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Words cut deeper than knives
Image credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
My mom often warned me about the old saying, "Words cut deeper than knives."
While developing a dialog between the main character of my new book and the bitter, jealous, old woman who tries with all her might to stop her, I remembered the encounter between two women when I was a young child.
My mom was browsing at the flea market with me in tow. I wasn't interested in the porcelain teacups and plates, so to occupy myself, I was watching the people around me. I spotted an old woman by the next table. Her deformed fingers caught my eyes because I've never seen a person crippled by advanced arthritis before. As she stood holding onto her cane in front of the table, she picked up rings and necklaces with trembling fingers, but some of the smaller pieces slipped from her fingers, and she dropped them.
The saleswoman, who looked to be about my mom's age, didn't say anything but with angry, annoyed expression on her face, she kept adjusting the jewelry pieces in the display cases that the old woman dropped.
Customers kept coming and going. They had to walk around the old woman and reach in front of her to pick up the jewelry they wanted to buy. After the old lady picked up and dropped ten or so pieces, the saleswoman asked her hardly containing her annoyance, "Are you going to buy anything or just messing up my table and holding up my customers?"
The old woman didn't say anything just quietly dropped the ring she was holding. "Move over already!" a young woman standing next to her snapped turning toward the saleswoman giving her a conspirator's wink and said in a hushed voice, "Being old is just a burden on everyone. I don't want to grow too old. You can't do anything or enjoy anything when you're old and sick."
The old woman looked at her, and then raised her head staring into space. She blinked, shook her head and turned her eyes back the young woman. "You don't need to worry about growing old, dear," she said in a sweet tone with a smile.
"What?" the young woman looked at her surprised. 'What are you talking about?"
The old woman turning away slowly said to her, "You won't live to celebrate your fortieth birthday."
I'll never forget the shocked expression on the young woman's face. She turned to the saleswoman and let out a nervous laugh. "Crazy old bat!" she exclaimed.
The saleswoman stared at the old woman's back, as she walked away, deep in thoughts. "Yeah, maybe... but maybe not."
What are your thoughts?
Did the old woman scare the young one on purpose?
Was she a psychic and had a vision?
Was the old woman cruel and revengeful?
Imagine the young woman's feelings getting close to her fortieth birthday.
Would you tell anyone something like that?
Erika M Szabo
Author of urban fantasy, magical realism novels and children's books,
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