H. M. L. Swann
Day 52: Fairy Tales
300 Days of Writing
Day 52 Fairy Tales:
I never believed in fairy tales until the day my grandmother died.
Nan, Nana, was a woman of substance. In her generation she had led ladies to the picket lines, protesting their wages at the canning factory. She had never wed and ardently defended her choice to keep her love child, the man’s identity was never divulged…
…until her funeral.
Nan had raised me since the age of six, and was, in all honesty, more of a mother than grandmother. My own mother had fucked off chasing addiction and freedom simultaneously, and yes I see the irony though I don’t know if she ever did.
So when Nan died, and dirt was sprinkled over her polished coffin, I felt buried there too. People left, patting my shoulders and whispering condolences that I didn’t hear because if I had they would have made me angry. I let the ringing in my ears take over. That familiar buzzing, singing sound, that Nan had taught me to both ignore and harness.
And then, alone at the grave with no company except a gravedigger impatiently waiting behind the trees, a man approached me.
I recognized him, and said hello, shaking the siren calls from my head, only to realize I didn’t know him at all.
I only knew his face.
His face was my own. Same high cheek bones, same hard jaw line, same thick brows. He was handsome really, the fierce features suited the male’s condition more than I think it did mine.
He stood beside me, looking down at the grave. He had silver eyes. Not blue, not hazel, but truly silver, like molten metal flecked with black ash. It was the only thing that was different between our faces.
We were the same age too, it appeared, anyway. His skin was smooth and tight, only crinkling at the corners of his eyes as if on purpose.
“I’ll miss her,” he said, and his voice was clear but not verbal. It was in my head.
“Yes.” I said back, and I wished I hadn’t spoken, but thought it.
“Now, it’s time.”
I took his hand, and the world went dark.