Feet and Fins

July 6, 2011
Feet and Fins
It is early in the morning when the little girl wakes up from a colorful dream of glowing lights and ocean waves. She looks up at the stars that dot her ceiling, glowing with golden luminescence. Winking one eye, she traces the outline of one of the larger stars with her tiny finger and when she gets bored of that, the girl rolls out of bed and toddles to her door. The doorknob is a little ways above her head, but she manages to reach it and slowly pulls the door open, letting in the light from the extravagantly wide hallway. Candles are hung on either side of the hall, creating little pools of light that the girl skips around, humming as she continues down the corridor, and finally she arrives at the main staircase. It takes her some time to hoist herself onto the banister, but once she does it is easy to slide down the polished wood and propel off of the edge of the banister, slowly floating down by using the resistance of her undeveloped wings. Excited, the girl runs to the front door, snatching her jacket off of a hook that is only a couple of feet off the ground. Then she reaches up on her toes and pushes open the door.
The morning is crisp and the sun is just kissing the horizon with a splay of oranges and pinks. The girl pulls on her jacket, which is equipped with two holes for her tiny wings, and spreads out her arms, running down the cobblestone path that leads through the gardens of her home. Flowers yawn, awakening around her; opening their petals and stretching out their stems. The fairy girl giggles as a great kite flies overhead, the material of it catching the sunlight and reflecting colors of all kinds on the path that she runs down. The sun has risen halfway when the fairy girl stops at the edge of the path, plopping down on a great stone at the edge of the ocean. The water spreads forever, beyond the sight of the little girl. She focuses on a small cove that sits in the water, where a tribe of creatures are awakening. They are gorgeous, with slick green skin and long hair that almost is the same length as their bodies; their eyes are large and glossy, all different shades of jewel-like colors that glimmer like precious stones. But what made these creatures different than any other were their majestic tail fins that grew from the lower half of their bodies, gracefully dipped in the edge of the water as they brushed their hair with sea shells. The fairy girl gazes at their tails with her wide, curious eyes, daydreaming about what it would be like to swim through the ocean, to explore the bottom of the largest body of water on earth and never have to come to the surface for a breath; to have a tail fin like a mermaid and be a princess of the seas. The fairy girl looks at her own pudgy toes and purses her lips, poking her foot with her finger, as if to turn it into a tail fin.
At the cove, a young mermaid is nestled in a small alcove that is carved smoothly into the great stone structure underwater, a blanket of seaweed tucked around her small body. As the sun continues to rise in the sky, a ray of light cuts through the water, reflecting on the scales of her tailfin. The child mermaid hiccups as she wakes up, a tiny bubble floating to the surface as she wiggles out of her seaweed blanket and yawns. She opens her great jade eyes and shakes out her ice blue hair as she flicks her tailfin and breaks the surface of the water, pulling up onto the stone where her older sisters are already awake, vainly brushing their hair and smirking as other creatures watch them, particularly the male humans on the island to the west. The tiny mermaid rolls onto her stomach, turning to the island where a little fairy girl sits at the edge of the water, her great stone mansion behind her. The mermaid waves, smiling as the fairy girl replies with a wave as well. The little mermaid gazes at the fairy’s little feet, with five toes on each foot, and a tiny nail protecting each. What would it be like, she wondered, to walk on land with feet? To run through the sand, or the cobblestones, or the grass? Unless fairies were younglings, they often flew to where they had to go, but the mermaid had seen on the island of the humans women as they ran, their hair blowing in the breeze. She had seen how they danced with the men on the island, twirling on their toes and gracefully bending a single leg when they kissed. How wonderful it must be, thought the mermaid, to have be able to run and jump and dance.
On the third island was a little human girl, watching intently on the island of the fairies as they flew through the sky with their almost-transparent wings…

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