A Short Story

Long ago, a little girl was visited under the cover of night by midnight’s mischievous servants. They tumbled in through the window sash and juggled stardust like it existed in plenty. To you or me, their voices are but squeaks. To the little girl that night they spoke louder than uncomfortable silence and taught her how best to punish her enemies. Dreams before this had played out kaleidoscopic scenes of warrior queens, damsels with fists, fire breathing dragons and storybook beasts. Yet, when her eyelids fluttered open the next morning, after the moon bent close enough to her window to let the midnight pixies in, she finally understood. She was the enemy she needed to defeat. She was too stubborn; too loud; too brash; too feisty; too caring; too needy; too everything which made her human. She wanted to be a pixie. Small. Light on her feet. Pale in the waning sky. She was quick to put her pixie taught ways to work. She learnt restriction better than her own middle name. She learnt to be quiet and then loud just so she had an excuse to smile and chastise herself again. She learnt loneliness was better than other peoples’ pain or people knowing hers. She learnt pain was a symptom of desiring attention she didn’t deserve. She soon became small. Smaller than the heart beating slowly in her chest; full of dreams and hopes and wishes and old dreams and old hopes and old wishes. Her skin thinned lilac beneath the moon she kept outside, behind the blackout curtains because its questioning stare was too bright for her skin to endure. Still, she remained of heavy foot. Slow foot. Dragging foot. Tired foot. She was tired. Tired of punishing herself and mending herself and punishing herself and mending herself all over again. One night she was so tired she left the window and the curtains open. The moon left its mantle of stars and galaxy blue and drifted down on the notes of her broken sleep. It filled the window with silver light and begged her to open her eyes. She was bathed in its beauty and in her sleep she reached outside. She felt the craters and traced the pockmarks on her skin. She felt the coarse rocks and smooth dust melt between her fingers and traced the skin and bone of her wrist. She breathed in and breathed out and blew. She blew the moon back onto its mantle and floated back into bed, a five foot three tall woman. Dreams after this sung of love and loss, fire and ice, summer and rain and everything in between. When her eyelids fluttered open the next morning, after the moon had introduced itself as imperfect too, she finally understood. She was everything she needed to be; she was everything human and magical too.

© Kristiana Reed 2018

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