April 7th, 2010
This is my PROMPTuesday submission for this week. My writing group started back up last night and I made the commitment to do my own prompts — something I’ve neglected to do for a year. So here we go…
She first appeared as my mother’s twin when I was seven. I heard her gravel voice echoing in our white-picket-fenced, flat yellow home and walked through every room to find her. I searched everywhere — under the bed, behind the rocking horse, in the hall — but found only remnants, a scarf, an earring, a high-heeled shoe. Alone and young, I settled back into bed and be-deviled and haunted, pulled the covers over my head. That’s when her familiar outline appeared through the thin sheet. I didn’t move, didn’t take even a breath as she yanked my protection aside.
Then I was in the bathroom. Her back faced me, and I watched in the mirror as she sat on a velvet-cushioned stool, applied deep red lipstick, and smacked her mouth. This was my mother, this was my mother. I said it desperately, hopefully, under my breath. My mother, my mother. She turned slowly as if on a lazy susan and when I caught glimpse of her I knew I’d never be safe again.
And I wasn’t. For years and years and still.
A raven witch pulling me into a sharp cave, scratching me to near death with amber fingernails, a neighbor in an abandoned home chasing me with a cache of serrated knives, a shapeshifting owl or fanged cat. Each time, every time, I end up running away, over fences and fences and fences. Always fences. Always her.
For years and years and still.