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Skye and the Sky

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I screamed at the world. Anger and sadness leaked from my veins while my heart thumped harder to push it away. My hair was messy and tangled and whipped at my eyes, running from the chase of the wind. The forest around me did nothing to calm me. The fact that I was alone for the first time in weeks- in the forest- only fueled my rage. I spotted a stupid dragonfly that was settled on the trunk of a tree. I ran over and kicked it, smashing the life right out of it. The dragonfly fluttered down to the ground, dead, but I wasn't satisfied. I kept kicking at the trunk. The motion felt good.

Finally I sat down on the yellowing grass and buried my face into my dirt-crusted hands. Thunder rumbled nearby, rolling across far-off hills. I vaguely wondered if it was dangerous to be in the forest during a storm. Then I dismissed it disdainfully, not caring what happened. She was gone. I lied down and stared at the dark clouds above me. Funny how this little circle of trees made me feel safer than home felt.

A rain drop fell on my cheek. Soon millions and millions of little raindrops were mixing with my tears. It's a wonder how things as beautiful and extraordinary as raindrops go unnoticed. Up there, in the sky, they're everywhere, racing away from the mother of all rainclouds. Almost as if they were laughing, they glittered as they fell from the sky. Maybe they really are the tears of an angel.

I stood up slowly, knowing that I was soaked through. I didn't care. I was soaked through whether I went under shelter or not.I. Don't. Care. Slowly, I raised my arms in the air, feeling like a Goddess with the wind rushing past me and the rain tapping on my arms, and I began to spin. Around and around. Faster and faster, I spun. My tears kept falling, falling, falling, but I didn't care. I felt like I should be able to shoot up into the heavens and fly away.

The thunder was rumbling so hard that I could hear the echoes of it even after it had shivered away. The tree were now swaying heavily to and fro in the wind and I stopped twirling. My shoulders sagged as I saw that I was still on the ground. Why can't I fly? Lightning light up the sky all at once and I stood like a statue, watching the light show. My breath caught in my throat. What beauty there is in danger.

Suddenly the hairs at the back of my neck bristled. Energy surged through me, almost frighteningly. Almost.

Then it felt like I was on fire, the tears from my eyes like bleeding lava. I didn't scream, Instead, I took in a deep breath. There was a sensation in the balls of my feet a moment before I shot straight into the air like a freed bullet. I was a meteorite, fire and all.

The world was gone, but I wouldn't have cared one bit if I could have gone flying around in the sky for the rest of my life. In my heart, though, I knew that I would have to land. Freedom is never very lasting. And I did land, but not quite how I expected. My shoes must have flown off on my journey and my bare toes were sinking into the marshmallow-like ground. Around me, like fog, was this white, sugary powder. I stuck my tongue out and immediately some latched onto it. It was as sweet as I'd imagined it. The sky was a whirl of colors. Pink, orange, yellow, and red. I turned, looking for the sun and instead saw someone walking to me through the sugary fog. I nearly fell to my knees when I saw it was her.

"Yeah, the air does taste good, doesn't it? It's not sugar, though. Love." She smirked, acknowledging how cheesy it sounded, but also respecting it in a way.

For a moment, I couldn't speak. My voice had been left behind on the ground. Finally, I found it. But then, I couldn't find anything to say. Shock. Then, I just said it. "Marie." Her name came out as a whisper. Just the sound of it, even in my own voice, made me want to cry.

"Oh, Skye," she said sadly. "I have missed you. But you shouldn't be here."

"Y-you pr- prom-promised," I couldn't control the stuttering, but then the rest just burst out of me. "You promised to stay with me! Forever and forever! We promised that to each other hundreds of times before falling asleep over the years! Thousands! But you still broke our promise! I hate you! I hate you so much! I just-" Promptly, the sobs came back, ruining my rant.

Her hand came to a rest on my shoulder. "I know, Skye, I know. I love you, too."

I wiped my nose on my t-shirt and looked up at my sister with desperate, red-rimmed eyes. "Are we in heaven?"

"No. We are almost there. Once you make the decision, you'll be able to see the shining, bright white gate. And once you see that gate, you won't want to go back."

Never go back. I didn't want to think about it. "I'm fourteen," I whispered.

"Yes. I watched your birthday. They always let us watch birthdays. I've got to say, though, it sure looked like a rotten party. Mom kept on glancing from you to my photo, Dad had those saggy bags under his eyes, still remembering, and you said not one word. Even Katherine saw something was wrong. Skye?"

"Yeah?"

"Can you tell Katherine stories of me? When you get older? I want her to know me."

"You mean... I'm not dead yet? I can still go back?" My voice was hoarse.

Marie frowned in concentration "I don't know. They almost never bend the rules to let people visit. You must be very close to dying. Do you-" Skye takes a sharp breath, "What were you doing, Skye? What happened?"

I realized that I didn't know what I had been doing. That day, or ever. A hazy shape began forming in front of me. "No!" Marie shouted. "Skye, don't! Don't die yet! Oh, the horror!"

"What? What is it, Marie! What's happening?"

"You're deciding! Skye, stop it! Think of Mom and Dad. They'll be devastated. Think of Katherine, who will have lost both of us, not even remembering. She won't have any sort of childhood. Oh, Skye! They've arrived! They've found you!"

"What? What!"

"I can feel it! Mom and Dad have found you! What where you doing in the woods?"

"I- I don't- know!"

Marie plastered herself onto me. "Go back, Skye. Fly back. Be free."

I opened my eyes to see Mom and Dad's faces looming over me, wet from rain, wet from tears. In my heart, I saw Marie walking back through that gate, a peaceful smile on her lips.



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