A short story I am having trouble continuing, about three girls who grow to confront their darkest fears. I’d love to hear what you think is going to happen, or what you’d like to happen next…
In one world, one lifetime, three girls grew up towards three kisses.
Alone, they each discovered, over the length of their young lives, their deepest, darkest fears.
They thought this was probably quite an important thing to know, as things go; something that might come up.
Nira feared big ears, grey hair, short legs and cats, and stayed away from knitting. She never brushed her teeth or bathed, or sat up straight at dinner. Her mother told her these were things that made a girl a woman, and Nira wanted none of that. This little girl was afraid of old age, in all its wrinkly awe. This thing affected everyone, and held their hand till death. What good was womanhood if that was where it went?
Fara followed friends around, all morning, day and eve. She jumped up at the crack of dawn and swapped a teddy for a mum. Saying goodbye, to Fara, meant hello again to someone new. You never saw this girl alone, for money, food or sleep. She seemed a happy child to most, chatty and alive. Fara didn’t care for silence, or boredom, or doing things for yourself. Loneliness was the storm cloud hovering near Fara’s heart.
Cold was a more complex child. Cold made footnotes of her post-its. She bracketed in birthday cards. She wrote letters at dinner, giving thanks to the host. Her mother just smiled her thanks. Cold made phone calls twice a day to those she’d just seen, to check and double-check they’d heard and understood everything she said. Cold was keeping track of life by making sure they knew how every word and comment she uttered was really intended. The worst thing that could ever happen to her was to be found in the grey place between grateful and expecting, tired and uninterested, or ill and injured. So she still wrote to tell people, even if she was uninterested.
One day these three lives merged under one sun; one that was arching its back over sleepy lapping waters that could have been put there just for this.
One carpet saw too many greens one night, and one dish smashed too many. One girl was fed up with playing by the rules. Nira ran away from home, and away, and away, and away.
One hand got sweaty and sick of holding onto another. One hand pushed, and one belly felt the weight of one hundred worlds falling into one place. Fara decided to find new friends somewhere else.
One letter too few came to one room in one house, and one tongue spoke a final full stop. Cold went turkey on her notes and calls and took a vow of silence. Her words weren’t welcome here.
Tired feet worked through a day and a night, while tired lips awaited.
One head cocked across a clearing, made of sugary, spicy trees, while… nice things… hung about above.
Brown eyes stared right into green, and blue eyes joined right in.
Nira reached out first and made the bravest steps of all. Nice things moved out of the way, and sugar sprinkled down.
Fara sheltered in the spice, aching for that hand.
Two minds grazed under that sun, green troubles and brown shared.
One heart stood lonely on but watched how tears were left unsaid. Then wandered off for a little while, through icing in silence.
Later, later more, Fara was lead by brown-eyed hands. They told her happy things were close, though she could feel that they were really talking to themselves. Green eyes and brown felt the uncertain warmth of another as they looked up through flossy snow to see a low thing sitting.
Warts and straggly hair turned to see them, through eyes that knew about slugs and snails and other things from under rocks.
Nira gasped. She had never seen anything so terrifying than what sat before her, gripping the ground it sat on as if it might otherwise float away. Fara felt her place was somewhere else right now, and went to find it.
The answer seeming to satisfy Nira somewhat, she approached the thing and started pulling at purple ferns growing conveniently close by.
To be continued…