Yes, this tableau really is in someone’s yard, in Philadelphia. I nearly went to the door to ask why, but thought better of it.

“Mary, wait!” Patch grabbed my arm, which interrupted the spell I’d spent the past five minutes focused on.

“It’s now or never, Patch.” I gently removed the offending digits, then spread my arms out wide once more. My robes cascaded over my arms in a satisfying way. I never felt more regal, more…feminine, than when I was casting.

“You don’t get it. If you go through with this, I’m a goner! Dead meat. Nothing but a pile of scrap!”

“Oh for heaven’s sake, you’re nothing of the sort.” Honestly, he could be so exasperating. He always exaggerated. Like the time he swore we were nothing but lawn decorations. How wrong he was! Obviously we were all more than ornamentation.

“Just look at Charlie over there! Look what you did to him.”

I glanced over my shoulder at Charlie. “He’s just taking a nap.”

“That’s no nap. He’s stone cold!” Patch put his hand on my arm again. I hate that. I can’t cast when someone is touching me. I tried to pull away but my feet were anchored to the ground – a side effect of the previous spell.

“He’s resting, Patch, nothing more. Now for the love of the Lord, let me do my work. This place needs my intervention.”

“This place needs to be condemned.” Patch let my arm go, but I could tell he was pouting.

“There is no place so far gone it can’t be saved with a little magic.” I spread my arms once more, and began the spell again. I felt it wrap around us, a binding of faith and magic and all things joyful. It was a wondrous moment, one of my best. A roar assaulted my ears, and the ground shook.

It began to rain. Hard.

“I’ve done it!” I would have jumped up and down with glee, but my feet remained anchored to the ground. “Did I tell you I’d do it! I’ve saved this place!”

It took awhile for me to notice that Patch hadn’t responded. I thought he must be pouting over my success. I turned, and saw only a pile of straw where Patch had once stood. Water puddled around the tattered remains of his shirt. I guess he was right, he was a goner. He should have had more faith. Without faith, my spells tended to have unexpected consequences.

“Charlie, I’m glad to see you truly believe.” I squinted at Charlie, so still by the tree, the weight of the cross he carried a burden even in rest.

“I believe you’re an idiot. They turned the sprinklers on, you fruitcake.” Charlie rolled on his side; the cross fell to the ground beside him.

I blinked. Sprinklers.

“I have the power to turn on sprinklers!” I shouted to the heavens. What wondrous, joyous news!