Reliquary

Tiny bones arranged on a bed of cotton. A single daffodil snuggled in golden glory and lavender sprigs – an offering of love and fidelity. A stone from the garden to keep her beloved grounded; Lucy’s favorite toy sacrificed so she’d never be alone. To say her tears could fill a sea would be an understatement, though today they flowed with intent as each drop was captured in a small heart-shaped vial. Once stoppered, this too was placed with care. A final relic, the band she wore the day she came home. A watershed moment in a life yet unlived. With broken heart, the young one spoke the words only an eight year old’s grief could conjure before the lid was sealed and the small box buried at the base of Great-grans favorite tree.

As they turned to walk back to the house, the ground rumbled, the clouds darkened, and the tree began to shake. Brilliant fingers of light spread below them; enchanted, the child ran back to the tree. She hugged the bark and called out to her beloved Lucy, and Lucy answered in vibrant hues of orange yellow and red. As the phoenix burst through the canopy, the young girl began to scream. Flesh melted from bone. Blood ran free to quench the earth. Flaxen strands crisped in the heat.

∼ Nina D’arcangela

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