There's a dwelling in all of us, a speakeasy for shadows only, built to house our twisted acts – the disposed voodoo dolls, the cherry lipstick we stole, the body parts we’ve trashed; the birds we’ve caged, the dine-and-dash, the smoking ants under the magnifying glass. Some items we house there are broken, some are still intact. Some memories shame us so bad that we hang them, deep inside the closets of our crooked little shacks.
But this woman knows her haunt. When she visits, she stays as long as she wants – unperturbed by the dusty photographs, the skeletons of her past. Hundreds of clocks lay out on the floors, all of them broken or smashed. She prefers the time of candles, watching the wick rise out of the wax. When the wax drips down and her reading light grows dim, she prepares herself to go back.
Between her fingers the paper crinkles, as she earmarks the page. She hears whispering around her, and she looks up to respond, so they know she’s not afraid. The candle crumples and darkness befalls her, yet she stays a little longer, to tell them the stories of her day – of the fig jam she ate and the vinyl records she played. The whispers hush, and then, a collective sigh, as they realize that she will let them stay, keeping her peace with the bones, the creaks, the ghosts – with all the memories, good and bad, that she’s made.
She is Caitlin, the ninth of the great danes.
And she will not be shamed.
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