It’s firefly season. The village children run through the woods clutching mason jars and butterfly nets.
Among the exposed roots of an ancient oak, a dirty-faced girl called Carys regards a glowing jar. Inside, a pixie pounds her pinprick fists and fogs the glass with silent shouts. Carys’ eyes fill when she sees that the sprite shares the same heart-shaped face and upturned nose as her mother.
Watching the figure, memories twist her gut: forgotten birthdays, bent spoons, evictions, cold hands, sirens…then nothing.
Biting her lip, she unscrews the lid. With a twist of her thumb, Carys crushes the pixie.