I posted this on Craigslist a few weeks ago to see who or what might show up. I did not post an address or email, and the map was pointed to a spot that was a half-mile away. I figured that the runes and wheat, which were not visible from the street, would be enough for a genuine magic-user to find our house.

This seems like an odd request, but it’s one of those things you have to do from time-to-time. Test the fabric of reality. It’s like that billion-dollar payout for someone who has a perfect bracket for March Madness. That is clearly a trap for time-travelers. The payout is huge, but the odds are roughly the same as running around with a net in an attempt to catch a meteorite. In reality, time-travelers win the West Virginia lottery and bank the winnings for a century in one of the few extant banks from today that will survive that long.

I covered my bases, none-the-less. The first protection was the aforementioned disambiguation of my address. That would weed out charlatans or magic-users lacking intuition. My family can be so complicated, and a lack of insight could lead to problems. I also specified that I wanted actual magic and not a magic trick. The reality is, I would drop a ten-dollar-bill in your hand if you pulled a rabbit out of a hat on my front porch. That should go without saying.

As for protections, I said the magic had to serve my house. I’m not in the market for monkey-paws or the like. I certainly don’t want a scenario where I am beheaded, and my family finds a million dollars in large denomination bills stuffed in my skull. I think that’s what happened in the original Monkey’s Paw, story. It’s been a long time.

I specifically prohibited the eating of children. As a parent, this was a bottom-line requirement. But like a lot of you, I have a few neighbors in mind should eating humans be a requirement for something really cool. And finally, there was the midnight-to-dawn prohibition. This is a policy of mine for a long time and is motivated by the desire to keep flakes from showing up at random times. That it might deter creatures of darkness is just a bonus.

The payment was specific. Coin, food, well-wishes, and blessings. No souls, no limbs, no sacrifices. I make a homemade mac and cheese that is pretty great. That may get me to go lower on the coin part, I hope.

As of now, I’ve had no takers. I’m a little sad.