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Magical Creatures

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The image of Joann laughing was suddenly floating underwater, legs replaced with a softly waving mermaid’s tail. The real Joann grinned.

“Ooh! Do me next!” Tilly called out. Airiam pressed a few keys, and Tilly’s picture had dragon’s wings and a long spiky tail. Tilly leapt up in front of it, baring her teeth and holding her hands like claws. Keyla laughed, leaning onto Joann’s shoulder.

Keyla knew it didn’t actually affect how Airiam remembered anything--these images were just copies. This moment was a new memory Airiam was creating, time spent with her friends. Keyla knew more than ever how valuable that was.

“Keyla?” Airiam said. “How about you?”

At one time, Keyla would have rather not been included in this activity. Then, all she’d wanted was to see herself as she’d once been. Edit out the implant, change the color of her left eye to match her right. And even that would only have reminded her of what she could never have again.

But now, Keyla nodded. Her image joined the others, the massive golden wings of a phoenix stretching above her. 

Airiam glanced her way, as if checking that Keyla liked it. Keyla smiled. She definitely did.