In the gloaming, chilled pinecones are collected from the mauve gardens. The tallest trees reach for the first stars, the almost silver mirrored in dew. A ginger beast returns from the hunt, nudging its whiskered face against the grass — magic familiar as night, mist, as anything else. My girl flickers through the brush, taut as a wing, she is whispering the white arch of her throat. Such spells are green and may only be performed barefoot, pyjamas wet at the edges. Every pinecone is dipped into her bowl, a mixture of water and peppermint oil. She means to rid our house of the dreaded Anansi, pitter-patter, blackberry eyes in the night. The garden lifts, freshly intoxicated with her protective charms. The lawn chairs glitter with long-forgotten threads. Overnight, the spindle-legged terrors, impulse-quick, are scurrying elsewhere, muffled in shadow leaves. She sleeps content with her efforts under a cover of light. The moon softened by a breath of cloud.