Night in Magic Town, by Faith Carino

2014 Magic Town Literary Contest First Place, Ages 9-13

Age 12, Homeschooled, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tony's PizzariaI see them come and go.  People of all ages.  They say, “What pretty sculpture!”  What they don’t know is that we are not just sculptures.  We have lives too.  Michael Garman called it “Magic Town” for a reason.  It’s like he knew we had a story to tell.

carino-2014-1bMy name is Emily, and I am 10 years old.  I live in Brooklyn.  My father owns one of the buildings in the town.  It has three stories.  I live in one of the apartments on the top floor.  On the bottom floor is my father’s pizza parlor.  There are two rooms on the
second floor that he rents out.  Mrs. Uva Zimmer and Mrs. Gail each rent one of the rooms.  Mrs. Uva Zimmer has a piano class.  She is very strict and sometimes mean, but I love her cat, Tiger!  Mrs. Gail has a dance studio.  She is pretty, nice, and an excellent dancer.  She seems to like me very much.

There are two other apartment rooms on the third floor that Daddy rents out.  Mr. Jones lives in one.  He is very lonely, so I visit him often.  He always welcomes me with a smile, and then we talk for a while.  I don’t actually know who lives in the other one.  There are flags on the windows, and I can’t see in.  When I told Daddy, he said, “As long as they pay the rent, it doesn’t matter what they do.”

Most of the time, I am not allowed in the pizza parlor, so I stay up in the apartment.  I usually pull a chair up to the front window and daydream.  My cat, Lily, likes to climb into my lap.  She is sweet, soft and warm.  I look around town to see what is going on.

There is a teenage girl that takes lessons with Mrs. Uva.  She sounds amazing.  I have seen people walking their dogs and running.  There is also a group of boys that hang out in front of the building.  Sometimes they play with a ball, and they are really loud.  Daddy goes out and chases them away.  He says they will scare customers away.  There are always homeless people outside too. carino-2014-2 They sometimes use benches as beds, newspapers as blankets, and old pieces of clothing as pillows.

Across the street is a man with a fruit cart.  He doesn’t get many customers.  Once, when I was little, I got an apple from him.  It was sweet, juicy, and delicious.  There is also a monkey named George.  He is cute and great at entertaining people.  George actually lives with Joe the organ grinder.  Joe plays beautiful music that I can hear from my window, and George dances.  It is so funny to watch.  There is a telephone pole right outside my window.  Steve fixes the telephone pole on my street.  When he is working, I call out to him.  He always smiles at me.  He told me that I remind him of his daughter, Katelyn.  He said it makes him feel like she was close by.

When my dad comes upstairs, after he cleans up the restaurant, he lays down on the couch.  I let him rest for a while before I wake him up.  Then he makes us dinner.  We eat pizza and pasta a lot, because my dad is Italian.  My daily life isn’t very interesting, but on special occasions, it is really fun  one of my favorite occasions is my birthday.

Yesterday was my best birthday so far.  I have always wanted to go to the Crown Theater.  On my tenth birthday, my wish came true.  We watched Casablanca, and I really enjoyed it.  Afterwards, I was allowed to eat in the pizza parlor.  Daddy made my favorite kind of pizza – cheese pizza with little bits of ham on it.  Many people said happy birthday to me.  A few of them gave me presents.  Mrs. Uva gave me a pink ribbon for my hair, and Mrs. Gail gave me a children’s poetry book.  Mr. Jones made me a pretty yarn doll.  She is made of all the colors of the rainbow.  I am going to name her Melissa.  My dad bought me a new dress.  It is a very pretty aqua blue.  Now when I sit at the window, I read my book or play with Melissa.  That is, when I am not daydreaming.

carino-8-dentistI have a dentist appointment this afternoon.  When I was little, I was afraid of the dentist.  Then I realized that Mr. Daniel and his assistant, Mary, are very nice.  Mr. Daniel told me my teeth were healthy, and to keep taking care of them.  Since then, I have lost eight teeth.  When my appointment is over, I get a rubber ball.  I already have six of them.  The colors are pink, purple, orange, green, yellow, and blue.  I am going to get a red one today.  I am no longer afraid of the dentist.

My life passes on.  Every day I watch people go by.  At night, everyone in Magic town awakens and we live our lives.  They still come by, day after day.  Children and adults look around the town, but what they see is only half of it.  They don’t know what happens when there is no one around.  The doors lock, and then our stories are told.  Look around you.  If you look closely, you will find that there is a bit of magic everywhere.

Faith Carino and Michael Garman

Faith Carino and Michael Garman at the Magic Town Literary Contest Awards Ceremony