By: Rip

Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends.

Strange things had been finding Granny Legends relentlessly for the entirety of her long, storied life, and honestly she was kind of sick of it. Sure, most of the 'strange things' that happened these days barely registered as a blip on her radar. When she discovered the culprit behind her missing newspaper to be a family of sentient (and apparently literate) opossums living under her stoop she simply took to setting the previous day's paper out at night. When curious children from around the neighborhood came to rummage her yard for rumoured treasure, she gave up chasing them away and started offering spades instead. Well, in exchange for a cut of the inevitable findings, of course.

Yes, strange things still happened all of the time and it was Granny Legends' current goal to experience the single strangest thing her life had yet to produce: A completely normal day where nothing even remotely strange could even be argued to have happened.

It was a tall order indeed, and kept Granny Legends quite busy in her self-imposed 'retirement'. She had been long since widowed, and couldn't bear to strike up any more romantic relationships after the exceedingly, well... strange passing of her husband. So, she mostly kept to herself, and tried to be as boring as humanly possible. Last week she tried knitting, which was going pretty well. She almost made it an entire afternoon before noticing somewhere halfway through the third scarf she'd begun subconsciously knitting eldritch sygaldry and narrowly avoided summoning a lesser star god into her parlor.

So, that was a bust. This week, she would try scrapbooking!

The old widow methodically cleared off a workspace, and carefully arranged her supplies. A box of old photos, check. Scissors, check. Glue gun, check. Bifocals, check. Industrial sized bowl of hard candy? Check and check! So far so good. Granny Legends carefully lifted the lid off the box of photos, and started rifling through them.


No, no, it's fine. She reassured herself, suppressing the sudden urge to flip the table. Simply looking at pictures of strange things happening wasn't strange at all! There was nothing strange about scrapbooking. Granny Legends hunched over the table with renewed determination to make this task as tedious and boring as possible.

This lasted for all of 20 minutes.

She shouldn't even have noticed, so intently focused she was on carefully trimming photos into amusing shapes and pasting them to the pages. Unfortunately, strange things stood out to Granny Zane like the dot of a laser pointer must do with cats. She reached for the glue gun, and froze. After a long moment of internal struggle, she pulled her hand away and grabbed another handful of sweets. She sucked on them speculatively, then just gave up. It was too late now. Might as well see where this goes.

Granny Zane flipped the switch on the glue gun and pushed it away, then picked up the photo that she had so carelessly set it upon. It was a photo of herself and her late husband, posing in front of some statuary from what she recognised as one of their trips to Egypt. She peered at it closer, adjusting her bifocals to get a better look.

Apparently the heat of the glue gun had revealed some sort of invisible ink scrawled across the face of the photograph. Granny Legends chuckled at the sight of a short cipher, and the heart shape drawn around her young face. He always did love his little secret puzzles. Not bothering with a pen and paper she stared at the cipher for a long while, working it out in her head while working yet another hard candy around with her jaw.

Zane, my dear,

while our life may be queer

you'll have nothing to fear

for I'll always be here

Granny Legends leaned back in her chair cradling the photograph in her hands. While she was fairly certain most people didn't have their scrapbooking interrupted by secret messages written in invisible ink all over their memories, and therefore this attempt at normalcy was a definitive wash...

...She honestly wouldn't have had it any other way.

Genre: Romance
Setting: In a desert
Character: Old person