Chapter 3:

3. magical girl transformations violate the laws of thermodynamics

the color of shattered dreams

Thirty-one years ago, this guy came up with a machine that could turn girls magical. Depending on who you asked, he was either an incomprehended genius, a cautionary tale about prolonged isolation, a pathetic denegerate, or all three. He was angry with his sister at the time, so he dumped her into the machine to test it. She died. He went to jail because that's what happens when you commit atrocities unless you're a politician.

Months later, a smarter individual fixed the machine, used herself as a test subject, survived, and became the world's first magical girl. It didn't take long for those in power to analyze, deconstruct, and replicate the device in an attempt to mass-produce more of them. The world's first magical girl then also died.

Ish. She became a one-woman army against the big boys of the world lest their evil, apocalyptic plan succeed, using every last shred of her power to get rid of what could've been a useful asset, were humanity not led by the least evolved. 

Once done, she went to live to the moon. That's why I'm saying she died. She might be magical and all, but there's nothing to do over there. Sure, she can spawn food and toilet paper out of thin air (I think), but apparently moondust is razor sharp due to the lack of erosion, to taking a shit in the open seems like a very painful way to die. I've thought about the logistics a lot. About what it'd be like to move there. To have nothing to do ever again, no one to disappoint. 

Of course, because I wasn't a girl, let alone magical, this was wishful thinking at best. A few hours ago, as I went to sleep early to forget I existed for a while, moonlight filtered through the window of my room, scrambling my thoughts, again and again and again and again until I wrote that note out of petty rage and walked all the way to the train station to run away from the moon. 

To end up at the office of the Lunar Academy For Magical Girls is the kind of irony I would've appreciated had I continued down the path of a starving artist. Right now, it's more annoying than anything else. I'm still in the body of a woman. There's a lot of them surrounding me (women). From what I can tell, I'm the only one in the room who misses their dick. 

The director (I think) rests her chin on her fingers, which are entwined and gloved. I can see her eyes through her glasses, though. "You're telling me," she tells Sato, who had been fidgeting all this while, "That you chose a twenty-something year old man as your magical girl apprentice, who also happened to be a client? And he was somehow able to cast advanced summoning spells five minutes after awakening?"

Sato nodded. 

The director looks like everyone else here, which is to say, thirty years younger than she probably is. She sounds fifteen, too. It's the kind of thing I don't feel like thinking too much about lest I cast an advanced death spell upon myself. It was already bad enough to get tied up and forcefully teleported here after a bunch of other magical girls showed up and Sato told them what happened and I told them I wanted to go home whilst titless and they said no. 

I'm still tied up, by the way, surrounded by Satou, two other pink magical girls, and the blue one. (The ropes have glittering sound effects and are pink.) The director regards me with her kawaii moe fake ass eyes, then squints. "And how are you feeling?" She asks me. 

"Been better," I reply. 

"Any nausea? Vomiting? Diarrhea?"

Hello? "No."

"Light-headedness? Headaches? Thoughts about hurting yourself or others?"

Is this a kidnapping or medical visit? To everything she lists out, I say no, then, "So can I go back or not? Both to my real body and my house." If this keeps up, I'll try threatening to give them a one-star review. I'd rather not, though. Conflict is often unnecessary. 

The magical girls, sans Sato, exchange glances. One of them laughs. Great! All I needed to know. Redundantly, the director proclaims, "Once a magical girl, always a magical girl. However—"

"So I'm stuck like this?"

She clears her throat, closing her eyes. I guess she's not used to getting interrupted. I'm not used to having tits and getting teleported across space, either, but sometimes life is quirky that way. "No. You're not."

"Oh. Good—"

"But you have, even under coercion, agreed to be Sato Shio's apprentice. No matter what you do, you will forever be a magical girl. Your physical appearance doesn't matter. Thus, in order to ensure your safety and that of does around you, you'll have to agree to an apprentice contract for this academy."

She interrupted me out of petty revenge, so I let her yap to show who the bigger person is. It seems to be for naught, however. The two pink magical girls talk. Their mouths move and they respond to each other's words, but nothing comes out of them—not to me, anyway, or Sato, who pretends as though she hasn't noticed. Anyway, by this point, I'm beginning to feel sleepy, which also means irritated, which also means casually suicidal. This could be a good excuse, honestly. "Uh... I don't think I can pay the tuition."

The pink magical girls burst out giggling. The blue one tells them to cut it out. They try, and they fail, and she sighs. Sato shuts her eyes close. "Don't you worry about that," says the director. "As you finish jobs for us, you'll pay it back. Besides, Sato will pay for half of it."

This is a shark loan. "And once I pay back?" More like if.

"Once you pay it back, and once you complete your training, you'll be able to work as a freelance magical girl. Or you can stay with us, of course."

"Sounds great."

"Great!" The director uncurls, stands up, then stretches. I'm the tallest one in the room by far. I guess my height didn't change, or my hair; it's still shoulder-length, brown, and messy. "While I ready the contract, how about you girls take her to the aptitude test room? Whoops, I means him. My bad."

"When will I go back to normal?" I ask.

"Soon, soon." The director spins on her heels, towards the stack of papers behind her desk. They're also glittering. 

The blue magical girl says, thusly: "Let's get moving. Sato, hurry up. You'll unfortunately have to help."

I walk like an obedient little hostage, with the pink magical girls as wardens. The corridor outside the office is made of glass. The rest of the academy lies ahead, surrounded by silver, razor-sharp dust, and the endless black ocean of space. There's another academy nearby, but when I try to look at it, one of the pink girls forces my chin away from that direction.

It'd be as good a time as any to ask about the first magical girl. Every now and then, under her gaze, a magical girl awakens. Her corpse, to be specific. It's always during the night, and newly-awakened magical girls almost invariably join guilds. To be a lone wolf means to be assaulted into submission. To the big boys, stray power is dangerous. 

Thus, surrounded by other guilds, other academies, other veiled research facilities, the five of us walk until we reach an ominous-looking stage. Why ominous? Because it's not sparkling.

Mario Nakano 64
Steward McOy
MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon