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Sleeping Beauty (Part 1) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The suburbs of New York rested in a peaceful haze of evening fog. Houses lay in perfect squares, curtains left open, their insides illuminated with light. Smoke drifted up from chimneys. The streets were lost and empty and the moon hung above in a frozen web of stars. Thoughts and prayers traveled on the web's strands through the clouds.

In heaven, God was planning.
“She will be beautiful,” he stated. “ Her hair will be curly and dark, her lips will be red as roses. She will be the most beautiful of them all. Pale as snow, she will be able to dance magnificently and gracefully. She will have the wit of an angel, the musical abilities of a nightingale. She will live a full life until the age of---” God was cut off one of his angels.
“No. Please. Please!” There was an desparate tone to his voice. “She shouldn't die that young. God, think of what she could give to the world with her gifts and talents. How could you deprive the world of that?”
“Oh, but I can. And I will. And its not deprivation. Some will enjoy it during her time. Then she returns here. This is how it was meant to be”.
“What if that’s not how it was meant to be? What if she really deserves to grace millions with her gifts? What if she will change the lives of thousands with her talents? What if---“ God interrupted him.
“That’s enough. We shall see. Sometimes what is meant to be is not what happens. Sometimes…. Well, sometimes things change.” God sighed. “For now, she enters the world. For better or for worse…”
A star spun slowly down to earth, spiraling until it was out of sight. “Once upon a time…” the angel whispered remorsefully. The story spun down after the star and like a spool of thread, began to unwind and unfold. The angel watched in silence.

At night he would watch her dance. He would peer through the fogged cracking glass of the old dance studio to its interior warmth. She was there, every night without fail. Her limbs moved gracefully like teardrops cascading down harsh rocks. Her body opened and closed like a flower in spring. She let her soul out and he would watch as it spilled to the floor like pools of blood from a warm body.
She didn’t see him.
She didn’t know him.
Sometimes, he would think she was staring at him, but in reality, she was staring out onto the street outside, the old yellowing street lamps, the cracked pavement, the screeching of misused cars. The window was glass, and he was glass. Transparent enough to be misunderstood. Fragile enough to be cracked a thousand times.
She haunted him in his dreams.
Always in the background, she would dance, she would pirouette to silent music, spinning a thousand times, till in a state of dizziness he would fall off tall buildings and awake in a cold sweat before he hit the ground. In his dreams, she was transparent like a ghost. Sometimes, he would walk by the studio, drunk on his imagination, he would creak open the door. He would crack it endlessly into the infinity of sleep. Tiptoeing, he would enter. His footsteps would echo, barely muffled by the harsh wooden floorboards. He would find her there, thousands of hers, thousands upon thousands, like raindrops they would envelope him, those reflections in the mirrors of the studio. Slowly, she would glide toward him, like a ripple spreading to the edges of a silent lake. He waited for her on sandy shores. And the farther she spread, the more transparent she became. She was like moonlight’s rays. He would reach out to her, reach to touch her, with trembling hands. Her breath lapped over him like water. He would reach out his pale arm to catch her transparency and she would disappear at God’s command. She would be gone, and he would be faced with the empty studio, and a thousand versions of himself echoing off the walls.



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LeslieAnn said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm
The imagery in this piece is amazing. I'm very impressed and I cant wait to read the rest.
 
yaelephant5 replied...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm
thanks. the rest is there... but its just a rough draft.
 
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