White to Red

by Raksha Narasimhan
Art by Jennifer Xu
Issue: Metanoia (Winter 2017)

As she lets her eyes drift to a close, she clutches the twirling threads of the bracelet so tightly that her knuckles whiten
The lines defining reality begin to blur, and the foreign ghost of a painfully familiar young girl presses it into her cold hands

mommy, lookit what i made!
i know you really really like light pink but i couldn’t find any so i used white and red
because last week Missus Ortega told me that you can mix white and red to make pink!
isn’t that neat? well anyways,
mommy, i hope you like it, because i made myself a matching one

And even when they were apart, those swirling strands held them together.

mommy, i’m bleeding
mommy, why aren’t you picking up the phone?
mommy, i’m sorry
that i couldn’t remember
how to call the police and doctors and firefighters but
mommy, please pick up the phone
it hurts

As those ebony ringlets cascaded into the icily empty coffin, the white and red threads fluttered down along with her little olive hands, sinking beneath the dark damp soil.