The dinner bell clanged and kept clanging, mixing with its own echo until Dara was sure that everyone in the house had heard. She swung the handle until she heard the first thudding footsteps overhead. Then she yanked it hard, one more time, encouraging Tadd to climb out of whatever book he had picked up.
Doors squeaked open and clapped shut. Lenor arrived with something less formal than promptness. Janni raced absolutely no one down the stairs, same as always, clattering on the wooden steps. Kal followed a few moments later, leisurely and they caught up with each other at the bottom with a smile.
The first break was an accident.
The vase slipped out of Eidie’s hand and cracked open on the hard floor, half clatter and half shatter. One side almost hummed against the paving stones as it rocked on it’s unbroken bell. The other lay in a dozen jagged pieces, silent and glittering. The vase had dropped so quickly, she didn’t realize what had happened until she was counting pieces. And then, in an instant, she knew it would never go together again.
She considered the boots she was wearing. These were the good ones, with the good soles, still thick as boards.
She planted one heel in the glass shards and listened to them crackle, then put the other inside the unbroken curve and let her weight split it open.
It was broken, after all, and she could see no reason to cling so definitely to what it had been.