This story is extremely short and sweet, reminding me a lot of Le Guin’s Earthsea, and I say that as a huge compliment.
The Crane Alphabet tells the tale of a novice in some sort of religious, possibly magical, commune, who seems to be mute. The one telling the story explains that another member of the commune, Marin, has been waiting to see if the novice will transform into a bird. The story is so short that to tell more would be giving away too much.
I will say that Davenport has woven a beautiful tale that speaks about fear of the fabled “other,” obsession, and the ways that obsession can transform a person. It’s one of the stand-out stories in this issue of the magazine and I highly, highly recommend it.