by Anne E. Johnson

Aquamarine crystal
Jim H. via Creative Commons

Gemma donned her protective glasses. After ten years together, that sight still gave Sylvia chills. “Oh, dear. Here we go.”

Her wife grinned under bulging plastic eyepieces. “It will be great.” In gloved hands, she held up a rough blue crystal. “Aquamarine. Prized by psychics. I want this rock’s power.”

Sylvia distrusted Gemma’s maniacal tone. “Why not simply make a crystal ball?”

Gemma cackled. “Why be simple, Silvery Silvia?” She used that nickname only at her most intense moments: lovemaking and scientific breakthroughs.

“Be careful, honey.”

To her left ear Gemma attached a cable clip, clipping another to a jagged corner of the rock. “I’ll transfer the stone’s soul to my mind.”

“Or you’ll electrocute yourself.”

Sylvia clenched her hands when Gemma flicked the switch. Sparks showered from the stone and from Gemma’s ear. A monstrous buzzing drowned out her screams.

At Gemma’s funeral, friends and family whispered, “Why does grieving Sylvia smile?”

In fact, there was no cause for tears. The experiment had worked in an unexpected way. In her palm Sylvia cradled a stone; her lover’s soul peered from the aquamarine’s glowing depths. With that crystal nestled into Gemma’s pillow every night, Silvery Sylvia could never be a widow.

Anne E. JohnsonAnne E. Johnson is based in Brooklyn. She writes speculative and historical fiction, both for adults and for kids and teens. Learn more on her website,

Perspective of Point...
Kelly Cookson via Creative Commons

Teenie risked pulling one hand off the metal railing and touching her pocket. The hard lump of the crystal converter was reassuring, so she slipped her hand in, clutching it. The wind was rushing and Jornah was shouting over the screams and shrieks of the plunging shuttle. Another passenger, a stranger, hung upside down from trembling knees, elbow-deep in the access panel behind the dead driver. Jornah was trying to get to him, instruct him on how to initiate the emergency recharge spellcraft, but there wasn’t enough time.

The crystal could save them all, if she gave it up. It would be used in whole, ‘crafted into the carriage by the stranger’s want and will. But Teenie didn’t want to lose it. She’d worked so hard to get it. It could save her, her and Jornah, maybe that terrified boy across the aisle as well. She only had so many hands. And there would be some crystal left over for later. For another emergency—there was always another emergency. Her grip slipped a little and she had to retract her hand to grab the rail, to readjust.

She didn’t realize it had fallen out until the decision was made.