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The way she spun the glass fascinated my senses.
I watched carefully, creeping stealthily outside her window sill, the cool chill of the ocean’s breeze tingled erratically on my scalp. I ran my rough hand over my forehead, wiping nervous beads of sweat from my brow and sat fixated on the girl’s every move.
She moved gracefully through her tiny creaking shack, but her walk had a bit of a tilt to it, as if she were unsure of something. It lingered as she walked, a presence of something much darker than she liked to expose. She wore a fluttery shawl that looked as thin as a cloud and torn shorts underneath, random strings hanging precariously from their stitches. The blue shawl whipped and flapped in the air as she walked, giving the illusion of blue butterfly wings. In her hands, she clutched tiny shards of glass, cut sharply, sticking out in all forms and angles, deadly to the touch. They glistened under a single naked bulb that dimly lit her abode, and I was bewitched by the playful shadows that tattooed on her face a new pattern with each gesture.
She moved over to the opposite side of her shack, farthest from me. A strain and need ached inside of me to move closer, but my feet remain planted into the grainy sand. I couldn’t risk her seeing me. She settled herself onto a window seat and crossed her legs, tiny scratches now illuminated under the moonlight. They replaced the dark tattoos with pieces of white that shone across her features, and I noticed tiny flaws in her form. A small jagged line was carved beside her right eye and it swirled upward, almost as if it were magic. Her legs were spindly and thin, and her arms were glistening a pale sheen that sparkled under the glow of the moon.
She set her prize down in a tiny stack, and I heard the clink of glass collide with one another. They tumbled as if inside a kaleidoscope and glittered like gems uprooted from the earth. She grabbed one, a metallic brown shard with a curved underbelly that resembled a bird’s nest. She tested it in her palm, rolling it and catching it like the waves in the nearby ocean, and I was amazed by how not one drop of blood appeared on her hand. She smiled coyly and fished a small string of yarn from beside her and wrapped it around the glass. It coiled around the shard like a boa, constricting its shine.
I was mesmerized as she continued her cycle, examining a piece of glass, tying the yarn, and repeat. She would use almost every one, only a few would she shrug off with a small twinge of doubt. Those she tossed beside her into a little box encased in broken shells.
The moon seemed to climb higher, casting a glow that bounced off the ocean and into her home, illuminating it neon blue, as if a cover had been placed over a flashlight, and the light beamed down above her, straight in her tiny window. My legs quaked in exhaustion and I felt as if I were standing on a million needles, their silver tips jabbing into my skin. I shook both from weariness and nerves, feeling that my time in the shadows was almost up.
The girl then revealed a cross made of two splintery pieces of wood, and smiled appreciatively. She had a light airy quality about her that hypnotized me. It seemed as light as feather but as sharp and sour as the salt that coated my tongue. I gazed down as she began connecting all the pieces, and I caught a glimpse at the blue ink that lay permeated into my own skin. It swirled and dipped and turned into a concoction that resembled my soul and I brushed it softly, my fingertips meeting the inscription.
A sudden and harsh crash, like glass being bounced in a box echoed across the dunes and I whipped my head back up, peering cautiously through the window. The girl had completed her art piece, the care and love shining radiantly with each twinkle. It spun around violently as if caught in a whirlpool and I lingered on the overall beauty of the mobile. The glass hung like stars, but they shined a million times brighter. Quivering and shaking as she turned, the girl held up the mobile, displaying it proudly above her. She smiled and her cheeks then blossomed a cherry red that could even be seen through the curtain of blue. I continued watching as she came closer, eyeing a small wooden crate beside her sinking mattress. I ducked down slowly, cursing myself for staying too long. She would certainly see me now.
The stool creaked and groaned as she dragged it across the floor like chalk on a blackboard. After a few tense moments, I pushed my luck again and looked back in. I couldn’t resist the pull I had to this girl. I was her audience as she stood on top of the rickety wood, tying one final knot around a dangling nail that hung like a stalactite from a cave ceiling. She let go and her mobile stuck, swinging in the slight breeze the ocean pushed toward her. The glass clicked together and created a melodic lullaby that rocked me into bliss and I gazed longingly at the girl, the girl with a magic swirl scar and tiny scratches that covered her legs like coral.
The colors of the mobile – brown, red, blue, and orange – all mixed and molded against one another that they seemed to blend into one mass of color, as colorful as tropical fish, but twice as beautiful. The shine within the tiny room was electric and I longed to step inside and illuminate my insides, to be soaked in light like the girl six feet from me.
My fingertips tingled in anticipation as I watched her return to her window seat silently and pull the seashell covered box onto her lap. She gazed into it as if all the pieces were new, new to feel, new to see, new to use. Funny, I thought, for she had just thrown those shards out. Curiously, I continued to peer into her home, and soon found myself fascinated once more.
The girl picked up a yellow shard of glass, one not very special. It was somewhat dull, not as clean cut or sharp, more blunt and flat, but she gazed upon it with love. She then began to twirl it in her palm, as if molding the glass herself in a kiln.
Once again I decided to push my luck. I was too fascinated by the way she spun the glass.