outside, Robbie's mouth had clamped shut with an abruptness that surprised him. And, again, the sorcerer waved his hand, and Robbie's affection dissipated.
There was laughter, outside, as blood rushed to Robbie's face. He was embarassed, and baffled. He did not understand what could bring him to utter such words. He stood, tense and humiliated. Silence. And, finally, the neighbors left.
Michelle smiled from the window, and waved innocently to the parting crowd as they returned to their homes, their yard work and their car washing. And, though she did not discriminate against his orientation, she liked Robbie less after that outburst.
Max Finch smiled awkwardly. The necklace remained upon his shoulder. However, its metal threads had unclasped, and were weaving their way around his neck -- perhaps on their own accord or by some unnatural power of Max's.
Michelle kissed Mr. Finch upon the forehead, "Thank you, sir."
"I have a question to ask you," his tone was now serious.
"It is of the utmost importance that you answer me with forthright honesty," Max made sure he had eye contact with her.
Michelle nodded, wishing she knew more. Then, she felt an odd sensation. It was like a headache coming on, that never actually came.
"You will know more in time, my dear."
Did he just read my thoughts? she wondered.
"How long has this been in your family's possession?"
"You don't know, do you?"
"Granny didn't tell me much about it, no."
"Very well. I must test you. And, we shall see if the blood in your veins indeed carries the hereditary charms of Merlin. At the very least, I need a new apprentice. So, regardless of whether you are the one I seek... would you like to study magic?"
Michelle was exasperated, "Excuse me?"
"You heard me," Max told her, with a tone of finality.
"Umm..." disbelief and indecision ran think in her voice.
"I will return in one passing of the sun. Give me your answer then." Mr. Finch told her, as he left the bathroom, and walked downstairs and out the front door. His eccentric clothing was eyed by the neighbours across the street, and he simply returned their invasive looks with a polite smile.