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- It’s not an old folks’ home. Stop calling it that!

She always sounds like a child when she talks to her mother.

- It’s nicer than where we live. It’s got cable in the rooms.

Her mother, my nana.

- You can’t just keep living out in the woods. Who does that?

Sometimes I wonder if my mother really is my nana’s daughter.

- It’s not even a house. It’s more like a shack.

Because why does she think that sounding desperate is going to work?

- I can’t just keep sending Red out there every time you get a cold. Because! She has things to do here!

A lie.

- She has friends!

A bigger lie. Next she’ll be saying I don’t like the walk.

- And the walk. It’s too long. I don’t care what you say, I don’t think it’s safe.

My mother. Sometimes I don’t believe they cut open Nana’s belly and pulled her out. It’s like some kind of fairy tale. The path is safe. The forest is empty, so of course it’s safe. Step off, and the quiet fills your ears like a whole other kind of noise. Watching one flower open could take all day. Or longer. Going there is like going to a place that doesn’t have any kind of time at all.

- One minute. Just look at the brochure for one minute. Promise me you will.

I go to the cupboard for the basket. I know how this story ends.

- Red, your grandmother’s not feeling well.

With Nana in triumph.

- So you’ll have to go out there, again. Take the soup and the bread, and the brochure. Do not let her drink so much wine this time. And that collar! Turn it down. I swear, it makes you happy, going out of this house looking like you’ve been raised by wolves -

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