“If my memory serves me right, I had put my glasses right here” said Rosa as her wrinkled fingers touched the rosewood table in her well-lit study. She looked at the letter in her hand, sighed and continued searching for her glasses inside the desk drawer where she kept Bibi’s carrot bundle.

Rosa hadn’t searched far when she turned back to the table to find the pair reflecting the Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Henri Rousseau hanging from the opposite wall.

What in heavens! Rosa thought to herself. She was reaching out for her glasses when she heard the bulb directly above her explode. A cry left her throat as she tried to cover her eyes.

“Holy cranberries!” she shouted. Her glasses had disappeared again. Bibi scratched nervously at her cage in the far corner of the room. Rosa kept talking to her while searching around the rosewood table.

Out of nowhere, she heard a plop! and the sound of water being brought to boil in a kettle. She turned towards the entrance to the study where her electric kettle was usually kept for her evening tea and saw the appliance boiling water, and along with it, her glasses.

Rosa tried to make sense of what was going on. Trembling, she reached inside her blouse for her sacred thread covered in iron rings and amethyst beads and began reciting a prayer.

A filthy odour filled the room and everything in the house started shaking. Rosa’s fears started coming true but she did not stop her recitation. She pretended not to see the crows crying, banging on her windows as everything rattled violently. The moment she completed her prayer, just like a bad dream, everything disappeared.

Rosa took the glasses out from the empty kettle-never letting go of her rosary-and sat down beside Bibi, and opened the letter. Putting on her glasses, she read the letter trying to make sense of it all.

A heavy sigh left her lungs.

“Bibi,” she finally spoke, with her head resting on the wall as she looked up into nothing, “looks like you are the only family I have left.”

The door to the study creaked and the window opened to a silent night outside. Bibi let out a little purr. Rosa felt a cold breeze touch them both before dying in the lap of a hot June night.


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