Excerpt: How I Met Your Father

In the short story Family Feud in Episode 14, Wanda explains to Nancy how she met her father.

“But Dad helped with the shop. He helped me with arcane homework. He attended Guild events. What did he do that earned Nanna’s ire?”

“It’s what he didn’t do. He didn’t hold his tongue. He would never challenge anything directly in front of you kids. But after the two of you went to school or would go to bed…he would make his opinions known. He never supported lying to you about magic, but he was very adamant that the Colleges were too quick to teach magic to children before they were emotionally capable of understanding the consequences. He likened it to giving a toddler an assault rifle and then being surprised when someone got shot. He felt the obsession with rank and magical power was just as dangerous as being obsessed with money and mundane power. Hmm, he hated the word ‘mundane,’ too. Said it implied witches were superior.”

“And yet he married a Werlock woman anyway.”

“I never told you how your father and I met, did I?”

“You met in college at a homecoming game.”

“Well, that is when we met. But I never told you the how.”

“So it wasn’t just an ‘I saw this stud across a crowded stadium’?”[

Not exactly. Your father had a roommate in college, Ted Volker. They had been friends since sixth grade. Like brothers. Senior year of high school, Ted’s father had died from a heart attack. He didn’t take it well and fell into a depression. Eventually got hooked on drugs. Mark managed to get him cleaned up before it was too late to save him, or so he thought. But during that time, Ted had started to dabble in magic. Got his hands on an actual grimoire some mundane who didn’t know what they had sold at a flea market.”

“By Hecate, that was never going to end well.”

“No. Ted actually managed to summon an imp, but he lacked the will to control it. The imp, however, strung Ted along and would pretend to follow his commands. Ted got emboldened. Had the imp steal money for him, test answers, all sorts of nonsense. Eventually decided what he really wanted was the quarterback’s girlfriend, who was the head cheerleader. I noticed the thing sneaking around and put a stop to it quick enough, but not before it fled back to Ted’s dorm room. So I tracked it down to exorcise the little pest, but by then it had convinced Ted to let it ‘temporarily’ take control of his body to fight me off.”

I just shake my head. “Stupid and greedy is never a good combination.”

“I get to the dorm room and instead of confronting an imp, I’ve got a full-blown possession on my hands. And while I’m dealing with that, your father comes walking into the room, me straddled over Ted trying to perform an invocation while keeping him pinned down. You can imagine what it looked like.”

“I’m trying hard not to.”

“Nancy Clarice!”

“What?”

“Can I finish my story?”

“I wasn’t interrupting you!”

“Anyway, so your father pulls me off of Ted, thinking I’m the crazy one. But then he sees Ted’s eyes have gone completely black and he smells of sulfur. The imp starts trying to convince your father to help him dispose of me, promises power, money, blah blah blah.”

“What did Dad do?”

“He punched him square in the jaw and said ‘Get the Hell out of Ted!’ then stepped aside and let me finish my business.”

“Good for him!”

“I finally got the imp exorcised and managed to stabilize Ted. But now I’ve got this witness to the entire thing, but instead of freaking out about what just happened, he is yelling at Ted for being an idiot.”

“That definitely sounds like Dad.”

“Now here I am, listening to him go on at Ted and going through my head how to handle this situation when he finally turns to me and asks if the creature is gone for good. I tell him it is and that Ted will be fine. The possession was too short to cause any long-term damage, but he’ll need to rest for a while. Then he asks me if I want to go get pizza. Just like that.” 

“What did you do?”

I said yes.” Mom chuckles. “Your father was quite handsome, you know.”


Nancy’s Immediate Family:

Mark Townsend: Nancy’s father was a “mundane,” which meant that Nancy’s brother would never be a witch. Despite his strong feelings about the magical community, he supported Nancy’s arcane studies and helped run the shop. His marriage to Wanda, an open practicing pagan, caused his own family to disown him. In response, he legally changed his name to Werlock the year Nancy was born.

He died at the age of 46 from a heart attack while both children were still in in their teens. Nancy and Scott have no relationship with their paternal grandparents.

Scott Werlock: Nancy’s younger brother is a branch manager for a credit union. Like his father, he is a “mundane.” And like his father, he ended up marrying a witch. After his father’s death, he often felt isolated from his mother and sister because of his lack of magic, and he is uncomfortable with demonstrations of magic in general.

Laurie Werlock: Scott’s wife comes from a family of Transmuters, but she has chosen not to continue her magical training. She operates a day spa where she does employ some of her fleshcrafting talents under the guise of “Reiki” or massage therapy. However, both she and Scott have made a decision to keep their children away from magic as much as possible.

Megan Werlock: Scott and Laurie’s daughter. Megan is aware of magic and has seen her grandparents and mother cast spells, but has not yet shown an interest in learning magic herself…and her parents hope to keep it that way.

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