By Tarryn Claassen
She cast off her last row, the knitting needles jousting like two opposing fencing swords in battle. After a moment, she took out a large pair of antique sewing scissors from her coat pocket and snipped the turquoise wool. Her liver-spotted hands shook out the fresh wool, and she held out two egg-shaped pieces of knitting to me.
“There,” she said. “Try these on.”
“I’m sorry, but what are they?” I asked.
“Bed socks, dear, to keep your feet warm. The transition can be somewhat chilly, or so I have heard.”
“But aren’t you supposed to carry a scythe?” I asked.
She chuckled at this. “Fairytales, love,” she said. “Now, tut tut, come along. I have a strict appointment at six-thirty.”
“It’s not just me?” I asked, trying to peer into the pocket-sized black book she was scribbling in with a red marker. I leaned against the wall, trying to balance as I was putting on the bed socks, which was quite a task even though I now weighed nothing.
“Oh no, dear.” She turned the book to me with a shake of her head. “Mr. Nibbles, he has been awful careless of late,” she said as she tapped her marker on the page.
I counted eight shaky, red X’s next to Mr. Nibbles’s name.
“Alrighty, time’s a-wastin’,” she said as we both walked out the front door together, and she shut it behind us. We were halfway down the driveway when the old lady came to an abrupt stop and looked down at her pocket watch. “Right on time,” she said.
I spotted a cat crossing the road a moment before I saw the red sedan hurtling down the narrow street. The sedan veered, trying to miss the cat. My hands flew up to my face as I watched in horror. I turned to the old lady as she fumbled around in her tan coat pocket, quite unperturbed, and fished out four little turquoise, paw-sized bed socks.
She must have seen my mortified expression as I looked at the four pieces of knitting she held, because she said with a smile, “For the transition, dear. It can be somewhat chilly.”