what was in your heart when it stopped going

For I had believed what I was sold, I did all the things that I was told
But all that has changed, and now I'm bold.

Aura couldn’t help it; she flinched a little at the word grandma.

The shock, disbelief and awe were all familiar responses. When she was alive, Aura hadn’t looked quite so ‘obviously’ godly: she was small, wore normal sort of clothes and chewed her lower lip a lot. When people found out who she was, surprise was usually the mildest reaction. Since her death and transformation into the Guide of the Dead, she certainly looked more impressive. If the floaty, white-blue robes, metal scythe and pale grey skin didn’t drop the hint, then the now-famous eight-point star symbol which she wore openly around her neck did the trick.

There was something a little unexpected mixed into Eselda’s tone, though: excitement. After disbelief, the next reaction Aura had usually gotten when she was alive was disappointment. These days, as the Reaper, she tended to get more wariness.

Eselda seemed over the moon, though – and not because she was meeting a goddess or the Guide of the Dead, but because she was meeting her grandmother. This was a wholly new experience for Aura. She tensed as the little girl threw herself at her, stiffening awkwardly as Eselda’s arms wrapped around her in a tight hug. The scythe was very much in the way and Eselda was in danger of being poked with it if she made any sudden moves, so Aura wriggled one arm free with some difficulty and dropped it on the ground beside her. Her clothes instantly shifted, reverting back to the greyed-out shorts and tank top which she’d died in. Not really sure what else to do, she used her now-free hand to pat the little girl on the back.

“Er – yes, I suppose so.” The admission almost felt like a lie. Aura had known that she was a grandmother, biologically, but she had never felt like one. Eselda’s mother Poppy had been disowned by both parents at birth; Aura still didn’t really even consider her her daughter. “I mean – if you want me to be.”

A u r a
They thought I was weak, but I am strong; they sold me the world but they were wrong
And now that I'm back, I still belong.

image by ankur sharma at flickr.com

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