They say magic is dead in our world. Flattened beneath the tires of metal cars, silenced by a blaring laugh track played late into the night before a slumped figure in a recliner. Burned to ash beneath the bright light of technology.
The clever old ones wrapped themselves with ordinariness and sewed their blessings into baby quilts made from scraps dug out from the bottoms of forgotten discount rag bins. They kneaded curses into the twisted creases of sourdough bread and sold handmade dolls with too-bright eyes from shabby stalls at farmer’s markets. Use this scented soap to capture the attention of your beloved. Drink this potion and watch the years melt away from the crow’s feet at your eyes.
It adapted. It survived.
5-day juice cleanses and black candles lit beneath the blind eye of the new moon. A whispered breath of panic across the dash of a tired Chevrolet, fevered breath stirring the engine to turn over one more day.
Magic isn’t kind. It isn’t cruel.
Far beneath the distant roar of airplanes, laughing children chant ancient rhymes, old cookbooks spill out forgotten recipes for rhubarb cobbler, and bright cell phone screens whisper secrets about the growing season of carrots. A young man buys a sewing machine. An old woman blows the dust from a ukulele.
A chill wind blows past a window and a jagged shadow dances across the curtains. An unnecessary light is left on in a sensible beige bedroom. Someone walks just a little faster and doesn’t quite turn their head to look into the cemetery they pass on their way to work every day.
Close your eyes and you can see the magic pressing against the seams of this world, a swirl of invisible nothings dancing against a patchwork of grey, moving too fast to see and too slow to be only your imagination.
Magic isn’t dead. It can’t be pushed aside by video games and central air. It can’t be killed by human hands or crushed beneath the weight of human gods.