June 12, 2010
The little girl’s eyes stared straight ahead – unblinking - focusing on her mother. Her soft brown hair flowed in curls like a stream, her face ghostly pale. She knew she didn’t have much longer before the black hole came and ate her.

“Momma,” the girl murmured; a whisper that echoed throughout the cold white walls of the room. “What will happen when I die?”

The mother choked back tears – she wouldn’t let her daughter see her cry anymore. She would be strong. Focusing on the heart monitor, she contemplated how to answer the question. A question no one wants to answer. The beeping every few seconds from the machine was the only thing that kept her sane.

“Well, all the little girls and boys go to their own place full of all the things they’ve ever wanted.”

“What’s my place filled with?”

“Whatever you want honey,” the mother replied, allowing her daughter to imagine her fantasy world. Something, she realized, her daughter had never really done before. With all of the trips back and forth to hospitals, there was never a fairy tale to tell her daughter to help soothe her to sleep. Something the mother would regret. But now she wouldn’t lie to her daughter. She wouldn’t tell her she’d live, because in her heart, along with all of the statistics and doctors opinions, she knew the girl wouldn’t make it. However, she hoped; hoped with every part of her heart that by now was like a million pieces of broken glass. Now she would give her daughter the fairy tale for which she had been waiting six years.

“I want a little pond with lots of flowers and animals.”

“What about a unicorn?”

“Yes! Lots of unicorns – and fairies! And giant elephants who give me rides, a panda, and a baby tiger to play with. Oh, and a dog who’s a magician!” her daughter was ecstatic.

“Wow that sounds exciting! What’s this place called?”

“Heaven,” said the girl, her eyes wide with wonder, imagining her beautiful place.

“Of course it will be heaven! But this is your own little slice of heaven you get all to yourself! Unless, that is, you want to invite some friends over for a tea party.”
“Hmm. Then I want it to be called Paixrêve.”
“Paixrêve? Why did you choose that?” asked the mother, curious of her daughter’s decision.
“One of the doctors said it means peace dreams in French,” the girl said, closing her eyes. She couldn’t hold them open any longer.
“That’s a beautiful name. I love it,” her mother replied softly, happy that her daughter’s heaven was perfect.
“Mom, keep describing Paixrêve to me.”
The mother took her daughter’s hand and held it tight between both of hers. Stay strong, she whispered in her head. “It’s a place full of love and joy. Birds sing wonderful songs every day, the pond has the freshest water in which to swim and drink in all of heaven, and the panda tells fairy tales to you every night before you go to sleep.”
“The elephants dance, the tiger cub keeps you warm, and mermaids and fairies treat you like a queen. An army of nutcrackers protect your glade, and owls lead by the dog magician fly above, scouting out for your friends.” The mother smiled. She had described it perfectly, a smile on her daughters face as well. Both of them felt as if their heaven was real, a children’s fairy tale brought to life.
“It sounds perfect,” the girl whispered, slowly slipping away into the black hole.
“It is,” the mother whispered back, a tear slipping down her cheek. She was being ripped apart at the seams. Stay strong, she thought repeatedly. “It is the most peaceful place in all of heaven, like the perfect dream you’ve always wanted but never came true. This time it is true.”
The girl didn’t answer. She was far away in Paixrêve, her perfect slice of heaven.

Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

SadieG.Adel said...
May 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm
this is amazing! its such a good balance of beauty and despair
katie-cat said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm
I remember reading this.  It's sad, obviously, and I think the descriptions were really good and unique :)
jaredwriter19 replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Yea. Thanks! :)
--LoveHappens-- said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm
This is really cute and I enjoyed it but there was a bit too much dialog which I got lost in but everything else was good. Thanks so much and please check out my work The Wilted Flower.... thanks so much
circus_freak said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 12:09 am
I love the subject matter you chose but I really think this piece needs some work. I think you started out the piece really strong, but it went a bit downhill. I wasn't completely connected to the mother's emotions, couldn't really feel her pain, maybe describing more of their past struggles would be good? I think you did well with your dialog and I could totally see a little girl telling her mom about at dog who is a magician. I want to know more about the mom, what is going on inside her head ... (more »)
jaredwriter19 replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm
Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate it.
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm
This was absolutely...amazing.  I scarcely have words.  Beautiful, sad, but a tiny bit hopeful.  Completely incredible.
jaredwriter19 replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Thank you! I really appreciate it.
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm
You're welcome
DancerBabe said...
Jun. 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm
Oh! That was wonderful! sad, but still wonderfully written, bravo!
jaredwriter19 replied...
Jun. 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm
Thanks! :) Yeah, it's kind of bittersweet.
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