Cloud Formations: A Fictional Story This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Cloud Formations:

A Fictional Story

by J. M., Westwood, MA



I see water vapor, but in her eyes it is a castle. It is a castle with turrets and dragons and I am her queen. I squint, and my eye tears from the glare, but still I see simply the explainable. This frustrates her. She is sprawled beside me, her knotted blond hair circling her flushed preschool countenance as she gazes into the heavens. She believes without question that the heavens are my realm, and she longs for them to be hers. With this knowledge, she radiates a happiness incomprehensible to my mind. Furious with the narrow scope of teenage thought, I struggle to understand. Still the clouds are just clouds, swabs of cotton by the best stretch of my imagination. It almost makes sense, the clouds nearly form lucid shapes, as if I peer through steamed glass. There was a time when I was scared of withered balloons and circus clowns. Never were there monsters below my bed, but there were always clowns with scarlet noses and penciled-in grins holding two-week-old birthday balloons in the closet. Such images I can almost see above me, in the infinite expanse of sky that taunts my meager beliefs, and silently reveals my past. The cotton pools are calling out a language in which I used to be fluent. Those were the days before I lost my key to the Cloud Kingdom. I remember being five and a humble subject under the reign of some baby sitter or television star who resided over the clouds. Now that I am that baby sitter, the almighty, I am utterly lost. I am disoriented in this void - somewhere between the blurring of sea and sky and field and the hazy lines of reality. I find sure and concrete merely the harsh earth, and I am painfully aware of where each inch of my body meets its surface. I close my eyes, desperately trying to cut myself off from this dreadful emporium after childhood and before whatever there is to come. I cannot be queen in a world I do not comprehend. As the sun ducks behind a tower, my crown slips over my face, and the scent of cardboard and Elmer's glue tickles my nose.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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