“Get up,” Sampson keeps kicking at Isaac. “Wake the fuck up,” he finally tips the bed causing Isaac to roll onto the floor.

I can’t help but laugh as Isaac remains asleep as Simon gets more and more flustered. He resorts to holding Isaac’s nose until he’s coughing and fighting back. Not the best way to wake up but it gets him up. I’m sure Sampson holds his nose a little longer just to get back at him.

“What was all that for,” Isaac asks shielding his face from the sun shining in.

“I’ve been trying to wake you up for twenty minutes.”

“So what? It’s not like we’ve got anything to do.”

“Trial of connection, you missed the little chat sleeping in,” I add.

“What’s the deal?”

“Get your ass packed and downstairs,” Sampson says.

“Packed for what?”

“If you had been awake you’d know. Take a quick shower too. You smell like a fucking wino,” Sampson slams the door behind him.

I fill Isaac in on what I know so far. We’re going on a trip to New Orleans. I’m not excited to be heading back, I’m just hoping we take a different route. I’m going to use the chance to see if anyone is still looking for me. The actual trial, I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be. I know we’re heading up there to do something with just Sampson. He’s going to be the one who judges us, so it’s best to stay on his good side. Well Isis said the trials don’t really mean anything for me, but I could help make sure Isaac passes.

I head downstairs and spot Sampson heading out with a duffel bag in each hand. I follow him, without speaking but walking heavy enough that he knows I’m following him. We make our way out to Michael’s garage. One of the huge doors is already open.

“Wait here,” Sampson tells me.

I hear the sound of him opening and slamming doors on a car before it starting it up. He comes back out and inspects me visually for some reason.

“You didn’t bring anything?”

“Magic,” I tap my head.

“That shit is convenient.”

“What kind of magic can you do?

“Originally, strength.”

“Like The Bible.”

“Yeah, like The Bible. Parents named me after Samson in The Bible, but they weren’t really religious. That’s why my name has a “p” in it.”

“What kind of magic you got now?”

“Step back,” he waves his hand for me to move.

“You don’t need to show me.”

“Nah, haven’t done it in while. This is good practice, might need it in the city,” he smiles and bites down on his tongue.

I watch as Samson takes deep breaths and swallows the air, choking it down. For a moment it looks like he’s choking, but waves me off when I approach. He smiles and leans back puffing out his cheeks with joy in his eyes. I can feel the air around us heating up before he does anything. Samson blows a small blue flame from his lips slowly it grows until there’s a massive pyre flowing from his mouth without stop. I’m amazed at his flame control when he starts to blow various shapes before finally stopping at a purple flame. As he spreads his arms waiting for applause I realize this is how Destiny lit the sword on fire. I’m guessing he taught her the trick, because she never did anything this impressive. They really were in love.

“Glad to see you’ve still got it. Was starting to think our dragon was just an empty cigarette lighter,” Michael comments having come out the garage to watch.

“Yeah, remind me to stop pissing you off,” Isaac comments from behind giant sunglasses.

“That was, amazing, no I don’t have a word to describe how cool it was,” is all I can piece together. I’m actually jealous he shared something like that with Destiny. I know I shouldn’t be jealous over something that has no real bearing on our relationship. Destiny isn’t even alive right now and I’m upset they shared something I didn’t know about. I never asked her how she learned to spit fire, and now that I know I’m upset as if I’m going to lose her to another guy, and I can’t even lose her. I find myself rubbing my wedding band as if I’m trying to remind myself I won the competition in my mind.

“Well, since we’re all showing tricks, what do you two do,” Michael points at Isaac and I.

“Magic storage, interdimensional pocket, haven’t settled on a name yet,” I answer. “Just watch.”

I start to pull a few things out, my laptop, a book, a first aid kid, then I put it all back. Nothing nearly as impressive as what Sampson had just done. I shrug when I’m done. Michael calls it practical, which is fair. That’s what is.

“I can turn into a cat,” Isaac says bluntly.

“You going to demonstrate,” I ask.

“I don’t feel like it.”

“Too hungover,” I joke.

“No, I can do it.”

“Hold off on that,” Sampson intervenes. “It’s a small show when he transforms. Takes a long time and he ends up naked.”

This sets off a chain of laughter, “fuck all of you,” Isaac yells. “Really, all of you can go to Hell.”

“Relax, shape shifting is cool. Just spare us the little show,” Sampson laughs.

“I’m perfectly average,” Isaac yells and gets flustered.

Isaac toss his bag down on the and starts to jump around as if he’s preparing for a fight. He stops, paces bag and forth. We all just laugh even harder. Next, he takes off his shirt and pounds on his chest. We stop laughing as Sampson motions for us to calm down. For a moment Isaac’s skin starts to turn to a reddish hue before hair starts to sprout. As he shrinks we lose sight of him in his pants. Soon a small black cat pops up licking at it’s paws. I guess he can turn into a cat. He paws at the pile of clothes and drags off his underwear to the garage.

“Fuck all of you,” Isaac says as he puts on the rest of his clothes.

“Michael, you’re last. What you got,” I ask causing Sampson to laugh even harder than he did at Isaac.

“I can levitate,” Michael says proudly.

“That boy floats a whole six inches off the ground. He don’t even float fast. We don’t need to see that shit.”

“Your car is ready,” Michael says clearly irritated.

“I know you weren’t laughing at me and all you do is float,” Isaac says with a twisted grin. “Like, I’m working on turning into other animals and all you got is floating?”

“Before we go, here are the rules. No eating in the car, no sleeping in the car, no farting in the car, if your breath stinks you can’t speak in the car. Don’t slam my doors and you can’t be in the car without me,” Sampson starts to list his rules. This is going to be a horrible trip.


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