Story a day: 11.21.16

Continuing the story from yesterday. I enjoyed the prompt.

I didn’t tell anyone about those glasses, not even mother. During the funeral, I kept them in my pocket and by the end I’d nearly forgotten about them. There was too much else on my mind; a stupid pair of glasses didn’t seem important in the face of… of all that.

“When he looked at me, he told me he saw fairies dancing in my hair,” Grandmother said as the family gathered around the table that night. Her eyes shone, but it seemed she’d run out of tears. Most of us had by then.

“That’s beautiful,” my Uncle Pashra said.

Grandmother nodded but needed a moment before she could speak again. “I thought so. He was so sincere, too. ‘There are fairies dancing in your hair,’ he’d say. Later, when he started talking about them coming through the floorboards we knew he was declining, but still, I held on to that image. Fairies.”

Murmured condolences rippled around the table, but I lost track of the conversation. My hand strayed to the glasses in my pocket.

“I need the restroom,” I said, excusing myself.

My grieving family hardly noticed me go. Still, when I reached the bathroom I locked the door behind me. With a trembling hand, I took out the glasses and raised them to my eyes.

Fairies crawled out of the walls. Vines trundled down the bathroom tiles. The shower was a waterfall with nymphs playing in the basin. Something slithered out of the medicine cabinet. Most frightening of all, a massive, red eye looked in at me from the window.

I yelped and took the glasses down and the bathroom returned to normal. I had to check again. And again. Every time, what I saw with the glasses on was the same; every time, it all went back to normal when I took them off.

“Grandpa,” I said breathlessly, “I’m so sorry. I never believed.”

I looked at the glasses in my shaking hands. Even just gazing through the lenses showed me a different world. What did I do with them now? I couldn’t destroy them. At worst, I’d keep them. I resolved to stow them safely. I hadn’t believed Grandfather’s stories while he was alive. The least I could do now was protect the item that revealed how right he was.

I left the bathroom with grandfather’s glasses tucked safely into my pocket.


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