“Black Fairies” by Holly Sheidenberger
It’s Mother’s first night home since the acquittal.
The silence is rigid and oppressive. I shudder, repulsed by her mutilated, sightless eyes.
One questions still burns. With all their probing interrogation, the attorneys never demanded an answer.
“Why?” I ask. “Why did you do it?”
“I didn’t,” is her sharp reply. “They were accidents. Both of them.”
“I mean your eyes.” I swallow. “Why did you blind your eyes?”
The thick blankness in the air echoes the emptiness of her stare.
I push away from the table.
“Black fairies,” she says, unmoving.
Thinking thoughts I dare not voice, I’m mute.
“I saw black fairies. Behind Jamie, just before he fell down the stairs. And in the bathtub with Annie before she drowned. I didn’t want to see them anymore.”
“You’re safe now, Mother,” I soothe. “Safe.”
“But you’re not,” she whispers. A glint flickers in her visionless eyes.
“The black fairies. They’re at your throat.”