"The woman watched the sun go down. they watched it bathe and wallow in the sea and throw a cloth across the sky. They thanked my father for his help. We give to you the gift of turning life to ice, they said. And this we give you, too. They tipped a little perfume from a jar into a scallop shell. He smelled it---but the skin upon his nose touched the arc of liquid. It froze. Dissolve it in your mouth, they said, and make a wish. My father sucked. My father wished. He wished he had a healthy arm, four fingers and a thumb. It will come true, the woman said."
Jim Crace, The Gift of Stones.