The Tale of the Peculiar Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 30, 2014
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a peculiar girl. She had cropped hair flecked with damp Pacific sand and deep knowing eyes the color of a red cedar in the rain. Every day the girl awoke in her bedroom built of music and books, looked into the ominous dark forest, and decided whether it would be a Birkenstocks with socks day or a Birkenstocks without socks day. She ate her porridge of oats, soy milk, and fruit, drank her bitter coffee in just two gulps, and walked outside into the temperate rainstorm. Such was each morning, and each morning was good.

The young girl asked many questions, and in this way she learned about the world. Soon her brain began to see the days as parabolas, the conversations as chords and dissonances, and the friendships as woven baskets. The Earth became magical and hope became truth.

One day, a great storm befell the kingdom. The storm was like nothing the young girl had ever seen, and was not from the skies. Inside her heart and her soul and her mind the storm raged – for the peculiar girl had realized that in all her questioning, not once had she asked what was right and what was wrong. Heeding the darkness of the storm, she embarked on a quest for enlightenment.

A great many years later, the not-so-young girl arrived at a castle where she was to learn the algorithms and words and ideas of the world. This castle was ruled and its laws set by the King of Catholicism from his distant home in Vatican City. The girl did not understand these strange laws. She did not understand why a King who preached love would spread inequality. She did not understand why two citizens who wholly loved each other must be banished if they happened to be both women or both men. And she did not understand why the King refused to allow his citizens to question these laws. The peculiar girl's mind churned for days and weeks and months until she knew she must disobey the laws of the great King.

On the sunniest day of the fourth month of the second year, the girl approached the leader of the castle. Seeking permission to form a group for women who love women, men who love men, and the vast number of people falling in between, the girl begged the leader using every magical potion of persuasion she possessed. But the leader would not yield, and the girl was denied.

That night, she cried and cried until her tears watered an idea; the peculiar girl would have to form the group in secrecy, for its existence was still vital to the Kingdom. She found several citizens and a location in the basement dungeon of the nearby castle, and in this way, her idea grew. The first of many meetings of this group was filled with tearful stories, hopeful smiles, and devious plans. With each week, the group gained confidence, allowing ideas to escape from the dungeon with petitions, letters, interviews, rumors, and hope.

In the years that followed, the not-so-young-but-still-peculiar girl continued to water her idea and her idea continued to grow. Baskets were woven, chords created, and parabolas summited. Soon, the idea grew so large that the greatest of storms could not overpower it – and the storm of the girl's youth had passed. The girl was good and her future was bright.

No longer confined to her fairy tale, the peculiar girl has begun to seek a new castle with a benevolent ruler in which she might pursue the true wisdom of the world and live happily ever after.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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