What the Old Woman Said

“But it scares me.” She pulled another blade of long grass, sliding the delicate sweet bit from the tough stalk. “I don’t want to not be me. I want to always be me!”

The old woman’s thin, folded hand took hers. Miranda stopped, the stalk waving between them, half way to her mouth.

“And what is ‘you’,” she demanded. “What is that grass you are holding? How long did it last before you popped its head off?” She laughed, pulled her own blade of grass, munching cheerfully on the good end. “Girl, your death is your only best friend. She whispers in your ear, ‘Look! See! Everything happens only once – Pay attention!'”

Miranda thought of that, and the wide blue sky behind the breath of clouds, falling down to the gold and purple meadow, the shifting blue line of the sea marking the divide between heaven and earth. Would there be another moment just like this one, just this way? And she knew from her middle to her toes that the answer was no. There is only one of each.

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