Stella was seven when she discovered she could do magic. She wondered if the sudden ability to do magic had to do with being seven years old on the seventh day of the month and living on the 7th floor of the apartment building, but then she found she could do magic on the roof as well as the sixth floor and the basement, so maybe it was just being seven, and not where she lived.
She was too young to know about the quantum quality of the middle of things, and how seven always opens like a door. But she sensed it.
At first Stella’s magic was the kind of thing you’d expect from a child. She would make French toast appear on her plate, decorated with a face of whipped cream and bananas with chocolate chip eyebrows. On long afternoons alone, she brought jewel-colored birds to the window. She made toys appear, and her mom’s beer bottles disappear. When her mother whipped her, she made the rolled up newspaper disappear.
It became a game, to see how close her mother could get to hitting her before Stella made the weapon – a shoe, a fly swatter, a spatula – disappear. This went on for quite a long time. It made her mother annoyed, but the ever-present blear of beer kept her from understanding what was happening. This made Stella angry so she turned the toilet into a giant mouth that sucked her mother into its rust-stained throat.
Her mother, who had been kneeling before the commode preparing to vomit, gave a muffled scream. There was some splashing and a large chewing sound – Stella heard it from her bedroom. When she was sure the toilet had finished with her mother, Stella left the apartment. She did not check the bathroom, having peed earlier, and being unsure if her abilities had reached the point that she could turn a giant mouth back into a toilet.