Drabble 179 – Aeaeae

A gray rectangle.

Today’s word—aeaeae—is likely a neologism. When I searched for it, most of the results were of the hex code, which results in the gray color above. Hex code, I thought, laughing, because”aeaeae” means magic.

“Hex code” is short for hexadecimal code, a type of numeral system based on sixteen. It has nothing to do with hexes, which trickled down from the Old High German hagazussa, also the root of “hag.” The “hex” in “hex code” comes from the Greek ἕξ, the word for “six” with a similar pronunciation.

That’s not to say that hex codes can’t be magic; they turn letters and numbers into colors. Even a coincidence like this one can be a surprising source of joy in dark times. Maybe that’s magic, too.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(n.) from Aeaea, the mythical home of the goddess Circe


She has seen magic many times. Tricks with the hands, mostly; deft fingers, hidden secrets, distractions. This is magic, even if it’s also a lie, because she is astonished for a moment, unable to explain what has happened.

There is magic, too, in green buds springing from damp earth. Once something wasn’t there, now it is—an appearing act. There is magic in the growth, and again in the harvest, and again in the grinding of herbs with a mortar and pestle, in the mixing, in the chanting of sounds a group has agreed have meaning even if elsewhere they’re nonsense.

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