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Capturing Smoke

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I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and smiled. How was it possible that the pretty sister sat moping in her room whilst I, the younger, plainer one got to spend the day with this beautiful boy?

He walked towards me and clasping our hands together we made our way into our garden. We sat beneath the shading trees and beside the fragrant flowers talking and laughing, sharing tender kisses throughout the afternoon. I wondered how I had ever gone on without him.

But, how long could this last?
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I close my eyes, my face to the sun and an image floats behind my eyelids. I am warmed by thinking of it, a wave of calm and unadulterated happiness.

It is the only thing that makes me smile. Every other memory has been wiped clean from my mind and any object that brings such a luxury as happiness is denied from me.

My curiosity and foolishness brought me here and lost me the people I love. If my sister and I had not been so mischievous and had such insatiable curiosity then the people I love would still be here but, the happiest times in my life would be gone too.

I remember when we first came upon it. We were children lost in the woods after escaping our chaperones. My sister and I had wandered in hopes of discovering ourselves to be in some sort of fairy tale.

My heart beat in my chest. Pounding against my ribs, trying to get out. Our names were called in the distance. I became still and nervous but Isadora continued on.

I heard feet hitting the forest floor. They fell upon the leaves mercilessly, crunching them under their weight.

“Isadora,” I hissed and my sister swiveled her head towards me. Her eyes were like two sapphires staring back at me, wide with excitement.

“Where should we go?” she replied. Her eyes danced in anticipation of such a game of hide and seek to anger and annoy our captors.

I looked around us. Everything was green and brown. Birds sat on the branches of the impossibly tall trees. Small animals rustled the brush but there was not a place to hide in sight.

Something then clicked in my mind. A lost memory of a dream. I was in the woods and had turned left. Such a strong desire to do something, to turn left, had never occurred in me before. So I took it.

“This way,” I whispered as I ran sharply to the left dodging branches and trees. She followed suit and the further along I went the clearer the dream became in my mind and I continued to go on the path it mapped out for me. I don’t know what or why but something was pulling me to a certain spot. This dream wanted me to be somewhere, but then the dream was gone. I stopped in my tracks but Isadora continued on. She pulled back the branches as the woods had gotten very thick and dense and she came upon a gate.

She exclaimed in pure delight “Linette look what I have found!”

I rushed forward, eager to be part of the finding of such a secret place. Little less than sleeping beauty could be hidden behind the briars and branches.

Isadora searched the gate but came to the conclusion that there was a lock on the other side and we had no way to get in.

“Linette I’m going to boost you up into this tree,” she announced and indicated the tree whose braches had grown over the fence.

“No! I’ll break my neck!”

“You won’t I promise! All you have to do is make it to the other side and climb down the fence from there, then unlock the gate. You’re younger and lighter and anyway you wouldn’t be able to boost me up.”

After much bickering I relented. I was just as curious about what lay at the other side of the fence but I was still hesitant.

Isadora intertwined her fingers and placed them on her knee. I slipped off my shoes and placed my left foot on her palms. She lifted them up with a sudden push and a grunt and I flew up, grasping the trunk with my fingertips and swung my right leg over a low branch. I then stood up on the branch and began to climb the branches like a giant’s ladder.

When I finally reached the overhanging branch I slowly walked across holding onto vines for balance. I placed my feet on the beam that held up the fence, closed my eyes and jumped. I landed fairly softly but tore my tights and scratched my knee. But when I looked up I gasped. Somehow, I recognized this place.





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