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Everyone thought that Mana couldn't do her parents' magic.

Her father conjured up spirits of fire and air to tell him things, which he then told to whoever hired him. The police caught murderers, wives found out about husband's affairs, and long lost families were reunited.

Her mother had a way with plants. She played her flute out in barren fields and brought life to once dead earth. Farmers paid her well, as did rich people who wanted her to do their gardens. She saved her most exquisite works for the garden at home, and laughed as Mana played though the flowers.

Mana couldn't conjure spirits: she couldn't speak the words.
Mana couldn't music magic into being: she couldn't hear the notes.

She was five when they found out.

She didn't hear her mother choke back sobs, or the disappointment in her father's voice. She only saw their smiles and felt their strong hugs. She didn't know what magic was, and didn't know she was missing it.

Her first day at the deaf school came, and a boy in her class showed her a trick.

Later that day, her parents came into the kitchen and found her standing beside her gift.

The kitchen table had come to life. Branches stuck out of dead wood at odd angles, covered in leaves and buds.

"How did you do this?" said her mother.

Her father inspected the chair, awestruck.

Mana smiled and turned to the chair. She moved her hands. Fingers flew through the air. At the end of it, she pointed at the chair and clapped.

All the buds burst into bloom.

She couldn't hear her parents' laughter, but she felt their hugs.


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