Melissa’s sister, Annette, kept their mother’s in a mason jar in her bedroom closet on the top shelf, said I’ll never let the bitch free. One might say Annette had a sore spot when it came to their mother, and it must have throbbed like a nailed thumb the day doctors handed them their mother’s soul in a white, plastic box with a folding top lid. Annette wanted nothing to do with it and turned her back with crossed arms. From the doctors’ expressions alone it was self-evident that no pretty soul rested in that box, and neither sister expected otherwise, would have disbelieved the doctors had they’d said it was a splendid soul. Still, disappoint stung once more, and hopefully, that was the last one of Prudence Jacobson, but you never know what secrets the decease carry.
“You should move in with me,” Annette had said to her that night. “I basically raised you myself.”
Melissa was 17 and Annette was 24. Their father passed away years ago to cancer. Despite his weight and hair loss and all the agonizing days filled with fetal-curled pain, nausea, and tick-tock long appointments, it never bled his spirit, never darkened his striking, colorful soul.
“As long as I can bring Fido?” Melissa said.
“Okay, but keep him in your room.”
Fido was Melissa’s pet tarantula. She won it at the Canby County fair last year. Her mother had hated it, threatened to stomp on it numerous occasions, so subsequently, Melissa grew fond of it. All those eyes seemed to be taking in something noteworthy, at least more than her mother would ever see. It...
... middle of paper ...
...d castles, and Melissa liked to think he’d found one to call home.
“Then can I at least put her in Fido’s cage?” she asked Annette. “He’s lonely.”
Annette pursed her lips in thought, then conceded. “All right. Just don’t forget to close the lid.”
Melissa picked up the unsightly thing of their mother’s soul and set her down in the cage with Fido. Fido leaned against the opposite wall, one furry leg distended up the glass. His pedipalp appendages twitched in the air as though sensing something. Six black eyes glistened with light and landed on their mother’s soul. Fido crawled towards her and wrapped his two front legs over the backside of her rough shell. Their mother’s soul squeaked and gears clanked in her belly.
Melissa put the pliers back in the drawer. Everything had purpose and place, structure and function, she thought again. Even good-ol’ Fido.
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