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A short story

By Annie WoodPublished 12 months ago 3 min read
Pen drawing by the author

Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. “I told you I’m fine!” screams the teenage girl twirling by the sea. She has a mass of messy, black hair and bloodshot eyes. She is spinning around and around and around, her gold rhinestone-dotted skirt rides up high as she twirls catching the sun's rays with each spin. The girl twirls in continuous motion inside a blue canoe on the water. The purple clouds sometimes speak to the girl in violent violet words so colorful they make the shy sky blush.

A woman with a long face is sitting cross-legged on the shoreline, holding an overflowing laundry basket on her lap. Next to her is a record player that sits on a large rock. a record spins but makes no music. It only loops on the sound, tshh, tshh, tshh.

The woman wants to help the girl but doesn’t know how. She thinks of all the times when she herself needed someone to stop and listen. Someone to not tell her how to think, or who to be, but just to stop and listen. Why is that so hard? The woman wonders if it’s something she can do right now for the girl. She knows the girl has powers that she's unaware of. She remembers when she was young she didn’t know about her power either. She wants to tell the girl that her strength is her anchor in this world. It’s her unique heart and mind, her ability to think for herself and to love. It’s a superpower that should never be ignored. The woman knows that to activate this magic, the girl will have to find stillness. She will need to stop distracting herself with everything on the outside and just… pause.

If only for a moment.

The girl notices a red door standing upright in the middle of the sea. The door is closed. A dry heat fills the air but the twirling girl has cold feet. Her toenails are painted black and the tattoo on her left ankle is a single-line drawing of a woman’s face with her tongue sticking out. The words that circle the drawing read, “I’d rather be anywhere but here.” She says, “This place smells like fish and coconuts. I’m hungry.” But she keeps spinning.

The wood dresser on the sand not far from the woman has a book on it. The cover of the book has an image of a red-headed girl holding a pig. There’s a smiling goose to her left and a lamb with big eyes to her right. The goose and girl are looking in the same direction but the lamb’s eyes are focused only on the girl. The pig stares at a spider that’s dangling on its web. It dangles off of the letter C. The words on the book, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White author of Stuart Little Pictures by Garth… something is blocking Garth’s last name. It’s a tiny mountain of white powder.

“You are not fine,” says the woman. “It’s okay to be not fine. It’s okay to ask for help.” The purple clouds tell the girl, “You just need to stop spinning.”

Finally, the girl stops and takes a breath in. Inhale. Exhale. She thinks about how she’s been living. She thinks about how it hasn't been working so great, not for anyone around her and not for herself. Maybe the woman, the purple clouds, and the blushing sky are right.

Maybe there is another way.

“Okay,” the girl says softly, “I will try.”

“That’s all anyone can do,” says the blushing sky.

The red door opens —a waterfall of daises fills the sea.

Young Adult

About the Creator

Annie Wood

I'm a neurodiverse Hollywood native who writes fiction, plays & poetry. A common theme of mine is embracing your youness by not following the fold. I am in perpetual motion.

+ TV/Film/VO actor & mixed media artist.

Find all the links HERE!

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