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Through the Window
This was a world where soft pillows of white snuggled against a flawless blue sky. Plains of pure cotton wrinkled in hills and depressions until the horizon nudged it backward. Off in the distance, monstrous mountains of blinding pastel white loomed at impossible heights and bumped into the peaceful blue sky. Meanwhile, other parts plunged into bottomless canyons. The crystal rays of a fiery sun sliced into the serene blue of the sky. This was a world where the sky was sky, but the earth consisted of billowing…
But in the parts as flat as a calm sea, a shadowed and sniffling boy shuffled by. He contrasted his surroundings like a black star on a white sky. Wrinkled gray clothes dripped from his thin body and shoes clung desperately to his feet. Mousy brown hair perched messily on the top of his head. A jagged scar crept down his hollowed cheek in a distinct line. The echoes of his whimpering tentatively tapped silence on the shoulder. The clouds were silent that day.
Soon, his lethargic pupils fell upon a strange sight. Soaring gently through the sea of pure cloud came a curved canoe and its owner. Its tiny body grew steadily until the hint of a person was almost visible. Without shock, he threw himself down to embrace the ground. He gripped fistfuls of soft, yielding cloud and pulled it over his body until he was enveloped in it. To the eye, though there were very few around, the boy was nothing but just another bump on the tip of a cloud.
After several minutes, the boy poked his head out into the welcoming, warm air. The brown, large canoe was drifting powerfully several paces in front of him. He heaved himself swiftly from the soft cloud and sprung silently to the canoe. Without even looking at the man steering it, he hopped in as gracefully as possible. Within a split second he folded into a ball and pulled a jacket on the floor over his body. Still, the boat rocked with the likeness of a graying old man waking from his nap. The short-lived but noticeable disturbance of the canoe was greeted by a startled grunt and more rocking. The boy peered at the world from under that live-saving jacket and saw the back of a small man examining the cloud under the canoe. Obviously disgruntled, even from the back, he sat back down in his seat. The boy was an expert.
With danger gone, the boy turned carefully in his spot to examine the changing world. At every turn of the hour, the terrain in the sky changes to a white desert, than stormy gray sea, than colorful wisps of peaceful magic painted onto the dimming sky. His mind collapsed into serenity. His eyelids drooped and fastened closed.
The blanket jerked from his vulnerable form and the boy was yanked from his serene dreams. The world is blindingly bright. An angry but unflustered, and familiar but foreign face, loosened and creased by age, hovered over his. A hoarse growl escaped the old man’s throat,
The boy gripped both sides of the canoe and pulled himself up. His alert eyes fell upon the old wooden house, black with age, perched awkwardly on the soft clouds like an insect. His attention returned to the old man. He spit out his planned words in rapid procession,
“Can I stay and live with you?”
The old man frowned and his brow furrowed. The answer shouted from his eyes, face, and heart, but he still answered with a snarl,
Within the same second, a blur light and eruption of deafening sound tore through the clouds. A winged mass of white metal was ripping furiously through the clouds, consuming the peace with greed. As it soared past and its roar rumbled in the distance, the clouds below it were empty. There was no old man. There was no small boy. There was no lonely, crooked house. There was only cloud and sky and eternal beauty.
Through the twenty second window of an enormous airplane soaring majestically through the air and endless clouds peered a small boy. Sunlight, filtered by the gray window separating him from sky, danced on his hallowed face. Light reached its fingers through his mousy hair, caressed his gray clothes and thin body, and highlighted the jagged scars splitting through his cheek. He stared longingly at the clouds.