Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Picketed

All she believed was what she saw, all she knew was what she was told, and she was told not to waste her time climbing, for she shouldn’t bring her head any closer to the clouds. But she defied them obedience as they defied her a reason to obey, as she felt the bark grow courser under her feet. She continued to stare upwards, at nothing in particular, as she climbed. Each time a weak branch broke under her foot a stronger one caught it, and she liked to think that she was strengthening the tree in this way. But when she reached the top and looked down at her progress, she saw the wooden shards that had collected at the base and knew there was nothing else to catch her if she fell.
She seated herself on a limb close to the trunk, but it had thinned quite a bit since she started. As she brushed the sappy needles and cold sweat from her face, it occurred to her that only squirrels were meant to sit where she was, as they would never look down. She huffed at this and stood on her branch, forcing her eyes to look farther than they could, she leaned out over grass, as a squirrel would never think to do.
But the beams of light poked through the clouds and burned her, and no matter how high her eyebrows raised or how large her pupils became, she could not see far enough to watch the back of her own head. So she sat there, and watched the mountains fade to purple, as they too were getting far too cold. She could see over the houses and heads and bikes and beds of those that she was supposed to settle for. Why would she choose to stay there, waiting for the sun, when the sun itself chose to live so far away? Surely it did not feel as warm around her as she did. And if it did, how would she know? She did not live in the sky. She had only seen the sun from a distance, and it was only polite to her as it was leaving. But she had laid eyes on it. And no matter what she stared at now it’s round impression floated across her vision. And what did it bring her in those brief laps across the sky? Well, she was still figuring that out herself. Something though, something she could not live without, unless she had never seen it before. And she had this thing now, as it poured from her eyes like the wind from her fingers.
The light had dimmed, and she could only vaguely remember what the base of the tree had looked like, or even the reason she had came to see the sun. She cursed the tree, and her callused feet and all the air chilling the space between her and It. Her fingers were dirty and sticky now. And she cut them throwing pine nuts at the picket fences strutting around her silly tree. What kind of tree lives by the corpses of its brothers anyway? But most of all she cursed shimmy mountain peaks. Surely they were keeping It from her. They had picketed tops just like her fences. And the snow on the tops only gleamed because that was where the Sun had cut itself trying to escape.

But why would the sun want to escape? What if It was happy there? Could there be someone else the Sun was returning to? And what if their tree was taller? And with that thought, the limb, which was growing quite sick, finally gave way under her. And she fell and fell, lower than the other trees, than the picket fences, and the bed frame. The bed that the cradled the Sun, as It slept alone in his picketed house.




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback