Chapter no 101 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Packing


Mom helped me pack the night before the big trip. We put all the clothes I was taking on my bed, and she folded everything neatly and put it inside the bag while I watched. It was a plain blue rolling duffel, by the way: no logos or artwork.

“What if I can’t sleep at night?” I asked.

“Take a book with you. Then if you can’t sleep, you can pull out your flashlight, and read for a bit until you get sleepy,” she answered.

I nodded. “What if I have a nightmare?”

“Your teachers will be there, sweetie,” she said. “And Jack. And your friends.”

“I can bring Baboo,” I said. That was my favorite stuffed animal when I was little. A small black bear with a soft black nose.

“You don’t really sleep with him anymore, do you?” said Mom.

“No, but I keep him in my closet in case I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep,” I said. “I could hide him in my bag. No one would know.”

“Then let’s do that.” Mom nodded, getting Baboo from inside my closet.

“I wish they allowed cell phones,” I said.

“I know, me too!” she said. “Though I know you’re going to have a great time, Auggie. You sure you want me to pack Baboo?”

“Yeah, but way down where no one can see him,” I said.

She stuck Baboo deep inside the bag and then stuffed the last of my T-shirts on top of him. “So many clothes for just two days!”

“Three days and two nights,” I corrected her.

“Yep.” She nodded, smiling. “Three days and two nights.” She zipped up the duffel bag and picked it up. “Not too heavy. Try it.”

I picked up the bag. “Fine.” I shrugged.

She sat on the bed. “Hey, what happened to your Empire Strikes Back poster?”

“Oh, I took that down ages ago,” I answered.

She shook her head. “Huh, I didn’t notice that before.”

“I’m trying to, you know, change my image a bit,” I explained. “Okay.” She smiled, nodding like she understood. “Anyway, honey,

you have to promise me you won’t forget to put on the bug spray, okay? On the legs, especially when you’re hiking through the woods. It’s right here in the front compartment.”


“And put on your sunscreen,” she said. “You do not want to get a sunburn. And don’t, I repeat, do not forget to take your hearing aids off if you go swimming.”

“Would I get electrocuted?”

“No, but you’d be in real hot water with Daddy because those things cost a fortune!” she laughed. “I put the rain poncho in the front compartment, too. Same thing goes if it rains, Auggie, okay? Make sure you cover the hearing aids with the hood.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” I said, saluting. She smiled and pulled me over.

“I can’t believe how much you’ve grown up this year, Auggie,” she said softly, putting her hands on the sides of my face.

“Do I look taller?” “Definitely.” She nodded.

“I’m still the shortest one in my grade.”

“I’m not really even talking about your height,” she said. “Suppose I hate it there?”

“You’re going to have a great time, Auggie.”

I nodded. She got up and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead. “Okay, so I say we get to bed now.”

“It’s only nine o’clock, Mom!”

“Your bus leaves at six a.m. tomorrow. You don’t want to be late.

Come on. Chop chop. Your teeth are brushed?”

I nodded and climbed into bed. She started to lie down next to me. “You don’t need to put me to bed tonight, Mom,” I said. “I’ll read

on my own till I get sleepy.”

“Really?” She nodded, impressed. She squeezed my hand and gave it a kiss. “Okay then, goodnight, love. Have sweet dreams.”

“You too.”

She turned on the little reading light beside the bed.

“I’ll write you letters,” I said as she was leaving. “Even though I’ll probably be home before you guys even get them.”

“Then we can read them together,” she said, and threw me a kiss. When she left my room, I took my copy of The Lion, the Witch and

the Wardrobe off the night table and started reading until I fell asleep.

… though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation.

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