Ashes to Dust
Only one cloud loomed when I married David. His late wife, Carmel.
After a quiet wedding and a relaxing honeymoon we returned to the house David once shared with Carmel. I didn’t mind, it was more practical than my small flat. I looked forward to adding my own touches and creating a garden.
David said I could change anything… except the urn on the mantelpiece. Carmel’s urn, filled with her ashes.
As David carried me over the threshold, I spied it through the open door. It glowed angry red.
“Excited, darling?” David misinterpreted my shiver but I assured him I was and kissed him lovingly, closing my eyes to the glowing urn.
Over the ensuing weeks I redecorated. Beautiful new bedspread. Colourful throws on the sofa and armchairs. I replaced the rose china with my own willow set, bought houseplants and positioned photos of David and me on the other end of the mantelpiece.
The urn glowed red and my arm burned as I passed it. An hour later, the frames lay shattered on the stone hearth; my head torn from each photo.
I replaced the photos with another plant. It shrivelled and died overnight.
A vase of thornless roses. Next morning, they were covered with thorns.
I feared David would think I was crazy. Everything happened when I was home alone.
David was thrilled when I told him I was pregnant. Carmel never wanted children.
We celebrated. David lifted his glass of wine, I responded with lemonade. An eerie vapour seeped from the urn.
I hardly slept that night.
After kissing a still grinning David at the door, I turned towards the urn. Again it glowed red and vapour swirled.
I snatched it up, raced outside and tipped the contents into the bin on the kerb. Later, the garbage truck rumbled past and I watched as one last wisp of vapour rose from the back.
I re-filled the urn with vacuum dust.
Our beautiful baby girl was born seven months later. We’re both besotted.
But sometimes I look into her eyes and they seem to glow an eerie red…