She scowls as his mom leaves him without a hug, and forgotten with the librarian again.
The boy returns his books to her, and checking them in she finds a lock of his mother’s hair tucked between pages.
“Do we still have a deal?” he asks.
The library empties as he nervously pretends to read. Scissors snip a pinch of hair from his head when no one is looking, then cuts a length of hers.
A burner in the backroom heats an iron pot. Scorched hair within is ground to ink, and woman and child alike dip quills into the mixture. Oaths are sworn as they make their marks upon the Book of Fate.
She winces as a long-healed C-section scar appears across her waist. He trembles as his features shift to resemble the librarian’s countenance.
They embrace, one holding the son that was now her own, the other in the arms of the mother he deserved.
Copyright © 2019 by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
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