Posted on: February 13th, 2010 The Jacob Miracle

By Katherine Sparrow

Everybody underestimated Jacob Apple. He’d launched spells from the chaos camp for the last three years, and though he was by far the strongest witch in the world, so what?

He’d made Germany turn pink, and mice talked now. Every year on April tenth people in Chicago danced all day long. His spells had strength, but no substance. Everyone said Jacob didn’t know his why. Without a why, a witch is just a prankster.

But what if we’d known that the previous year Jacob had traveled to Senegal and met up with animists who drove off his bad spirits and bathed him in ram’s blood? What if we’d known that he’d gone under the hill in Leeds, drank the wine, and lived a thousand years in one night? And what if we’d heard that he had fallen in love with the sly Sally Sugar, but she didn’t love him back? Well, even if we knew all that, no one cared that much about Jacob. Hard to imagine, I know.

He arrived at chaos camp and everyone thought he was the same punk kid as last year, though he entered the misty Norwegian field, full of fault lines and meridians, wearing mirror cloth and laughing hysterically.

He set up an army tent in the middle of the thousands of witches who’d come to try their spells. No one was allowed in, except for his minions who carried plates piled high with mutton and lingonberries. Before long, strange screams came from that tent, punctuated by an unsettling silence.

When his beloved Sally Sugar tried her spell, the mere sound of her voice made his screams rise and pierce the atmosphere. He distracted her, she faltered, and instead of curing asthma, a cloud of aerosolized salmonella rose up from her chicken sandwich and took to the sky. It’s still roaming today, somewhere over Russia.

And Jacob’s screaming only grew worse. Witches moved their tents away, until Jacob’s camp sat in the middle of a bare circle, two hundred yards wide.

Then, on the morning of June 17th, Jacob emerged from his tent. He wore soiled mirror cloth, and green sunglasses that looked cut off the bottom of a couple of wine bottles. He walked around his tent and raised his hands. He began to mumble an exotic love spell, full of shimmied hips and exclamation marks.

He paused and spoke in a whispered yell that wouldn’t disrupt his spell. “No more heartache. Today, I free love, and all of us shall love deeply and madly, without borders!” He looked toward Sally Sugar, and then resumed his muttering and wild-man dancing.

Twenty kids vomited.

Thirty swooned.

Sally Sugar yelled, “This is not as impressive as curing asthma!”

Jacob howled and grabbed his flute. He honked out the last of his spell, and a wind blew through chaos camp — hot and cold, bothersome and comforting. Kids fell toward each other, eyes bright with adoration and lust.

“This doesn’t make the world any better,” Sally yelled. Her heart was made of hate and salmonella, so the love had no room to wiggle in. She tramped across the empty grass toward Jacob. His minions saw her coming and wanted to thwart her, but grew distracted by the groping of their fellow minions.

And so, when Sally stood twenty feet away and aimed her skipping rock, nothing stopped her from side-arming it at Jacob’s head. It hit his cheek, and broke his glasses, and struck his temple, and shifted his magic, knocking it up and away. As it flew away from him he made a mistake. He reached for it and made the Jacob Mistake.

The Jacob Miracle. Which I love, which we all love, despite its problems.

All states fell. All industry stopped. World birth rates approached zero, except for the lucky few of his inner cabal, because we all fell in love with Jacob Apple on that day. We all want him and adore him, and can’t seem to focus on anything else.

For example, I had meant to make a list of things I must do to survive, because I get confused as I walk along the long march that we are all on, as we search for Jacob. But instead, I wrote a Jacob story. Everything is a Jacob story now, and nothing else matters.

Filed under: bad-ass, stories

6 Responses to “The Jacob Miracle”

  1. Sandra Odell Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Very nicely done!

  2. Sandra Odell Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Very nicely done!

  3. Peter Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    What a tight, interesting story. Thanks

  4. Peter Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    What a tight, interesting story. Thanks

  5. James A. Brown Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Fun story! Thanks for posting it.

  6. James A. Brown Says:
    February 14th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Fun story! Thanks for posting it.

  7. Cate Gardner Says:
    February 15th, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Well that was lots of fun to brighten up a dull Monday. :D

  8. Cate Gardner Says:
    February 15th, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Well that was lots of fun to brighten up a dull Monday. :D

  9. Cat Rambo Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    What a fun story! And told with your usual grace. :)

  10. Cat Rambo Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    What a fun story! And told with your usual grace. :)

  11. Samuel Lieblich Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    A Eureka moment wrapped in frivolous imagery. Carroll would have been proud. Bravo.

  12. Samuel Lieblich Says:
    February 18th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    A Eureka moment wrapped in frivolous imagery. Carroll would have been proud. Bravo.