Leondra stood her ground and let her teacher consider the contents of her gift.

“Fairy bread.” Farhana held it up for Leondra to inspect. “Eat.”

Leondra took it, hesitating a few moments more to see exactly what it was. The colourful nature of the bread was due to the multicoloured sprinkles which littered its surface. She took a bite and forced herself to swallow.

“Sugar, sugar.”

They both ate their piece of bread, similarly methodical. Perhaps it was too sweet for either of them.

However, unlike Leondra, Farhana made a point to eat all of the fairy bread except for one. Then she determined their lesson for the day over. With only one piece inside of her, Leondra agreed. Perhaps it wasn’t that sugary, but she certainly didn’t eat that much sugar normally.

She could only imagine how Farhana had managed it.


Farhana’s birthday came in the middle of the week. Leondra only knew about it because the woman’s wife had shown up to drop something off. Farhana was busy and her wife didn’t even call out to let her know she was here, simply leaving the package there for when she noticed.

Leondra didn’t even know it was her wife until she gave out the description of who had stopped by.

Farhana waved it off. “I knew it was Michèle. My wife.”

Nodding, Leondra tried not to be too interested in the contents of the package. Farhana didn’t seem to be in any hurry to open it. “Does she come by often?”

“Only on my birthday. Guns too loud for her.”

“Well wishes,” came out of her mouth immediately. Not to wish someone so on their birthday was an insult. It had made for a very interesting school year, especially around those who didn’t mention when their birthday was, for whatever reason they held.

And much like some of them, Farhana waved it off, taking the box to the shop counter. There it was opened.

Step by step

Her instructor didn’t look the part. Farhana obviously couldn’t see very well, though she took off her glasses for practice.

“Whatever you do, know what it is you point at. Know what lies beyond it.”

Leondra knew the one thing she wasn’t going to learn from Farhana was to see. Her hearing and sense of smell wouldn’t be able to match the older woman with close cropped hair and keratin scaling showing down her neck, so she had to focus with her sight.

“You hold too tight. Firm is good. Stiff is bad.”

Leondra practiced until she tired.

“No more concentration? We are done for now.”

With a sigh, Leondra knew this was going to take her a long, long time. Farhana was no nonsense, but patient. She knew what her sister would say. Everything worth doing was worth doing well. Anything worth doing well was worth spending time on.

Leondra took lessons from Farhana for eight years.