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LJI Second Chance Gauntlet--Week 1

"Once upon a tomorrow..."

"That's not how those stories start, Gran."

Her eyes are marbled blue and white in a face like a walnut shell made flesh and tanned, like the leather of my Sunday shoes.  Her voice has lost its fireplace lull.  "Who is the elder, child?

Suddenly, the wool in my hands is impossibly interesting.  "You are, Gran."

She takes a long pull from her pipe.  "Don't you forget it, child.  And what is your job?"

"To spin, and to listen.  To learn."

"Don't you forget that, not for a second."  She settled back.  "Once upon a tomorrow..."

I fall into a dream, my fingers still twisting, the spindle dropping.

"Once upon a tomorrow, there was a girl.  She weren't a princess, or anything like that.  But she thought she might be.  She told herself soft stories of the life she might have, if anyone ever knew.  She went to bed dreaming of that life, of the great beauty she would possess.  She would look in her silver mirror, and see a face staring back at her.  A face that everyone would love.  The face she knew she possessed inside."

The wool catches my fingers.  The spindle nods slowly, down the the floor and back up, nodding like Gran's sleepy head, both throwing shadows over the walls.

I know that face.  I am disappointed that I never see her staring back at me from the pond.  I don't have a silver mirror.  One day.

One day.

A soft snort of awakening drags me away from silver mirrors and flawless skin, flaxen hair and rich velvet dresses.

"Where was I?  Oh, yes.  She dreamed.  Dreamed of the soft life, the ease, She dreamed of the prince who would save her, would ride down from the hills and rescue her from the life.

But she didn't know her birthright.  She was never meant to be saved. There was another way."

The thread snaps, and the spindle drops to the floor.

Gran doesn't move.

I cover Gran with the blanket and creep to bed.  My dreams are vivid, torn.  Thread is scattered.  The prince rides down the hill, then rides past.  Is that Gran behind him on the back?  But she is young and laughing, flowers in her flaxen hair.  Her skin is fair and smooth.

The sun slices me awake.  I am never allowed to sleep so late.

"Gran?  Gran?"

The chair is empty, save for a tangle of imperfectly spun wool.

And next to it, a silver mirror.

The lines of my face are different.  The skinned tanned, and a crescent moon scar next to my eye.  Hair dark and cut short.

The note resting against it reads simply "Child, save yourself."

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
waitingonsunday
Feb. 16th, 2016 08:10 pm (UTC)
This is intriguing. Can't wait to see more!
mac_arthur_park
Feb. 16th, 2016 08:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
seaivy
Feb. 16th, 2016 09:01 pm (UTC)
nice!
Very Nice!!
lorigami
Feb. 16th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC)
beautiful.
michikatinski
Feb. 16th, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
"There was another way." YES YES YES YES YES OMGoddess YES.

I love you.
odosonata
Feb. 16th, 2016 10:40 pm (UTC)
You've pulled me in before but NEVER LIKE THIS. Wow. I hope there is more to come? <3
adoptedwriter
Feb. 17th, 2016 01:54 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much! Creepy but touching. I'm a sucker for a grandparent story every time! AW
cielamara
Feb. 17th, 2016 02:37 am (UTC)
Her voice has lost its fireplace lull.

This is a quietly striking, lovely line. Please feel free to write more!
electricdruid
Feb. 17th, 2016 03:11 am (UTC)
Oooh!
muchtooarrogant
Feb. 17th, 2016 03:13 am (UTC)
Well told, with an ending that could be interpreted several ways. Nicely done.

Dan
opakele
Feb. 17th, 2016 04:18 am (UTC)
Of course I'm digging that there is spinning going on.

Beautiful story in and of it's self.

It is so true.
tonithegreat
Feb. 17th, 2016 04:21 am (UTC)
This is lovely! I like the pacing, the imagery and most of all the tale.
tijuanagringo
Feb. 17th, 2016 05:26 am (UTC)
Absolutely disturbing. Fabulously effective. Very, very deep; and deliciously short.
murielle
Feb. 17th, 2016 06:33 am (UTC)
A tale that the young girl in all of us should heed.

Well told!
lordrexfear
Feb. 17th, 2016 06:34 am (UTC)
Wait... what happened?

Hopefully we'll find out.
communitybee
Feb. 17th, 2016 11:30 am (UTC)
Beautiful... My Grandma Hazel used to read books wrong/tell stories like that ALL of the time. She delighted In ruining Go Do Go or making it interesting....

Edited at 2016-02-17 11:32 am (UTC)
theun4givables
Feb. 17th, 2016 11:43 am (UTC)
Interesting. :) Very interestinggg.
mamculuna
Feb. 17th, 2016 04:14 pm (UTC)
Love that! What a perfect story.
serenejournal
Feb. 17th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC)
That is *wonderful*.
whipchick
Feb. 18th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
I always love your fairy tales :)
dee_aar2
Feb. 18th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
Loved this .... What just happened at the end .... curiosity peaked up .. would definitely want to know more.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )