my sisters: thousands of constantly screaming mouths all over their bodies, a single disembodied golden eye floating above each of their heads, three leathery wings beating icy winds, leaving a trail of slime wherever they go without ever touching the ground
Could you elaborate on the clamness typo? I am intrigued
Oh, hah, gosh yes. It refers to this typo, which I made back in NaNoWriMo 2015; I had been doing sprints on and off from 8 AM-5 PM with a couple of friends, and with sprints, I don’t fix weird wording or typos and wound up with “His clamness against Bannen’s rage beat icy,” instead of “His calmness….” It spurred an excellent back-and-forth of us all putting googly eyes on ridiculous things. There was googly yarn and googly pastries and googly fence posts…. I’m still quite fond.
Teddy had read that once. His father had been poor; his only material legacy being the books he left behind.
Kafka, that was it.
Teddy’s feet attempted to slide away from him as he took his first steps onto the frozen lake, but he soon found his footing. He didn’t quite stroll, but took his steps carefully, lifting each foot a little more than he normally would have before bringing it down again. His soles were thinner than he’d realized. The icy cold beat up into his feet, and by the time he was closer to the middle of the lake than he was to the shore, he could no longer feel them.
Well, he could feel them, but the pain was far away. A good metaphor, he thought, for being a woeful orphan. Even in his own head he had to couch it as a joke. He’d been taught too well that he should be fine. Teddy had never known his parents, so there were only beautiful, idealized figures to mourn, not messy and fallible people. And he’d been raised by his grandmother, who was kind and smart and loving. And he was surrounded by the Weasleys and the Potters, bonus families. Hardly the abusive upbringing Harry Potter had been dealt. So he was indeed fine. Lucky, even. All was well.
But then, if that was so, why did he sometimes want to rip himself to shreds and scatter the pieces to the wind?
Teddy kept walking. The ice wasn’t so opaque anymore; he could see trapped bubbles of air gliding beneath the surface as he moved across it. The soft creaking of ice was sharp in his ears, but he’d come this far and he wasn’t afraid.
He wanted to know.
Who would he be if his parents had died when he was 5? Or 8? 13? If only his mother had lived? His father? What resentments would he hold in his heart? What happy things would he keep there?
Teddy rarely wondered anymore what it would be like if they were all still alive at this very moment, the three of them living in some warm, sepia-toned existence. He’d left that treacly daydream behind. In every alternate timeline he allowed himself to travel down, his parents always died at some point or another. It was the way of things.
Snowflakes fell through his cloudy breath, landing on his sleeves and his knitted gloves. He was almost to the other side of the lake now. The ice had thickened up again. Teddy couldn’t feel his feet at all anymore, but still, he kept moving forward.
Death propels, he thought. He risked the thin ice, the lonely end, because it kept him moving. He had to keep moving.