In a terrible fire, a mother lost her young son. His name was Rudy and he was Nine. All that was left...all that was given to her was a finger bone found in the ash and rubble.
She held it. Cried with it. Blessed it. Cursed it. Most of all she never let it go.
One day, she realized the only way to move on was to bury the finger bone. She planted it like a sacred seed in her garden one night under the careful eyes of the Moon. With a few silent words, she turned and made her way to bed.
The next morning she was startled to find dirt and rich soil spread across the lawn and making a trail inside. It was in the kitchen that she found the tiny, grey skinned baby. It was cold and cried for food that was not milk.
The mother smiled, cradling the strange infant as she made her way upstairs. She offered it the breast, but it would only gnash at her flesh and suckle the rich red that came to surface. The mother didn’t care; she had her baby back.
As the years went on, she raised her son a second time. He was different, but he was hers. One summer she found him sobbing, his flesh peeling from bone like old wallpaper. With each passing day he grew more frail.
In the bath, while draining the tub she would find bits of her son. Scalp in his comb. Teeth not in his mouth. Everyday it grew a little worse until the mother finally realized.
Soon her grey boy would be the same age her son was when he died. By the time that day approached, the boy was but rags and rot. The mother smiled as she slowly spoon fed him a slice of birthday cake.
His eyes were gone; he could see no longer. His peeled nose could not smell the cake nor candles. Rudy’s jaw could no longer chew.
She pressed cake against his face anyway.
Dragging her precious Rudy into the yard, she knocked over the rest of the cake. The candles caused a great fire. Before she could extinguish it, her son had become ash once more.
Well all except a finger bone.