Fiddle-Head Feet

By , Ashford, CT
Her legs dangle from the branches of the tree, bare feet dirty and rough, toenails looking as though they have never even set foot in a nail salon. Her dreadlocks, light brown, skinny, frizzy, are tucked under a wool hat. Acne lightly marks her skin. She has a tiny nose piercing, a barely noticeable light blue diamond stud. The dark brown pocketed khakis she is wearing ride up a little when she shifts her weight, revealing a small purple peace sign tattooed on her ankle. Her eyes, a soft blue, are looking right at you but not really.

Hey!’ she says, and instantly stands up on a branch, grabbing another. She gracefully swings down.

"S***. You know that impact feeling you get when your knees absorb too much stress? I just got that. Ow." She overcomes the pain quickly.

"So, how've you been? Have you decided to be a Hippie with me yet or are you just going to keep up this whole 'I need an education' charade?" Always so awkward yet not, so blunt yet caring. She grins and nudges you. "Hey, don't take offense. Hopefully you know me well enough not to take anything I say seriously. How was your year in civilization?"

"When'd you get that tattoo?" you hear yourself ask, wondering where those words came from.

"We-ell, in March. Nancy decided that I should get off the farm and into town for a bit. Said I needed clothes." She scoffed at this. "So she gives me a hundred and tells me to get what I need. I got what I needed, all right." She laughed now, bending down to look at her new ankle decoration. "Guy didn't even care about ID. He did it for fifty dollars. With the other fifty, I bought a bag of wild rice, gave ten to a bum, got a new jacket at the second-hand store, and this."

She pulls out a crumpled paper bag and then carefully unrolled the lip of it. Inside is a small red leather pouch with golden thread sealing it. She undoes that, sitting cross-legged on the ground suddenly. You follow suit. She shakes the bag upside down, palm open beneath.

A tiny glowing deep blue object falls into her slightly dirty hand. It shimmers and pulses and moves. You suddenly think of the moon and gaze at it, comparing. You make out arms, or at least something resembling arms. Upon closer investigation, they seem to be tendril-like wings, four of them. There is a head, hairless, mouthless, with a small indentation for a nose and closed slits for eyes. The legs are like long pieces of thread, trailing like limp spaghetti down the length of her hand and curling into tiny fiddle-head like feet. It emanates an emotion you cannot quite place- somewhere between fear, déjà vu, and sheer joy.

"Trippy." You whisper, in awe, unable to tear your eyes away from this otherworldly being. "What is it?" you breathe.

"Magic." She murmurs, voice barely audible. "Watch this."

She squeezes her hand shut and whispers into it words you cannot understand. She opens it again and there it sits, tendrils now floating up above its head, eyes now open, revealing a startling array of colors you have never experienced before. Your eyes bulge as you realize that it is levitating.

She grins suddenly, wild and unabashed.
"Magic." She says again, and you see those flawless colors dancing in her eyes, too.





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