Dancers with Red Shoes
By Melissa Yuan-Innes
Published by Olo Books
Copyright 2011 by Melissa Yuan-Innes
Art copyright D. Yashkin 2007 (foreground) & Ljilja Romanović 2012 (background)
As an apprentice in the Wizard’s Hospital, Leah Chang was used to a certain amount of noise at night. “The night is a fertile time,” the wizard, Noah, had explained early on. “Many spells, from voodoo to demon-summoning to the simple wart-cure are most powerful at certain hours of darkness.”
Leah yawned. No need for demons tonight. Her ex-boyfriend Andrew, a corps member of the Royal Academy of Magical Ballet, had danced beautifully but then kept Leah up past midnight, doing shots and agonizing over his parents disowning him a month ago. They couldn't handle him being a ballet dancer, let alone a magical ballet dancer. Leah had poured iced coffee and sympathy down his throat for hours on a muggy July Montreal night. Now she needed sleep and silence. She placed orange foam earplugs in her ears, which worked as well as her imperfect silence spell, and closed her eyes.