She sits on the carpet in a spot where the sun enters in
the shape of a triangle. She wears a thin gray nightgown, transparent,
her spine visible from the doorway. Lately her body aches, nights
unable to sleep from the pain and heat. She predicts her crystal count
to be less than fifty.
From the box, sitting to the side of the triangle of
sunlight, she takes out the crystal and dips it into the light. The
triangle warps. Long yellow beams reflect off the crystal. Mom tilts
her hand until a hologram of another black crystal appears in the
middle of a light beam.
During her best games of Horses Hologram, Mom produces
eight individual holograms in eight beams of light, her hand contorted
in a new symbol. The highest crystal nearly touches the ceiling,
grazes corner cobwebs. The lowest hovers, flickers, near her ear, and
once she tilted her head and half the crystal, part of the yellow
beam, disappeared inside her hair.
Last week, after reaching eight holograms, she stretched
her fingers into positions that burned the joints trying to get one
Two black horses appeared and floated above her hand. She
held back laughter and contained her shaking. Physically she was a
small woman, but she felt big, massive, a giant creating unusual
shapes from her hand holding a crystal. A pool of green-felt expanded
under the horse's feet. A red box faded in around the black crystal
and her hand. The oozing green-felt formed a solid side. Her hand
disappeared inside. The horses became a solid shine and shook their
manes. They stomped their hooves and the blast radiated a ring, then a
lake, of white light. Mom moved her fingers, but she couldn't feel
them. She dropped the crystal and everything vanished but the triangle
of sunshine coming through the window.