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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

seaivy
Feb. 16th, 2016 09:01 pm (UTC)
nice!
Very Nice!!

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mac_arthur_park
The fucking YARN FAIRY!

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