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 Barely, we managed to escape the forest with screaming shadows and the pair of motile shovels. The wolves had tried to devour us. Asarí was still missing. And so were the little dwarfs, Elk and Lou.

Esmé too was gone. We were in the loop of 1967, and we could smell the earth to know that the peculiar children called Angs were an inch close. Perhaps we should have used the other portal of magic, now that we know the demerits of using the one we had used. The Angs have been hiding in the time loop set to June 12, 1967.

And that had been done by The Mistress of Azodoraus, a woman who ran a home for the peculiar children. Being kids with wonderful magic prowess, care was taken to ensure they weren't just killed by pure and absolute human folly. There was a television on the wall.

The images on the screen were blurry and of cyan and magenta hue. We were there to help save the peculiar children from a group called The Greendaws, a law enforcement agency trying to harvest those magic powers of the children for selfish gains.

We would help convey them from this time loop to an ancient city in Greece as The Greendaws had found a way to locate this loop. During our stay as magic students at The Invisible Quirky Library of Shadows, we had met Anne who betrayed The Greendaws as a member and told us her truth. So I had left with Anne and my friends Asarí, Tokunbo, Chou, the neighbour Esmé and the dwarfs Elk and Lou.

But now, four of us are missing. We should have followed the other magic portal, because the one we followed was easy to be traced. But how was I to know? And what this meant was that we had left a trail for The Greendaws. And Anne could tell they were close enough. So we hurried off to find the shapeshifting Angs.

We found them, some wolves, some crows, some apes. We spoke to them in magic tongues and helped them hide. But they said one of them was missing, and as I tried to rest on a wall with my back, I saw the milky-white eyes of a bird peering through a dark pigeon hole. I knew it was Asarí. So I smiled and cupped the hole with my palms, whispering softly, "You'd be fine.

Wait a little while. The Greendaws will soon be gone. Only but a little while." And as we waited, a certain curtain fell upon us – and we could hear laughter. And when we managed to look, we saw Esmé walking away with them – and the pair of flying shovels following behind.


Marvel Chukwudi Pephel, also known as Poet Panda, is a Nigerian writer and biochemist. His writing stays in the intersection of weirdness and the familiar. In 2021, he was invited to the Sixth Chinua Achebe Literary Festival. He has synaesthesia.


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