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The Fabled Shaman by Miguel Guerreiro Lourenço
October 29, 2018
October 31, 2018

Ester Bathmeyer

43 Elm St., Cosmos, Minnesota 56228


Mirtha Zarins, High Priestess and Dean of Admissions

Wallingford Necromancy University

Address Undisclosed (at this time)


Dear High Priestess Mirtha,

Once upon a time, an American warlock fell for a witch in Latvia. I know you must be thinking, whooped-de-do. Latvian witches are a dime a dozen. You’re a Latvian witch, after all. And, you probably guessed that I’m their offspring.

But here’s the crux, my mother died giving birth to me at the end of WWII. My father, an American soldier rescued by my mother’s coven when he was shot down west of Riga, took me back to Minnesota after the war. The neighborly and puritanical environment didn’t bode well for practicing our gifts. So, I missed out on formal craft education. Instead, my warlock father homeschooled me in the conjuring arts, and animal husbandry.

Yup, recipe for a socially awkward kid. Parenting. I didn’t bother having kids, myself.

Eventually I went off to get my PhD in biochemistry and used my formidable gris-gris, as they call it in the Southern States, to develop Ibuprofen. You’re welcome! When attempting to teach an obnoxious coworker a lesson in what it would be like if he actually did have a permanent erection, I inadvertently developed Viagra. At that point I opted for early retirement.

I hid my witchery for a while. That just made me even more anxious around people.  Anxiety tends to catapult me into disclosing my honest assessment of mortals. In turn, I’ve been referred to as rude or crass.

But thanks to the internet/witchnet, I reeducated myself in sorcery fundamentals. That is why I am writing to you today.

Attached is my application to attend Wallingford Necromancy University in Hampshire, England. I hope being seventy-plus years young won’t be a factor. I have kept up on technology. My favorite apps are the Invocation Thesaurus and, of course, Mortal Minder.

I certainly won’t pretend to be some sort of fanny pack carrying hip witch. I just want to be afforded the same respect as any other student with a PhD and life experience, who occasionally needs help up the stairs.  Since I have also worked on ‘refining my social graces,’ I won’t lament the weaknesses of Wallingford’s senior discrimination policy.

My goal is to complete a BA in Sorcery Relations and then go onto an MA in Cross Mortal Communications. It’s time we Casters come out of the closet.

My attached application includes a vanishing spell. Yes, that was me! Upon acceptance, I will bring Wallingford U. back into the known universe before the semester begins. Let’s see a twenty-something do that!



Dr. Ester Bathmeyer


Shelli Margolin-Mayer is an emerging fiction writer. After years of writing starchy government documents, she is thrilled to relax her shoulders and immerse herself in fiction. While the first draft of her second novel marinates, she is writing short stories.