It’s fun to reread your own scribbling years after, rediscovering old voices and images of yourself. Scattered and rearranged. This one was a writing prompt starting with “I was late to my own life.”
Here’s what it sparked for my old self, a long time ago:
“I was late to my own life. Every time I was reborn, I kept losing a part of my soul. I didn’t know who I was anymore. There was just the book. A family heirloom, my father said, created from the wisdom of centuries and centuries in death.
She glared in the mirror while clutching the old book. It looked so plain and ordinary, like a recipe collection. She felt numb. The candle was burning with a sweet scent of lavender oil and plums. Her father used to say that the book was torn from the Tree of life itself, containing all the knowledge she needed to understand, even her own sense of breathing. Yet, she couldn’t read it. She couldn’t see the words. Life after life, this book was my only companion, lover, guardian, friend. Father left early and I remained with riddles and blurred pages.
She lay on the ground, the attic screeching and bending under her skin. What can an old lady understand now? The last, wasted life is finally here. Whether I am to be reborn again or not, I know it. I can hear the angel of death singing its mellow tune. Father is forever gone. I’m sick of it.
She looked in the mirror once more only to see a young lady laughing hard, looking back straight into her eyes. “