It was a clumsy package, loosely woven violent yellow burlap tied with turquoise raffia. An entry in my student's annual 'natural wrap' contest, it was likely to win on color alone. Inside the uncouth wrapping was an elegant hand, cast in black wax from a living model, my dear Brother Gazelle. Playful, dramatic, and talented, he cteated art thar was a Coven conversation piece in several of our homes.
This Yule would be no different from others we had shared with him, Or so I thought. Whatever Gazelle had created for me would be impractical, colorful, and prodoundly weird. I murmured thanks, and untied the raffia bows.. Inside was a small. delicate b;ack wax castinf of Gazelle's own left hand. Silber wax marked hte lines in the palm. Nestled in the hollow of the hand was a silver egg. Curious, I pichked upt he egg. It was hollow, shell blown out before the surface was covered by hundreds of bits of silver leaf.
"It's a wish," He said, leaning over mt shoulder to warch my expression. "You break the shell to release the Magic.. But you can only use it when you are really really in need.."
"What?" Real need? You mean the Pusquawk fur coat and the purple Bentley are right out?"
"Real need." He repeated solemnly. Please, Mare, don/t kid. Use if if nothing else works and you need help now"
Something in his eyes made me promise, suddenly solemn too. I wold not break the eggshell unless there was no ther resort to try.
I kept the egg through the birth of two children, and the deaths of many dreams. I held onto it through love and hate, and departures in the dead of night. Kept it on my deak at a dozen painfully insignificant jobs and in spite of all sorts of inclement weather. Somewhwere, I lost track of it, in one of my many moves, and lost Gazelle too, to AIDS when I could least afford to lose a friend.
The egg was still unbroken when I lost it, and the thought of that tiny ovoid shining somewhere, whole and still unbroken, makes me glad, still has the power to make me smile. Gazelle has given me something precious with his fragile piece of art. I have never yet been in 'Real Need' and, with the egg forever unbroken now, I never will be.