"Daddy," my daughter said, "you will never die." My wife and I, along with our two daughters, were circled around the dinner table. We were eating baked chicken, which my daughter, Regan, had pointed out, is white, not like human meat, which is red.
"Well, someday I might die, but you don't need to worry about that for a long time."
"No," she was adamant, "you will never die."
"Okay," I said between bites, "why not?"
"Because Eagle Girl will use her magic on you."
"And with this magic, I can live forever?"
"Yes." Her tiny hands, indifferent to the world around her, were plucking off the chicken's cardamom dressing.
"What, exactly," my wife asked, "does Eagle Girl's magic look like? What does it do?"
"Oh," Regan jumped up from her seat, "it's filled with hearts that shoot out!"
"Hearts?" I asked.
"Hearts," my youngest daughter, Ellis, squawked in response to Regan's enthusiasm.
"Yes, and stars."
Regan's eyes were wide with wonder as her little sister echoed, "Stars."
"Oh, I see," said my wife, Natasha. "And what exactly does this magic, imbued with hearts and stars, do?"
"It makes Daddy live forever."
"For—ever," said Ellis, trying out the word for the first time.
"And me too?" asked Natasha.
"Oh," said Regan, "well, maybe." And then, as if remembering something from long ago, "Yes, and the hearts have birds in them!"
"Hearts filled with birds—epic. Do the stars have anything in them?"
"Well, the stars are kind of looking weird."
"Weird," mimicked Ellis.
"Weird," I said.