Alternatively: How a family stitched itself back together again.
It begins like this—
A brother made of fire.
A boy who flares up without warning, like a cigarette dropped in a forest. A boy with hands made of smoke and a mind made of sparks and gasoline. A boy who drives like he'll burn out at any moment. He leaves with choking engines and words, scared to look behind and see the ashes in his wake.
A sister made of water.
A girl who is calm in one moment and a storm to be reckoned with the next. A girl constantly torn between waves of delight and floods of melancholy. She moves with deadly grave, swift and insistent. She constantly overflows like a cup held beneath a waterfall. She keeps a box of half-finished paintings and moves from one thing to the next, trying to understand her position in the universe.
A mother and father made of earth and stone. Both impossible to move, but one so much softer than the other.
A daughter made of air. A girl tossed about by her whims. One week she weaves dreams into her life, and the next week she pushes them away for fear of falling. She's a girl who hides her thoughts behind a ruse of blue skies and heavily concealed eyes. A girl who is scared that her words have become background noise. She looks at the world and tries not to feel left behind. She floats above, unsure of how to land. Unsure of whether she wants to.
It begins like this—a family of elements, once threatening to burst from the weight of each other.
It ends like this—a family learning how to heal instead of hurt. A family that's learning how to share the same lifeblood without draining each other. A family learning to create instead of destroy.