"Mom, what’s this?” asked the child, her small fingers clasped around a jar.
The mother took it gently from her hands, carefully opening the lid. “Ah this,” she replied, a hint of nostalgia in her voice. “This, my dear, is stardust.”
“Stardust?” The child squinted her eyes and furrowed her brows.
“Yes, stardust. Come sit with me and I will explain.”
The child came closer, nestling herself in the child-sized space between her mother’s crossed legs. Her eyes were fixated on the jar before her. The powdery substance shifted back and forth as her mother’s hand tilted idly.
“What does stardust do?” asked the child.
“It gives us the power to do lots of things,” replied the mother. “Like fly.”
“Yep. One pinch of stardust and you could fly to the moon and back.”
“I guess that’s why it’s called stardust,” mused the child.
The child imagined herself flying through the night sky. The scent of pine trees hung in the air as she soared out of her neighbourhood. She passed a family of birds in flight, their crimson bellies only barely visible in the moonlight. Soon she was above the Earth, glittering stars all around her, engulfing her in their light. She couldn’t see her house from so high up. Behind her, just a short journey no doubt, was the moon.
“What else does it do?”
“It can make you super strong,” said the mother, flexing her small and unimpressive bicep. The child laughed, a soft, musical giggle.
“Could you run around the whole world with stardust?”
“Well you’d certainly feel like you would. Your body would feel stronger than it ever has.”
The child looked at the jar with wide eyes and a wider smile. She imagined herself racing passed the pine trees, unable to stop her swift feet. Soon she came to a beach at the edge of her world. The ground was warm beneath her feet as she left footprints in the sand. With her speed she ran across the ocean itself, all the way to another land.
“Have you ever used the stardust?” asked the child.
The mother smiled patiently. “Once upon a time.”
A moment of silence. The mother sighed. “Yes… But he used it too many times. He flew away.”
“Can I have some?” She pressed her tiny fingers against the smooth glass, the only thing that separated her from the magic dust.
“No.” The mother rose, placing the jar on the counter, just out of the reach of the child.
“Please? Can’t you just sprinkle some on me? Just a little? I just want to fly for a little bit.” The child looked up, her eyes filled with desperate pleas.
“You don’t sprinkle stardust sweetie.” The mother took a deep breath, her voice beginning to crack. “You snort it.”