My wishing star glowed slightly and winked back at me. I could almost hear its voice, tinkling like wind chimes and church bells, reassuring me that everything would return to normal.
Time is a funny thing. You can go through it and meddle with it, but nothing can stay permanent. So even if everything so far had not happened, time would still have managed to find a way to make all this happen.
I felt so much older now, so much more responsible. I guess that there were some positive outcomes: I knew more things than usual, and I knew that I really could accomplish anything and everything. But sometimes, all a fifteen-year-old girl wants is to stop growing. She wants time to slow down and eventually stand still where she can be young and inexperienced forever. Sometimes, she simply wants to remain a child.
And then I knew that despite all the pain and hard work all of us had gone through, despite the sadness and anger we felt, in the end, everything was going to be fine. But I did not know when the end was, or if it was even near. But that did not matter. I preferred to look towards it in anticipation rather than worry about it. One new day equalled to one new adventure. And right now, I still had plenty of days left in my life. So I did not decide to sit down and plan out my life. Instead, I decided to sit back, relax, and see where life would take me.
Oscar always said that books are truly our best friends. He said that they never think poorly of us and that they always have a shoulder for us to cry on or relieve stress. They take our minds away from the real world by telling us captivating stories. When we look back at our choice of books, we can nostalgically recall our younger years.
There was a sudden flash of lightning which brightly illuminated our faces. I squinted against the harsh light. It was soon followed by the crack of thunder. The strong wind whipped our hair around our faces, and the younger girls squealed as they quickly ran across the grass to get inside the school. Rose and I sat up, smiles on our faces as we listened to the weather’s dangerous melody. The third flash of lightning finally ripped open the sky’s belly. Freezing rain cascaded out, drenching us in a matter of seconds, the flower garlands drooping and lying limp on our matted hair.
The two of us locked up our own little secrets from the real world. We had experienced countless sleepless nights when we would share our fears, our worries, and our passions; when we would gossip about the school and the other girls. We had played too many pranks and snuck out more than enough times to be expelled if the teachers ever found out. We were professionals at the art of being discreet; however, we had never found sneaking out of a residence necessary, especially when the reason was not to play a prank.
The rain landed on my skin with a barely audible patter and changed the tempo of its repetitive dance, letting the wind change its course and angle. The cold soon seeped through my dress and into my bones. An iris from my garland fell in my lap.
I took my friend’s hand as she helped me up. With our hands still linked and our flower crowns tangled in our hair, we danced, laughing with joy, through the rain and towards the school, the lightning showing us our path with its powerful light.
Making friends is not a big deal. Replacing me with them after talking to them for only one bloody day is a big deal.
I believe with all my heart, that Magnus is a worthy and superior successor to your current king. Therefore, I ask today that you reject Gaius Damora as your leader and take Prince Magnus as your new king. He will right the wrongs that have overtaken Mytica. And he will make Gaius Damora pay for all he has destroyed.
Now tell me what you’re afraid of.”“Uncle Nathan is right about this tree. It’s got some kind of spirit in it. And it doesn’t want me to leave.” I saw my dad smile and shake his head. “I’m serious, Dad. You can’t send those guys up here again. The tree will try to kill them before it lets them take me down. Didn’t you see it happen?”“I saw a couple of accidents…”“And Ronnie fell yesterday, but somehow I’m able to be up in this tree no problem. I got up here without any ropes or ladders. Don’t you find that mysterious? Uncle Nathan doesn’t. Grandfather doesn’t.”“They are both superstitious, that’s all.”“I know,” I said. “And what about that, Dad? You’ve spouted all your legends and myths at me my whole life, and now you suddenly don’t care about them? That doesn’t make any sense.”He sighed so deeply I could hear it. “I study those legends to get to know our culture, our heritage. I don’t believe that they are literal truths.”“But what about the mermaids?” I pressed. “Remember the big story you told about the singing boat and the killer whale? It was you who told me that maybe the story was wrong and it wasn’t a singing boat; it was a mermaid under the boat.”“I remember, but I had a real mermaid staring me in the face at the time. There isn’t anything like that going on right now.”“I hear whispers coming from the tree. It moves on its own. It is warmer than it should be…”“You’ve been up there too long. You’re delirious.”I grunted at him. “It started before I climbed up!”Dad rubbed a hand over his face. “I don’t know what you want me to do here.”I turned on the camera and flipped the digital pictures until I found that one with the face. I stuck it in the bucket and lowered it down to my dad and told him to take a look.“Is that as good as a mermaid right in front of you?”He studied the picture a moment and then replied, “I always see faces in the knots of trees. Who doesn’t? I think that’s why so many people create horror stories about them.
Well, can you tell her that?He looked down at his feet. I will. I will.Guy-speak for, I plan to keep avoiding her until she gives up.
Plus, I happened to be a history nerd. Why else would I be interested in a guy born in the year 519?
The last declaration he'd made to me hung between us. The L word. The one that had nothing to do with like.
The combination of razor-sharp wit (completely real) and his credentials (completely fake) had won them over in the end.
The Boy looked at him for a long time before responding. “Well, as long as you’re my friend, I’ll never ignore you,” he said with conviction. “I know what it’s like to be invisible to other people.
I’m not really sure why Ziggy puts up with me.I’m broken. Mostly because of the broken woman who spawned me. I swear, adults should have to get a license to make a kid. Prove they’ve got their shit together before they bring a child into the world. My mom tried, I think. She thought she could piece herself into something resembling a mother by dropping the drugs and dropping the need to feed her overblown selfish streak. But she failed.
I ran to the beat of the forest song, the pulse of the wind and melody of the birds seemed ignite a flame my blood. The swaying of the trees and the hiss of the bromegrass called out to me, urging me to go faster and run harder.
I stood at the grassy edge and tentatively dipped my toe into the water. I watched the ripple spread and break the perfect reflection before composing itself. The ripple then rushed towards a mass of rocks to one side.
She was merely an actress who had been forced to perform her part on stage without fully knowing her lines. She was not real.
As we drifted away from the Tower Bridge, I saw a single silhouette standing against the bright lamplight. Even now when I was nearly asleep, I could recognise her. Her shoulders were hunched up as if she was upset. Whether she was upset that she had nearly killed me or that she had let me get away, I was unsure. Then she turned around and walked to join the other silhouettes standing in a group farther back. Now I could not see which one was Rose – they were all joint together to make one.
The four of us stood in silence as we watched the surrounding girls play games or gossip. It was almost as if I did not belong here anymore. It was like I was peering in through a window from a completely different world.
We laughed as we ducked behind a pile of snow. Then our brothers came charging through the barrier, sending the four of us sliding down a white slope full of cherished memories.
She was not in the body of a young woman but just as I remembered her: a little toddler with a beautiful smile. She reached out with her small hand, and I gripped her tiny fingers as I let go of the pain and sank deeper into the lake.
I opened my eyes and watched the water stream past me. I let out some of my air and gazed at the cascade of silver bubbles dancing up to the surface.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe there really is some goodness here in our world. But if goodness existed, that must mean that darkness existed as well.
I brooded over it. If it had been any other dream, I would have ignored it. But it was one of those dreams. One of those purple dreams. One of those dreams that had an unusual tendency to come true.
He is only fifteen! Does she really think he is prepared for marriage, especially with his intellectual range of a teacup?
Go find your own hiding spot!” I hissed. “The seat is not wide enough to hold me and that whale you call a nightgown.” Also, we were better off if whoever was coming caught one of us – and by one of us, I meant Rose.
Lucille, please make them go away!” she moaned, her voice muffled. “Do you think I am a divine being sent from the celestial realm to guard you from the harsh punishment of rousing from your slumber?” “Is that a yes?” “I am surrounded by idiots.