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Beyond the Fence

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She was trapped behind the white picket fence all her life. Hundreds of posts encircling her home, keeping her in, away from the rest of the world. Her parents locked her in, kept her imprisoned, but she knew nothing else. During the day she would come out and play in her yard, picking flowers and making wishes on dandelions, at night she would lay in her bed, her little porcelain doll tucked under her arm, and look out the window towards the white picket fence, wondering what was beyond.
She was out searching for four leaf clovers one day, when she saw a boy standing beyond the fence. She slowly got up from her tight little crouch and cautiously walked towards the boy. “Who are you?” she asked. The boy didn’t answer. “What’s your name?” Yet again the boy stayed silent. ‘Curious’ she thought. There had always been people on the other side of the fence, but they had always jeered and taunted her, calling her the ‘lonely little prisoner.’
This boy was different. She could see it in the way that he just kept looking at her with his startling amber eyes. The wind softly ruffled his golden hair, making him look like some kind of Greek god from her books. She wanted to go to him, talk to him, find out who he was. She looked over her shoulder to make sure that her mother wasn’t watching her, but when she looked back, he was gone.

A year passed, she turned thirteen. She often thought about the strange boy who had stared at her behind the white picket fence. Every day when she woke up, she would look out her window, hoping he would be there, but he never was. She went outside and sat on her swing. She had stopped picking flowers the day that she had seen the boy, and instead had asked her father to build her a swing. Every day she would sit and look out beyond the fence, wondering what was hiding in the dense forest. She had always thought the trees were huge, towering over her house like giants. She loved when butterflies or hummingbirds would shoot out of the shrubbery and dart around her head.
She pushed herself softly on the swing, looking down at her shoes. When she looked up, the boy was there. Her eyes opened wide in amazement. She hadn’t thought she would ever see him again. He was standing near the forest trees, staring at her with his startling amber eyes. She stared back. She got up from her swing and walked to the fence, placing her hands around the tips of the posts.

“Will you come with me?” he asked. His voice was soft and magical.

“I can’t,” she replied. “They’ve locked the fence.”

“It’s not locked,” he said, his voice tinged with curiosity. He swung the fence inward. She gasped, surprised and confused. She had tried many times to open the fence, but it had always been locked. How had he opened it?
“Come with me,” he repeated, holding out his hand, taking her away from her thoughts. She looked into his beautiful eyes and instantly she knew that she was supposed to take his hand. His hand was warm and smooth, the fingertips calloused. She took a deep breath and quickly stepped outside of the fence. She couldn’t believe it; she was outside the boundary of her home!

The boy smiled at her and held her hand tighter, sending reassurance up her arm and into her heart. She looked back over her shoulder at the place that for thirteen years she had called her home, then turned around and let the boy lead her toward the forest, a smile slowly spreading across her face. She was going away, she wasn’t going to be locked up anymore. Finally she wasn’t the ‘lonely little prisoner.’ She was free.





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