Title: Once Upon a Time
Word Count: 564
Once, there was a girl who befriended the wind.
She sits for hours, in her little grassy meadow as he regales her with stories of far off places and things she has only ever read about. He tells her tales of racing the dolphins across oceans, of playing tag with eagles and how to shape clouds into rabbits. He whispers about hot, dry deserts and tugs playfully at her skirt as he tells her about the wonders hidden deep in the rain forests.
“It sounds fantastic, to be you.” She sighs, catching a flower he has spun in her direction.
I am free, he says, but there are things I cannot do. I can never truly hold a flower or feel the grass or swim to the bottom of a pond.
“All things I would happily trade for one afternoon spent flying with you.” she replies, ducking her head to hide her blush.
Do not be disappointed, sweet walking flower. We all carry our burdens.
Once, there was a wind who fell in love with a girl.
He brings her gifts from the places he’s been. Blooms from cacti and slivers of fruits she can’t even pronounce from places she’s never heard of. He brings her the spray of the ocean to dampen her face and the scent of fresh snow to wrap in her hair.
“I want to be with you.” She says, reaching out a hand to brush through his edges.
You are with me he reminds her gently as he flows against her hair, twisting strands into impossible knots and giving them playful tugs.
She shakes him off, a sign of annoyance his flower has rarely ever shown. “I want to actually be with you. Like the birds and the clouds, I want to be part of your world for once.”
You are my precious, beautiful walking flower, part of the earth that I travel. I would not trade you for anything.
But it’s not the right thing to say and she rises suddenly, leaving salty tears for him to catch in her wake.
Once there were two broken hearts and neither knew why.
Months passed quickly, July to August to September to October and finally to November before the wind found his flower girl again.
She isn’t in her meadow this time, instead she has walked and climbed and toiled until she stands at the very edge of a cliff. she doesn’t notice (her) wind twisting about her for a long moment, she’s too preoccupied in checking over some sort of contraption she has carried with her.
I missed you. whispered the wind. He offers her petals and chipped seashells and morning dew as an apology.
She ignores him, strapping the thing she has brought with her to her back.
He grasps at her hair, tugs at her skirt, plucks at her fingers and nose. what is this? What are you doing?
She finally smiles at him, a fractured glow of her former radiance. “I’m going to fly.” she says, “and I’m going to be with you. Or I won’t.”
She jumps before he can stop her.
The wings work, for a moment, carrying her out and up and she’s laughing so brightly the wind wonders how he’s ever gone without her in his skies.
Once there was a girl who gave her all for love.
This is an older piece, originally written in 2010, reprinted here for your reading pleasure.