Elizabeth: Magic Pencils
I am bringing a group of students on a magical adventure. They don't know much about magic, so I am trying to explain some of the things they might see and hear and how they should react. We will be visiting a magical home that is in a place where time is frozen. In hindsight, it's similar to a Miss Peregrine situation in some ways. Unlike Miss Peregrine's repeating loop, time in this home just doesn't pass. It's like you're in a void. There is a reason the owner of this home keeps it running in this fashion, but for someone who isn't used to it, it feels strange and unsettling. I had been in the home myself before. It was, for your brain, the way being in a sound proof room is for your ears.
The wizard I train under instructs me to find two pencils that he will imbue with magical powers to serve as our wands for this trip. They need to be wooden pencils, and I need to make them "as sharp as porcupine quills." I find two colored pencils, one silver and one gold that seem really appropriate, and start to sharpen the first one. The lead keeps breaking and I end up with a stubby little pencil. I think to myself that it might be nice to have a stubby wand. I don't have pockets, and I might be able to tuck it into the waistband of my pants. I try sharpening the second one and the same thing happens. I try to find two more pencils, but the only ones I can find are a chewed up wooden pencil that is larger than normal in thickness, and a pencil with goofy designs all over it. They both sharpen up, but I'm embarrassed that our wands look so silly.
I wake up before we go on our magical trip.