When Stories Tease

Short stories by their very nature often leave a lot to the reader's imagination. Sometimes, however, they set up premises that practically beg to be continued in additional tales. Such is the case with "Wizard," a fine little nugget by writer Michaele Jordan in the new July/August 2012 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

It's a vivid story about a teenage girl who is training to be a violinist and a mysterious man with whom she becomes infatuated. There's a definite Doctor Who feel to the adventure, both with the man's eccentricity and with the adventure as the girl, Rachel, becomes the nameless man's companion, living with him in a "doorless" place that seems separate from the conventions of space and time.

"Wizard" is satisfying in and of itself, but it drops hint after hint of a broader story.  Who exactly is the strange man who captivates Rachel and, despite his efforts to shun her fascination with him, casts a spell on her that makes her leave the world she knew behind with barely a moment's hesitation? What is that steampunk-like notebook computer that he uses? Who are those thugs that threaten Rachel in future Paris? What's up with the talking cat? Most importantly, what happens next?

Sometimes, authors of speculative fiction enjoy raising questions that have no answers. In this case, it seems as if Jordan knows where she is going. Let's hope that this is only the first chapter of many more adventures to come with these intriguing characters in this fascinating world she's created.