There’s peculiar weather in the most southerly isles. It’s more predictable than the seasons themselves, more predictable than war and politics, more predictable than old milk turning to new smells or young love turning to old disappointments.
One day a year, and on the same day every year, it snows yellow and green flakes across those shores. They’re cold as ice, and they stack and stick and turn into fluffy mounds of odd snow, and they taste something like powdered mango that’s gone off.
Originally the islanders ate such flakes out of poverty, but soon they realized the unique properties of the annual precipitation. It appears anyone who eats these “mana flakes” is given the gift of magic, able to cast spells from the tops of their heads and keep going until they tire themselves out.
Folks fly from island to island, and conjure parades of imaginary creatures, and do the same old card tricks they always do except for this day they’re real. There is something like a two of spades really vanishing rather than going up your sleeve that tickles a certain kind of person. I spent one such frosty afternoon listening to a little girl teach her pet pink elephant how to sing. Never been much of a mana flake eater myself, though I do enjoy watching the tourists frolic in waking dreams. My hotel takes all major credit cards.