Small Magic

Lucy didn’t have big magic. She wasn’t the chosen one. There were no prophecies foretelling her great deeds. She wasn’t ever going to save the world. 

Instead, Lucy had small magic, a slight tickle at the back of her mind that she’d reach out to and tell what she wanted. It was only little things. She could keep her tea warm, her silverware clean, and her matching socks together.  

Her specialty was houseplants. Lucy had a vast collection of flora that she stayed in constant connection with. Stay alive, she’d tell them. Grow. Bloom. And they did, growing bigger, living longer, and being more vibrant than any houseplant had a right to be. 

So, when a virus swept across the globe, Lucy’s small magic couldn’t stop it, and she floundered with the rest of the world. She stayed home, learned to detest video chats, and poured her anxiety into managing the little things, turning her apartment into a microcosm of control amidst chaos.  

Three months in, when Lucy thought it couldn’t get any worse, the phone rang.  

Hospital. Very sick. No visitors. Mom

For the first time in thirty years, Lucy drank cold tea and wished she had big magic. She wished she were special, a savior, powerful. She wished she could be connected to people like she was to everything else. 

That night, Lucy went to bed without tending her plants. She could feel them, whispering at the edges of her consciousness, a meeting of two life forces. She relented and poured a little bit of herself into them before going to sleep and dreaming of small magic. 

In the morning, Lucy knew what she had to do. She picked the orchid. It was her oldest plant with the strongest connection. She wrote out a card, tied it to the stem, and called the hospital.  

Two hours later, Lucy sat in her car in the hospital parking lot and stared at the fourth-floor window she was told was her mother’s room. She held her phone up, zoomed in with the camera, and found the spot of purple that was the orchid. Lucy closed her eyes, felt for it in her mind, and began to speak. 

Energy. Life. Transfer. Her. Please

Lucy gasped when the connection abruptly snapped, and she scrambled for her phone to check the orchid. It was brown now, wilted.  

Lucy went home and waited for a call from the hospital. None came. 

The next day, she sent her succulents. And the day after that her primrose. And after that her African violets, and her amaryllis, and her peace lily. She spent her days in the hospital parking lot, begging and pleading and watching vibrant petals turn brown. 

And one day, when the world was even worse and the houseplants were almost all gone, the phone rang. 

Hospital. Much improved. Discharged. Home

Lucy didn’t have big magic, and she couldn’t save the world. But she had small magic, and it was enough. 

Jenna Glover

Jenna Glover is an aspiring novelist and native Californian. She received her B.A. in English, Creative Writing from San Jose State University and puts it into practice daily as she juggles short stories, novels, and interactive narratives. Her work has appeared in multiple cycles of F(r)iction’s Dually Noted contests and in the Santa Clara Review. You can read her stories and learn more about her at or follow her on Twitter @jennaglov.

Hailey Renee

Hailey Renee Brown is a professional illustrator born and raised in mid Michigan. A former field biologist, she moved across country from Michigan to New Jersey, also moving from science to commercial art. A professionally trained artist, she attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, NJ. She was selected the recipient of the 2017 Norman Maurer Memorial Award as well as the 2019 Joe Kubert Jumpstart Project.