“You hear it this time,” grandma whispered, our foreheads nearly touching. Her frail hands clasped over my own. Small brown spots flecked the nearly translucent skin covering her swollen knuckles.
I answered the same way I had many times before, only this time I was telling the truth, “I do.” Grandma gave me a wink and a knowing look. There was not an ounce of senility in her clear eyes.
“I knew you would hear the music again one day.” Her small frame sank into the plush chair. “I remember the first time you heard it sing.” Her eyes closed as she recounted a story that I knew well.
I was only a young boy when I wrecked my bike. I ran to grandma, tears streaming down my face. She told a fantastic story while cleaning my scraped knee.
“Do you believe in magic?” she asked. I was only seven, of course I believed. She told me of a magical stone. It sang whenever someone nearby was sick or injured.
“If you hold the stone in your hand while it sings, the magic will mend your body, but you have to believe.” She opened a small box on the mantle, and took out a smooth pebble.
I remember the excitement I felt when I heard the song for the first time. The music was soft and lyrical like a warm spring day. I believed!
She placed the stone in my hand. It worked, and I told everyone. That’s when the rumors started. First they said I was pulling a prank. Then they said I was a liar. Soon people were whispering that I was as crazy as my grandmother. That was the beginning of the end of magic for me.
I was brought back to the present by a gentle squeeze of my hand, “I made one mistake in the beginning,” she said. “I was thrilled about the stone, and assumed that everyone else would be too. I was wrong. Those early years were rough. My parents even thought about having me committed.” The pain of the memory was evident in her eyes.
A thought crossed my mind, “Grandma, who is the stone singing for right now?”
“This stone is your inheritance. Use it wisely. It’s not that some people can’t believe, it’s that they won’t believe.” She placed the familiar box in my hands.
“You didn’t answer my question, grandma.”
“I have lived a full life. It’s time for me to pass the stone on.” My heart dropped when I realized that the stone was singing for her. She had no intention of using it.
I left later that evening clutching the box. The music faded when I stepped out the door. The bus stop was only a block away. I had no idea what I was going to do with this rock.
A young woman sat next to me on the bus. I was lost in thought when she spoke, “Cool music box.”
Words came out of my mouth before I even knew what I was saying. “Do you believe in magic?”