Friday, December 7, 2012

To Disturb the All-Seeing Waters

You say not to feel sorry for you, that it's me who has to remember what you can't. Now I agree with you.

This morning I served you breakfast ungraciously, upset that you rose out of bed before the sun. You called me by our daughter's name, Rachel, and said that I had promised to cook you eggs. There was nothing to gain by correcting you, so ten minutes later you had a glass of milk and a rubber mess on your plate. I never could make them over easy. The yolks always break.

I grumbled as I served you and you laughed at me. "You're just like your mom," you said. Suddenly your face knotted into a troubled frown. "What did you see in the divination?"

There was no way to know which one you were talking about. I repressed a sigh as I cast about for the right words. "Not much. You?"

"Chains. Around me."

I nodded, remembering. "And then you spilled it, you clumsy old man."

Your ears burned red. "I knocked it on purpose. Didn't need Betty freaking out."

"Why would Mom care--"

You hushed me then, worried that I would walk in and hear myself talking about it. The look of vague confusion on your face was much more painful to watch than any secrets you could have told me. You lowered your voice. "Your Mom was holding the chains. I thought you might have seen. But it doesn't mean anything, you know? Divination's half guess work, any way."

I turned to wipe the counter, hiding my face from you so that you couldn't realize that it was me you were talking to. "Sometimes it tells the future."

You laughed. "Who cares? Maybe I like chains. But your mom would flip and send us all to counseling."

It was hard to think back to who I was ten, twenty years ago. Anxious. Always had to be on top of things. I remembered something that Rachel yelled at me once, when the reflection had shown her and a boy at school kissing. "I don't think we should do any more divination. Useless piece of donkey hide, like you say."

You nod with approval. "Tell that to your Mom, then!"

Even if I wanted to use the waters again, I'd need Rachel for the encantation, and she's not here. It's just you and me and our past.


  1. I liked the ranty, almost diary-quality of the work that's at least partially what w'ed identify as Fantasy. That's a neat approach I can't recall seeing anywhere before.

  2. Thank you! I've been reading a lot of YA spec lately and first person has always been my favorite POV. I made it past tense to try to emulate traditional adult fantasy but that may have been a mistake.