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Harbor Embarkment

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Madame Love Rawlins’s hair has grayed, though it is still tied back in a variety of colorful scarves, and she still has not (re)met her sons. She has begun to worry that she will never (re)meet them. Then she finds the door.

Her neighbor’s children have moved a cabinet in the basement for her and now, after coffee and cookies, they have gone. She goes down to see if she can find the mold she smelled, though the children (young adults) told her that they could not see any and that is when she finds the door.

It’s knob is broken off, leaving sharp metal in its place and the lock has been smashed, but it is still clearly a door. She looks at it for a long moment before moving forward. In a way she cannot quite place but knows very well it seems important. When she touches it she knows. She goes back upstairs and out to the woodpile to get the ax.

She is breathing heavily by the time there is a space big enough for her to step through. (She takes the ax with her-the door told many tales, including of danger though she does not think it is immediate).

She drinks first, more familiar with it than the dice. It tastes of honey, paprika, beer, and somehow, of bees. The glass falls with a rudeness that surprises her. She hardly gets to see the dice-four hearts, one crown, one feather-before they fall, and the door on the other side of the room slides open.

Zachary stands on the other side, holding the hand of a taller man who she instantly realizes is her second son. On Zachary’s other side Kat stands, with newly bleached hair cut in a style that is different from what she wore the last time Love saw her. She smiles, and nudges Zachary, who looks a little stunned, forward.

He recovers himself and starts walking quickly, almost running, towards his mother, his hand still in his husband’s. She gets to him first, having started out before them. She hugs both of them. Zachary’s husband stiffens in surprise, then relaxes. She waves Kat over.

“Come join us, honey-child. She said I’d have two sons, but she never told me I’d also have a daughter.”

Kat looks startled, but she comes, and joins the hug.