Nonna’s Mandolin

by Dawn Huddlestone

Cyril hands me a plastic package bound with duct tape. It’s heavier than I expect. This feels like a clandestine drug deal might. My giggle is stopped short by Cyril’s quizzical look.

“Sorry,” I say. “This is a first for me.”

“Me too.” He clears his throat. “I’m pretty sure it’s flour. With maybe some gravel and a few chunks of chicken bone for good measure. In the urn, I mean.”

I nod. Nonna would have made it look as realistic as possible, just in case.

I nestle the not-flour-gravel-and-chicken-bone package next to the mandolin in my bag. Low […]