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Something Different

Deep auburn, flowing hair, a satin blue dress, tall, and slim, she was different than any girl I had ever seen before. Sure, there were other beautiful, thin, red heads at my school, but none like her. She was different. Her dress looked as if it had come right out of the renaissance. The top did anyway; the skirt was more of a flowing blue puff of what looked like silk. She wore sea blue stockings and satin, elbow length gloves with frills at the top. She had no shoes on and two blue flower buds in her hair.

I had never seen her around before, but there she sat, in the middle of the field and in the center of the wild blue forget-me-nots that grew there. She just sat there as I stared at her, nothing moved except her hands, which gently brushed against the tops of the flowers as if they were the heads of newborn babies.

Finally, after a few minutes, she shifted. I dodged behind a tree so she wouldn’t see me staring. She placed one hand to the side and the other one behind her. Then she put one foot in front of her, and pushed out with her other foot. She did a graceful cartwheel to a standing position. She shook her head and rolled her elbows back. Then she turned around. She moved in my direction and I tried to hide better, but a twig snapped under my foot.

“Hello. Who are you?” She said, smiling, staring right at where I was hidden behind a tree.

Her voice was soft and gentle, not accusing at all, and flowed slowly and sweetly, like honey. Her eyes shone an odd gray-blue shade I had never even imagined. They, like her voice, were soft and gentle.

I gulped, stepping out into view, and spoke quietly. “I’m Daniel. Who are you?”

Her gentle smile widened. “My name is Persephone.”

Persephone, such an odd name. “I’ve never seen you before.”

“Yes, that should be about right.”

“Why haven’t I? Seen you before, that is.”

“I don’t live around here.”

I paused briefly, hoping she would say more. But when she didn’t I asked her, “Where do you live?”

“Over that way.” She pointed off in the general direction of the long expanse of the field.

“On the other side of the field?”

“That would be the best way to describe it, yes.” She turned her head away, staring off, somewhat worriedly, at the gently lowering sun.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “I’d love to stay and talk, but I must be off. It is quite a long way home. Good-bye.” She turned gently on her toes and was off in the general direction she had pointed.

“Good-bye,” I called after her, “nice to meet you!”

She turned around and nodded. “I’ll be back.” She said, “I promise.” And with that she turned around and continued to walk away.

As she turned her hair swung around and hit her neck. She flung it back behind her and hurried her pace a little. She walked softly over the ground, trying desperately not to step on the wild forget-me-nots. She placed one foot in front of the other, like she was walking on a balance beam, like a gymnast. She did a brief cartwheel over a patch of flowers and began to run quickly over the field. I watched her hair flow softly behind her for a moment, and then turned to leave.


“Hey guys!” I ran up to my friends at school, “I saw this girl yesterday and…”

“Aw man!” Chris burst out.

“Is she pretty?” Michael asked.

“No, it’s not like that!” I tried to stop them, “she doesn’t go to our school but…”

“Awww, you playa’!” Chris interrupted again.

All the rest of the guys burst out in laughter.

“No Chris I don’t like her like that!”

“Like who like what?” It was Myra, my insanely jealous girlfriend.

“No one, Myra, honey. You know I would never cheat on you!” I blurted out quickly.

Her hard stare softened a bit. “Okay.” She bent over and kissed me on the cheek. “So, who is she?” The hard stare returned.

I sighed, “Her name’s Persephone.”

“Cool name.” Tom, the calmest of my friends, said.

“Yeah, yeah,” Myra was impatiently awaiting more details. “Where’d you meet her?”

Oh man, Myra. I thought, “She was sitting in the field.”

“What was she doing?” demanded Myra.

I heard my Chris, Michael, and a few others start to laugh. Myra always did this; she even did it with Tom! My friends knew it annoyed the heck out of me, and none of them realized how I could like her. Quite honestly, I didn’t either sometimes.

“Myra, honey, please, do you always have to do this?” I pleaded with her to stop, but her stare remained the same hard, impatient, expectant glare. I sighed again. “Nothing. She was doing absolutely nothing.”

Myra looked confused.

“What do you mean nothing?” Chris asked, “She was just sitting there?”

“Well, yeah, she just sorta sat there brushing her hands on the wild flowers.” I answered.

“That makes absolutely no sense!” Myra protested. She was about to ask another question when the first bell rang.

Thank god! I thought saved by the bell. “Well, we’d better get to class, huh Chris?” I gave Chris a pleading glance.

“Uh, yeah,” Chris played along, much to my relief, “Mr. Robertson will kill us if we’re late! Later guys!”

We took off down the hall towards English class.

Once we were out of ear shot of Myra I turned to Chris, “Thanks dude.”

“No problem, that chick is nuts!” He laughed.

“She is not nuts! She’s…”

Chris looked at me with one eyebrow raised in the cocky way that made anyone laugh.

“Alright!” I laughed, “She is a little nuts!”

“A little?” Chris said through his laughter.

We walked into English laughing, where we were met by Abby, the crazy redhead who has the most obvious crush on Chris.

“Speaking of crazy chicks,” I mumbled to him.

He cast a warning glace at me as Abby skipped up.

“Hi Daniela,” she said with out looking at me.

“It’s Daniel.” I corrected her.

“Hi, Chris.” She giggled in a way that was almost maniacally flirty.

“Hey, Abby.” He mumbled.

She giggled crazily.

“Well, we should take our seats now.” I nudged Chris.

We hurried over to our seats and sat down as Abby stood there, dumbfounded.

“Thanks, man, I really needed that.” Chris whispered to me.

“No problem, you’d do the same for me.”

“Correction, I do do the same for you.” He laughed.

“Ha ha,” I laughed sarcastically. As nuts as Myra was she was still my girlfriend, and I wished he’d stop making jokes about her.



All through the rest of that day, I couldn’t keep my mind on my school work. My thought’s kept trailing back to Persephone. The more I thought about the way she took flight towards her house at sunset I found that it seemed just that, a flight. It began to seem to me that she had almost glided over the flowers after her cartwheel.

I was lost in thought about it as a packed up my backpack at the end of the day, when Myra snuck up behind me.

“Hey baby.” She said in my ear.

I jumped and nearly hit her in my surprise.

She giggled.

“Hi Myra, you startled me.”

She giggled, “I noticed.”

“So what’s up?” I shoved my math textbook into my bag, not even sure if I needed it today because I hadn’t really paid attention.

“I was wondering if you were doing anything later today.”

Truthfully I had been hoping to go look for Persephone, and maybe get her off my mind, but I wasn’t going to tell miss jealousy that, “Maybe, why?”

“I was wondering if you wanted to come over and watch my new movie!”

NO! Not another Myra the magnificent production! I thought desperately. Myra liked to direct movies, they were always well shot, but terribly edited and the plot was always…well…interesting. “What’s it about?”

“It’s a Surprise! PLEASE?!” she tugged on my shirt sleeve.

“How about tomorrow?”

“But…” Myra looked into my backpack. “Why are you taking home your math book? She told us we didn’t have homework, remember? We’re celebrating everyone getting A’s on last weeks test on Monday. You raised your hand to bring cupcakes.”

Great, I thought, now I have to go buy cupcakes! I blushed, “I guess I just wasn’t thinking.”

“Why not today? It’s Friday, not like we have homework anyway!”

I sighed, “Fine, I’ll come over at six okay? I’ll buy us some pizza before hand. How long is it?”

“Longest one yet! A full hour!” she bent over and kissed me on the cheek. “See you at six!” she bounded away, happy as can be.

“DUDE!” Chris walked up. “You’re gonna watch another one of those stupid movies? You gotta tell her she stinks!”

“Whatever.” I had hardly heard him.

He stood by my locker and tapped his foot as I put my textbook back in my locker and closed the door.

I sighed, “What do you want dude?”

“I wanna meet this Persephone chick; she sounds kinda cool.” He blurted out.

“Get off the bus at my stop, maybe she’ll be in the field, if not, we can hang out until I go to Myra’s.”

“Awesome! Thanks dude.”

We walked out to the bus together.



We got off at the third stop, my stop, and dropped our bags off at my house before heading down to the field. It looked like it was going to rain, but Chris insisted we go anyway and I wasn’t going argue.

Persephone was sitting there, still as can be, when we walked over. I was ahead of Chris by a couple feet and I called to her.

She looked up at me worriedly, like a deer in the headlights, cartwheeled into a standing position and started to run away.

“Persephone, wait up!” I called as Chris came running up behind me.

I ran after her and stopped short when I realized something, her eyes weren’t the same color, they were green, not blue-gray, her stockings and gloves were more sea green then blue, and the flower buds were missing. This didn’t look like Persephone.

“Dude!” Chris yelled at me, “I thought you said Persephone was cool!”

I turned slowly back to Chris, “That wasn’t her.”

“What are you talking about? She’s in the same dress and that’s the same spot, right?”

“Yes, and yes, but those girl’s eyes were green, not blue-gray, and…it’s just not her, okay?”

“Maybe she wears contacts?”

“No, dude, it wasn’t her. Persephone wouldn’t have run.”

“Then who the heck was that?!”

“Her twin maybe, I don’t know, but it wasn’t her.”

Chris could tell I was disappointed. “Dude, do you like this chick?”

“Yah, she’s cool.”

“No, no, I mean do you like her, like seriously?”

“No! I just met her yesterday!”

“And yet you’re upset that she’s not here, and you couldn’t pay attention in class, and you looked happy as can be when you told me about her in English. Dude, what up with this?”

“I don’t even know myself dude. There’s just something different about her. I don’t like her like that, but I feel like I’m drawn to her somehow.”

“Whatever, man, let’s go play video games or something.”

“Okay.”

I let Chris go ahead of me, walking slowly. When I glanced backwards I saw something strange, the girl wasn’t there anymore. She had just disappeared.

“Whoa! Chris!” I tugged on his shirt, almost causing him to fall backwards.

“What man?!” He spun around and looked shocked “…whoa. Where’d she go?”

“I dunno…its strange isn’t it?”

“Man this wreaks of weirdness,” he sounded worried, “I-I don’t think we should go look for her again…lets get outta here.” He tugged on my shirt and started walking away.

“Maybe you’re right…” I knew he was right but I also knew I had to see her again. I’d come back when he wasn’t with me, but for now we headed back inside as it began to rain.



“Myra c’mon, isn’t there something else you’d rather do that just sit and watch a movie?” I was desperate to not watch another awful film.

“Noooo! Oh come on Danny! You promised!” Myra moaned.

“Well you promised to stop calling me Dan—”

“Come on! You promised!” She was practically dragging me into the movie room.

“What’s so special about this movie that you’re so desperate to have me watch it?!”

“I made it for you!” Myra looked like she was going to cry, “And I worked really hard on it so all I’m asking is for you to watch it!”

I was shocked. “You made it for me?” Oh no… I thought this can’t be a good thing…

“Yes. I made it for you. Please watch it!” She tugged on my arm.

I sighed, “Okay, I’ll watch it.”

Myra squealed in joy, “I’ll go get it! There’s popcorn in the machine!”

She skipped out to her movie editing bay to grab the tape and I went to get popcorn from the machine at the back of the movie room. That was the one thing that was good about her making me watch her movies, the popcorn was great. I took a seat on a couch in front of the projector screen as Myra came running in with the tape.

“I call it My Baby.” She stuck the movie in, started it and snuggled up to me on the couch.

I smiled at her and she blushed, as she always did. “I worked really hard on it. It took me months to finish, but I think it should be good now.”

The movie began and my eyes shot open as I noticed my name listed as an actor in the opening credits.

“Myra, why is…”

“Just watch it!” She smiled deviously at me.

As the credits progressed I noticed Myra’s name as one of the actors too. The opening sequences consisted of lots of hearts and I began to get worried as Chris’s name showed up on the screen too.

“Chris? Myra what….”

“Oh just shut up and watch will you?”

The movie opened with Myra in front of a camera like you’d see in one of those reality TV shows “confessionals”.

“Hi, I’m Myra and this is a movie I call My Baby. I think you may recognize some of the people in this movie, because, well, you’re friends with them. This is dedicated to you Danny-baby.”

The entire movie consisted of clips of my friends and I hanging out or Myra trying to get me to be in her movies. I had never let her so all of the shots consisted of her sneak-attack recording me and me telling her to turn it off. Every once in a while it was a shot of Myra in the confessional talking about me. About us. That went on for almost a full hour until it ended with Myra talking:

“You’re so special to me Danny-baby, and I know I can get on your nerves but you put up with it all and that means so much to me! Happy anniversary.”

My heart skipped a beat oh no! Did I forget our anniversary!?

Myra turned to me, “see why I wanted you to come over now?” she looked kinda upset.

“Myra I…I don’t know how I forgot!”

“Of course not. You probably don’t even know how long it’s been either!”

“Of course I do! 3 months right?” To tell the truth I didn’t but I had to guess.

“No! It’s only been 2!”

“Really? It seems longer.” I hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

“Oh my god! What are you trying to say Daniel?”

“Oh…god…Myra that is not what I meant!”

“Oh then what did you mean to say?!”

“That….that…I LOVE YOU!” I really wished I hadn’t said that.

Myra’s face lit up, “Oh Danny-baby! I love you too!” Myra leapt on me and hugged me tightly around my neck, “I’m so glad I wasn’t the first one to say it!”

My eyes widened in fear, what had I done?



“You told her you loved her?” Tom was on the brink of laughter.

“Don’t laugh at me! What do I do? I don’t love her! I barely like her!”

“Ouch…” Tom said. “Dude why are you even telling me this stuff? I thought Chris was your best friend.”

“He is, but you know, he’s…well he’s Chris! I didn’t want to give him the pleasure of laughing his head off at me. What do I do tom??”

“I dunno man! What do you want to do?”

“Well I want to tell her I don’t mean it, but I can’t do that.”

“Well why not? I mean Myra’s…” Tom hesitated a moment as I looked desperately at him, “yeah don’t tell her that.”

“I was going to break up with her but then…I dunno it was our anniversary and I already felt like a jerk for forgetting so I guess I just…I panicked!”

“Dude you gotta break it off. That’s the best thing.”

“But…”

“You’re giving her false hope man! It’s not cool. And it’s not good for either of you. Anyway I gotta go, work this out soon, before it get out of hand and she tells everyone. See ya Monday.” He went back inside his house.

“See ya…” I ran my hand through my hair and walked down the street towards my house, it was getting late.

As I walked I thought I heard something. I turned around and didn’t see anything, but when I turned back around I saw something in the field. It was Persephone. She was standing there waving at me a smile on her face.

I ran down the field towards her, pushing the thought of Myra to the back of my mind.

“Hey Persephone.” I said, excited to see the blue-gray color in her eyes.

“Hello Daniel. Good to see you again.”

I smiled, “Yeah I saw someone here yesterday, but I guess it wasn’t you. Do you by chance have a twin?”

“No, I have no twin, but…I was here yesterday and you most certainly were not.” She spoke in perfect English, as if she had never heard of fragments or slang.

“No I was here yesterday. I waved at you and…you ran.”

She looked worried. “Can’t have been me. Why would I have run? I like speaking with you.”

“Well whoever it was looked just like you. Same dress and everything. The only difference was her eyes. They were green; her stockings and gloves were greener too.”

“IT WAS NOT ME!” She yelled. Her voice was as sharp as a rose bush and just as beautiful. Her eyes began to become greener.

“Are…are your eyes changing color?” my question was barely audible over the rumble that resounded from the darkening sky. I looked up at the sky “Looks like rain huh?” I looked back at her and my heart almost leapt to my throat, “YOUR EYES!” her eyes had turned a very unnatural dark, dark green. “Are you okay?!”

“WHO ARE YOU?!” she yelled, backing away, terrified, “how did you find me?!”

I was shocked. “Persephone it’s me…Daniel, you found me hiding two days ago remember?” I took a step towards her and she shot out her hand, knocking me backwards, onto the ground, without touching me.

“KEEP AWAY FROM ME!” She began to take off.

I chased after her, “PERSEPHONE WAIT UP! Where are you going?!”

“Leave me alone! Father said to never talk to humans!” She yelled back, “he said they’d capture me!”

I stopped dead in my tracks. “Wait, What? I’m not trying to capture you, Persephone! I just want to talk!”

“GO AWAY!” She shrieked

She ran to the middle of the field and stopped over what looked like an ant hill. She looked down at it, but then she saw me standing there and began running again. She ran off to the right rather than run farther away so I took off at a diagonal after her. I caught up with her quite quickly, much to her dismay and she shrieked loud and high pitched. I grabbed her arm and her face went white. It began to rain heavily.

She started crying “Please don’t hurt me!” she cried.

“Persephone I don’t want to hurt you!” she must have multiple personalities. I thought.

“How do you know my name?!”

“You told me it, remember? It was only two days ago; you knew my name two minutes ago too! It’s Daniel! Remember??”

“I never talk to humans! Father said they’d hurt me if they found out!”

“If they found out what?”

She looked scared beyond all belief, “Nothing. I can’t say.” Tears still streamed down her cheeks leaving light lines of color as they fled from her now rain-soaked skin.

“Persephone, we’re friends. You said you lived on the other side of the field, I saw you yesterday too, but you didn’t remember.”

“I remember you!” She said angrily, “You were walking with another boy and you yelled at me so I ran away!”
I noticed something odd going on with her back and tried to look at it, but she kept turning away. Something was sprouting from her shoulder blades. I couldn’t get a good enough look at it to tell what it was but it looked like…“Are those…wings?”
Persephone stayed silent.
“Persephone, are you sprouting wings?!”
She shook her head rapidly, frightened.
I used my grip on her arms to spin her around so I could see her back. They were wings. And they were elaborate. The tips of them were a dark green, like her eyes had become, and as they grew out of her back the green became less green and more of a mix of the blue and green—as if someone were mixing more blue in with the green as they grew—until they became entirely a deep midnight blue. There were 4 wings on either side; three large ones layered on top of each other and one shorter, mostly dark green one, spanning the height of the other three.
“You are sprouting wings!”
She was crying harder now and looked deathly terrified. “Don’t hurt me.” She whimpered, “Please don’t trap me in a glass jar!” Tears were streaming down her face faster and heavier than the rain, “I don’t want my flowers to wilt.”
I didn’t know what to say, “Are you…a fairy?”
“Yes.” She said sadly, “Please don’t trap me. I promise I won’t tell father on you. Just let me go home!”
“Where’s home Persephone?”
Her face became hard, “I can’t say.”
I let go of her arm, much to her surprise. She gripped where I had had her arm; it was as white as her face had been.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
Persephone looked as if she didn’t know what to say. Her mouth was slightly ajar and eyes wide. The color returned to her face and her eyes flashed the beautiful blue-gray I had seen before and she smiled. “Thank you.” The green eyes returned, along with the scared look. “You won’t tell will you? I don’t want my family hurt.”
I hesitated a moment, but it really only took one look at her terrified, beautiful eyes to come up with my answer, “no. I won’t tell anyone,” I smiled at her, “I promise.”
She looked surprised. “Well aren’t you something different.” She said smiling.
The rain was still coming down hard and I began to realize how wet I was becoming. “I should get home before my mother starts to worry. It was uhh…nice seeing you Persephone.”
She smiled at me. “Thank you.” She said again.
Then I walked home. And I assume Persephone did too because when I turned around she had disappeared, just as she had the day before.


“So basically what you’re saying is you didn’t mean to say you loved me?” Myra was being oddly calm about it all.
“Uhm yeah…I just kind of already felt bad and didn’t know how to explain that I…don’t really like you…like that.”
“Oh.” Myra barely seemed hurt, “well alright then.”
I was shocked, “You get that I’m breaking up with you?”
“Yes, I understand perfectly well.”
“And you’re…okay with it?”
“Yes. I am. I’ve been meaning to break up with you anyway.”
I was dumbfounded. “But you…The movie was…”
“Oh, I made that a long time ago, figured I better finish what I started. Any way, I’ve got company, I should go. Friends?”
There was something not right about the whole thing. “Uh yeah sure, friends…I guess.”
“Great.” Myra smiled, “See you Monday Daniel.”
She went inside and I stood outside a moment, shocked. I began to leave her porch when I heard laughter from her living room window. I looked in a moment and saw her with Richard, a boy in our science class. He had his arm around her and she looked happy as could be.
So that’s why she was so okay with it! I thought. The magnificent Myra’s been cheating on me! Was it even our anniversary or did she think I’d found out? I found out later that it was the latter of the two. The anniversary had been her cover for showing me the video. Our actual anniversary was two days later which I found out when the alarm I’d set for the event on my phone went off. Myra and I weren’t really friends after that, despite what we told everyone else.


I went back to the field the next evening just before the sun was going down and saw Persephone sitting in the same position I had seen her in the first day. I crept silently into the trees and watched her for a moment. She was humming. No tune in particular, she was just sort of humming. She took one of the flower buds out of her hair and waved her hand over it. It opened instantly. She plucked a wilted flower from the ground replaced it with the now blooming flower, which took root and grew a stem immediately. She waved her hand over the wilted flower and it appeared to age backwards until it was a bud again. She then snapped its stem off and stuck the bud in her hair. She put the stem on the ground and it disappeared into the tall grass.
She put her hands back, stuck her left foot out, and cart wheeled into an upright position. She turned and looked directly at the trees where I hid. I could tell she knew I was there but she said nothing. She just smiled at me nodded her head once, slowly. “Thank you Daniel.” She said sweetly. “You are most defiantly something different.” She giggled a moment and turned around. Wings were sprouting from her back. These were different than the ones I had seen the day before. The configuration of four wings on each side was the same, but the coloring was different. The tips started off dark blue, but as they sprouted they became a lighter blue and a vibrant, golden yellow shone out from the middle of her back like the sun. She started off running at a gentle balance beam run like she had the first day, but then her wings began to flutter gently and she was gliding over the grass, weaving between patches of the wild blue forget-me-nots.

I never saw her again after that day, and I never searched for her. But I always could tell when she’d been there; there would always be one less wilted flower and one new blooming one in its place.
She would never let those flowers die.



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B.Madu said...
May 2, 2012 at 4:42 am:
I love this.
 
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