Meticulously placing the final thin wedge of white cheese on the decorative plate, Dialene1 breathed a sigh of relief. The preparations were almost done; the mysterious folk who had come to the house earlier today would be well-received.

She scrunched up her nose, remembering back to the bizarre incident.

It had started normally enough. She had been going about her regular day: spending time with her sister Sarele2 and then going outside in the front gardens to help her mother. In the thunderstorm last night, the mischievous rain imps had pulled out weeds and knocked down branches, which it was now her family’s obligation to clean up. There were rules after all.

Rolling her eyes at the memory, Dialene recalled that once she, Sarele, and their mother had finished, she and her sister had lounged beneath the newly flourishing elm near the street. The young verdant chartreuse leaves caught the sunshine, sprinkling her and Sarele with flecks of airy peridots. It was then that a strange trio had approached them.

Dressed in black, slim suits, they had asked about their house.

Thinking them silly, she had dismissed them. But Sarele had been quick to point out, if they wanted it, why not let them have it? It’s not like they needed to keep it.

And now the strange trio were on their way back. It seems they had made a better impression on her father, and so it was time to be perfectly polite the way everyone expected.

Lips pursed, she dumped the fragrant rose-pepper jelly on the plate. The soft, gooey substance sagged against the pristine porcelain.

Dialene glanced down the hallway that led directly from the carriage entrance to the kitchen. The distant squeak of wheels floated down the hall like the discarded cloaks of dust fairies. A muffled snort escaped from her nose.

Giggling, Dialene spread the red jelly around with the slender cheese wedges. The snowy curdled milk absorbed the spicy-sweet substance into itself like blood.

Written: 16 May 2014

Word Count: 333

Inspiration: a dream I had

1 “candle of Magdala / candle tower” from Dian (Indonesian) + Magdalene (Hebrew)

2 “pearl princess” from Sarah (Hebrew) + Perele (Yiddish)


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