What a lucky number that is." my grandmother said,
with certainty of a rock.
She believed in mishmash.
"The night sky is red tonight. It's gonna rain." she'd say
proudly, expressing extent of her pseudoscience indisputable.
I'd try my best to detect red but all I ever saw was
vastness of black covering jumbled web of strange
beliefs, unproved "facts" my grandmother misconstrued.
She mistrusted any spiritualist who charged money,
but paid them well when their psychic powers seemed true.
Andrea was her favorite.
A jovial, chubby lady who seemed normal in every way, except
she had a spooky room in her house where my grandmother went
to get some amulet or special water with a feather or a coin,
a magnet to attract forces of luck,
transforming random destiny into magical good.
I feared Andrea. I sensed her aura obscure,
fragments of invisible powers swam within, waiting for activation.
She was confident of this, I could tell, though her demeanor demure.
My grandmother ignored my resistance during my visit one day
when I least wanted to talk to anyone I didn't like or believe.
But she forced me to the phone, where Andrea said,
"You just lost a baby I'm told.
Doctors foretell a barren future.
How sad, hopeless you must feel.
But, don't worry child, all will change,
for as soon as you return home,
a fertile seed you will grow."
I've thought of her often, but never spoke to Andrea again.
I heard she moved far away.
Science predicted doom, a childless life for me.
Somehow Andrea knew this was not to be.
A year later, my grandmother, admiring my newborn said,
"How wonderful that she was born on the 13th.
What a lucky number that is."
(Submitted to Imaginary Gardens.)
I've written about this before. Sorry if you've read the same story in different form. This really happened. Maybe that's why I retell it so much.