Very little can pass for magic.

The Naga fireballs are a phantasmic mystery. The Northern Lights are a beautiful illusion. A perfectly light and risen soufflé  is alchemy. A memory attached to a an object is some kind of conjuring. Much of the universe has yet to be explained, and isn’t that the very definition of magic?

Lolita Brayman describes the life-giving powers of a day’s first coffee in “The Best Part of Waking Up,” while Amy Avgar could not divine the many lives lived around “Granny’s Old Oak Table.” Mystifying details in an eerie scene swirl in Isabelle Phillipe’s “The Death Rehearsal,” and Katie Finlay-Meredith exorcises darkness and depression in “The Vigil,” not by forgetting, but remembering. An apartment dweller finds themselves in the kingdom of a rodent, by way of a consecrated rock in Megan Williams’s “In the Temple of the Rat.”

The “Fountain of Youth” isn’t an age-reversing geyser, but the ocean of wonder that stays with us even in old age. Let these stories be a reminder of the magic in the mundane.