Nellie | Teen Ink


May 5, 2022
By rosiebellis BRONZE, Gurnee, Illinois
rosiebellis BRONZE, Gurnee, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more"
"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream"

- Vincent Van Gogh

Perhaps the day will forgive me if it’s the night I call my love. Starlight and the moon and the silver way their touch, together, shades the trees. Shades me, as I walk unbeaten pathways through the woods.

I’m looking for something, I know—just can’t remember—can’t remember—God! What was it!? The owl coos from its place at the tops of the evergreens and I tip my face toward its gaze, mesmerized by the yellow eyes that greet me.

—Sue! Her name is Sue! I remember that—good. 

What else do I remember?

Sue floats down from above to glide beside me as I walk further; deeper into the darkness of the silver-touched wood at the dead of night.

Sue coos at me when she perches a few paces ahead.

“Nellie.” I recall to Sue; to myself. “I’m looking for Nellie. Where is she?”

Sue tips her head to the side. Then the other, fascination shaping her expressionless face, shading her vibrant eyes. A couple more steps, I stand beside her. Looking out on an open field. Wildflowers decorating the silver grasses, evergreens lining the glade, and moonlight’s silver whisper sent whistling through everything.

The breeze smells like daffodils and lavender and growth.

I look back at Sue. Who looks at me, still wondering what I’ll do next. What am I supposed to do?

“Nellie?” I call to the wind. “Nellie!?” Again, but louder—

But I don’t even know who I’m looking for. Just a name.

Branches somewhere shake, tapping against one another with disinterest.

“Oh—how rude of me.” Taking a step back, “I didn’t mean to disrupt your sleep,” I tell the evergreens.

They sigh. A breeze catches my hair, whisking it over my shoulders. I step again toward the glade. Then again, past the tree line—

It’s quieter.

Beyond the trees and the sleep of wildlife—the coos of Sue and the scuttle of mice—it’s quieter in the glade. Another breeze dances by and I breathe some of its spirit into my lungs. Breathe


I know my name is Charlie. I’m Charlie—and I know I cannot walk a step further with my shoes on. Doesn’t feel right. I don’t know why, but an inkling tickles my intuition, so I take off my shoes. Pull the laces ‘til they loosen, then leave behind.  

Take a step—

So, this is how the grass feels! So cool and solid—and a little bit itchy. A rabbit hops away; hidden in the tall grasses and sweet wildflowers—but I know that pentameter gallop by heart. Been here so many times—but memory comes like the rabbit:

Tha-thump; tha-thump it runs away.

My hand settles out beside me, feeling the tops of the grasses. Letting them brush against my palm, painting pictures of summer life and winter sleep. Their kisses cooing lullabies to my naïve little ear as I listen to their natural chorus sing of sleep. Of dreams.

The evergreens play their part too. Even in slumber they hum with life—hushing leaves, murmuring wildlife, and the humming cicadas that purr their melody. An altogether symphony, and I soak every inch of this in—

Another breeze—feels like a gift! I want to dance! Feel so alive amongst so lively a scene—I want to feel every grain of dirt and sand between my toes, feel it for so long I forget what shoes are—

“Nellie!” I call out again.

I don’t know why.

All I know is that I want her to come—to feel this with me as I run—run as fast as I can through the glade! Sprinting on scents of daffodils and lavender and growth— I stretch my arms out wide, spin a circle— embrace the night air—close my eyes—running further—

And I fall.

Cold. Wet. Gorgeous.

Submerged completely and I sink toward the sand; toward the bottom of the secret swamp, caught in its strikingly clear waters. The roots of shallow grasses flow away upon the ripples; glide across the surface of the water, and the moonlight touches them all. Polishes the bubbles that rise from my lips, diluting the colors to prismatic luster.

And I blink. Feel my limbs rise above me, toward the light, as I sink.

I remember now.

Clarity coming back in every second beneath her gaze—Oh, how far I’ve fallen for the night—And I hope dear day will not spite me for it. I live in this forest, within these trees—speak with the wild more freely than the tame—and I love the moon and her cool gentility. Feel her fingertips on my back as she pulls me to the surface—deep—

Breath. As I gasp the air I’d fallen from. Another breeze of daffodils and lavender and growth floods my lungs—and she smiles at me. The moon; my love.

The one I come to every night. Who I leave my reality to run away with every time she shines her light through my window; calls my name in the hush of her midnight breezes, whisking me from my bed and my sleep to hold me in the touch I crave all day.

Cool; smooth, like the water, she settles my bare feet on the ground again.


The wind whispers

Charlie, my love.

Breathe— savor the scent of this silver hour.

She reaches down from her home in the sky, touching my lips with such humble acuity as they part. One step, then a second, and she traces her path across the constellations to stand before me. Beauty and grace in her gaze—in her chill of proximity as she stands right before me.

“Nellie,” I whisper. Recall to her as I do every night, “Nellie, I’ve found you again—”

“How glad I am that you did.”

“Nellie, I missed you,” I continue “missed you so much—”

“I know.” Holds my hand in her cool fingers, places my knuckles before her lips to kiss!

Lips that linger; soft skin leaves impressions that last for centuries.

“Nellie.” I begin again, addicted to the taste of her name on my tongue—she draws her fingers across my cheek—

Her lips—

Are like the water. Linger, iridescent.

What a dream, what a dream, I remember.  

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This article has 1 comment.

on May. 15 at 7:16 am
anyabeatrice GOLD, Encino, California
14 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world."
-Marilyn Monroe

What a gorgeous story! Love it so much.