Abbie, against her mother’s wishes, had insisted upon brightening her room. From the moment she had understood the difference between light and dark, she had yearned for the ability to speak what she desired: To paint her room a girlish pink. Her mother reacted churlishly to this, just as Abbie had anticipated. Her mother had offered, instead, to hang some dried roses from the child’s bedposts, had offered to buy some ribbon and tulle to make a canopy. No, said Abbie. She would still be able to see the black walls and besides she didn’t want dead flowers. Abbie’s mother Brenda had to hand it to the girl, her daughter had moxy. The child had shown no interest in her seances, in the dead she had managed to raise and who were, at this moment, parading around the house, chilling the air. She had no interest in changing animals into other things or in changing problem children into animals or in animating her favorite toys. She had always wanted a fire in the grate but not by means of a spell. When she was five, Abbie insisted Brenda show her how to make fires the regular way, with dry wood, kindling, and a match.
First appeared in kaffe in katmandu (How I miss the days at the kaffe!)