“I don’t care if is door. Or a window. It’s nothing but a thin sliver of chance.” Momma perched on the edge of her green recliner, the gaps in the vinyl mended with duct tape. She was always fixing things that way, doctoring arguments and things broken with patches or kisses floated through the air upon a ring of smoke.
I pushed aside the tarp covering the cabin’s entrance and stepped into cool mountain air. The tips of the pine needles birthed fat drops of rain. The birdsong was tentative and cautionary.
“You leave me now, you ain’t never seeing me again, you hear?”
I headed down the mountain. The rain transitioned from drizzle to downpour. My mother would say it was a sign; brittle bones tossed tossed into the air and falling to the earth to arrange themselves into a pattern of significance that I chose to ignore.
I made a life for myself, a life of paper-cup coffee and croissants, buttery and light. A life without patches and the runes of my mother’s life.
I’d just cracked open my fortune cookie when my secretary walked into my office. You will receive good news today.
She handed me a thick yellow envelope and watched me tear it open.
A thin sliver of chance is like a piece of chocolate pie. All it takes is a little bit. I’m proud of you.
My mother had died three years after I’d left, fully aware of her illness. The doctors had spoken to her about chances. She’d tried to patch up her body with herbs and tinctures and incantations spoken by moonlight.
As I had looked forward to the flowering of my own life, I’d neglected the signs of my mother’s winter. I’d refused to notice the slowing of her step, the concentration in her speech, her thin and translucent skin.
Not everything can be mended with kisses and duct tape.
But perhaps brittle bones have more power to intone the future than fortune cookies.
As I’m in the process of packing too many boxes, I cheated this week and wrote to two prompts:
This was written for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was door.
For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, FlamingNyx at http://flamingnyx.wordpress.comgave me this prompt: You take a deep breath and the crisp air that fills your lungs makes it clear that winter is coming. Play with this: Reminisce about the summer that has passed by too fast, the autumn that never was or the imminent winter. You can take it literally or figuratively.
I gave k~ at http://bloggitwrite.blogspot.comthis prompt: The surface of all things.