Kass skips home from church beside her big sister Helena, thinking about the piece she sang with the Kinderchor, “Die güldne Sonne,” and soaking in the light of the golden sun which reaches down between the tall brick buildings all the way to where Kass is. Kass lifts her face to the sun and sings, “Ein herzerquickendes, Liebliches Licht....”
“Hush!” Helena snaps. Helena seems to think that because she is twelve and Kass is only eight she gets to tell Kass what to do all the time. “Look where you’re going!”
Kass looks back at the buckled brick sidewalk in time to avoid a clump of horse manure. “You didn’t say hush when I sang with the Kinderchor this morning,” she points out. “It can’t be bad to sing Bach, or Frau Geist wouldn’t tell us to do it.”
“In church! Not on the street!”
“Pastor Baum says we have to be the same people in church and on the street. You shouldn’t contradict Pastor Baum.”
“Do you want to be like Großmutter Kassell?” Helena snaps.
Kass shuts her mouth. Of course she doesn’t want that. That’s what she’s afraid of when she wakes from nightmares, when the shadows swell up and whisper to her.
Helena smiles triumphantly. Papa being too poor to bury their grandmother, leaving her to mummify in the attic, was the best gift a big sister could hope for.
Opening: Joanna Hoyt.....Continuation: Khazar-khum