Strange Magic



by C.L. Steele, author

Using a cookie-cutter in the center of the white bread, I raised the cut-out heart to adorn his PB&J. Serving his favorite lunch, I spied as he ate the crustless middle and guzzled a glass of ice cold milk. Several times he slid the remaining triangle sections in parallel horizontal planes across the amethyst plate. He called his moving art, a purple heartbeat.

Ba-Bump, Ba-Bump,” he mused.

I chuckled. He giggled at my amusement. Our eyes danced.

Aligning the triangular pieces, he pulled them a few inches apart. He announced he’d left me a secret message, which I could eat, if and only if, I could figure it out.

“Broken heart?” I guessed.

“No,” he shook his head, curls flying, his face in glee.

“A road through your heart?” I guessed, thinking, yet another place for his cars to expedite.

“No,” he smirked with a snicker and eye-roll.

He flicked a pointed index finger in front of his bare boy chest.

“Last chance,” he said.

“Hmmm,” I murmured. “But I’m hungry,” I teased with a wink.

He crossed his arms and lifted a defiant chin. “Nope, gotta earn it,” he said.

My final guess. “Open heart?”

“I like that one,” he said, “but wrong!” He roared his best Mr. Competitive guffaw, his youth could manage.

My head tilted, curious to know. “What is it?” I asked.

“Think letters,” he clued. “See, the top is an “M” and the bottom’s a “V“; together they say, My Valentine.”

In a flash, he picked up the “V” and with passion gobbled the letter down. With wild abandon, he headed out the door to play calling to me as he crossed the threshold.

“I’ll leave the “M” for you, mom.”

I smiled.

The screen door banged. A streak resembling my boy ran across the verdant lawn and jumped over the sun colored sprinkler. His joy shrieked in my ears, reverberating throughout our home. My cheeks filled with a blissful ache of love captured in the moment.

A momentary flash of the female form mimicking these letters led me to wonder if one day my son might have this same Valentine thought about a cherished woman.

I pinched either side of the crust, accordioning the childhood mushiness between my finger and thumb.  Roasted sweetness met my deep inhale. I raised the inverted “M” with its double-curved, secret gift of love to my lips. No food was ever as satisfying, each bite cherished. Momma’s soul pierced, tears rimmed my eyes. He’d humbled and bound my heart to his once again, by making me his first valentine. The fact Valentine’s Day was six months away, proved this moment, this future memory, beloved beyond measure.

Song Link

Remember you can purchase Chasing Magic through Amazon. It would make a great gift.

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