Nora had not seen her grandmother in over a decade. Her parents had moved so far away visits were inconvenient, and were postponed to “next year”, until it was too late.
The conversation with and between the rest of the family was awkward, punctuated by sobs and too-long hugs. She turned her attention to the knicknacks around the room, and the memories the familiar one awoke. A box-frame holding a single feather caught her eye.
The phoenix feather. I remember. It was magic. Now she recognised it for a simple red feather with glued-on glitter.
After some careful negotiation with her father and his sisters, she took it to the funeral, to place it in her grandmother’s coffin.
A year later, and in the second trimester, she stood in a crafts shop, in one hand goose feathers, dyed, in the other a small jar of duo-colour metallic paint, red and gold, contemplating magic in children’s eyes.