Rosaria sipped her tea and stared out the window at the tiny back yard. She’d moved here when she couldn’t take care of the big house anymore, leaving that to her oldest daughter and her brood. The family did that, passing houses around – this one had belonged to an elderly aunt of Rosaria’s, Estebana – much the way they passed charms, and trinkets, and power. Nothing was ever lost.
It had been Estebana, actually, Aunt Essie, and her grandmother Anselma, who had taught Rosaria about the stories. She could still remember sitting at the kitchen table – now her table, just with a new coat of varnish – learning about the archetypes.
Her cousin Adam, Estebana’s son, had been there, too. It had been his watercolors that she’d learned from, bright, brilliant paintings illustrating the forms the story-characters might take.
“This is the princess,” Aunt Essie had begun. The painting was of a girl in a flowing yellow dress with a white pinafore. Rosaria had wanted that dress so badly, and the little yellow-gold tiara, and the bouquet of flowers. “She represents a certain type of girl. She is pretty, and regal, and she will need rescuing at some point. Unless…” She pointed to one of the smaller women in the background of the picture. “If she is holding this,” this princess wore fringed buckskin, and carried a fierce-looking club, “it will be she that does the rescuing.”
That hadn’t, at the time, seemed that romantic to a young Rosaria. Now, staring out at the daffodils, she saw her granddaughter Lily, wearing a white pinafore and gold tiara, and carrying a giant war-club. It bore reflection.
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