art by Cheryl L Owen-Wilson
The Keepsake Box
by Alex Shvartsman
For this spell, only the most powerful magic will do.
The glass tubes full of air magic jingle like wind chimes as she takes them off the shelf, the iridescent gases swirling inside. Next she moves the heavy clay pots filled with earth magic and then wrangles the jug of water magic with both hands. Hidden behind it is the keepsake box.
Spellcasting is no different from chemistry. She can mix elements and emotions, memories and mantras in just the right dose, and watch them react to each other and produce carefully measured miracles. Among many possible ingredients, love is the most powerful magic of all.
She's been storing mementos of their love since the day they met. Items of little meaning, of little value, to anyone but her. Items charged with concentrated magic, squirreled away for a rainy day. Today she has no choice but to use everything.
She dumps the contents of the keepsake box onto the table and begins to chant as she picks up the items one by one, drains them of their power, and weaves the resulting strands of enchantment into her spell.
From the twig of the tree under which she met him, she drains excitement. It's light and full of possibilities, like beats of a fluttering heart.