Ms. Doubtly and the Fear
The parallelism of the street points forward as if Delilah were destined to go further. Although the hypnotic convergence of the optical illusion presses in the back of her frigid mind, Delilah veers to the left and stands before a heavy wooden door. The door has a filigree of steel, securing the inside from the outside. Delilah handles the iron ring and knocks it twice. On the other side, she hears shuffling and small foot steps that follow one another quickly. “One moment dear, I just need to get-” the distinguished old voice sifts through the door, “here we are.” the door opens slowly after a few clicks of he locks. “Hello Ms. Doubtly.” Delilah smiles. Ms. Doubtly, an elderly shrew lacking sense of time, gestures Delilah’s admittance. Ms. Doubtly is one of the last three members of a noble family from the orient. The many years have not yet withered her heart; much less can be said of her mind. “I will take a guess and say that you are here for-” Ms. Doubtly pauses, “Grace.” Delilah completes the thought. Ms. Doubtly usually forgets names.
Ms. Doubtly and Delilah descend further into the expansive and disheveled medicine closet. “Don’t mind the silly cobwebs my dear,” she gives Delilah a little push, “they will fade in time.” Ms. Doubtly swifts ahead of her and grabs a small vial from a worn shelf. She pulls the few webs away and holds it above her own head. With the vial at the level of her eyes, Delilah reaches out to obtain the glowing potion. “Aye!” Ms. Doubtly pulls it back quickly, “Will you not pay an old lady?” Delilah looks down in shame. “Ms. Doubtly, my daughter is in much pain and this would make us very happy, even if for only a week.” She looks Ms. Doubtly in her cloudy eyes. “I will gladly put the amount on your tab Lilly.” She smiles widely and slips behind the counter. When she looks up and adjusts her glasses, Delilah is gone.
Morning comes and the golden gaze slips through the trees and into Grace’s window. Delilah is covered by a nice and warm blanket as she sits reading a book in a chair beside Grace’s bed. Grace opens her eyes and leans forward from her pillow, “Mother, I woke up last night from a really bad dream.” she continues, “The lamp was out and the wind was making a scary howling noise.” she lies back down and pulls the blanket to her chin. “I am sorry Gracie, I promise to be here for you when you have another bad dream.” Delilah reassures her security.
Grace rolled over in the bed to face the window, her only escape. Outside stood a grey wolf with a reverent stare. Grace thought that if she tried to go see these loyal family guardians, they would have a better understanding of each other. “Can I go see the wolves Mother?” She asks as though it were taboo. The bedroom got quiet and her mother pushed a bit of her dark hair behind her ear in anxiety, “Sometimes it is best to leave the knowing to the ones who understand.”.
“Will I ever meet the ones who watch over us?” Grace complains, as if these silver wolves were the equivalent to a secret celebrity. “I am sure that one day someone will meet them, but most of us can’t even catch a glimpse.” Delilah says before looking down and closing her eyes slowly. “Why the long face Mother?” Grace leans toward her to rest her hand on her mothers shoulder. “No reason to worry Gracie,” She looks up and smiles, “no reason to worry.”
Later that day, at about high noon, Grace feels a sudden burst of energy. She leaps from bed and steps gingerly to the window. Although she still feels slightly ill, Grace feels well enough to go into town with her mother for groceries since she was not able to leave for Sunday services. “Mother! Are we going to go into town today?” Grace gleefully asks while slowly walking through the small house. After searching and searching, her mother is no where to be found.
Grace moves even slower to the small nightstand which now sits directly below her window. “Why would she go into town and leave me again?” she thinks to herself. Deep in the dancing trees, Grace sees movement. She immediately springs to life and watches the trees closely through the window. “I can’t see that far you crazy old wolf.” Grace complains while scooting closer and closer until she is kneeling on the old nightstand. After little deliberation, she exclaims, “Mother is not here, and I am perfectly healthy!” Grace turns around and grins.
Grace bundles up in her worn red wool coat and tattered white boots. She walks straight through the small house to the front door. On the way, Grace notices an apple conveniently placed on the window. She picks it up and sniffs the red skin. After inspecting the outside, Grace bites in and is pleased. She finally reaches the door to find that the lock has already been unlocked. “Typical” Grace seems to begin to expect things left unchecked when her mother leaves. She opens the door and peers outside. The once deep blanket of snow is now a sheet of flakes. “This is hardly what I thought it would be” Grace complains. She throws her apple in the thick trees in protest.
Everything around her is quiet. Nothing was moving except for the trees and the whistling wind. From beneath her chest, she feels an odd spark of glee. This was a feeling unlike most of her regular feelings, and was very abrupt. Grace giggles and reaches down to form a snow ball in her hands. Once she forms it, she takes a cold bite and it quickly dissolves into a warm water. Grace looks back down and next to the crater she made from removing a small portion of snow is a paw print. “No way.” Grace dropped her snow ball and stared at the print.
After a second of inspection, she runs inside. Grace locks the doors and runs to her room without removing her coat or boots. She jumps in her bed and covers her self up with the blanket. Her heart beats fast and her mind plays tricks on her with every object in the room. A tree branch next to the window is a claw that wants to reach in and grab her; the coat rack is a large insect that wants to eat her from the inside out; the paw print is the trace of a wolf ready to growl and snap at her to scare her and maybe even eat her. All of her fears come true on the other side of what she finds her most comforting security. Soon after thinking the worst, she begins crying and calling for her mother.