“Urg I hate downtown alleys. They sounded nice in poems but in reality, they are stinky and sketchy and scary. Why do you think this is where we should look for bombs?”
“Keep your mouth shut and walk forward. I’m right behind you so don’t worry.” Grandmother nudged me. I strode, sidestepping ponds and litters. I strode with such force, childishly expressed my anger and confusion.
As we rode across the city, grandmother unfolded her life story, the most absurd yet intriguing yet confusing tale I have ever heard of in my life.
“I was homeless” was how she started. And with such opening, I couldn’t help letting her go on. “Sixty years ago, I was on the street. My mother died a year earlier, unknown cause-of-death. When we found her, she had put on a silver ring topped a red pearl, and her other hand was pressing loosely against it. I have never seen it before, the ring, yet I have memories of it.
“It was the Rithna ring, an heirloom. The ring belonged to the Katherithia line. On its own, it meant very little to those who were ignorant of history, but with its sisters, the Rithna crown and necklace, they were believed to have the power of either healing or killing, which one depends on the owner’s choosing. Why it was in my mother’s hand I did not know. I was certain, though, that we have no connection or familiarity with the Katherithians and their business. At the time, the royal line was weak, and those who remained scattered, like a flickering candle under a mid-summer storm. Without the heirloom, Katherithians lost their power.
“For days after my mother died, I held onto the ring. In my mind there were many possibilities and scenarios of what to do and where this ring should belong to. Yet, I was hesitant to proceed in all directions. I desired power, yet I was scared of it. Owning such a powerful possession, it turned out, was not a great idea after all.
Ehhh I gotta run. And I’m getting a little stuck here so I’ll think more about the story.