Fiction: Grandma Pearl

butterfly and pearls

Justin’s black shoes are as dusty as mine. My black shoes match my black handbag from America with the silver-chain strap that brushes against my hip as I walk.

Grandma’s brown sandals aren’t dusty, neither are her white stockings. Her stockings match her pearl choker and Cookie-Monster-blue and white, floral dress with the zipper at the back. The dress catches Grandma just below the knees. Miss Lor, our dressmaker in Junction, made it from rayon. Grandma says rayon is cool like cotton and easy to care.

I like seeing Grandma’s hair out of setters. In the yard, she wears pink and green ones from Monday to Friday under her tie-head. For Saturday market, she combs it out and covers it with the tie-head. On Sundays, she leaves it out. Her hair is brown and, in the morning sun, the highlights remind me of her old, copper pots.

I can see a setter crease at the side of her head, right by her temple where the greys are. But the rest of her curls are smooth, lapping over each other like waves, from the top of her head to her cubbidge hole. Grandma’s cubbidge hole isn’t deep at all. Actually, there is no sink in her cubbidge. She’s definitely not mean. But I knew that already.

“Justine, watch your step,” Grandma says and squeezes my hand.

“Yes, Grandma.”

“Justin, make sure yuh holding her hand tight.”

Justin’s face is scrunched up because the sun is hot. He is on the inside; Grandma is on the outside; and I’m in the middle.

“Walk up little faster. Parson has a special guest speaker from Santa Cruz today. I don’t want to miss not one single word.”

I look across, through the barbed-wire fence on Justin’s side. Mr. Leakey’s cows are in the common. They’re grazing while their tails are flicking away flies from their bottoms. I can see a black bull he bought from Mr. Williams last Wednesday. He said he bought two, but I’m not seeing the second one.

“Justine, stop gazing. Next thing yuh buck yuh toe an’ fall down.”

On the other side of the road, behind the hibiscus bush, is Mother Icilda’s wattle-and-daub house with the red floor. Her tile floor is redder than the red dirt we’re walking on, red like Grandma’s lipstick. She doesn’t attend Parson’s church. Grandma says she goes to a tie-up-head church. Mother Icy always dresses up in a white dress, long down to her ankles, and a white turban with a lead pencil behind her ear.

“Miss Pearlie-oi!”

“Morning, Brother Farquharson!”

“What a way yuh pretty inna di maanin yah!”

cont…(click below)


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