Below is the guest piece I wrote for The Clarity of Night.
Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir
I was born under a blood moon. At least that’s what my grammie always tells me.
“Girl, you came shootin’ out like you couldn’t wait to start raisin’ hell,” is what she says. And then her face darkens and she reaches for the bottle.
It ain’t easy knowing your birth killed your own ma. And not a day goes by but Gram doesn’t remind me that I’m a murderer. And not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could turn back the clock and be unborn. But it don’t work that way, and when the townspeople come to the swamp to have their fortunes told, I cling to their soft, perfumed hands longer than I should because I want to feel something besides my life with Gram. And even if I sense bad things, I don’t tell the customers. I look for the positive and happy. I want to see their shoulders relax in relief. I want to see them smile. And it don’t hurt that they tip more for good news.
Once they leave, I take the money to Gram and she puts it in a jar and we sit down by the bed, one on each side. And just like we’ve done for the past sixteen years, Gram rubs olive oil on my mother’s leathery arms and legs while I brush our dead darling’s hair, lightly, barely touching so I won’t do any more damage.