Weeks later, I had to come back and re-read this just for this paragraph:
She doesn’t speak because she is from a future fairy tale where no one speaks, not even the animals. The girl, my sons, and I walk along the misty path. Her hands are badly rusted and her mouth flickers on and off. “Tell me how this ends,” I want to say, but my words aren’t words anymore but limp petals softer than powder. My sons open their mouths to speak, but where their words should be are pale-green animals with long, spindly newborn legs and round ancient faces. On the ground is a small blue feather, but it isn’t small or blue or a feather because this is a fairy tale with no words. I put it in my pocket to bring home, but there is no I or pocket or home because this is a fairy tale with no words. This is a true story, but there is no true or story because this is a fairy tale without words.