Lizzy stares at the tree’s shadows projected on the wall. Moonlight seeps through the window, and though accustomed to the tree-shadows crawling across the wall, tonight they scare her. A sense of fear and dread hovers over the dim house, and the murmur of voices wafts through the threshold.
“Grandma’s not feeling well, but she’ll be all right, go back to sleep,” her father said, and ushered her back to bed.
Hurried feet shuffle past the doorway, and a gloomy atmosphere permeates the room. The wind howls outside and rustles the branches, which scratch against the window.
Lizzy watches the branch-shadows flicker on the wall. They stretch and twist into a hand with long fingers reaching towards the closed bedroom door. The bony twig-hand passes through the door and enters the hallway.
More hurried feet; stifled sobs and gasps mingle with the creaking stairs and the wailing wind.
“Boo-hoo,” it cries, as the shadows on the wall sputter.
With her heart in her throat, Lizzy gazes as the bony hand expands and morphs into feathered wings surrounding the bedroom walls. The moonlight brightens and emits a golden glow throughout Lizzy’s bedroom. She stifles a sob while sorrow rises from her feet to her chest, threatening to burst it open. It does not burst, but the sorrow spills over her eyes and rolls down her cheeks.
The sound of flapping wings fills the room, then fades into the night as the tree-shadows settle back into their natural shape.
The wings also lift the dread from Lizzy’s body, and a placid sadness fills her heart now that Grandma has died.