June 21, 2021
Scarlet made it most of the way home, but as they reached the edge of the Festerings neighborhood, the excitement of the day caught up with her and she started to stagger with fatigue.
Dr. Sigmund carried Scarlet the rest of the way home, across the threshold of the Bone brownstone, and down to her cellar bedroom. Dr. Sigmund lay Scarlet in her dirtbox and tucked her cloak in around her. “I remember when this bed seemed so big for you,” he whispered. “Time goes by so fast.”
Daisy shambled quietly to the row of dirtmasks hanging by Scarlet’s bed. She ran her fingers slowly along each, finally settling on the one decorated with glowing worms and dancing spiders. It was the first dirtmask she and Dr. Sigmund had ever bought their daughter.
Daisy snugged the mask over Scarlet’s mouth and nosehole, though it really was too small for her now. Cinching the drawstring behind her head, she whispered, “You always looked so peaceful in this one.”
Dr. Sigmund thought of a nursery rhyme he and Daisy used to sing a long time ago. They sang it now.
“We’ll scoop the dirt and dig the dirt.
You nestle snug into the earth.
May all your dreams be dark tonight.
And may your morning bring rebirth.”
As they sang, Scarlet’s thoughts drifted to something Moldylocks had said to her on the walk home. How Scarlet wasn’t what Moldylocks thought she would be. How she was strong. Not like a “Scarlet.” Like a “Scar.”
Scar. She liked the sound of that.
She let the dirt cover her, happy to let her parents think she was dreaming.
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