NANOWRIMO 2014 – Day 9 – a child sized silver and gold charm bracelet, circa 1935



And in this dream she holds her grandmothers wrist,

Skin translucent,

Bird boned

Pulse racing to catch up with everything else….everything already gone


And her grandmother is wearing her charm bracelet, her wrist so thin, so tiny that the bracelet has never needed to be re-sized.

This fact a boast in adult life

” my wrists are the size of a 6-year-old child”

Spinning around on feet, lotus flower feet, hardly filling the black patent shoes she wore all her life.


Everything about her tiny

But tiny like a razor blade, able to give more hurt, more blood than seems possible from such a tiny, tiny thing.


The first charm then, aged 6, a single ballet shoe, hanging in splendid isolation on the thin silver chain,

But she knew more would come, birthdays, Christmas, a first communion, bridesmaid gifts and all chosen by other people, all to tell her something about herself, something about their view of her, something, a blueprint, on how to be a good 7 and 8 and 9 and 10-year-old.


The charms multiply

A horse’s head

A tiny ( see, here’s that word again ) crucifix

A car

A handbag

A lucky clover

A horse shoe

An ornate key


And more and more and more

Until, in adulthood, the bracelet weighs her down, keeps her earthbound, a tracking device for high days and holidays.

Just follow the chink, chink, chink, as reliable as thread or stones or breadcrumbs.

Fairy story themes for the least fairy story grandmother of them all.


And in this dream, as she idly picks up the charms and lets them hit against each other, she sees another bracelet, another grandmother, another wrist.

But this wrist is fleshy, soft to the touch, warm, inviting and she cannot help but rest her cheek against this flesh and carefully, slowly touch and stare at these new, these other charms.


With the absolute truth of dream logic, she knows that these are the other charms, for the other life, the tiny ( see, here it is again) talismans her grandmother would have chosen for herself.

A pair of silver wings…no longer earth-bound, flying free.

One hob nailed boot….in this life, this dream life,  her feet will hit the earth, stomp, stomp, stomping. Each step sending a jolt of potential through her bones, making this, this other bracelet rock and shake and fill the sky with noise.

A pair of golden scissors, able to make the first cut, the deepest cut, the cut that tears away the traces….setting her free.

And, a single solid pewter heart, no cutesy cuts, no need to join it to another to make a whole, complete in its own shape, it’s  weight in a palm, comforting,finished.


And finally, hanging in the very centre of the piece, a slice of cake, silver swirls of icing, a chip of Ruby to represent a cherry.

Fairy sized for fairy appetites, but in this life, the grandmother takes up more space, makes more noise, has more hunger and more right to fill these hungers.


When the woman wakes, she finds her own fingers encircled around her wrist,,thumb and fore fingers not quite able to meet and full of hungers that she knows can only be filled by


And long walks in shiny red doc martins

And noise, much, much noise.


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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