Grand-cat-ma

Melody has a problem. It's her grandmother. She thinks she hates her, but a wish could change it all. If Melody has the strength to search for answers.

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2. A 30's dress goes well with cats

By the time the eight hour school day was over I was studying by torch light (flashlight).  Grandma walked up to me.  I looked up in surprise.  My “classmates” were lining up to be escorted home.  

“I got a pass, now come on we have shopping to do,” exclaimed Grandma.

First we walked to our usual stop, the battery.  A month worth of corn meal, the common type.  Farmers don't grow wheat any more, they grew corn.

Then Grandma started walking to a bus stop.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“It’s your birthday and we have places to go,” said Grandma.  That was not much of an explanation.

I got my explanation after we boarded the bus and stopped at Silka’s.  Silka’s is the most prestigious dress shop.

“We can’t afford this,” I whispered.

“Your parents sent ten dollars instead of five,” said Grandma calmly.

I looked at Grandma and blinked.

Corn meal was three dollars, and fruits were 50 cents each.  The cheapest thing was wool ten pounds for a penny!

Grandma opened the door.  A tiny thing beeped, we both jumped at the sound.  My Grandma is so agile it’s catlike, and how silent she can be is sometimes annoying.

A middle age man, with a brown mohawk came up to us and asked, “what may I help you with”.

I stiffened.  Grandma was the exact opposite.

“What can my granddaughter get for five dollars?” asked Grandma.  Five dollars for one thing of clothing, wow!

“Traditional or modern,” asked the man.  By this I knew he meant modern as in 21st century cloths.  Traditional ment cloths of times like the past.  Like what Grandma wore, a gray, baggy, long sleeved,  dress normal tied with a cord.  For Grandma, the head of our family, it was a brightly beaded belt that had green and yellow squares.

To answer the man’s question I said, “something from the 30’s”.  

I looked at Grandma for confirmation that this was ok, I had chosen traditional to please her.

Grandma nodded her head.

The shopkeeper then asked what he should have asked before anything else, “may I see your passes”.

We showed them to him.  He brought out a card reader and scanned them.

“All clear,” he said after putting his reader away, then said, “miss follow me”.

I didn’t like being called Miss but it was better than what some adults called me.  We walked down the long aisles as we got closer to the back of the store clothes got older.  In the front I saw a gorgeous sequin shirt with faded jeans, not the factory kind but the kind that had been worn for real.  I stared at the outfit as the man lead me past.  My eyes were glued to it.

When we got halfway to the back of the store the man turned suddenly and led me into a rack.  “Our 30’s cloths are here,” the he added, “do you want some suggestions?”

“No I will be fine,” I told him.

The buzzer that had greeted us when we had walked in sounded off.

“Excuses me Miss,” he said leaving me to look through the hundreds of dresses.

I looked at the rack, if I were to remove the dresses the task would not be so danting.  I looked at the clothes then sprinted down on pure impulse.  Fabric rushed around me and the cloth pressed in.  I welcome the feeling.  The end of the 20 meter rack came too soon.  I jumped forward to keep from crashing into the mirrored wall and landed on the balls of my feet.  Nothing like a good sprint to keep you awake at, I glanced at my watch, ten pm.  Briefly I wondered how tired I looked.  My reflection stared at me when I looked into the mirrors.  My pale face looked normal, if not for the bag under my eyes.  The bags made me look more like someone from KISS.  My hair hasn't grown much since last time I looked in a mirror, which was a week ago.  I don't look at myself much.  My hair was below my shoulder blades,
mousy brown.  My face it’s self was long with high visual cheek bones, it made my nose look right in a way.  My eyes where blue/green with out frown lines above them.  My jaw line stuck out like a sore thumb.  What colors did even look good on me?  Normally I wore sweat pants or shorts with t-shirts.  Most of the shirts had flowers hand embroidered by my Grandma on them.

I started to work my way down the rack, nothing was looking right.  I tried a few things on over what I wore, a long yellow dress, then a long beaded green one.  After that I decided long dresses made me look even smaller, not what I needed.  When I turned to the short dress side I saw things with frills.  Occasionally I saw the dress with fancy designs on the front, they made me look, well not nice.

Finally an hour and a half later I saw it.  A black knee length dress, there was a line of golden brown lace curving around the shoulders.  I pulled in on over my clothes and looked into the mirrors.  The black brought out my jaw line and made me look more assertive, but somehow calmer.  This was the dress I wanted, and I still had ten cents left over.

The mohawk man came back and said,” sorry that took so long Miss”.

I decided to ignore his comments and replies, “may I buy this dress?”

“The registers up at the front of the store, follow me,” he said.  I walked with my head forward, I had no need to keep looking at myself.

On the way up I saw a market stall, the space around it was not made of mirrors, but sky.  “What’s that?’’ I asked.

“We thinks she’s a witch but since the new leader doesn’t believe in magic she is annoyingly allowed to stay unless she steals, then the guards can have her,” He stated.

The man started to walk,  I looked at the woman.  A tug in my gut told me I should go over to her.  “Just a sec,” I called to the shopkeeper.

I walked to the old woman, my feet kept walking but as I got closer my heart pounded in protest.

“Have you come for magic?” asked the old woman as I reached the stall.  

I had no idea how to answer this.  But what the heck what did I have to lose by saying yes.  Still logic said I was tired and was not think clearly.  “What kind of magic?” I inquired.

“Wish magic, you wish and you get exactly what you ask for,” explained the woman.

I stupid thought came to me, I could help my Grandma with this.  “How much?” I asked.

The woman studied me.  Just when I was beginning to get uncomfortable she announced, “with your intent ten cent”.

I slid a dollar bill to her.  She waved her hand over it and in turned into dimes.

She took one and handed me the rest, along with a small old trinket box.  

“When you want to make your wish say it holding the box, never open it,” she instructed.

I nodded and turned to leave.  

“By the way what is it you wish for your Grandma,” she asked.

I explained, “My Grandma is extremely agile but when she get’s caught by surprise by tripping her legs lock up, I worry that someday she’s going to get hurt, I wish she was more catlike”.

The woman nodded.  

I turned and went back to the man.

After paying for my dress I walked back to my the chair where my Grandmother had been sitting.  I dropped my bag with the dress when I saw the chair.  My Grandma had whiskers growing out from her nose, and she was growing a tail.

“Grandma?!” I yelped.

She looked at me and said, “meow”.

I stared at her in shock for a minute.  Then I remembered my talk.  I wish my Grandmother was more catlike.  Now she was.

“Mreow, mreow,” persisted my Grandma.

I looked at her, more.

With no warning a flash filled the room and I heard a, “Merroooow”!

 

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